If you haven't taken today's trivia quiz, scroll down a ways and test your knowledge of the days in New England when 10 was usually the number of points the Pats put up in a game as opposed to the minimum number of wins they put together in a season. It definitely isn't fun to dredge up old memories of when your team stunk; even if you're like me and don't remember much about the Patriots before 1986, that shouldn't stop you from cringing just a little bit about this team's less than stellar past. Today's quiz wasn't as much a stroll down memory lane as it was getting dragged down it behind a garbage truck hauling a fresh load from the dumpster behind the Flowing Rivers Center for Incontinence. They say if you don't remember history, you're doomed to repeat it; if that's the case, let's all do our part never to forget the Patriots of old. Ever.
Answers after the jump.
1. What are the most points ever allowed by the Patriots in a playoff game?
Answer: B. 51. In January of 1964, the Chargers beat the Patriots 51-10 in the 1963 AFL Championship Game. The Chargers were so dominant with their Vertical Stretch offense that Ron Jaworski saw fit to put the blowout in his recent book The Games that Changed the Game.
2. True or False: The Patriots once had to call a recently cut player out of the stands to play for the team when a last minute contract dispute left them shorthanded.
Answer: True. Bob Gladieux, cut towards the end of training camp in 1970, was attending the Patriots home opener vs. the Dolphins at Harvard stadium. Already several beers deep, Gladieux was shocked to hear his name announced over the loudspeaker asking him to report to the Patriots locker room. He suited up and was out on the field for the opening kickoff. His friend, who was off getting more beer when Bob's name was called, was more than a little surprised to hear the announcer say "tackle by number 24, Bob Gladieux" on the play as he walked back to his seat.
3. What is the Patriots' record for most consecutive losses?
Answer: D. 14. The New England Patriots did not win a regular season game for almost an entire calendar year. They lost to the Cincinnati Bengals 41-7 on September 23rd, 1990, and would not win again until September 1, 1991 with a 16-7 victory over the Colts.
4. When was the last time a Patriots QB threw for less than 1,000 yards in a season?
Answer: B. 1982. Luckily, this has only happened once in Patriots history, but in 1982, Steve Grogan only threw for 930 yards. There should also be an asterisk here, as the '82 season was shortened due to a player's strike.
5. What is the most yards the Patriots have ever allowed in a playoff game?
Answer: A. 610. In that same AFL Championship Game in which the Chargers destroyed the Patriots 51-10, the Pats gave up 610 yards in a single game. Kind of puts last year's secondary in perspective...
6. A fair number of head coaches only lasted one season with the Patriots. What is their combined winning percentage?
Answer: .091. That's about 1 win out of every 11 games. The three worst offenders were Phil Bengston, Hank Bullogh, and Rod Rust, who had a combined record of 2-20 during their brief tenures.
7. Which head coach, still seen as one of the Patriots' biggest disasters, took the reins from Mike Holovak in 1969?
Answer: D. Clive Rush. Rush finished his time as head coach of the Patriots with a .238 winning percentage. He resigned from coaching mid-season after a 45-10 drubbing at the hands of the Bills, vowing to never coach again. He had brief stints with the Washington Redskins and the Merchant Marine Academy, but lived out the rest of his days running a car dealership.
8. What is the Patriots' all-time worst record?
Answer: D. 1-15. The 1990 Patriots were one of the worst teams in NFL History. Their lone win, a 16-14 victory over the Colts, was grossly overshadowed by their -265 point differential, the worst total of the entire decade. They also somehow managed to lose a nationally televised game against the Washington Redskins in which the Pats were down 9-0 before the Redskins even ran a single offensive play. The 1990 Patriots also have the dubious honor of being one of only two teams in NFL history to play 11 games in a single season in which they never led at any point.
9. In which decade did the Patriots experience their worst-ever winning percentage?
Answer: D. 1990s. No shocker here. Despite the drastic turnaround that eventually came with the Parcells/Bledsoe era, the Pats of the 90s were 68-92 on the decade, a .425 winning percentage.
10. One of these things is not like the other one, one of these things just doesn't belong. Which one is it?
Answer: B. John Stephens. Stephens was not in on the sexual harassment case of reporter Lisa Olsen. Mowatt and Timpson both were. The Olsen story was, for the most part, the only press that the 1990 Patriots got.
11. Where were the Patriots almost relocated in 1992 due to total lack of fan interest?
Answer: C. St. Louis. Then-owner James Orthwein had the wheels in motion to move the team to his hometown of St. Louis from 1992-1994. The team was struggling, fan attendance was abysmal, and young draft pick Drew Bledsoe was off to a shaky start. The move was aborted when Orthwein sold the team to longtime season ticket holder turned bazillionaire Robert Kraft, who vowed to keep the team in New England. *sniff*
12. True or false: poor wiring almost electrocuted new head coach Clive Rush at his opening press conference.
Answer: True. If ever there was an omen that Rush shouldn't have been coaching, that was it. He got knocked straight back from that electricity blast, and in many ways, he never truly got back up again.
13. Which of the following was NOT a record held by the Patriots following their first ever Super Bowl appearance?
Answer: B. Fewest total yards gained from scrimmage. The 123 total yards the Pats gained in Super Bowl XX was only good enough for second fewest of all time, taking a back seat to the 119 gained by the Vikings in Super Bowl IX. The Patriots gave up seven sacks, lost by a then-Super Bowl Record 36 points (thank you, 49ers-Broncos!), and starting QB Tony Eason went 0-6 before flat-out refusing to go back in to face the fabled Bears defense. Steve Grogan finished the game.
14. Fill in the blank: The Dallas Texans were robbed of a game winning touchdown pass against the Patriots in 1961 after a crazed, drunken Pats fan rushed into the endzone and batted the ball down. That mysterious fan is forever known as "The Man in the _____."
Answer: A. Trenchcoat. He wasn't actually wearing a trenchcoat, but that doesn't stop this story from being hilarious. I could describe it, but I think it's better if you just watch it.
15. What was the worst part about going to a game at the old Foxboro Stadium?
Answer: G. All of the above. I'll admit, I still look back on the old Foxboro stadium very fondly. It may have been a hellhole, but it had character, dammit. That said, I for one am very, very glad I don't have to sit on those metal bleachers ever again, and don't really miss Foxboro Stadium all that much. Plus, Gillette has a McDonald's in the southern end zone. Tough to argue with that.
Quite a history this team had. It's crazy to think that, for a long time, the annual Pats/Colts games were more often a battle for who would have the 1st pick in the draft as opposed to a 1st round playoff bye.
Next's week's quiz will be more uplifiting, I promise. Just wanted to give us all some perspective and help us appreciate just how good we've had it for the past decade.