Daily Dirt: Expanded NFL season may find Super Bowl, spring training overlapping

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Daily Dirt for Jan. 3, 2022

Granted, he has not been gone long, but I already miss John Madden … welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 177 of the Daily Dirt.

1. Due to the increase of this year’s NFL schedule — from 16 to 17 games — the Super Bowl will not be played until Feb. 13.

Assuming that the current MLB labor dispute will be settled in the coming weeks, that means the Super Bowl will be played after some baseball teams have reported to spring training. While you’re thinking about that, here are a few notes about the dates of early NFL championship games:

  • Until the NFL-AFL merger, the NFL title games were normally played in early-to-mid December. The earliest of those games was played Dec. 8, 1940, when the Chicago Bears overwhelmed the Washington Redskins in the infamous 73-0 game.
  • The first “Super Bowl” was played Jan. 15, 1967 when Green Bay defeated Kansas City 35-10.
  • The earliest Super Bowl was Jan. 9, 1977 when Oakland smacked Minnesota 32-14. That was Madden’s lone Super Bowl victory, played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
  • The first Super Bowl to dip into February was 2004 when New England beat Carolina 32-29 on Feb. 4.

2. The five best TV detectives of the 1990s:

  • 1. Sam Waterston (Jack McCoy), Jerry Orbach (Lennie Briscoe), Jessie L. Martin (Ed Green) and Fred Dalton Thompson (Arthur Branch) led a tremendous cast in “Law and Order”. Orbach was my favorite of this deep and talented crew. Sadly, Orbach died in 2004 following a lengthy bout with cancer.
  • 2. Mitzki Kapture (Rita Lance) and Rob Estes (Chris Lorenzo) of “Silk Stalkings”. Many would-be fans likely missed this because it was on the USA Network and did not have the major network push behind it, which was a shame.
  • 3. Chuck Norris (Cordell Walker) of “Walker, Texas Ranger,” a show I have learned to appreciate more in syndication. The bottom line? At some point, Chuck Norris is going to rock some heads.
  • 4. Richard Belzer (John Munch) of “Homicide: Life on the Street”.
  • 5. Mariska Hargitay (Olivia Benson) and Christopher Meloni (Elliot Stabler) from “Law and Order: SVU,” which barely made the cutoff, premiering in 1999. If this show had been around more of the decade I would have ranked it higher.

3. Best college nicknames at NCAA Division I schools with no football programs:

Gold medal: North Florida Ospreys.

Silver medal: Texas-Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros.

Bronze medal: Cal State-Bakersfield Roadrunners.

Steve Fact O’ The Day
Steve has never changed the oil in any vehicle he has ever owned. To be honest, Steve would have no idea how or where to even start such a venture.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He sometimes ask restaurant servers if they have changed the oil in the fryers lately.

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