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Flipping Awesome

Just in time for the ninth anniversary of the Jerome Bettis coin-flip debacle, our own Robert Weintraub has an article for Slate on the history and future of the coin flip.

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21 comments, Last at 26 Apr 2011, 10:34pm

1 Re: Flipping Awesome

It wasn't actually a coin flip, but in the 1950s the top pick in the draft was decided by a random draw. After a team's name had been drawn once, it was no longer eligible. So, for example, after the Eagles drew the top pick in 1949 (and took Chuck Bednarik) they could not have the top pick again until every team in the league had been drawn.

By 1957, there were only two teams left in the draw: the equally pathetic Cardinals and Packers. Can't-miss prospect Paul Hornung had announced he was entering the draft that year. The Packers won what was, essentially, a flip, and the titletown years began soon after. The following year, the Cardinals took King Hill with the number one pick.

4 Re: Flipping Awesome

Paul Hornung's first 2 years (57 & 58) in GB: 4-19-1
Vince Lombardi's first 2 years (59 & 60) in GB: 15-9 and a championship game appearance

I think Vince may have been a slightly more significant factor than that draw, although there's no denying that Lombardi loved Hornung and what he brought to a team.

2 NFL goes Full Cicle

I know it is completely OT, but is this common?


5 Re: NFL goes Full Cicle

In reply to by Anonymus (not verified)


I don't know that its meaningful either. There are enough wierd upsets in the NFL that its probably easy to build.

7 Re: Flipping Awesome

Having never paid even the slightest attention to the XFL, I only just now learned the origins of the name for FO's weekly fantasy-and-random-things feature. Also, I'm happy there was a link to video the Phil Luckett debacle; I've never seen anyone yell at a TV as "spiritedly" as my family of Steelers' fans did on that particular afternoon.

8 Re: Flipping Awesome

It also wasn't a coin toss, but Bob Cousy went to the Celtics via random draw. When the team that held the rights to him (Tri-Cities, I think) folded the names of players multiple teams wanted were thrown in a hat and the teams pulled the names. Cousy went to the Celtics.

10 Re: Flipping Awesome

Do not reallyl knwo about Copusy stuff but alwayas thought Tri-Cities was same franchise thhat nw known as Atlanta Hawks.
THink team played in Racine and two other places. Porbably Miwlaukee one. Tema clalled Tri-cities Blackhawks namemd after Nativ e Americnas who lived there in 1800ss and had wars wirh white settlers in olden days.
Then tema drop Tgree cities thing and stay in oen and called Milwaukee Hakws,. Later movce to St. Lousi and now in atlanta

11 Re: Flipping Awesome

Correct as always, RJ.

I missed a step. TC Blackhawks (who did indeed become the Atlanta Hawks) traded Cousy to Chicago Stags and it was the Stags that folded.

9 Re: Flipping Awesome

The 2007 MNF Mud Bowl between the Steelers and the Dolphins was almost going into overtime with the score 0-0. Only 20 seconds before the end of regulation, the Steelers made it 3-0.
Would there be overtime the following 3 choices on the coin toss would be:
1: heads
2: tails
3: coin would stick into the mud edge up

12 Re: Flipping Awesome

Ninth anniversary? The Steelers Coin Flip game was in 1998.

13 Re: Flipping Awesome

Actually the Cousy deal was serious dumb luck by the Celtics. When the Stags folded, there where three Top players, Max Zaslofsky, (4 time NNBA 1st SG), Andy Phillip (another HOF PG),and Cousy (an untested Rookie at the time). The Celtics' owner Walt Brown actually volunteer to pick last and ended up with Cousy.

14 Re: Flipping Awesome

Interesting article, but:

"Characteristics treasured by the media and fans, like clutchness and chemistry, have been shown to be fairy tales."

No one has succeeded in measuring clutchness, which does not mean it doesn't exist, as many things that do exist are completely unmeasurable. But chemistry? Where does that even come from? How can team chemistry be shown not to exist? And does it mean that if I break up with my girlfriend, bad chemistry is no longer a valid reason?

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