clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Horse Tracks: The Denver Broncos and goal line goalposts

New, comments

Can you believe there really was once an era where there were two large metal posts on the goal line?

One of the great things about NFL football is that it constantly evaluates itself and makes changes. For a league that so reveres its history to have the awareness that their product could always be better (safer?) is nothing short of remarkable.

Last week, MMQB ran a bunch fun history-related articles during their ‘1967 week.’ One such article was about the peculiar placement of the goalposts planted at the goal line. In today’s safety-conscious world, seeing two metal posts in the middle of the field on the goal line makes you wonder how anyone ever thought it was a good idea.

With players, balls, and the occasional ref bouncing off of them, the NFL wisely changed their shape from the archaic ‘H’ to the ‘Y’ shape we enjoy today and then moved them to the back of the end zone.

What seems to go unsaid in the MMQB article is the role that television likely played in moving the posts out of the field of play.

If a pass hit the metal uprights, it would automatically be ruled incomplete. This was famously applied in Super Bowl VII when, in the fourth quarter, Washington quarterback Billy Kilmer missed a wide-open Jerry Smith in the end zone and bounced the ball off the post. The Dolphins won, 14-7, though it should also be noted Kilmer was intercepted three times that day.

Can you imagine? You can almost see people flipping out on their couches, “Why are those things there?!” That exasperation was surely fanned by injuries caused by collisions with posts. That’s not even talking about the nefarious pick plays that brazenly stole attention from the mano-y-mano spirit of the game. When the goalposts placement was broadcast nation-wide, it was only a matter of time before people noticed just how crazy it was to not move them out of the way.

Lastly, the article references ‘Cardinals quarterback Charley Johnson.’ The bit of information that’s missing is that Johnson was not only a quarterback for the Denver Broncos, but also a Ring of Fame enshrinee. In fact, so important were his contributions to team history, MHR’s KaptainKirk declared him the ‘Greatest Bronco to Wear #12.’

To read more about Charley Johnson, check out this classic article by MHR’s Tim Lynch.

HORSE TRACKS

The History of NFL Goal Posts: Excitement & Danger | The MMQB with Peter King
Once upon a time the uprights were on the goal line, where receivers used them as picks and the collisions were many

Broncos' Paxton Lynch making push for starting QB - NFL.com
Entering the Broncos' offseason program it seemed like Trevor Siemian might have the "upper hand" but Paxton Lynch is making a push for the starting quarterback job.

Paxton Lynch may be making his move | ProFootballTalk
As Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch brace for a training camp/preseason battle for the starting job in Denver, Lynch apparently received a boost as the team commenced its final break of the offseason. Via Mike Klis of 9news.

You don't know the real Bradley Roby. But it's time you did.
Playing alongside four Pro Bowlers on the Broncos' "No Fly Zone" secondary, Bradley Roby has received an NFL education few can replicate, but is sometimes overshadowed. He's on a mission to ensure you HAVE to mention his name.

Eagles schedule preview: Denver with a capital D - Bleeding Green Nation
Carson Wentz’s no good very bad day to be

Cam Newton: A Super Bowl ring is the one thing missing from my life | ProFootballTalk
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is motivated by just one thing. A Super Bowl ring, Newton told high school players at a 7-on-7 tournament he hosted, is what drives him, and the only thing he's seeking in life.

Louis Riddick: I haven’t heard from Chiefs about G.M. opening | ProFootballTalk
Sunday morning brought a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Media that the Chiefs have reached out to ESPN analyst Louis Riddick about setting up an interview for the General Manager vacancy they created by dismissing John Dorsey last week.

Houston Texans: Tom Savage still favorite over Deshaun Watson | FOX Sports
A cursory glance over the Houston Texans may give the impression that Deshaun Watson is ready to be an NFL quarterback, but Tom Savage is reportedly the 'clear favorite.'With Brock Osweiler making big money heading into the 2016 season, it would have been surprising to think that an upst...

Bakhtiari: Packers' playoff woes starting to tick me off - NFL.com
Making the NFC championship is usually a feat to be celebrated for most organizations. But for the Packers, who have one of the NFL's best QBs, it's starting to become a "stressful" experience.

Panthers GM complains about 'DEFCON 5' treatment of Kelvin Benjamin's weight - CBSSports.com
Dave Gettleman does not understand the DEFCON system