Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now


Vintage Sports Movies: Paper Lion

Posted on August 13, 2017 by Dean Hybl
Harvard educated writer George Plimpton braved the world of the NFL in the 1960s.

Harvard educated writer George Plimpton braved the world of the NFL in th e 1960s.

In today’s world where Hard Knocks and other similar programs have made it easy for football fans to gain access into the huddle and locker rooms of pro football, it is hard to imagine a time when such access was not the norm. In the 1960s, Sports Illustrated writer George Plimpton went to great extremes to give fans a glimpse into life in the NFL.

When the book and movie Paper Lion came out in the 1960s, it was lauded for getting under the helmet of NFL players.

Plimpton, a Harvard educated writer who looked more like a math teacher than an athlete, was a master at experiential writing and combined his love of sports with a surprising fearlessness to create a number of great experiences and books.

He pitched to baseball All-Stars, got in the ring with boxing champions and in 1963 spent training camp as a quarterback with the Detroit Lions.

The ensuing articles and book gave readers a glimpse into the personalities of NFL players. Though the Detroit Lions were perhaps not one of the NFL’s “glamour” teams of the era, Plimpton brought to life the personalities of players including Milt Plum, Dick “Night Train” Lane (who had retired by 1967, but has a cameo appearance in the movie as a practice video operator), Wayne Walker and Joe Schmidt.

In 1968, the book was turned into a movie starring future M*A*S*H star Alan Alda as Plimpton.

The interesting thing about the movie is that instead of trying to stick exactly to the players and stories of the original book, it took the general concept, but used players and coaches available with the Lions in 1967.

By that time, future Hall of Fame linebacker Joe Schmidt had transitioned from an active player to head coach and defensive tackle Alex Karras, who as referenced in the book, but was suspended by the NFL in 1963 and therefore not at training camp, was back with the Lions and a prominent character in the movie. Read the rest of this entry →

Searching for Sports Info: 5 Tips for Finding a Reliable News Outlet

Posted on August 10, 2017 by Kara Masterson

Searching for Sports Info, 5 Tips for Finding a Reliable News OutletThe internet has definitely given people access to information more than ever before, which is quite exciting, but it does come with challenges. Finding a reliable source for sports news and info can be hard online because there are so many sites to choose from, making the whole thing a little overwhelming. The following are few tips to help you find reliable sources.

Established Sites

One of the easiest ways to find a reliable sports site is to find one that has been working for ages. Sites startup all the time, but the most reliable sites are the ones that have been up of years. Go to a site’s about page to find out how long the site has been up and compare the sites you are considering afterward.

Expert Websites

Specialized websites are another way you can find a great source for your sports. Try to narrow down your sources from the biggest to the most specialized. Most people start with a regular news site and just look for their sports section. The web has more choices for you, so why not look for a website that only cares about sports or your favorite sport.  Read the rest of this entry →

Whether you're looking for advice on which online Casino to visit, reviews and tips on how to play a Casino game such as online blackjack, roulette, slots and many more then Online Casino Info is the latest portal that covers it all.

sports goods on dhgate at wholesale price

SBRForum.com provides the latest betting news, updates and what you need to know before placing your next bet, access injury reports stats and real time betting odds using SBRodds free tool.

Looking for the best mobile betting apps reviews? Then look no further than Sportsbets4free. Here you can find all the important information you need as well as the latest mobile betting apps reviews

Tension is Building for the Mayweather vs. McGregor Fight

Posted on August 03, 2017 by Roland Fuller
The hype is in full swing for the Floyd Mayweather fight against Conor McGregor.

The hype is in full swing for the Floyd Mayweather fight against Conor McGregor.

Michael Page, the British fighter, has stated the obvious: if Conor McGregor wins the upcoming August fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. it will be the biggest upset in the history of sport. He went on to say that the last time the world experienced anything like this win would be was when Leicester won the Premier League, and that McGregor winning would overshadow that, in just one boxing match, in the unlikely event that he managed to best Mayweather.

Mayweather Lets McGregor Fight with Gloves He’s Used to

Mayweather has been keeping his mouth shut, relatively speaking, in the build-up to the Vegas showdown, but he has recently dropped a bombshell: he has told McGregor to forget about the ten ounce gloves he should wear for the fight, and stick to the eight ounce ones he’s more used to instead!

The Buzz of the Press Conference Showdowns

McGregor has claimed that he emerged the winner in each round of his promotional tour alongside the undefeated Mayweather, but one of the biggest criticisms he has had to contend with were allegations of racism due to more-insensitive-than-usual comments he made. Australian sports betting sites and those around the world have been lapping up every minute of the sensational exchanges, but there are many people that feel that McGregor went too far a number of times.

The claims arose after McGregor told Mayweather to dance for him, calling him boy, as well, a moniker with severe racial overtones. His attempts to diffuse the furore that resulted only added gasoline to the fire, with a further uproar resulting from McGregor’s statement that he was half-black, below the waist. He also referred to black people as dancing monkeys when discussing the third instalment of the Rocky films on a chat show.

Trash Talk Started Early On

McGregor had previously laid into Mayweather about reports over the latter’s unpaid taxes, with the IRS claiming that the boxer owes them more than US$20 million in unpaid taxes from 2015. This was the year that Mayweather enjoyed his biggest payday to date thanks to the blockbuster bout against Manny Pacquiao.

Mayweather’s rather tame response was that his domain was intact, but this affected McGregor’s taunting not a jot, and he continued to tease the champion about the money he allegedly owes the US government. McGregor even commented on what Mayweather was wearing, saying that the boxer could obviously not afford a suit, and that the money he owed was the reason behind the fact that he was dressed in just a tracksuit. Read the rest of this entry →

Waiting for the Weekend: Is the NFL Really in Trouble This Time?

Posted on July 29, 2017 by Dean Hybl
A recent study of the brains of former NFL players showed almost all had some level of brain trauma.

A recent study of the brains of former NFL players showed almost all had some level of brain trauma.

For the last year or more, it seems every time there is a negative story about the NFL, it prompts the obligatory question of whether that particular issue will be the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” and signal the start of the decline for the financial and popularity juggernaut.

Whether it be declining television ratings, continued off-the-field incidents by players, the perception by many that the game isn’t as physical as in past, the abandonment of long-time NFL cities in St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland, the general unpopularity of Roger Goodell and the New England Patriots or a number of other “negative” stories or events, they all seem to just roll off the back of the NFL as overall revenues continue to increase to levels envied by most governments or for-profit businesses.

However, news that came out this week may over time be the one story that the NFL cannot easily shake.

A scientific study published this week in the medical journal JAMA looked at the brains of 202 deceased former high school, college and professional football players. Amongst those former players, 177, including 110 of the 111 former NFL players, were diagnosed as having CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy).

CTE is a degenerative brain disease most often found in athletes, military veterans, and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma. To create CTE, a protein called Tau forms clumps that slowly spread throughout the brain, killing brain cells. Studies have found CTE in people as young as 17, but symptoms most typically don’t begin appearing until years after the initial head impacts.

Early symptoms of CTE affect a patient’s mood and behavior. Some common changes often include impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and paranoia.

As the disease progresses, it is typical for patients to experience problems with thinking and memory, including memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, and eventually progressive dementia. Cognitive symptoms tend to appear later than mood and behavioral symptoms, and often first appear when the patient is in their 40s or 50s. Patients may exhibit one or both symptom clusters and the symptoms may often worsen with time (even if the patient suffers no additional head impacts). In other cases, symptoms may be stable for years before worsening. Read the rest of this entry →

Conor McGregor Career Overview: Can He Beat Floyd Mayweather?

Posted on July 24, 2017 by Roland Fuller
Conor McGregor will have to keep his feet on the ground during his battle with Floyd Mayweather.

Conor McGregor will have to keep his feet on the ground during his battle with Floyd Mayweather.

Conor Anthony McGregor was born on the 14th of July in 1998, and is an Irish pro MMA fighter who is currently signed to the UFC. He is the reigning champion for the Lightweight division of the UFC, and a former champion of the Featherweight division as well. Over the course of his fighting career, McGregor has taken part in fights for three divisions:

  1. Featherweight
  2. Lightweight
  3. Welterweight

McGregor’s Early Life in Dublin

McGregor was born to Tony and Margaret McGregor in Crumlin, Dublin, and was raised in that town, attending Gaelscoil and Gaelcholáiste in primary school and Coláiste de hÍde in Tallaght in secondary. He developed his passion for athletics at this time, playing association football for the Lourdes Celtic Football Club. He took up boxing at the town’s boxing club at 12-years of age as well.

The McGregors moved to Lucan in Dublin in 2006, and Conor started attending Gaelcholáiste Coláiste Cois Life at this point. After this he began a plumbing apprenticeship, but, luckily for fighting fans the world around, he met up with future fighter for the UFC Tom Egan at this point, and together they started training for the MMA.

A Two-Division Champion in 2016

On the 27th of September 2016, there was an official announcement that McGregor would be facing Eddie Alvarez for the Lightweight UFC Championship, UFC 205, set to take place on the 12th of November. McGregor triumphed with a second-round TKO and won the fight. Read the rest of this entry →

Waiting for the Weekend: O.J. Simpson – Trapped Between Two Worlds

Posted on July 21, 2017 by Dean Hybl
During the 1970s, O.J. Simpson was the best player in football, despite being relegated to Buffalo.

During the 1970s, O.J. Simpson was the best player in football, despite being relegated to Buffalo.

Typically, one of the great results of sports is in its ability to unite. Whether it be a team of players from different backgrounds coming together to create one cohesive unit or a group of fans with little more in common than their fondness for a team or player who come together to cheer, celebrate and agonize over the successes and failures of that chosen favorite.

As I join the rest of society in viewing the latest chapter in the nearly 50 year saga of former athlete O.J. Simpson, it seems clear that whether intended or not, instead of being someone that people unite around, O.J. has more often served as a divider.

Born and raised in the housing projects of the Potrero Hills section of San Francisco, Orenthal James Simpson joined a gang as a teenager and was incarcerated at least three times. His life could have very easily been one led quietly in jails and the neighborhoods of his hometown had he not possessed a number of characteristics that ultimately helped him rise above his potential path.

Regardless of whether it was a meeting with superstar Willie Mays or the encouragement he received around his own athletic ability, or a combination of factors, eventually Simpson moved off the path to destruction and became a standout high school athlete.

However, as this story from the 1973 book Power Football illustrates, even once Simpson moved onto a path with success as a potential end, he seemed to teeter on the edge.

A star athlete at Galileo High School, Simpson told writer Murray Chase about an incident that very nearly could have gotten him thrown off the junior varsity team.

Nor was it a bad beginning for a fellow who almost had his football career cut off before it started by coming within a lie of being thrown off the high school junior varsity football team.

On the day of a big game, Simpson and two teammates were spending some time shooting dice in the bathroom at school. They all crapped out, though, when Jack McBride, their coach, walked in and found them playing their little game. Many coaches in that situation would simply warn the players never to do that again and let them go. But McBride, in a move for which Simpson could later be thankful (even though he escaped punishment) took the boys to the dean’s office.

“When we went to the dean’s office,” Simpson recalled, “the other two guys, Joe Bell and Al Cowlings, walked in front of me. Coach McBride told the dean he caught us shooting dice in the rest room. He gave the dean the dice and left. When he did, the dean told me to close the door. So I started out and began to close the door from the outside, but the dean called, ‘Where are you going, O.J?’ So I said, “I wasn’t shooting craps. Coach just asked me to help him bring these guys down.’ Then the dean told me I could go and the other guys got suspended.”

The other two boys, one of whom (Cowlings) later became Simpson’s teammate at USC and Buffalo, couldn’t resent O.J.’s little ploy. “They thought it was pretty smart for me to think that quick,” Simpson said. “Al said there was nothing he could say about it. He said if I could get away with it, I deserved it.”

As we now very well know, Simpson has continued to live on that edge for his entire life.

After winning the Heisman Trophy at the University of Southern California in 1968, Simpson was relegated to the NFL’s equivalent of Siberia in Upstate, New York as a member of the Buffalo Bills. However, even though he struggled over the first three years of his career and some thought he might end up being an NFL bust, he still managed to catch the eye of television and advertising executives. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Follow Us Online

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • George Musso: From Longshot to Hall of Famer
      August 5, 2017 | 4:52 pm
      George Musso

      George Musso

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month went from small college long shot to Pro Football Hall of Famer.

      When George Musso finished his college career at Millikin College in 1933, Chicago Bears coach George Halas offered the 6-foot-2, 265 pound lineman a tryout and eventually a $90 per game contract, but had serious doubts whether he could make the transition from small college football to the NFL.

      It took a year for Musso to adjust, but by 1935 he was an All-Pro tackle. Two years later, he moved to guard and again earned first team All-NFL honors. He became the first player in NFL history to earn first team All-League honors at two different positions.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • 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

    Which Rookie Quarterback Will Start More Games in 2017?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top