Detroit Lions Throwback: 1957 Championship season in review
Disappeared from view
Michigan being separated from its other half: At the start of the 1957 season, the Upper and Lower Peninsulas were still disconnected, linked by ferries that shuttled back and forth across the straits of Mackinac. While the Lions were on a west coast road trip to end finish the month of October, the Mackinac Bridge was opened, transforming the skyline at the tips of the peninsulas and instantly becoming an iconic symbol for the state.
Folksy Fifties Nicknames: Howard “Hopalong” Cassady, Bobby “The Blond Bomber” Layne, Tom “the Bomb” Tracy.
Interchangeable Quarterbacks: When Layne went down towards the end of the season, backup QB Tobin Rote was hardly a stranger to game action. For most of that season, Layne and Rote had split time at the position anyway. The concept of having a “relief quarterback” was hardly uncommon in those days, and with less protection of QBs in the rulebook, having multiple game-ready players at the position was probably necessary.
This feels like a major paradigm shift from the “franchise quarterback” model that the vast majority of teams use currently, sinking disproportionate resources into having one key player under center.
The Simpler Days of the NFL: The Eastern and Western divisions, twelve teams, twelve regular season games, a spot in the finals for the division winners, a one game “Playoff” if there happens to be a tie in the standings, a championship game instead of a Super Bowl.