Philadelphia Eagles- The Bounty Bowl
Any time the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys meet on the football field it’s a big deal. Some games will always stand out more than others though and November 23, 1989 is one of those games. It was the Cowboys hosting the Eagles on Thanksgiving Thursday and it’s a game that will be remembered forever. The Eagles, appearing on Thanksgiving day for just the 4th time in team history, walked out of Dallas with a blowout 27-0 victory over their hated rivals. However it wasn’t the dominating victory that still has people talking about this game even 24 years later. It was a kicker on a team that had just been shut out that would make the headlines. Luiz Zendajas joined the Cowboys earlier in the season after being cut by the Eagles. Zendajas suffered a concussion on a hit from Philadelphia linebacker Jessie Small and did not return to the game. After the game Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson would make a pretty serious allegation about Eagles coach Buddy Ryan. He claimed that Ryan had put a bounty on two of his players; the injured Zendajas and quarterback Troy Aikman. Johnson got the idea of a bounty from his injured kicker who had told him the Eagles had put bounties on players in the past as well. An angry Jimmy Johnson offered this comment after the game. “I have absolutely no respect for the way they played the game, I would have said something to Buddy, but he wouldn’t stand on the field long enough. He put his big, fat rear end into the dressing room.” Buddy Ryan would respond to the accusation, but chose to go with a little humor instead of addresses the bounty claim. “I resent that. I’ve been on a diet, lost a couple of pounds. I thought I was looking good.”
Also of note in this game Reggie White took home John Madden’s first ever Turkey Leg Award. For more on “Bounty Bowl” check out the video.
November 8, 1978 was supposed to be your typical early season matchup between the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets. By the time the game officially went in the record books over 4 months later on March 23, 1979 it was anything but typical. In fact, what transpired is perhaps the most bizarre and unique story in professional sports history. The chaos began with 5:50 remaining in the 3rd quarter. That’s when Bernard King of the Nets got into an altercation with Steve Mix of Philadelphia. King receives an offensive foul and after arguing the call is given his 2nd technical foul of the game and ejected. Nets head coach Kevin Loughery is furious and runs onto the court to join the dispute. Loughery manages to rack up 2 technical fouls of his own and while Bernard King is throwing a temper tantrum on his way back to the dressing room he receives a 3rd technical foul. Loughery joins King with 3 technical fouls just seconds later. There’s only one problem. There’s no such thing as a 3rd technical foul in the NBA. Charlie Theokas, the Nets GM, is now on the court informing the league he’s filing a protest on this game due to his player and coach receiving 3 technical fouls. The situation calms down and play resumes. The 76ers eventually win in double OT by a score of 137-133. Or did they? After the league reviewed the Nets protest they ordered that the game be resumed with 5:50 remaining in the 3rd quarter. If you think the story sounds made up so far we’re just getting started.
The game was scheduled to be replayed on March 23rd, but on February 7th the Sixers and Nets completed a trade that saw Eric Money head to Philadelphia and Ralph Simpson and Harvey Catchings went to New Jersey. When the game eventually resumed those 3 players were wearing the opposite jerseys of when the game first tipped off 4.5 months earlier. This is the only time in professional sports history that players began a game as a member of one team and finished the game as members of the opponent. The Sixers would retain their victory. This time holding off the Nets in regulation time by a score of 123-117. And if you want one final piece of history from this game here it is; Nets assistant Phil Jackson took over the coaching duties when Loughery was ejected. This would be the first ever game for Jackson as a head coach when he took over the Nets bench for the ejected Loughery. He also played in the game. I don’t think we’ll ever see anything that crazy ever again in sports.
Before I get into this month’s Flyers memory I wanted it to be known that I am not forgetting or skipping over Pelle Lindbergh’s tragic death. Many beat writers and bloggers will cover that topic this month and I just wanted to try to change things up.
This month we’re going to feature a game between the Flyers and Vancouver Canucks played on Sunday November 29, 1998. The game featured a goalie battle with 2 familiar names. Ron Hextall got the start for the Flyers and former Flyer Garth Snow was in net for Vancouver. It was 2 other familiar names that would steal the show that night though. Flyers superstars John Leclair and Eric Lindros would have one of their more productive games in the orange and black and they would do most of their damage is just a few minutes time. After a rather uneventful 40 minutes the Canucks led 2-1. The goal listed in the boxscore for the Flyers was the same as so many others in that era. John Leclair scoring his 15th of the season assisted by Eric Desjardins and Eric Lindros on the powerplay. Just 50 seconds into the 3rd Leclair would strike again tying the game at two. Lindros picked up an assist on this goal too. 14 more minutes would pass and this 2-2 game appeared destined for overtime, but then Lindros and Leclair took over.
In a matter of 4 minutes the Flyers would turn a low scoring tie game into a 6-2 blowout victory. With 5:07 remaining in regulation John Leclair would complete his 10th hattrick as a Flyer. Keith Jones would add another less than a minute later. Three minutes later John Leclair would pick up his 4th of the game and 18th of the season pulling him into a tie for the NHL lead in goals with Tony Amonte who was with the Blackhawks at the time. All of these goals, by the way, assisted by number 88 Eric Lindros who added 5 assists to Leclair’s 4 goals. Chris Gratton would add his 1st of the season and last as a Flyer in the final minutes to cap off the 6-2 victory. Gratton would be traded back to Tampa less than 2 weeks later.
November Philadelphia Sports Facts
Nov 2, 2005- Phillies name Pat Gillick General Manager.
Nov 4, 1967- Leon Rochefort scores the 1st hattrick in Flyers history in a 4-1 win over Montreal.
Nov 5, 1933- The Eagles win for the 1st time in franchise history. 6-0 over the Cincinnati Reds.
Nov 7, 1986- The 76ers retire the number 24 for Bobby Jones.
Nov 7, 2011- Boxing great Joe Frazier dies at the age of 67.
Nov 7, 2008- Flyers acquire Matt Carle and a 3rd round pick from Tampa for Steve Eminger, Steve Downie and a 4th round pick.
Nov 8, 1953- Bobby Thomason passes for 437 yards against the New York Giants becoming the first Eagle QB to throw for 400 or more yards in one game.
Nov 9, 1974- Orest Kindrachuk scores the first penalty shot goal in Flyers history.
Nov 11, 1985- Pelle Lindbergh tragically dies from injuries suffered in a car accident a day earlier.
Nov 13, 1979- Darryl Dawkins shatters a back board while attempting a slam dunk in a game at Kansas City.
Nov 15, 1992- The Flyers defeat Ottawa 7-2 as Eric Lindros records his first career hattrick.
Nov 19, 1976- The 76ers retire the number 15 for Hal Greer.
Nov 23, 1939- The Eagles host their first ever Thanksgiving Day game and defeat the Steelers 17-14.
Nov 23, 2010- A 6 month demolition project begins on the Spectrum.
Nov 24, 1960- Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors sets an NBA record with 55 rebounds in one game, but the Warriors lose to the Celtics.
Nov 30, 1969- The Philadelphia Marathon is run for the first time in November. The race is now held annually each year on the 3rd Sunday of each November.