When the Lions and Giants met in November 1943, the second world war and also terrible field conditions helped produce a historical oddity


Mel Hein, coach Steve Owen and also Tuffy Leemans were all component of the Giants in 1943 and also would later join the hall of Fame. Photograph: AP
Mel Hein, coach Steve Owen and Tuffy Leemans were all part of the Giants in 1943 and also would later join the room of Fame. Photograph: AP

We should generate an ext than zero points to victory games, there’s no doubt,” Chicago bears coach john Fox.

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This is fixed assailable logic. Coming after his Bears shed 26-0 to Seattle critical Sunday what else could Fox say? when I first read this line ns chuckled together everybody most likely did. Fox is a grasp of the subtle quips, those self-deprecating one-liners the break increase room. That a part of what has made him one of the ideal coaches that his time, taking two teams to at sight Bowls and also inventing an offense mid-season that operated for Tim Tebow.

but his native on Monday make me think: If you nothing score and also the various other team no score and the game ends in a 0-0 tie climate presumably that is a win of sorts. At the very least it’s no a loss. Yet i couldn’t psychic an NFL game that ended scoreless. I could recall part 3-0 gamings in current years yet never one that was 0-0. So ns looked it up. Surprisingly the critical 0-0 game was an ext than 70 years ago. It to be played ~ above 7 November 1943 between the Detroit Lions and new York Giants.

The document of the game, though, to be sparse. It claimed the Lions and Giants played prior to 16,992 in Detroit’s Briggs stadium generating simply 214 yards in between them. Understanding there had actually to be an ext I referred to as Dan Daly, a football researcher exterior of Washington DC.

Daly to know a lot about the last 0-0 game. In reality he thinks about it every time a video game is scoreless at halftime or drifts into the third quarter there is no a point. He has actually a crate score native the game, found in one old copy that the brand-new York Times. Package score revealed a couple of interesting facts that could have explained how the game can have ended as the did.

because that instance, Lions kicker Augie Lio missed ar goal attempts indigenous 32, 40 and also 15 yards. Giants kicker Ward Cuff also missed one.

“It had to have actually been a damaging field,” Daly said. “It was probably muddy and guys couldn’t acquire their footing. The kickers more than likely couldn’t gain their footing.”

In those days, he said, that was common for an NFL stadium to hold high school games on Friday nights, college gamings on Saturday, leave the ar a trampled chaos for the professional game ~ above Sunday. Since fields then weren’t constructed with innovative drainage systems, rain would frequently render castle useless.

But even if the field was in top shape, no team was most likely to be an extremely good. This was in the middle of human being War Two and 1943 to be the first season that witnessed a widespread exodus of players, drafted to fight overseas. The Rams exposed operations for the year and the Steelers and Eagles an unified into a team everyone called the Steagles. While many teams still had stars who had actually been given deferments because they had households or ran ranches or farms, they lacked depth. The starting 11 could be good, experienced players but the backups would certainly probably have never do a roster in normal times.

In the following season, played after the D-Day invasion, Daly stated the Giants might actually put out a backfield in which nobody of the players had played varsity football in college.

One of those players, Bob Pachel, a tailback because that the Giants in the 0-0 game, damaged his college career at Georgia Tech when he injured his leg slipping the end of an top bunk in a dormitory bedroom his freshman year. Once the leg failed to saturated heal, that left school, discovered a job, gained married and also had kids until do the efforts football again year later.

That to be football in those days. The Giants hall of reputation center, Mel Hein, operated as a physical education and learning instructor during the weeks in ~ Union College, prior to rushing come the games on Sunday. Detroit’s beginning guard, Riley Matheson, to be a mining engineer whose nickname to be “The Rattler” due to the fact that he chosen to catch rattlesnakes.

The Lions tailback that day, Frankie Sinkwich – the 1942 Heisman Trophy winner -- was nicknamed “Flat Foot Frankie” due to the fact that his condition gave him a clinical discharge indigenous the Marines. Back Daly has actually seen proof that the genuine reason because that Sinkwich’s discharge was ulcers, that was much more fun to speak to him level Foot Frankie, so the story stuck.

Two football player in the game – Giants appropriate tackle Al Blozis and also Lions tackle Alex Ketzko – would certainly be dead within two years, eliminated in the war. Ketzko died barely a year later during the fight of the Bulge. He was 25. Blozis was eliminated at 26 in France in January 1945.

Details on what happened in the 0-0 game are limited. The Lions did rush for 102 yards and the Giants 81. New York test only 4 passes the day, completing just one for three yards, make it most likely that the weather to be miserable.

Since that day there have been six 3-0 games, consisting of the infamous 1982 snowplow game, which connected a much more blatant form of cheating indigenous the new England Patriots 보다 we are accustomed to today. With 4:45 left in a scoreless tie and also the field in Foxborough’s Schaefer Stadium spanned in snow, Patriots coach Ron Meyer instructed a plow operator to clean a spot because that kicker john Smith that hit a 33-yard ar goal to beat Miami.

provided the weather that day and also the truth the ar under the snow was frozen after ~ rainstorm the night before, the snowplow game could be the closest we have come to a scoreless tie in a contemporary era.

The critical one continues to be a lengthy forgotten work in Detroit in the center of civilization war two.

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“It doesn’t gain mentioned a lot due to the fact that it is so past the realm of imagination in the happen era,” Daly said.

but given the Bears are looking at an additional week v Jimmy Clausen together their quarterback a 0-0 tie might be the best hope for man Fox.