Are you ready for some 80s football? This favorite sport had its share of legendary players, fantastic teams, unforgettable moments, and even a few songs.
80s Football Best of the Best
Two teams dominated 80s football. The San Francisco 49ers were one of them, winning four out of the 10 possible Super Bowls, and the Washington Redskins, who won three.
The 49ers were led by Bill Walsh, arguably one of the best coaches (not named Lombardi) in the history of the NFL. Walsh incorporated the west coast offense, with a focus on the ‘throw first, run second’ approach. This led to more scoring and a more vertical approach for the offense.
The team was also led by two of the all-time greats, Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, as well as Dwight Clark, responsible for ‘The Catch.’
The Washington Redskins were led by Coach Joe Gibbs, now of NASCAR fame. The Redskins offensive line was nicknamed ‘The Hogs,’ and unlike the 49ers, they relied on a slow pace, running the ball, and controlling the clock.
80s Super Bowl Results at a Glance
- 1981 - Raiders 27, Eagles 10
- 1982 - 49ers 26, Bengals 21
- 1983 - Redskins 27, Dolphins 17
- 1984 - Raiders 38, Redskins 9
- 1985 - 49ers 38, Dolphins 16
- 1986 - Bears 46, Patriots 10
- 1987 - Giants 39, Broncos 10
- 1988 - Redskins 42, Broncos 10
- 1989 - 49ers 20, Bengals 16
- 1990 - 49ers 55, Broncos 10
80s Football Memorable Moments
As much as anyone who saw it may want to forget, the career-ending injury of Joe Theismann was one of the most shocking in NFL history. It happened during the second quarter of a "Monday Night Football" game between the Giants and Redskins.
Legendary linebacker Lawrence Taylor hit Theismann with a tackle that caused a compound fracture.
Another unforgettable moment – and happier, depending on who you were rooting for, was ‘The Catch,’ during a back and forth game between the 49ers and the Cowboys in 1982.
Joe Montana launched the ball, under pressure from Ed ‘Too Tall’ Jones. Montana knew Dwight Clark would be in the end zone, and he was. The ball seemed too high to catch, but Clark leapt like a cat and grabbed the ball with just his fingertips, and held onto it for the game-winning touchdown.
The NFL also survived a 57-day strike starting in September of 1982. The season went from 16 games to nine. To remedy this, a 16-team playoff tournament was held, and the teams were seeded by conference and 1 through 8 based on the season’s record.
The Chicago Bears were victorious in one Super Bowl, but made the most of it. The Bears became the only team, of any sport, to have a hit song. The “Super Bowl Shuffle” hit #41 on the Billboard Hot 100 – it was even nominated for a Grammy.
Lucky for them, they won that year and the song didn’t jinx them, but their opposing teams, the New England Patriots, weren’t so lucky. They recorded “New England, the Patriots, and We,” to pump themselves up and predict a win, but ultimately lost to the Super Bowl Shuffling Bears.
However, the whole recording trend started with the 1984 49ers with “We are the 49ers” and the “49ers Rap.”
Football brings people together, and 80s football was no different. Sundays and Monday nights just wouldn’t be the same without a game to watch. A little friendly competition is always fun with fans of rival teams, especially if pizza and wings are involved.