Just Because: The program for Norm Van Brocklin's 554-yard day

For a little while there on Sunday, there were rumblings on Twitter that Tony Romo might have a chance to reach an NFL record that’s stood for the past 62 years -- that of Norm Van Brocklin’s 554 passing yards, the most ever thrown in a game.

At the time, Romo had just given Dallas a 48-41 lead vs. the Broncos, and his stat line stood at 506 yards with 7:19 remaining.

But when he finally got the ball with the score 48-48, he was sacked on the first snap of that series and then tossed an ill-fated interception. So, at 506 Romo would stay, the 12th-best single-game total of all time but far behind Van Brocklin (you can read all about that performance in this Remember When I wrote last month).

Since the Cowboys lost, their fans probably won’t want to save their game programs from the day.

But … you can own a piece of the Van Brocklin experience. As you can see below (via Sports Collector):

A couple things:

1) Yes, that’s how players wore their helmets in those days. No face masks, no bars across the chin. If an opponent got his hand in there, well, tough luck for you and your face. Especially for a handsome chap like the guy pictured on the program’s cover.

2) Seriously, is that player wearing makeup? Was that normal in the early 1950s? Maybe for a heel like this, it was.

3) What’s that? You said you want to own that program? If you’ve got $500 laying around, it can be all yours.

4) Van Brocklin wore No. 25, so it’s unclear who No. 35 -- this cheek-rouged, lipsticked, perfect-teethed, tanned-like-George-Hamilton pro football gridder -- is supposed to be. From what I can tell, there was not a No. 35 on the 1951 version of the Rams. So, this particular chap might have been birthed out of the imagination of some overeager artist who believed that all football players had similar game preparations to that of, say, Georgeus George.

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