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1979: Raiders 42, Saints 35 - Comeback

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I just thought some of y'all might enjoy this full game broadcast of the 1979 Monday Night Football tilt between the Oakland Raiders and the New Orleans Saints, from the Louisiana Superdome.

There are two parts, 1st Half and 2nd Half, more or less.

Some thoughts:

- Enjoy that MNF intro.

- Howard Cosell, Yes!

- News breaks for the Iranian Hostage Crisis, "America Held Hostage". These things are viewed a little differently now, aren't they.

- Al Hirt does the National Anthem. This means something to Orleanians and jazz/music buffs.

- The Saints had a live mascot. Gumbo the Saint Bernard.

- The San Diego Chicken is at the game.... on field for the Saints.... why?

- This game led to the Saints trading away Archie Manning and signing Ken Snake Stabler, which led the Raiders to sign Dan Pastorini, who got hurt, which led to backup Jim Plunkett coming in, which led to Super Bowls.

- The artificial turf, basically the kind of carper put down in basements or rec rooms.... with concrete underneath. Ouch.

- This was the Saints' first real run at the playoffs. They were 7-6, and if they won this game they would get to 8 wins, a franchise record. The crowd and fans were clueless, it just would never be that easy. The Saints did not even make the playoffs until 1987, they did not win one playoff game until 2000, and they never made it to a conference championship until 2006. - The Saints went up 35-14 in the 2nd half against the world-famous feared Raiders and it looked like they were on their way, all the way. Those fans had stars in their eyes. Saints fans would have to wait another 30 years for another "moment."

- Because the Saints lost this game, the Rams won the division and would end up in Super Bowl XIV vs the Steelers, in one of the better Super Bowl games. Could the Saints have gone all the way? Who knows, but they did beat the Rams handily in the last game of that season.

- The Saints had Archie Manning, Chuck Muncie at HB, Tony Galbreath at FB, Henry Childs at TE, Ike Harris and Wes Chandler (he was good real good) at WR, and Conrad Dobler ("The meanest man in football") on the line.

- The Raiders were famously good: Stabler, Casper, Biletnikoff, Branch, Van Eeghen, Whittington, Shell all on offense (ridiculous), and Hendricks, Lester Hayes and Matuszak on defense.

- Chuck Muncie ran for 120+ yards and a TD, this was one of the most talented RBs to play the game between 1970-1990 and the sad thing was he got hooked on coke and never lived up to his potential. He cost the Saints the game here with a late 4th quarter fumble and you can see how he failed to protect the ball, terrible.

- There is a sick awesomely good one handed TD grab by Galbreath. This was a FB, amazing.

- Archie Manning, former No. 2 overall pick, had terrible mechanics. It's crazy to think how good Payton and Eli are in that regard and how bad Archie was. Archie took forever to drop back, he had this long, long, long sidearm throwing motion and a sloooow release, like Mississippi molasses. He started 9 for 12 with a TD, and he ends horribly.

- Archie was the HIGHEST paid NFL player then and in 1978 he was Player of the Year for a 7-9 team.

- The Saints, at times, look like a modern passing team. They were ahead of the league, but Fouts, whom they played the very next week by the way, would really earn that legend. But for a little while, at times, the Saints were indeed just that.

- Dick Nolan was coach for the Saints. He brought the Dallas Doomsday flex and his reputation as a defensive guru from the 9ers. Yet his Saints defenses were among the worst in league history until, well, this year's Saints defense.

- The 1979-80 Saints would eventually be busted up due to a drug trafficking scandal, the 3rd string RB (No. 30, Mike Strachan, who was also extremely talented) would go to jail for dealing drugs in NFL locker rooms (yes), Archie would one day speak about walking into hotel rooms where players were lighting up drug pipes and snorting out in the open. When he walked in they would tell him, "Just go back to your room, hayseed." These and other experiences were the sort of football life Archie had to tell his eventual All Pro sons when they were coming up.

- The 1980 Saints would go 1-15. Chandler and Muncie would go to the Chargers to play with Air Coryell and Fouts, again, these were modern offensive players. Galbraith would go to MIN where was a stalwart for that team and Manning would be ignominiously shipped off to Houston for a washed up tackle. Basically, in a football sense, tragic.

- Replays and officiating:

Wes Chandler makes a fantastic catch at the Raiders' one yard line. The ref waives it off as incomplete. This is shocking, he is obviously in with 2 feet in and the ref is right on top of it. Biased? Gambling? Who knows but there is a lot of questionable call making in favor of the Raiders in this game.

Cliff Branch's spectacular game tying 66 yard TD catch and run would have been brought back to the Saints 30 yard line where he stepped out of bounds, no one really cared then.

The Raiders did a scoop and run on Muncie's fumble, the defender hits the ground AND THEN even though being down he FORWARD LATERALS to another defender (Hendricks I think) who just keeps running another 25 yards or so to the Saints' 14. No one cares and of course no replay red flags back then.

Kudos to the Raider fan who recorded these.

I thought others might have other observations from watching the two halves.

In general it's a great game (as stated, the Raiders storm back with 28 straight second half points) and is kind of an early NFL Network Replay.


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Good post here ... might get more action in the Shark Pool, though. Or over on SaintsReport.

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