Thursday, April 19, 2012

Combined All-Decade Teams —1940s

By John Turney

Aside from the Pro Football Hall of Fame Official All-Decade team (HOF) there were more 1940s All-Decade selections. They were Pro Football Digest (PFD), Pro Football Chronicles (PFC), Sunday Mayhem (SM) along with Sports Illustrated (SI)  and Sporting News (SN).

Note: The HOF teams are not officially separated as First- and Second-teams, however, in the early 2000s on the Pro Football Hall of Fame website they were separated as such and we considered that semi-official and also those divisions followed with who was considered the top players and thus made sense, as you will see below.

Here are the selections:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Seahawks Show Off Great New Uniforms

By John Turney
From time to time we will comment on uniforms, one of our passions and esoteric subjects that we will cover at Pro Football Journal.  Since the Seahawks introduced new ones last week, we will comment on those.

They are made by Nike and they are called "the Nike Elite 51 Uniform". They are purported to have technological advantages that make them more flexible and comfortable for players.

According to a Nike website the Elite 51 uniform features—
  • LIGHTER - The Nike jersey and pant, wet or dry are lighter than previous versions
  • FLYWIRE TECHNOLOGY - Eliminates layers, reduces weight, and provides lockdown fit
  • ZONED MESH VENTILATION – Provides cooling zones for optimal thermoregulation
  • ZONED STRENGTH - High tenacity, stretch material, for lightweight lockdown strength.
  • CUT FOR MOBILITY – Four-way stretch, hydrophobic materials enable range of motion wet or dry.
  • STRETCH TWILL NUMBERS – Four-way stretch even on numbering system
  • CUSTOMIZABLE BASELAYER PADDING – Nike Pro Combat Hyperstrong baselayer with integrated lightweight, Deflex padding offering customizable flexible protection.
  • DEFLEX PADDING - Lightweight, flexible impact protection integrated into top “hit zone” areas
  • ALUMINUM D-RING BELT - Aircraft-grade aluminum D-ring belt reduces weight.

The new Seahawks uniforms changed to a deeper shade of dark blue, neon green highlights throughout, and an alternate uniform in a shade of gray.

The core uniform design looks back at Northwest tradition and culture with a Native American heritage.
The new color of the helmet with Native American pattern
The team’s logo is till the seahawk bird taken from Native American culture and "provides a focal point of both the uniform and helmet".  Nike has added a pattern on the top of the helmet and the design on the front of the uniform, on the shoulders is supposed to represent a flying seahawk as they would appear on a totem pole. We don't really see that, but the jersey does look good whatever they say is there.

The new uniform colors are excellent, but again, the explanation is a bit much. According to the the Seahawks and Nike the colors are, "rooted in Seattle’s own environmental hues the deep blue of the ocean water that tucks into the harbor near downtown and the Seahawks’ stadium. The Action Green represents the green of the ubiquitous trees, ferns, and moss literally covering the Pacific Northwest landscape.

Again, according to the release, "This brighter shade of green is designed to provide a pop of color on the uniform just as the vibrant bright greens pop in the rain-soaked environment." Please.

More:  "The Wolf Grey color accents complete the combination, an embodiment of the ever-changing clouds overhead that bring rain and life to the area. Lastly, bright white accents the uniform just as the snow-capped peaks of the Olympic and Mt. Rainier accent the skyline around Seattle."

The thing we like least is the numerals. And they, too, are said to be of native influence being "shaped with the same straight edges and curves as the stoic hawks that reign atop the tallest totem poles."

Dr. Evil is now saying, "Riiiiight".

Additionally,  there are multiple references to the "12th man" a reference to the Seattle fans.

“Seattle has the hottest uniform right now,” Saints running back Pierre Thomas said. “So I’m a little jealous. But I still love my all black. I think it looks nice.”

Picture credits: Seahawks website: 
We are assuming these will be the home uniforms.
Navy over navy
And these the road uniforms.
White over white
These were reported to be "alternate" uniforms.
Gray over gray
There were also five other combinations shown. We could not find a gray over white, so we assume that is out.

This one is solid.
White over gray
 As is this.
Navy over white
We like this less than the previous two, but it's okay.
White over navy
This one is also solid. The matching numbers and pants is nice.
Navy over gray
We don't like this one as much. If you are going to have a grey jersey, just go with gray pants, too,
Gray over navy
We think there are too many combinations, some are not as good as others and we are not in love with the font, whatever totem it is patterned after, but the navy and lime green or whatever they want to call the colors with gray works well. So, overall they get a letter grade of a B+. Some of the individual combinations are an A, some are a B or B-, but overall, a good, solid B+ for Nike and the Seahawks in their 2012 debut. (Better, in our view than the 1997 Broncos kits).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mel Hein's All-Time NFL Team

by John Turney

In 1969 Prentice Hall published Bob Curren's book Pro Footballs Rag Days and it is quite a good read with lots of interviews from the star players from the NFL's first few decades such as Whizzer White, Cliff Battles, Benny Friedman with about a dozen others.

In the chapter about Mel Hein he is asked to name his own All-Star team and in reviewing, it is one of the better ones that can be found, regardless if the selector was a player or a media panel. Hein left himself off of the team, which is usually the custom when one player is asked to pick his team, but Turner was considered the best center in the NFL (based on All-Pro selections) after Hein's career ended.

Hein, colorization by John Turney
Hein's selections:
Center—Bulldog Turner
GuardDanny Fortmann
Guard—Mike Michalske
Tackle—Turk Edwards
Tackle—Cal Hubbard
End—Don Hutson
End—Bill Hewitt
QB—Sammy Baugh
HB—Dutch Clark
HB—Cliff Battles
FB—Bronko Nagurski

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Combined All-Decade Teams—1960s

Things You Can Never Lay Your Hands On
By John Turney

This one takes some explaining. Two sources, the Pro Football Hall of Fame (PFBHOF) and Pro Football Reference (PFR) chose separate NFL and AFL All-Decade teams. However PFBHOF did not choose First- and Second-teams for the NFL, but did so for the AFL, and PFR chose First- and Second-teams for both. Those separate NFL and AFL teams are in italics below the sources that chose combined AFL-NFL All-Decade Teams. Those sources were the Official NFL Team, Pro Football Digest, Pro Football Chronicles, Sunday Mayhem, and Sports Illustrated.

As an editor's note: Pro Football Reference uses a metric known as "Approximate Value" (AV) for their choices. I have been critical of it in the past. The methodology is not known, but there is a component that relates to the team and team success and as such a player like Gary Larsen gets an AV of 16 in 1969 while in that same season Bob Lilly gets a 13.  That, alone, causes a question to the usefulness of the AV metric.

For the chart, players in bold were First-team choices for a Combined All-AFC-NFL or All-Pro Team. Others were All-NFL or All-AFL in their own league but did not rise to the level of All-pro for BOTH leagues.

1960s Combined NFL-AFL All-Decade Teams
First-team Offense Second-team
WR Lance Alworth, SD (NFL, FD, PFC, SM, SI) Don Maynard, NYJ (SM)
Charley Taylor, Was (NFL) Del Shofner, NYG (SM)
Raymond Berry, Bal (FD, SM) Tommy McDonald, Phi-Dal-Cle-LA-ATL (SI)
Otis Taylor, KC (PFC) Bobby Mitchell, Was (SI)
Don Maynard, NYJ (SI)
Lance Alworth, SD (HOF, PFR) Charlie Hennigan, Hou (HOF, PFR)
Don Maynard, NYJ (HOF, PFR) Art Powell, NYT-Oak (HOF, PFR)
Charley Taylor, Was (HOF) Jimmy Orr, Bal (PFR)
Gary Collins, Cle (HOF) Tommy McDonald, 5 teams (PFR)
Del Shofner (HOF)
Boyd Dowler, GB (HOF, PFR)
Bobby Mitchell, Cle-Was (PFR)
TE Mike Ditka, Chi-Phi-Dal (FD, PFC, SM, SI) John Mackey, Bal (SM, SI)
John Mackey, Bal (NFL)
Fred Arbanas, KC (HOF) John Mackey, Bal (PFR)
John Mackey, Bal (HOF) Dave Kocourek, SD (HOF, PFR)
Mike Ditka, (PFR)
Bill Cannon, Hou-Oak (PFR)
T Forrest Gregg, GB (NFL, FD, PFC, SM, SI) Ron Mix, SD (SM)
Ron Mix, SD (NFL, SI) Ralph Neely, Dal (SM)
Jim Tyrer, KC (FD) Roosevelt Brown, NYG (SI)
Bob Brown, Phi-LA (PFC) Bob Brown, Phi-LA (SI)
Forrest Gregg, GB (HOF, PFR) Winston Hill, NYJ (HOF)
Bob Brown, Phi-LA (HOF) Stew Barber, Buf (HOF, PFR)
Ralph Neely, Dal (HOF) Jim Parker, Bal (PFR)
Ron Mix, SD (HOF, PFR) Grady Alderman, Min (PFR)
Jim Tyrer, KC (HOF, PFR) Ernie Wright, SD-Cin (PFR)
Dick Schafrath, Cle (PFR)
G Jerry Kramer, GB (NFL, FD, SM) Gene Hickerson, Cle (SM, SI)
Billy Shaw, Buf (NFL, SM, SI) Howard Mudd, SF (SM)
Jim Parker, Bal (FD, PFC, SM-T, SI) Walt Sweeney, SD (SI)
Gene Hickerson, Cle (PFC)
Bill Shaw, Buf (HOF, PFR) Walt Sweeney, SD (HOF)
Ed Budde, KC (HOF) Bob Talamini, Hou (HOF)
Gene Hickerson, Cle (HOF) Gene Hickerson, Cle (PFR)
Jerry Kramer, (HOF, PFR) Ed Budde, KC (PFR)
Howard Mudd, SF (HOF) Jim Parker, Bal (PFR)
Ken Gray, Stl (PFR) Wayne Hawkins, Oak (PFR)
Bob Talamini, Hou (PFR)
C Jim Otto, Oak (NFL, FD, SI) Jim Otto, Oak (SM)
Jim Ringo, GB-Phi (PFC, SM) Jim Ringo, GB-Phi (SI)
Jim Otto, Oak (HOF, PFR) Jon Morris, Bos (HOF)
Jim Ringo, GB-Phi (HOF, PFR) Mick Tingelhoff, Min (PFR)
Al Bemiller, Den (PFR)
QB Johnny Unitas, Bal (NFL, FD, PFC, SM, SI) Joe Namath, NYJ (SM)
Len Dawson, KC (SI)
Joe Namath, NYJ (HOF) Len Dawson, KC (HOF)
Len Dawson, KC (PFR) Johnny Unitas, Bal (PFR)
Johnny Unitas, Bal (HOF) Jack Kemp, SD-Buf (PFR)
Sonny Jurgensen, Phi-Was (HOF)
Bart Starr, GB (HOF)
Fran Tarkenton, Min-NYG (PFR)
RB Gale Sayers, Chi (NFL, FD, PFC, SM, SI) Paul Hornung, GB (SM)
Paul Hornung, GB (NFL) Lenny Moore, Bal (SI)
FB Jim Brown, Cle (NFL, FD, PFC, SM, SI) Jim Taylor, GB (SM, SI)
Jim Taylor, GB (FD)
Paul Lowe, SD (HOF) Abner Haynes, KC-Den (HOF)
Clem Daniels, Oak (HOF, PFR) Cookie Gilchrist, Buf-Den (HOF)
Jim Brown, Cle (HOF, PFR) Keith Lincoln, SD (PFR)
Jim Taylor, GB (HOF, PFR) Curtis McClinton, KC (PFR)
Gale Sayers, Chi (HOF) Don Perkins, Dal (PFR)
Paul Hornung, GB (HOF) Timmy Brown, Phi (PFR)
Leroy Kelly, Cle (HOF)
Abner Haynes, KC-Den (PFR)
John David Crow, Stl-SF (HOF)
K Jim Bakken, StL (NFL) Jim Bakken, StL (SM, SI)
Jan Stenerud, KC (PFC, SI)
George Blanda, Hou-Oak (SM)
Jim Bakken, Stl (HOF) Jim Turner, NYJ (HOF)
George Blanda, Hou-Oak (HOF)
First-team Defense Second-team
DE Deacon Jones, LA (NFL, FD, PFC, SM, SI) Willie Davis, GB (SM, SI)
Willie Davis, GB (NFL, FD, PFC) Jim Katcavage, NYG (SM)
Doug Atkins, Chi-NO (SM) Gino Marchetti, Bal (SI)
Rich Jackson, Den (SI)
Deacon Jones, LA (HOF, PFR) Rich Jackson, Den (HOF)
Willie Davis, GB (HOF, PFR) Ron McDole, Buf (HOF)
Doug Atkins, Chi-NO (HOF) Doug Atkins, Chi-NO (PFR)
Jerry Mays, KC (HOF) Jim Marshall, Min (PFR)
Gerry Philbin, NYJ (HOF) Larry Eisenhauer, Bos (PFR)
Bob Dee, Bos (PFR)
DT Bob Lilly, Dal (NFL, FD, PFC, SM, SI) Alex Karras, Det (SM, SI)
Merlin Olsen, LA (NFL, PFC, SM, SI) Henry Jordan, GB (SM)
Alex Karras, Det (FD) Houston Antwine, Bos (SI)
Bob Lilly, Dal (HOF) Buck Buchanan, KC (HOF)
Merlin Olsen, LA (HOF) Tom Keating, Oak (HOF)
Alex Karras, Det (HOF, PFR) Bob Lilly, Dal (PFR)
Tom Sestak, Buf (HOF) Jim Hunt, Bos (PFR)
Houston Antwine, Bos (HOF, PFR) Tom Sestak, Buf (PFR)
Buck Buchanan, KC (PFR) Roger Brown, Det-LA (PFR)
Henry Jordan, GB (PFR)
MLB Ray Nitschke, GB (NFL, FD, SM) Nick Buoniconti, Bos-Mia (SM)
Dick Butkus, Chi (NFL, FD, PFC, SM, SI) Ray Nitschke, GB (SI)
Tommy Nobis, Atl (SM)
Ray Nitschke, GB (HOF, PFR) E.J. Holub, KC (PFR)
Dick Butkus, Chi (HOF)
Tommy Nobis, Atl (HOF)
Nick Buoniconti, Bos-Mia (HOF, PFR)
Sherrill Headrick, KC (PFR)
OLB Bobby Bell, KC (NFL, FD, PFC) Bobby Bell, KC (SM, SI)
Chuck Howley, Dal (PFC, SI) Chuck Howley, Dal (SM)
Dave Wilcox, SF (SI) Dave Robinson, GB (SI)
Dave Robinson, GB (HOF) Mike Stratton, Buf (HOF, PFR)
Larry Morris, Chi-Atl (HOF) Dan Conners, Oak (HOF)
Bobby Bell, KC (HOF) Larry Grantham, NYJ (HOF)
George Webster, Hou (HOF) Bobby Bell, KC (PFR)
Wayne Walker, Det (PFR) Don Shinnick, Bal (PFR)
Larry Grantham, NYJ (PFR) Chuck Howley, Dal (PFR)
Joe Fortunato, Chi (PFR)
CB Herb Adderly, GB (NFL, FD, PFC, SM) Bob Boyd, Bal (SM)
Willie Brown, Den-Oak (NFL, PFC, SI) Dave Grayson, KC-Oak (SM)
Mel Renfro, Dal (FD) Herb Adderly, GB (SI)
Jimmy Johnson, SF (SI) Night Train Lane, Det (SI)
Herb Adderly, GB (HOF, PFR) Butch Byrd, Buf (HOF)
Lem Barney, Det (HOF) Miller Farr, Hou (HOF)
Bob Boyd, Bal (HOF, PFR) Dick LeBeau, Det (PFR)
Willie Brown, Den-Oak (HOF) Fred Williamson, Oak-KC (PFR)
Dave Grayson, KC-Oak (HOF, PFR) Cornell Green, Dal (PFR)
Butch Byrd, Buf (PFR) Willie Brown, Den-Oak (PFR)
S Larry Wilson, StL (NFL, FD, PFC, SM, SI) Johnny Robinson, KC (SM, SI)
Johnny Robinson, KC (NFL) Paul Krause, Was-Min (SM)
Willie Wood, GB (FD, PFC, SM) Willie Wood, GB (SI)
Eddie Meador, LA (SM)
Ritchie Petitbon, Chi-LA (SI)

Johnny Robinson, KC (HOF, PFR) Goose Gonsoulin, Den (HOF)
George Saimes, Buf (HOF) Kenny Graham, SD (HOF)
Willie Wood, GB (HOF, PFR) George Saimes, Buf (PFR)
Eddie Meador, LA (HOF, PFR) Larry Wilson, StL (PFR)
Larry Wilson, StL (HOF) Ritchie Petitbon, Chi-LA (PFR)
Bobby Hunt, KC-Cin (PFR) Jim Norton, Hou (PFR)
P Don Chandler, GN (NFL, SM) Jerrell Wilson, KC (SM)
Yale Lary, Det (PFC) Yale Lary, Det (SI)
Tommy Davis, SF (SI)
Don Chandler, GN (HOF) Bob Scarpitto, Den (HOF)
Jerrell Wilson, KC (HOF)
KR Travis Williams, GB (PFC)
PR Leroy Kelly, Cle (PFC)
ST Dave Meggysey, Stl (PFC)
Coach Vince Lombardi, GB (PFC, SM) Blanton Collier, Cle (SM)
Weeb Ewbank, NYJ (HOF) Sid Gillman, SD (HOF)
Sources and key: NFL = Official NFL All-Decade; FD = Pro Football Digest;
PFC = Pro Football Chronicle; SM = Sunday Mayhem
HOF = Pro Football Hall of Fame; PFR = Pro Football

Combined All-Decade Teams - 1990s

Things You Can Never Lay Your Hands On
by John Turney
The number of groups picking All-Decade teams shrunk to four. Pro Football Chronicles and Sunday Mayhem were published in the early 1990s and no updates to their All-Decade teams were never made. And this research couldn't find selections by the usual football magazines such as College & Pro Football Newsweekly, Pro Football Weekly or Football Digest. 

The selections:
1990s Combined All-Decade Teams
WR Jerry Rice, SF-Oak (HOF, SI, SN, PFR, SL) Tim Brown, Oak (HOF, PFR, SL)
Cris Carter, Min (HOF, SI, SN, SL) Michael Irvin, Dal (HOF, SL)
Michael Irvin, Dal (PFR) Andre Reed, Buf (SI)
Sterling Sharpe, GB (SI)
Cris Carter, Min (PFR)
TE Shannon Sharpe, Den (HOF, SI, SN, PFR. SL) Ben Coates, NE (HOF, S, SL)
Brent Jones, SF (PRF)
T Richmond Webb, Mia (SN, PFR, SL) Tony Boselli, Jax (HOF)
Gary Zimmerman, Min-Den (HOF) Richmond Webb, Mia (HOF)
Willie Roaf, NO (HOF, SL) Bruce Armstrong, NE (SI, SL)
Lomas Brown, Det-Ari-NYG (PFR) Tony Jones, Cle-Bal (PFR)
Bruce Armstrong, NE (SN) Gary Zimmerman, Min-Den (PFR)
Tony Boselli, Jax (SI) Mike Kenn, Atl (SI)
Harris Barton, SF (SI) Lomas Brown, Det-Ari-NYG (SL)
G Bruce Matthews, Hou (HOF, SI, SN, PFR, SL) Larry Allen, Dal (HOF, SL)
Randall McDaniel, Min (HOF, SN, PFR, SL) Steve Wisniewski, Oak, (HOF, PFR)
Larry Allen, Dal (SI) Will Shields, KC (SI, SL)
Nate Newton, Dal (PFR)
Dave Szott, KC (SI)
C Dermonti Dawson, Pit (HOF, SN, PFR, SL) Mark Stepnoski, Dal (HOF, PFR, SL)
Kent Hull, Buf (SI) Dermonti Dawson, Pit (SI)
QB Steve Young, SF (SI, SN, PFR) Brett Favre, GB (HOF)
John Elway, Den (HOF) John Elway, Den (SI, PFR)
Brett Favre, GB (SL) Steve Young, SF (SL)
Troy Aikman, Dal  (SL)
RB Barry Sanders, Det (HOF, SI, SN, PFR, SL) Terrell Davis, Den (HOF)
Emmitt Smith, Dal (HOF, SI, SN, PFR, SL) Thurman Thomas, Buf (HOF, PFR. SL)
Rickey Watters, SF-Phi-Sea (PFR, SL)
FB Darryl Johnson, Dal (SI) Mike Alstott, TB (SI)
K Morten Andersen, NO-Atl (HOF, SI, SN, SL) Gary Anderson, Pit, Min (HOF)
Nick Lowery, KC-NYJ (SI)
Al Del Greco Hou-Ten (SL)
DE Reggie White, Phi-GB (HOF, SN, SI, PFR. SL) Chris Doleman, Min-Atl-SF (HOF, PFR, SL)
Bruce Smith, Buf (HOF, SI, SN, PFR, SL) Neil Smith, KC-Den (HOF, PFR, SL)
Charles Haley, Dal (SI)
Robert Porcher, Det (SI)
DT Cortez Kennedy, Sea (HOF, SN, PFR, SL) Warren Sapp, TB (HOF, SI, SL)
John Randle, Min (HOF, SN, PFR, SL) Bryant Young, SF (HOF, SL)
Bryant Young, SF (SI) Cortez Kennedy, Sea (SI)
Ray Childress, Hou (SI) Henry Thomas, Min-Det-NE (PFR)
Michael Dean Perry, Cle-Den (PFR)
ILB Junior Seau, SD (HOF, SN, PFR, SL) Levon Kirkland, Pit (HOF)
Sam Mills, NO-CAR (SI) Hardy Nickerson, Pit-TB (HOF, SL)
Hardy Nickerson, Pit-TB (PFR) Ray Lewis, Bal (SI)
Jesse Tuggle, Atl (SL)
OLB Derrick Thomas, KC (HOF, SN, PFR, SL) Cornelius Bennett, Buf-Atl (HOF, SL)
Kevin Greene, Rams-Pit-Car-SF (HOF, SL) Derrick Thomas, KC (SI)
Derrick Brooks, TB (SI) Junior Seau, SD (SI)
Greg Lloyd, Pit-Car (SN) Ken Harvey. Ari-Was (SL)
Seth Joyner, Phi-Ari (SI)
CB Deion Sanders, Atl-SF-Dal (HOF, SI, SN, PFR, SL) Darrell Green, Was (HOF, SI, SL)
Rod Woodson, Pit-Bal (HOF, SN, PFR) Aeneas Williams, Ari (HOF, PFR)
Aeneas Williams, Ari (SI, SL) Rod Woodson, Pit-Bal (SI, SL)
Albert Lewis, KC (SI)
Eric Allen, Phil-NO (PFR)
S Steve Atwater, Den (HOF, SN, SL) Carnell Lake, Pit (HOF)
LeRoy Butler, GB (HOF, SI, PFR, SL) Ronnie Lott, Oak-NYJ (HOF)
Carnell Lake, Pit (SN, PFR) Tim McDonald, Ari-SF (SI, SL)
Eugene Robinson, Sea-Atl (SI) Eugene Robinson, Sea-Atl (PFR, SL)
Steve Atwater, Den (PFR)
Brian Dawkins, Phi (SI)
Darren Woodson, Dal (SL)
P Michael Bennett, SD (HOF) Sean Landetta, NYG (HOF)
Matt Turk, Was (SI, SN) Rich Camarillo (SI)
Rich Tuten, Sea (SL) Matt Turk, Was (SL)
KR Michael Bates, Sea-Cle-Car  (HOF) Mel Gray, Det-Hou-Phi (HOF)
Mel Gray, Det-Hou-Phi (SN, SI)
PR Deion Sanders, Atl-SF-Dal (HOF) Mel Gray, Det-Hou-Phi (HOF)
Eric Metcalf, Cle-Atl (SN)
Brian Mitchell, Was (SI)
ST Steve Tasker, Buf (SI)
Coach Bill Parcells, NYG-NYJ-NE (HOF, SL) Marv Levy, Buf (HOF)
Jimmy Johnson, Dal-Mia (SN) Jimmy Johnson, Dal-Mia (SL)
Sources and key: HOF = Pro Football Hall of Fame; SI = Sports Illustrated (Dr. Z);
 PFR = Pro Football; SN = Sporting News; SL = Stats, LLC