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The NFL Today – One of a Kind 1

Posted on May 24, 2020 by Dean Hybl

In the world of television and entertainment, every show likes to claim that it is unique and different, but the reality in a world where most programming follows successful formulas is that very few are actually unique and different. One program that was definitely unique and different was the CBS NFL Today Pregame football show that hit the airwaves in 1975.

In 1975 CBS reinvented the NFL pregame show with The NFL Today featuring Brent Musburger, Phyllis George and Irv Cross.

Officially, CBS began airing a pre-recorded pregame show called the NFL Today in 1961 and over the next decade and a half the pregame show had a number of iterations and hosts, including Johnny Lujack, Frank Gifford, Pat Summerall and Jack Whitaker. It also featured during 1970 a pair of groundbreaking women as journalist Marjorie Margolies, who would later serve as a member of congress, and actress Carole Howey were brought on-board to provide weekly features.

In 1974 CBS went to a wraparound pre and post game program known as The NFL on CBS that included a live pregame show hosted by Whitaker.

After one year of that formula, CBS went back to the name The NFL Today for their pre-game show in 1975 and ultimately created a formula that would prove to be magical.

Serving as the host for the new NFL Today program was veteran sports anchor and play-by-play announcer Brent Musburger. Musburger was the sports anchor at WBBM-TV in Chicago and also had become a play-by-play announcer for CBS’s NFL coverage in 1973. He would serve as the lead host for the program and anchor of the weekly half hour live broadcast (which actually for several years was three different live broadcasts aired for the different time zones).

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Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger 0

Posted on March 30, 2020 by Dean Hybl
Rocky Colavito

The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

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Missing Major League Baseball? Ken Burns’ Baseball Documentary Never Gets Old 0

Posted on March 29, 2020 by Dean Hybl

This was supposed to be opening weekend for the 2020 Major League Baseball season, but instead, our favorite baseball players are joining most other Americans on the sidelines as we recognize the great heroism of our medical workers, teachers, grocery clerks and others who are helping to keep our country moving during this pandemic.

ESPN, MLB Network and other channels have taken to showing some old baseball broadcasts this week and that has been great.

However, I have found myself re-captivated by MLB Networks showing of a 26-year-old documentary series on baseball created by Ken Burns.

For those too young to remember, the documentary originally aired in September 1994 on PBS. As timing would have it, that happened to be the first time in 90 years that the baseball season would end without a World Series.

The documentary, which chronicled the history of the game through nine broadcasts (for nine innings), was the most comprehensive look at the history of the great American game.

Through a combination of narration by veteran news anchor John Chancellor, interviews with many historians and former players and archived video, the documentary captured the magic of the game at a time when baseball fans were in a state of shock that there would be no post season.

Each chapter looked at a different stage of baseball history and Burns did a great job showing both the positive elements of baseball history as well as the warts.

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Avoid Sports Withdrawals: Vintage College Basketball Games to Watch on YouTube 2

Posted on March 14, 2020 by Dean Hybl

With March Madness cancelled, the entire sports world on pause and many public gatherings and places across the country and globe closed due to the COVID-19 virus, there are only so many shows on Hulu, Netflix, Disney+ and other streaming channels that we can watch before sports withdrawals are surely to kick in.

Fortunately, YouTube is home to a plethora of vintage sporting events that can help pass the time before live sports return.

In part 1 of a multi-part series, Sports Then and Now has selected 10 vintage conference tournament games that include some of the all-time moments and players in college basketball history. For each one we have included the records, rankings, coaches and notable players at the time of the game, but are not spoiling the game with a summary in case you don’t remember the outcome and want to enjoy the moment without spoilers.

Ray Allen led Connecticut against Georgetown and Allen Iverson in the 1996 Big East Tournament Finals.

The fun part about watching vintage games is that it includes the original announcers, as well as showcasing some players who went on to greatness often before they had become household names, or as they were building their reputation. Players like Patrick Ewing, Ray Allen, Allen Iverson, Ralph Sampson, Tim Duncan, Jerry Stackhouse and many more are included in our selections.

There are certainly other great games to watch on YouTube, but we have chosen these partly because the entire game is available and the game epitomized the excitement of March Madness.

Enjoy!

1983 ACC Tournament Championship Game – Virginia vs. North Carolina State

Records Entering Game: Virginia 27-3; North Carolina State: 19-10

National Ranking: Virginia #2; North Carolina State unranked

Coaches: UVA: Terry Holland; North Carolina State: Jim Valvano

Notable Players: UVA – Ralph Sampson, Othell Wilson, Ricky Stokes, Rick Carlisle; NC State – Thurl Bailey, Sidney Lowe, Lorenzo Charles, Dereck Whittenburg, Terry Gannon

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Euro 2020 | Celebrating 60 years of European Championships 0

Posted on March 11, 2020 by Magdalena Rapala

By the end of this month, the final groups for Euro 2020 will have been decided and all eyes turn to the tournament starting in June. This year’s final competition will be multi-hosted, commemorating 60 years of European Championships. 1960 marked the inauguration and since then, 10 different nations have won the trophy with Germany (formerly West Germany) and Spain the most prolific winners with three championships each. The football betting odds are currently in England’s favour, but let’s go back in time to some of the most iconic finals.

1964

In the 1964 European Nations’ Cup Final, Spain became the first host nation to win the tournament. They faced the maiden winners, the Soviet Union in the final and prevented them from becoming back-to-back winners. It took extra time for Spain to secure their place in the final, as they beat Hungary 2-1, while the Soviet Union hammered Denmark 3-0 at the Nou Camp. 

The cauldron that is the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid played host to the final, which was won within 90 minutes. A one-goal lead is always a fine margin, and so it proved again as the hosts were immediately pegged back after taking the lead through Jesús María Pereda – Galimzyan Khusainov equalising within two minutes to set up a thrilling encounter. It took six minutes for Spain to take the lead, and six minutes from time they restored their lead, through Marcelino. 

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Elvin Hayes: The Big E 0

Posted on February 29, 2020 by Dean Hybl
Elvin Hayes

The Vintage Sports Then and Now Athlete of the Month came to national prominence in college basketball’s “Game of the Century” and then won an NBA title while becoming one of the top players in league history.

A three-time college basketball All-American at the University of Houston, Elvin Hayes helped lead the Cougars to three straight NCAA Tournaments and a pair of Final Fours.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger
      March 30, 2020 | 7:24 pm
      Rocky Colavito

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

      Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

      Read more »

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