Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now


Archive for the ‘Sports History’


How Racing Safety Has Evolved 0

Posted on May 15, 2017 by Scott Huntington

maxresdefault (40)

Former F1 pilot Hans Stuck is credited with one of the most memorable quotes in autodom.

“When I raced a car last,” Stuck proclaims, “it was a time when sex was safe and racing was dangerous, now it’s the other way around.”

Social commentary aside, Stuck is right. The advances made in safety for racing drivers over the last half-century have reduced the sports mortality rate by orders of magnitude, and even allowed drivers to walk away from crashes that at one time would most certainly have been fatal.

Even now, engineers and medical experts work tirelessly to continue to improve the safety record of a sport that is inherently dangerous. Let’s take a look back at how things came so far.

Read the rest of this entry →

Clowns, Dumps, and Mike Milbury 2

Posted on May 09, 2017 by Victor Uhlman

Joe-Louis-arenaI grew up in the Joe Louis Arena. Some of the best moments of my childhood were spent shuffling around clumsily on the ice of the Joe, strapped up in goalie pads that weighed twice as much as I did. Even at a young age, I felt honored to, in one way or another, share the ice with the Detroit Red Wings. As I grew up, I had the absolute honor of watching one of the greatest dynasties of hockey in their prime. I sat rinkside and watched Yzerman, Lidstrom, and the Russian five change the entire game right in front of my eyes. And when we couldn’t make it to the game, my entire extended family would crowd around our tiny television as if we were practicing some archaic religion, cheering and crying with every goal scored and every shot missed. The Joe hosted its last heartbreaking, yet cathartic game on April 9th, laying to rest one of the most legendary and charismatic ice hockey venues in the history of the sport. This is why I and many others were dumbfounded, yet not surprised, when NBC’s Mike Milbury called the Joe Louis Arena “a dump” in need of retiring.

Milbury is in the news again this week for referring to P.K. Subban, arguably one of the leagues most talented and lovable players, as “a clown” who needed to get a “rap on the head” from head coach Peter Laviolette. Ignoring just how asinine and problematic this statement is, it points to both a dangerous trend for Mike Milbury, and an even more dangerous one for NBC and the league itself. Read the rest of this entry →

Vintage Video: Michael Jordan Becomes MICHAEL JORDAN 0

Posted on May 07, 2017 by Dean Hybl
Lifting the Bulls over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1989 NBA Playoffs helped propel Michael Jordan to NBA Super stardom.

Lifting the Bulls over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1989 NBA Playoffs helped propel Michael Jordan to NBA Super stardom.

Prior to the 1989 NBA playoffs, Michael Jordan was already known as one of the best players in the NBA.  He was a three-time NBA scoring champion and had already earned his first NBA MVP Award. However, Jordan didn’t yet have a signature playoff moment. That all changed 28 years ago on May 7, 1989.

After first round playoff exits in each of Jordan’s first three playoff appearances, the Bulls had finally advanced to the second round in 1988. However, they lost in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Detroit Pistons.

Facing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the opening round of the 1989 playoffs, the Bulls were on the brink of being eliminated in the first round for the fourth time in five years. The best-of-five series was tied at two games each and the Cavaliers led by a single point (100-99) when Jordan and the Bulls broke the huddle with three seconds remaining.

It was in those three seconds that Jordan started his rise from NBA star to all-time legend.

Taking the inbounds pass, Jordan drove to the foul line and then took a jump shot over the outraced arm of Cleveland guard Craig Ehlo. As the ball fell through the next, Jordan jumped in joy and pumped his fist as the Bulls celebrated.

Though they eventually lost in the Eastern Conference Finals, Jordan was now established as a clutch player and the legend continued to grow.

Two years later the Bulls won their first NBA title and Jordan was on his way to being known as the greatest of all-time.

Conversely, the shot by Jordan proved to be a dagger for the Cavaliers. The struggled the next two seasons before reaching the Eastern Conference finals in 1992 (losing to Jordan and the Bulls). While the Bulls went on to win six NBA Championships, the Cavaliers never advanced out of the Eastern Conference while losing in the opening round six times between 1989 and 1998.

Check out video from the first defining playoff shot of Jordan’s career.
Read the rest of this entry →

Shocking Tennis Moments That I Never Expected Would Happen 1

Posted on April 26, 2017 by Aleksandra Udovenko

McEnroe-umpireTennis is full of shocking moments and memorable matches. With a full calendar of Open events and major tournaments this year, we can expect to see more madness before 2017 is over. Here is a look at some of my favorite moments in tennis history.

I like a good marathon match. Nothing beats the excitement of a tied game in which one competitor needs to win by two match points. With players so evenly matched, this format can lead to some interesting and time consuming tie-breakers.

Take the 2009 Wimbledon Grand Slam Final, in which Roger Federer played Andy Roddick for a whopping 4 hours and 17 minutes, then the longest men’s singles grand slam final in history. Federer eventually went on to win his 16th grand slam title, but it was by no means easy.

If you thought it couldn’t get any more tiring than that, then just look at the Australian Open match between Hewitt and Baghdatis in 2008. The pair played from midnight until the following morning.

In the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, a match between Isner and Mahut took a total of 11 hours and 5 minutes to play over the course of three days. The match is considered the longest in history. Legendary! Frenchman Nicolas Mahut finally went on to win the match, but how the pair survived such an intense game is beyond me.

Tennis has had some fine marathon moments and epic showdowns, but it has also suffered from bad publicity at times due to the sporadic behaviors of professionals throwing tantrums. Read the rest of this entry →

Vintage Video: Remembering Jackie Robinson 1

Posted on April 14, 2017 by Dean Hybl
The first Jackie Robinson Day was held on April 15, 1997.

The first Jackie Robinson Day was held on April 15, 1997.

As the years since Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball, 70 years to be exact, continue to grow, it becomes harder for the increasing number of people who do not remember a time when the color of ones skin eliminated a person from consideration for “America’s Pastime” to understand just how significant and difficult an action it was for Robinson and those who helped him break the color barrier.  That is why 20 years ago, April 15, 1997, Major League Baseball forever retired the number 42 jersey of Jackie Robinson and set up an annual day to honor his legacy across the league.

In recognition of Jackie Robinson’s first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947 and the first “Jackie Robinson Day” on April 15, 1997, we have below some video links to remember this American hero and the day set aside to recognize his accomplishments.
Read the rest of this entry →

Devon Loch Grand National Disaster, 1956 1

Posted on April 14, 2017 by Christina Sommers

Horse-1The day ought to have been another cheerful competition, but destiny had its way by adding an additional Grand National event into the books of history. It was in 1956 with a horse named Devon Loch owned by HM Queen Elizabeth. The name of the Rider was Dick Francis and these characters all made up this historical event.

Dick And The Scars Of Devon Loch

Horse-2Irrespective of having 2 former champions and a forthcoming champion in the steeplechase on this very day, Devon Loch was favored for showing his capability by winning two times that year and being a third runner-up at the Cheltenham that same season. Just as one would have hoped to predict from the horse racing grand national – everything was adding up for a blow at the trophy. There came a boost for his headway when two of the people’s favorites stumbled – leaving just M’as-tu-vu at the forefront and Devon coming sound somewhere in the middle. This horse didn’t encounter any difficulty getting past these obstacles except for when trying to diverge to pass a horse that collapsed before him during the opening circuit. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Follow Us Online

  • Sign up for Email Updates

    Sign-up to get daily updates of all the great articles and information on Sports Then and Now.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Check out the best free bets at freebets4all. Learn how to convert online bookmakers free bets into guaranteed cash using the matched betting technique.

  • Affordable Satellite TV Great prices on Dish network packages.

  • Gear up for your next trip with new North Face Backpacks from SportsUnlimited.com. Shop great Field Hockey Sticks from Grays & Gryphon.

    Football Jerseys

    Cold Stone Franchise
  • Current Poll

    Who Should Be the NBA MVP?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top