By David Klein, Lions Insider

My Uncle John is about 74 years-old (I think), and I was helping him clear out some junk from his attic last weekend to give away to St. Vinny’s or the Salvation Army when I stumble upon this box of old sports cards. All of them were pretty beat up – warped, bent corners, gum stains. Not worth much. But to see Gordie Howe, Bart Starr, or Hank Aaron cards was still cool to look at. He said I could have them. They were not photographs, they were like art.

This week in the National Football League – circa 1960-69, was a semi-relevant week that would determine about a million dollars of additional income to the league, bookies, and thousands of dollars to the stiffs that played to determine was finishing in “third place” in the NFL before the Super Bowl was invented. It was a total farce, and a money grab, played at the Orange Bowl in Miami. Most professional pro football fans have yet hear of this game if they were born before Vietnam. I knew nothing about this game, but my Uncle John told me all about it.

Via Wikipedia, “Vince Lombardi detested the Playoff Bowl, coaching in the games following the 1963 and 1964 seasons, after winning NFL titles in 1961 and 1962. To his players, he called it “the ‘Sh!t Bowl’, …a losers’ bowl for losers.” This lack of motivation may explain his Packers’ postseason defeat in the 1964 game (January 1965) to the St. Louis Cardinals. After that loss, he fumed about “a hinky-dink football game, held in a hinky-dink town, played by hinky-dink players. That’s all second place is – hinky dink.”

The Detroit Lions Ultimate “Playoff” Legacy

The Lions won the first three consecutive Playoff Bowls – a record that will never be broken. They defeated the Cleveland Browns 17-16 in 1961, the Philadelphia Eagles 38-10 in 1962, and the Pittsburgh Steelers 17-10 in 1963. To this day, the Detroit Lions are the only team to ever “three-peat” in sanctioned NFL Bowl Game competition.

When NFL/AFL merger was completed for the 1970 season, there was discussion about continuing the Playoff Bowl, with the losers of the AFC and NFC Championship Games playing each other during the idle week before the Super Bowl. There were now seven post-season games in the NFL (three for each conference, plus the Super Bowl), and the Pro Bowl all-star game. A “losers’ game” was not necessarily attractive for the league, and the Playoff Bowl came to an end.

Regardless, in the long-standing history of the Detroit Lions, they will forever be remembered as the greatest all-time champions of the “Playoff Bowl” – undefeated at 3-0.

By David Klein, Lions Insider

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Allen is a die-hard football fan who has covered the NFL since 2007 and has written for numerous sites online covering football, MMA and pro wrestling. Allen is based out of Nashville and has a sales background as well as a career managing fighters in the UFC, Bellator and Strikeforce.

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