While many fans know JELD-WEN Field to be the beloved home of the Portland Timbers, the field itself has a long history going back all the way to 1926. With events ranging from football, rock concerts, dog racing, track and field, ski jumping and yes, soccer, JELD-WEN Field is full of great stories and memorable people. Today's story: Norm Van Brocklin.
Already a legendary figure in Oregon sports lore as a standout quarterback during his collegiate days at the University of Oregon, NFL Hall-of-Famer Norm Van Brocklin starred in a historic game at Multnomah Stadium (JELD-WEN Field) on Aug. 28, 1955, leading the Los Angeles Rams to a 23-17 victory over the New York Giants in a preseason exhibition game before 22,222. What makes the game stand out, specifically, is that it was the first-ever NFL game decided by overtime. Led by the likes of Charley Conerly and Hall-of-Fame quarterback Frank Gifford, the Giants rallied to tie the game at 17-17 midway through the fourth quarter, forcing an overtime that had been predetermined between the promoter and the league. The sudden-death period did not last long, however, as Van Brocklin engineered an eight-play, 70-yard drive that culminated with a two-yard touchdown plunge by Tank Younger in a game that helped lay the foundation for the NFL to fully adopt the overtime rule for regular-season games in 1974.