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Happy 85th Birthday John Madden 4

Posted on April 09, 2021 by Dean Hybl
John Madden led the Oakland Raiders to victory in Super Bowl XI.

Whether from his days as a coach, broadcaster or simply as the name on a video game, John Madden is a football legend known by fans of all generations.

It seems hard to believe that Madden will celebrate his 85th birthday on April 10th. Almost as surprising is that it has been more than a dozen years since Madden retired from broadcasting after three decades as the preeminent color commentator on television. But, of course, his influence lives on in the leading football video game known as Madden NFL.

The journey for Madden from a 21st round NFL Draft pick to the most recognized person in the NFL is truly a remarkable one.

A talented multi-sport athlete, Madden was a boyhood friend of John Robinson, who would go on to a successful career as head coach at the University of Southern California and with the Los Angeles Rams.

Madden played college football at the College of San Mateo for a year, earning a scholarship to the University of Oregon. However, an injury forced him to redshirt and he ultimately finished his college career playing two seasons as a two-way player at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. He was also a catcher on the Cal-Poly baseball team.

The Philadelphia Eagles selected Madden in the 21st round (244th overall pick) of the 1958 NFL Draft. However, a knee injury suffered in training camp ended his dream of playing in the NFL.

After completing his degree, Madden became an assistant coach at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California. He was promoted to head coach in 1962.

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Luis “El Tiante” Tiant 1

Posted on April 06, 2021 by Dean Hybl
Luis Tiant

The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the ace of the Boston Red Sox staff when they reached the 1975 World Series and is considered by many to be someone worthy of induction in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Luis Tiant, known as “El Tiante”, spent 19 years in the majors between 1964 and 1982.

Though he was 75-64 with a 2.84 ERA in six seasons with the Cleveland Indians and then helped the Minnesota Twins reach the playoffs in 1970, it appeared that Tiant’s career might be over following the 1970 season.

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Syracuse Rises in March with Runs to Sweet 16 and Beyond 5

Posted on March 27, 2021 by Chris Kent

Double-digit seeds usually have a short stay in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. In fact, only five double- digit seeds have ever reached the Final Four since 1979 when the selection committee began seeding teams. While the intrigue, drama, and excitement of this event is largely built on these lower seeds knocking off their favored counterparts, they typically have been eliminated during the first weekend of play after a win or two if you include the First Four which started in 2011. Not if you are Syracuse.

The Orange have defied the odds. Syracuse has advanced to the Sweet 16 in three of the last five NCAA tournaments as a double-digit seed. The Orange are there this year as a No. 11 seed and will meet No. 2 Houston in the Midwest regional semifinals tonight. Tip-off is set for 9:55 pm EST.

Syracuse has added to the appeal of March Madness over the years based on its’ dramatic play.

While this success is a credit to the coaching of hall-of-fame head coach Jim Boeheim and his heavily capable assistants, it is also Syracuse’s fabled 2-3 zone defense that is a major factor in befuddling opponents as they are not used to it. A proven winner and an elite coach, Boeheim and his assistants do a masterful job of getting the most out of their players and improving during the season. While the Orange have finished anywhere between sixth and 10th in the final ACC regular season standings over the last six seasons, Syracuse is typically on the upswing the last week of the regular season as they head into March.

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How Female Competitors Are Breathing New Life Into Sports 0

Posted on March 18, 2021 by Amaia Twain

Sports is changing its game face—turning an optimistic gaze towards women and the issues they represent. Women play and win in the Olympics, major leagues, and other international competitions. More of their games can be seen on television and online. There are huge audiences gathered in stadiums to cheer and support their games.  

True, women are making strides in various sports, conquering game after game, and winning seemingly impossible feats. They’re medalists, champions, and ambassadors to show young girls and other women that they can excel in sports.

Amidst the glitz of shiny medals and the sparkle of huge trophies, roaring crowds, and confetti, women are now leading their own to address issues of gender equality in sports. They’re breathing new life into sports by championing equal pay, equal training opportunities, scholarships, and facilities. 

In short, they’re using ‘girl power’ to claim their rights and ensure aspiring female athletes are given a fair chance. Society and sports organizations are listening and addressing these needs in the world of sports and beyond.  

Breathing Life Into Sports 

Women have come a long way from their first appearance in the Olympics. From 22 female athletes in the 1900s, there were 5,059 female athletes in the 2016 Olympics. They comprise 40% of sportspeople worldwide and excel in various sports such as basketball, boxing, football, skiing, soccer, and tennis.

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Happy Birthday Captain America! 2

Posted on February 05, 2021 by Dean Hybl
Captain America Roger Staubach.

Happy 79th birthday to one of the iconic figures in NFL history, the true “Captain America”, Roger Staubach.

Throughout his nine seasons as the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, Staubach was known for leading his team to late-game comebacks and improbable victories and thus was also often referred to as “Captain Comeback”.

He seemed to always have the uncanny knack of making the big play needed to lift his team to victory. He led the Cowboys to 23 fourth quarter game-winning drives during his career, including 15 times with his team trailing.

The Cowboys reached the playoffs in eight of his nine seasons as the starting quarterback and he led the Cowboys to the Super Bowl four times (they also reached the Super Bowl in 1970 when he was the backup).

He was named MVP of Super Bowl VI and also led Dallas to the title in Super Bowl XXII.

Staubach was a winner even before joining the Cowboys.

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History of Triathlon 1

Posted on November 11, 2020 by Tyler Tafelsky

As the sport’s most widely known origins, triathlon was modernized in the mid-1970s on the pacific coast of the U.S. Started by the San Diego Track Club in 1974, the first known official triathlon took place in Misson Bay on September 25th, and had 46 athletes involved.

According to Ironman, couple Judy and John Collins raced that event in San Diego and later planted the seed for triathlon events in Hawaii when they moved there a year later.

By 1978, Judy and John held the “Around the Island Triathlon,” which involved the standard triathlon distances of today’s Ironman – a 1.2-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run. And by 1980, this particular Ironman distance of triathlon quickly became a professional endurance event you now see televised every October as the world championships.

Although the mid-70s and early 80s eras remain to be the most popular story of triathlon’s history, such multisport events were taking place long before then in Europe.

Rewind 50 Years to France in the 1920s

Sports historians draw back to the 1920s era when French culture was hosting triathlon events. In fact, the French were some very first to pioneer and make popular various endurance sport we see today.

Back in the 1920s, French triathletes would participate in events called “Les trois sports”, which translates “the three sports’. These multisport events sometimes went by various names, including “La Course des Débrouillards” (the race of the resourceful) and “La course des Touche à Tout” (the race of the jack-of-all-trades). These various historic triathlons took place in French harbor cities like Marseilles and La Rochelle.

Although triathlon’s French roots and current most popular races involve swimming, biking, and running, athletes were continuously experimenting with different types of athletic combinations. There are still to this day a wide variety of triathlon formats, multisport events, and governing bodies.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Luis “El Tiante” Tiant
      April 6, 2021 | 1:52 pm
      Luis Tiant

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the ace of the Boston Red Sox staff when they reached the 1975 World Series and is considered by many to be someone worthy of induction in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Luis Tiant, known as “El Tiante”, spent 19 years in the majors between 1964 and 1982.

      Though he was 75-64 with a 2.84 ERA in six seasons with the Cleveland Indians and then helped the Minnesota Twins reach the playoffs in 1970, it appeared that Tiant’s career might be over following the 1970 season.

      Read more »

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