Czonka love - downhill love
Speaking of the '72 Dolphins, I'll admit that I used to enjoy watching Larry Czonka drag and bulldoze defenders all over the field (except for when he did it to the Pats.) I can remember games where they'd be ready to send him up the gut and the other team would know it, load up the box, dig in, make the sign of the cross, and then make these feeble attempts at tackling this guy after that great OL pushed the fat defenders backward. I remember times when he would get into the backfield and have safeties piled up on his back and he would just drag them another five or ten yards. Very deflating for the other team. He was like a wrecking ball on a bad, old building.
Talk about being beaten at the most primitive form of football. That was Czonka. The Dolphins also would then roll out guys like Morris and Kick, and just throw the timing of that defense all to hell. They just unhinged defenses with a primal intimidation. I think they gained about 3k yards on the ground that year. That is some serious tonnage in the ground game.
In a way Brandon Jacobs is that style of runner. I wouldn't mind seeing Jacobs come over the Patriots, although Sammy Morris can hammer well enough for me.
I always liked that straight ahead style when it was working. It was the essence of simplicity. There were no frills, no tricks, no speed or great cutbacks. It was all about power football, and when it was clicking it was amazing to watch. It would get me laughing. I'd watch Czonka carrying guys and it made me laugh, sorta like when Ben Coates did it a few times, once in Miami I think, speaking of the devil Miami. Some guys had an amazing balance and strength to stay upright and carry large bodies on their backs. Man, that was cool to watch. It's like, "Here I am, here all of you are, try to take me down, and oops, you didn't, so sorry, another ten yards and a cloud of dust, and I can see the defeat on your faces."
I suppose Jim Nance inspired Patriots fans in a similar way, but after Nance, and maybe Sam Cunningham, we really didn't have a true, effective, power back until Cory. Or was Marion Butts ......... oh, never mind.
Re: Czonka love - downhill love
I know I am clearly tipping my hand of my youth here, but I did not get to watch Larry Czonka on the field however I was able to watch him on American Gladiators with Czonka's Zonks!!! I loved the guy and it took me till I was like 12 to even know he ever played football.
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