Countdown to Football: 47 Days Remaining

#47

Best Player to Wear 47 – Mel Blount, CB, Pittsburgh Steelers – Any time that the NFL Rule Book is rewritten with you in mind, you know that you have made your mark on the league. Mel Blount is one player who can make that claim, with the NFL prohibiting contact on a wide receiver more than five yards downfield due to his play. Blount started his life in Vidalia, Georgia, where he grew up dirt poor on a farm in the Southern town. However, Blount was able to survive his tough upbringing and thrive in athletics, starring in track, baseball, basketball and, most importantly, football. Blount accepted a football scholarship to Southern University where he would go on to star, eventually being named an All-American in his senior season as both a safety and a cornerback.

Following the 1969 college football season, Blount entered the 1970 NFL draft where the Pittsburgh Steelers would take him with the 53rd overall pick in the third round. Blount would be become a starter by his third season in the NFL, 1972, where he would go the entire season without allowing a single touchdown reception. Blount would go on to become a star for the Steelers, where he was known for his brutal, yet clean, style of defending receivers. Blount specialized in the bump-and-run coverage scheme, often times with the receiver never getting into his route. However, as we mentioned, the rules were changed midway through Blount’s career in order to try and limit his effectiveness specifically. The rule, commonly referred to as the Mel Blount Rule, did not however slow down Blount. As all great players do he was able to simply change his style of play and continue to lay claim as one of the best corners of the 1970’s.

When his career was finished Blount had a career that few could match up to. He had won four Super Bowls with the Steelers, been named All-Pro a total of six times, made five Pro Bowls, was the 1975 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and was a sure fire Hall of Famer. He had racked up a total of 57 interceptions, 13 fumble recoveries and four total touchdowns, as well as the famous rule that was changed just for him. Blount was also named to both the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Blount has stayed mostly out of the spotlight since his playing days but he has managed to do good work, setting up foundations to help poor children in both Pennsylvania and Georgia.

47 Yards The Right Way – Villanova Fake Punt – Anytime a 1AA (FCS) school plays a 1A (FBS) SCHOOL, all the stops MUST be pulled. Villanova got the message and delivered with this incredibly complex, yet perfectly simple fake punt against Boston College.

1947 NFL Champions – Chicago Cardinals – A long, long time ago there used to be championship football in Chicago. Not only were the Bears good, but the Chicago Cardinals were also not to be trifled with. In 1947, the Cardinals were dominant, going 9-3 in the regular season and winning their season ending game in Wrigley Field to earn the right to host the NFL Championship game against winner of the Eastern Division. That team ended up being the Philadelphia Eagles, who would have to travel and play the Cardinals in late December in Chicago. The Cardinals would go on to win the game, played at Comiskey Park, by a score of 28-21 bringing the championship to Chicago. The team has not won a championship since and has moved twice, with Larry Fitzgerald currently begging for a quarterback in Arizona.