Sending the Cold Shoulder, Yet Another Alternate NFL



-From the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary “Sending the Cold Shoulder”

What If I told you, that while one arms race was ending, another one began? That total domination was expected, and anything less was a disappointment.


-Steve Young, 2/12/08

Everyone has your standard rivalries. Yankees-Red Sox, Leafs-Canadiens, Ya know. Those you can’t ignore if you live there. The rivalry between them is inseparable because they’re right outside your back door. You can’t go outside your city without them heckling you. But between the Bears and the 49ers, it just felt different. Like if you’re from Utah, you don’t have to pick between the Yanks and the Sox. They’re far away, who cares? But the Niners-Bears seemed different. Everyone had a side. Everywhere you went, someone had an opinion. Because they are from different parts of the country, it affected EVERYONE. Literally, the whole country was divided between us. To be honest, I might compare the division to the Civil War. It’s just remarkable how this all started by that game. I guess when you’re that good for that long, you just naturally hate each other. The only thing that drove the rivalry in the 80’s was just the big games but now it’s bigger than that. Before you wanted to win so you could beat them. For the first couple of years it was just automatic that you played them in the playoff. Now you just never want them to win. But meeting them in the playoffs was always fun. It was fun just to rub it into their faces when you held that trophy.


-From SI interview with William “Refrigerator” Perry. 2/21/09

Peter King: Who was your favorite team to play against?

Perry: (without hesitation) The 49ers

PK: Not the Packers?

WP: No. The Packers were nice to beat and stuff, but they weren’t very good. They were our rival, but we went in knowing we were going to win. When I played the Niners, I knew it was going to be a good game. It would matter one way or another. And after, well, you know...

PK: The Game?

WP: Yeah, uh, after that it was pretty hard not to hate the Niners. To us, the 49ers represented the worst in the world, and if we didn’t beat them, it was a sad day.
Looking forward to this TL, and I appreciate how hard it must be for you to write a TL in which the Bears are great but the Packers aren't.


I promise that's the only irrelevant gif I'll post here. From here on out, it's nothing but constructive comments. So will this be one of those opposite philosophy rivalries (running/defense-based team vs. passing-based team)? Or do the Bears get a new QB?
Looking forward to this TL, and I appreciate how hard it must be for you to write a TL in which the Bears are great but the Packers aren't.


I promise that's the only irrelevant gif I'll post here. From here on out, it's nothing but constructive comments. So will this be one of those opposite philosophy rivalries (running/defense-based team vs. passing-based team)? Or do the Bears get a new QB?

I seriously don't mind pointless gifs. Just incorperate them along with constructive comments and you'll be OK. And it's not that bad, the 49ers were my second favorite team (before Kaepernick came along), so at least I have something to work with.
I can't help but wonder if The Fridge will have a longer or more successful career in TTL.

Great start so far! Hope the Lions do better here (hint hint):p
I can't help but wonder if The Fridge will have a longer or more successful career in TTL.

Great start so far! Hope the Lions do better here (hint hint):p

I'm trying not to give away alot, but The Fridge will have a more interesting career than he did OTL

And the Lions may or may not be better, depending on if I feel generous to my rivals. I mean, I'm already making the Bears a lot better, and the Packers worse. This is basically voluntary hell for a Wisconsinite. If I'm feeling nice that day, maybe the Lions might do better. No guarentees, though
Can the Redskins be better? This seems like a pre-Dan Jong-un Snyder ben Beelzebub PoD, so that's an easy way to do it.

If its in the 80s, of course, we have those Super Bowls.
Chapter 1, The 1986 season


-Ronnie Lott, January 17, 2008

If I had to pinpoint the exact season where the Bears-49ers rivalry started, it would probably be 1986. We had so many good games over the years, and a lot of people think it was The Game that started it all, but I felt the rivalry was already in place then, before that. At that point, we both knew how good we were. The Bears won the Super Bowl last year, us before that. We didn’t really focus on the Bears. I missed the first part of that season with a finger injury, but we got on a 4-1 start on the season.


-From SI interview with William "The Refrigerator" Perry

Perry: 86 was my second season. Coach Ryan left that year, but we won our first 5 or six games that year, I think. I still don’t think Coach Ditka was happy, though. McMahon came into camp that year overweight

Peter King: You guys scored 41 points in your first game

WP: But the defence gave up a bunch too though.

PK: OK, but you still blew out most of the teams you played that season

WP: McMahon was still struggling at quarterback. Nobody likes what Martin did to him, but at that point Ditka was almost glad McMahon didn’t play. And I don’t think we lost another game after that in the regular season. Our defense played great that year.


-Transcript of Bears-Redskins playoff game, January 3, 1987 (1)

Dan Dierdorf: Schroeder looks lost, Dick. The Bears brought the Blitz that play and Schroeder had to throw it away

Dick Stockton: Yeah, Dan, It’s hard to throw it to receivers that aren’t even supposed to be open yet

DD: The 46 must be getting to him

DS: OK, 4th and 6 for the Redskins on the 27. It’s crucial for the Skins to score here, down 23-14. One running back, tight end to the right, 2 receivers to the left, one on the opposite. Jay takes the snap, seven snap drop, 5 man rush, Schroeder steps up in the pocket, SACKED BY PLANK. The safety came on and tackled Schroeder before the QB could throw the ball

DD: And that ends the game. Down by 9, one timeout, there’s no way the Redskins can come back from this.


-Interview by Bill Walsh, 6/23/07

That 86 season was difficult. We stumbled into the playoffs with 10 wins. The Giants came in with almost as much consecutive wins as we had wins all year. The Giants were tough, Number 1 overall seed that year. Their defense was the biggest problem, their front seven were basically 7 linemen, except all of them had safety speed. I had to trust Joe to make the quick read and get the pass off before LT impaled his helmet into him. And if you put your focus on Taylor, then someone else like George Martin or Harry Carson was splitting the line and whamming you for a loss. We thought Bubba could handle him, he was big enough at 6 and a half feet. But we realized that it wasn’t going to do it. So we sent the old guard Ayers out to block him, it was effective enough to give us a chance. We knew the game was gonna be physical, and the most important thing was to score first


Transcript of 49ers-Giants game, January 4th, 1987 (2)

John Madden: We have the best offense in the league versus the best defensive team in the league and arguably the league’s MVP this year.

Pat Summerall: The 49ers are getting the ball first

JM: I expect them to drive down the field and score a touchdown to take the wind out of the Giants

PS: Montana takes the snap. 5 map rush. LT coming off the edge. Montana throws, caught by Rice over the middle. Rice running past the first down. He’s got open field ahead of him!

JM: Oh boy. Here we go

PS: Jerry Rice takes a pass and goes 73 yards for a touchdown!

JM: Now that’s what I call taking the wind out of the Giants sails



San Jose Mercury News

The San Francisco 49ers pull off the upset as they beat the New York Giants, 21-17.

“I feel proud of my team today” Coach Bill Walsh said after the game “My men played hard today against a tough team, and they came out on top”

Quarterback Joe Montana played an outstanding game, passing for 288 yards and 2 touchdowns against the number 1 defense in the league. The Giants star linebacker, Lawrence Taylor, was held to only 3 tackles and more importantly, no sacks. “It was real important to get out there and fire the ball early today. LT is one of the best players in the game, and you have to get the ball out quick before he tackles you for a loss.” Montana said afterwards

The 49ers did come out quick, scoring on a catch and run from Jerry Rice early on their first drive to make the score 7-0 “That play gave us the spark we needed to overcome this great team. It turned the momentum of the game to us early and took the crowd out of it early. That allowed us to control the rest of the game, even when the Giants had opportunities to come back” Walsh said.

The 49ers, with the strength of the their 2 early touchdowns by the aforementioned Jerry Rice and a 5 yard catch by Roger Craig, led at halftime 14-3. The 49ers hit another touchdown with a 17 yard run by Wendell Tyler, ending the 3rd quarter with an impressive 21-3 lead

“I really don’t think the Giants were expecting us to put up such a fight” Walsh said “Joe was throwing the ball nice and the running game was there”

The only mistake of the day was Tyler’s fumble with 12 minutes to go on the 49ers 32 yard line. The Giants scored 3 minutes later on a 18 yard pass from Phil Simms to Lionel Manuel. A Niners drive stalled at the 42, and the Giants took the ball at the 18 with 5 minutes to go

“I knew we were up by ten, but I knew the we needed to stop them or else we would lose” said Montana. “The Giants are a dangerous team no matter how many points down they are. Phil is one of the best quarterbacks in the game, and 5 minutes is a long time to hold an 11 point lead. And because I was on the sideline, all I could do was hope and pray”

Montana’s suspicions came true when Simms took a QB sneak in with 1:57 left to go in the game to make the score 21-17. The onside kick fell into the hands of the 49ers, and they ran out the clock for the victory

“I’m just happy we pulled away for the victory. All of them played really well today. Though next week will be a tough one, hopefully they can win that one, too.” Walsh said

The 49ers play the Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago next week. The winner will advance to the Super Bowl.

(1) While I didn’t mention it, the first POD occurs when Walter Payton fumbles the ball in the redzone. The Redskins recover the ball and drive 82 yards to a touchdown and win 27-13 OTL. Here, Payton doesn’t fumble and eventually scores later on a 3 yard run.

(2) This play, the second POD occurs. On this play OTL, Rice inexplicably fumbles the ball and goes into the back of the endzone for a touchback and the Giants get the ball. The Giants go on to win this game 49-3 OTL, but because of the quick touchdown, the game goes differently.
LT is going to be pissed.

Well, he won't be able to do anything about it until nexy season, and you'll see how he does. The Giants right now are the only serious threat to either the 49ers or Bears dynasties other than each other. Just as a quick heads up, the next update will be about the NFC Championship game and the Super Bowl, and the outcome of the game will have a big impact on how the rest of the TL will go. So stay tuned
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Well, he won't be able to do anything about it until nexy season, and you'll see how he does. The Giants right now are the only serious threat to either the 49ers or Bears dynasties other than each other. Just as a quick heads up, the next update will be about the NFC Championship game and the Super Bowl, and the outcome of the game will have a big impact on how the rest of the TL will go. So stay tuned

Not the (good at the time) Redskins?
Not the (good at the time) Redskins?

I don't want to give a lot away, but the Redskins become that team that's good but never actually gets there. The next update will have some long-lasting effects on the league, and one of these will prevent the Redskins from doing as well. In these kind of TL, some teams are gonna get screwed. No one is spared, not even my beloved Packers. Your Skins will suffer as well.
Chapter 2, Twenty F*cking Seven


-From SI interview with William “Refrigerator” Perry, 2/21/09

Peter King: Your first playoff game against the Niners was in 86, right?

Perry: Yes, the Conference Championship

PK: What exactly do you remember from that game. I mean, we all know what happens, but what personal memories do you remember?

WP: That was probably one of the most physical games we played against the Niners. I don’t think Joe and company really liked playing at Soldier Field, the Astroturf was more like dirt with green paint on it. It was like playing on a dirty rug most of the time. And that played to our strengths. Playing against the NIners was always kind of fun before the rivalry really took off, Quillan was always a bit of a challenge to get around, but I didn’t mind, he was nice enough. But that game was brutal in the beginning. It wasn’t really cold, it was just windy and Joe and the receivers didn’t really like windy weather.


-Transcript of 49ers-Bears game, January 11, 1987

John Madden: That looks like that’s gonna be the end of the first quarter with that dropped pass by MIke Wilson, and I can tell you Pat, this has been a very sloppy game today.

Pat Summerall: Yes, the 49ers haven’t been able to get their running game going today and their offence doesn’t look like the same team they did a week ago

JM: But we also gotta give the Bears defense some credit here, Pat. The 46 today has stood it’s ground in this quarter, and judging by the Bears offense, it’s the only thing keeping them in this game

PS: Walter Payton I believe has only rushed for 13 yards on 6 carries. And even though Doug Flutie was given the start, he hasn’t completed a pass in 4 tries. The only first downs the Bears have are on penalties

JM: One of these teams has to take control in the second quarter, or else we might have to get the Redskins and the Giants back in here!

PS: (laughs) Well, hopefully, because a 0-0 game is something most of us don’t want


-Ronnie Lott, January 17, 2008

Oh, man, that game was nasty! But sometimes those cold ones are the most fun. We don’t get weather like that in San Francisco, and I guess Joe and the offence weren’t really on their game today. I just remember Coach seething on the sidelines because his offense wasn’t working. It didn’t really matter to me because I only played defense. And the Bears that day couldn’t move the ball forward if they shot it out of a cannon. Walter’s age was definitely showing on that day, even though he did recover a bit in the second half. But for that first half, it was intense. It became a defensive battle, which is perfectly fine by me, but Coach wasn’t really happy about it. We went into halftime with a 3-0 lead, Joe only had, like 70 yards in the first half, the only time either of us had it on the other side of the field was when Manu swatted the ball out of Flutie’s hand. That was him, wasn’t it? Anyway, the offense still couldn’t do shit and we had to settle for three. I was really hoping they would score, but evidently not. The whole defensive game was fun and all, but the pressure on every play was enormous, which gives you a constant stream of adrenaline, but it wears on you. Apparently, it wore on Ditka too...


-From Mike Holmgren’s Autobiography The Holmgren Way, My Life’s story

I had never seen anything like it. Ditka was a decent coach, but I had never seen a coach look so frustrated. We took the 3rd quarter kickoff down the field for our first touchdown of the game, and Mike looked absolutely flummoxed. He pulled Flutie for Steve Fuller, and he went for a 3 and out, badly overthrowing his receivers. I told Joe that the Bears weren’t going to score, and he should just start running out the clock. That drive produced a field goal, and then Mike goes out and puts another QB in, Mike Tomczak. Tomczak goes three and out again, this time throwing the ball al three times and each time badly missing every one of them. You could see how red Ditka’s face was across the sidelines, but the offense wasn’t going to go today. Walter recovered a bit at the end, but Ditka wouldn't realize that until later, when the game was far too long gone.


-Transcript of the 49ers- Bears game, January 11, 1986

Pat Summerall: And the Bears are forced to punt. Again.

John Madden: Even with three quarterbacks, they can’t get the ball moving. They’ve used Flutie and Fuller, and now Tomczak just got another 3 and out.

PS: The Bears just can’t make any offense going for them today

JM: You would think with 3 quarterbacks, at least one of them would be better than a blind monkey

PS: Well, right now the offense can’t really do anything about it, it’s all up to the 46 defense to keep the Bears in the game

JM: There only down by 2 touchdowns, if the Bears can make a stand here in the 3rd maybe they can get something going on defense.

PS: Craig stuffed at the line for no gain, ball still on the 32 for the 49ers on second down. Now John, how much do you think the Bears are missing Mcmahon now. HE’s out for the year, and none of these guys in at QB for the Bears have any experience in the playoffs

JM: Well, you can tell they miss him a lot. The Bears offense looks like a wet sponge and without Walter Payton producing, the Bears don’t really have another way of getting the ball forward.

PS: Montana hands it - no he still has the ball, he tosses it downfield, nobody’s around Clark and he walks in for the touchdown! 20-0 49ers in the NFC Championship game

JM: And there you go. I think the Bears are done now. No way they can come back from this.


-Ronnie Lott, January 17, 2008

I was scared. Not for me, but for the Bears. Ditka just absolutely lost it on that play. It was almost funny in a scary sort of way. They must have recorded that explosion of sheer Ditka as a earthquake in San Francisco. I never had seen a coach more red-faced, scalding mad than what I saw from Ditka that day. Ditka was just screaming up the sidelines, slamming his headphones on the turf. I think he got right up to the head official and, well, I couldn’t really tell what he said, but it probably wasn’t for younger audiences. Anyway, They ejected out of the game, which I had never seen before. I mean, I heard earlier that year he insulted a fan but this was just ridiculous. It was more than that, it was scary. It gets kind of lost in the whirlwind of The Meltdown that it was against the 49ers and that we won that game. We won the Super Bowl that year against the Broncos, but I don’t think anyone really cared at the time. The Super Bowl was just an afterthought to us, and to the media, too. I mean yeah, we were happy to win the whole thing and stuff, but the Sper Bowl wasn’t really anything really spectacular other than the fact that it was the Super Bowl, and I guess over time the details get lost and the only thing people can remember about that was The Meltdown. And I can’t blame them. It would be pretty hard to forget that pure rage Ditka was after that game. After we finally won that game, I truly felt sorry for everyone in that locker room. I can only imagine how more terrifying it would have been if you were on the sidelines with him…


-Transcript of an exchange between a single reporter who prefers not to be named and Mike Ditka from press conference after 49ers-Bears playoff game. January 11, 1987

Reporter: How do you explain your actions on the field today?

Ditka: Well, when your team plays like shit, you would be upset, too.

Reporter: But were your actions on the field at the end of the 3rd quarter truly acceptable given the circumstances?

Ditka: Hey, I got mad. Shit happens, you deal with it. Maybe it wasn’t the best way to handle it but hopefully this shows that we need to play better next year.

Reporter: How did you deal with being ejected? What did you after you left the game

Ditka: That’s none of your business

Reporter: Then, how much interaction did you have with the team afterwards?

Ditka: It doesn’t matter what happened to me. We lost twenty f*cking seven to seven. Twenty f*cking seven to seven. Can we talk about the game? Because that’s what we’re supposed to be doing. It was a f*cking terrible game, but that’s what we gotta do. That’s why we’re here, to talk about twenty f*cking seven to seven. We can talk about the twenty seven, or we can talk about the seven. What do you wanna talk about?


-From SI interview with William “The Refrigerator” Perry

Peter King: So we all remember what happened after The Meltdown. The 49ers ended up trouncing the Bears 27-7 at Soldier Field. But, Will, what happened after the game?

WP: Well, Ditka had to be escorted off the field by some officials, and he shouted “RUN THE DAMN BALL”. So we did. Paytone ended up scoring that touchdown at the end, but it wasn’t even close. Most of us stayed on the field for as long as we could congratulating the 49ers because none of us wanted to go into that locker room.

PK: What did he say when you walked into the locker room?

WP: Not much. Steve McMichael and I walked in with about 10 other guys. Some of the other guys were already taking a shower, so they probably got the full on assault of Ditka. He kind of cooled off or us, but he was still pissed. Otis Wilson said Ditka made a dent in his locker but we didn’t believe him.

PK: How did the rest of the team react?

WP: Most of us, I’m not gonna say we felt bad, but we knew Coach was frustrated. We knew we let them down. I can't testify for the offensive players, but I think the team overall felt like we really let him down. The upper management was furious. What Coach did to them after the game was just despicable in their minds. Coach basically threw the entire team under the bus, and the suits felt like Coach did it just to spite them. The guys and I really liked Coach, yeah he had some outbursts before, but we won with him. We like to win, and Coach did that. Coach Ditka had so much swagger, he felt like he was one of the players with us, and we always stuck up for him. The exec’s didn’t really care who was coach, but to be honest, what Coach did that offseason was a miracle and after that I don’t know how the exec’s could have fired him...
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To anyone reading this timeline, I'm going to Bear Country tomorrow and the next update about the 1987 draft won't be until next week.

To side you over, here's a list of every playoff game from the 1986 season:

AFC Wild Card Game

5 Kansas City Cheifs: 15
4 New York Jets: 35

NFC Wild Card Game

5 Los Angeles Rams: 7
4 Washington Redskins: 19

AFC Divisional Playoffs

3 New England Patriots: 17
2 Denver Broncos: 22

4 New York Jets: 20
1 Cleveland Browns: 23 (OT)

NFC Divisional Playoffs

4 Washington Redskins: 14
2 Chicago Bears: 23

3 San Francisco 49ers: 21
1 New York Giants: 17

AFC Championship Game

2 Denver Broncos: 24
1 Cleveland Browns: 20

NFC Championship Game

3 San Francisco 49ers: 27
2 Chicago Bears: 7

Super Bowl XXI

A2 Denver Broncos: 13
N3 San Francisco 49ers: 24
I know its a CFL reference but this TL gets a rouge. I'm so down with it, I was sold after the Steve Young quote because I heard him saying that in my head. All I ask is you keep true to my beloved Bengals in the 80's because if it wasn't for Joe Montana spotting John Candy, and breaking the tension, Boomer would have had his ring. I digress; I'm reading this.