America’s Game profiles teams that just fell a little short

Anyone who knows me, knows my afinity for the historical aspects of the game of football.  That is why last year I immersed myself in the NFL Films groundbreaking emmy-award winning series America’s Game everytime it was shown on NFL Network.  As if the venerable football storyteller could not get any better, I recently watched an episode from their latest installment “America’s Game: The Missing Rings”. 

This new set of five sixty-minute documentaries features the same NFL Films pazazz, but this time for teams that never won the big one.  The episode that I watched chronicled the 1981 San Diego Chargers (premeired 9/18/2008 @ 10PM), who were famous for their vertical “Air Coryell” passing attack led by quarterback Dan Fouts.  I could pull myself away and I believe every football fan must add these episodes to their must see list.  The five “Ringless” installments features an eclectic set of teams including the 1969 Minnesota Vikings, 1981 San Diego Chargers, 1988 Cincinnati Bengals, 1990 Buffalo Bills, and 1998 Minnesota Vikings. 

Steve Sabol, NFL Films President said of the new series, “What’s great about The Missing Rings series is their Shakespearean arc. These teams are the NFL’s version of tragic heroes. Their story is so compelling, so emotionally fraught, we find ourselves rooting for them even though we know they’re destined for doom”.

I think a great addition to the “Ringless” set would be the Philadelphia Eagles from the late ’80s and early ’90s.  That group had so much promise with characters like Hall of Famer Reggie White, Randall Cunningham (NFL’s ultimate weapon at the time), head coach Buddy Ryan, owner Norman Braman and so many others.  Unfortunately  this group that brought my NFL zest to a peak never got to experience winning the big one.


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