Saturday, November 14, 2009

Packers / Cowboys Thanksgiving 1994

This afternoon, I flipped over to the NFL Network to see what was on, and what do you know, it was the replay of the Thanksgiving day game from 1994, Packers at Cowboys (a/k/a the "Jason Garrett game"). I turned it on late, so I missed the Packers' first touchdown (a Sterling Sharpe touchdown reception), but caught the rest of the game, which I have not seen in a long time.

It was odd watching the game. Well into the third quarter, the Packers seemed in control of the game. And yet I was almost positive that the Packers would lose the game, because of my awareness of the Packers' record at Dallas during the Favre era, and because of the very fact that I remember this game as the "Jason Garrett game." It was an early manifestation of a troubling problem the Packers had over the years, where a star player of the other team would be out with injuries, and the Packers would make the backup look like a Hall-of-Famer (in this case, Troy Aikman was out, and Jason Garrett played at quarterback for the Cowboys). I later started calling this the Brad Hoover Syndrome.

Anyway, a couple of other observations from this 15-year-old game:
  • I was reminded what a stud Sterling Sharpe was. Even though the Packers lost, Sharpe was just killing the Cowboys, catching four touchdowns in the game. 1994 was his last year as a player before retiring due to his congenital neck problem. Imagine if he had been able to play for another 5 or 10 years, which would not be unusual for a wide receiver. Is there any doubt that the Packers would have won more than one Super Bowl in that period?
  • The broadcasters were, of course, John Madden and Pat Summerall. My mental impression was that Summerall had deteriorated as a broadcaster in the last few years before he retired, for the first time, after the 2001 season. But boy, he was pretty bad already in this game in 1994. Misidentifying players, saying inane things, mostly just piping in with something like "yes, it is" with his big broadcaster voice after Madden would make some mildly interesting comment.
Anyway, I am hoping for a better result tomorrow (but not expecting it).


  1. hey man i saw that game too and people dont realize how much better the packers offense would have been if that had sharpe i think they would have won 3 super bowls if they had him
    probably in 96,97,98

  2. That was the first regular season Cowboy game I ever attended. Drove down from Iowa with my nephew. What an awesome time? Brett Favre always had a problem with the crown on the feild at Texas Stadium. The middle of the field was three feet higher than the sidelines and he would always over throw his recievers when they ran a side route. I used to have a video of that game but have not been able to find it. Did not know the game was on NFL network.

  3. Anonymous - I had no idea the crown was three feet higher than the sidelines. That might very well explain his problems there, at least in part. NFL Network shows lots of old games - this week for example they are showing the Falcons-Packer game from earlier this year (for obvious reasons). I assume they probably show even more of them in the off-season as they have lots of hours to fill - but I have not checked. Might be a good way to get copies of games that I missed at the time.