Friday, October 24, 2008

OJ's final game in 1973

Another solid episode of Life on Mars, yesterday. Sure, it has its cheesy moments, but then it hits you with these bizarre philsophical questions on reality, and fate, and destiny. You can definitely sense its English roots. Also, the show had a really strong ending last night, so I'm looking forward to next week.

As part of my continuing connection to 1973, I came across this wonderful video of O.J. Simpson's last game that year, when he both broke Jim Brown's single season rushing record and the 2,000-yard barrier - the first time a professional running back ever did that and the only time in 14 games. A few things are remarkable about this video:
1. For some reason, it's recorded in black-and-white.
2. The announcers never mention the score of the game, even though the Bills were 8-5 going in and battling the Bengals for a playoff spot. (Both teams finished 9-5, with the Bengals gaining the tiebreaker.)
3. The Bills running attack is incredible. They've got people pulling and sweeping all over the place, with O.J. cutting and shifting beautifully behind them. This is on a snow-covered field, and the Jets knew the Bills weren't throwing. (Rookie QB Joe Ferguson had like 4 TD passes all year.) You might see this type of running attack in college, but never do you see anything like it in a pro game anymore.
4. Look how tight the I-formation is. O.J. is practially up fullback Jim Braxton's ass.

This is condensed version of the game, so you get the gist of what went on in like 10 minutes. It's truly a beautiful thing to watch if you have the chance.


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