So…15 months later I have finally gotten to game 235, Super Bowl XXVI in my 1991 replay. It has certainly been a journey. After over 130,000 views on BTL and a ton of great commentary and support from my APBA brethren I realized it would not be enough just to play the game and post the results. Therefore, I wanted to preview the game with all of you who have followed.
I decided to wait a week or so to play the game, some of it due to work and travel schedules, some of it so I could create the Super Bowl XXVI field (not of the class of Art Hall or Grant Baker, but shit, plenty good enough- hopefully you like the image above) and some of it to build the anticipation for all of those who day in and out followed this replay.
Super Bowl XXVI was the first Super Bowl actually played in a cold weather location. My ex-wife worked for WFAN radio in NY and went out to the game…and froze her ass off which to this day I take much glee in cause I was so damned jealous she was heading out to the game. That said, I had my own little Super Bowl party to attend which included the likes of James Hasty and Rob Moore of my beloved New York Jets who lamented the fact that they should have beaten the Oilers in the playoffs and were certainly not all that impressed with the Bills who they played real tough twice during the regular season. How true would that be.
The 1991 season replay was an eye opener for me with regards to NFL history. Few talk about how great this Washington team was or how great the Eagles defense was (yeah people say it but do they really believe it with the cretin Rich Kotite at the helm) and damned no one talks about maybe the top 5 defense of all time in New Orleans. Few talk about “The House of Pain” and how great those Oilers team really could have been. Instead as IslandersBob correctly points out, historians talk about the Bills shitting themselves in 4 consecutive Super Bowls or how Marty Schottenheimer shit the bed with the Browns and then again with the Chiefs (the Chargers would come way later). To me, it shows what a bunch of horses asses most of those historians were. As my bro Greg Barath is want to say however, these replays are “Truth Machines” and I think it really showed in this replay. The Redskins were as advertised, and the Oilers could have been best in class in the AFC instead of the Bills and it would have been amazing what one or two real life playoff victories would have done.
Anyway as I write this, I have the Oilers fight song and Hail to the Redskins playing in the background (will post links…they are awesome). The Redskins lived up to their reputation as the best team in NFL history in this replay, going undefeated. They scored 488 points versus 485 in real life but their defense only allowed 156 points in the replay, over 100 points less than the real life Skins. I always knew Mark Rypien had a great year in 1991 and he was superb in the replay finishing second in passer rating but it was Gary Clark who really stole the show hauling in 87 passes for 1,553 yards and scoring 14 touchdowns…damned, every time his name would come up in the locator I would think TD. For the Oilers, Warren Moon did not over perform he posted an 82.9 QBR vs 81.7 in real life but he has been wonderful in the post season. The receivers were awesome with Haywood Jeffiries hauling in 104 passes vs 100 in real life, Ernest Givens, Drew Hill and Curtis Duncan were all “A” receivers and made the run and shoot go. The thing that really grabbed my attention with Houston, however, was the defense with William Fuller, Sean Jones and Ray Childress attacking enemy passers, a solid secondary with Bo Orlando, Chris Dishman and Bubba McDowell and finally Al Smith and Lamar Lathom at linebacker to round out an incredibly tough front 7.
So Greg and I settled on Washington being favored by 7.5, we discussed a higher spread since the Skins clobbered the Oilers 35-7 during the regular season in the replay but decided that 7.5 felt right. My wife, who is a die-hard Giants fan and hates the Redskins, was all over the 7.5 spread and has taken the Oilers. Me, I am rooting for Washington, they have been fun to play with and I would love to see them go undefeated. In the end, only the dice know. Can’t wait to roll this one. I appreciate all the participation in this replay. Thank you all.