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Sports Then and Now


The History of Truck Racing

Posted on January 15, 2019 by Scott Huntington

When most people think of racing, they usually picture NASCAR cars or horses running in circles, but there’s an entirely different breed of racing that has a rich and varied history. Let’s take a closer look at the history of truck racing.

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Smokey and the Bandit II

We can thank the 1979 sequel to Smokey and the Bandit for the inception of truck racing. The first truck race was featured in the opening scenes of this movie, taking place on the Atlanta Motor Speedway on June 17, 1979. The sport started as the American Truck Racing Association and transitioned into the Great American Truck Racing Circut when N. Linn Henndershott purchased the competition in 1982.

Most of the truck used in these early races were work trucks with tandem rear axles that still had their street tires attached. Truck races took place on both dirt and paved oval tracks, and in spite of the lack of modification to the vehicles, these trucks were able to attain speeds of 150mph or more efficiently. Read the rest of this entry →

Best sports for families to get into

Posted on January 14, 2019 by Scott Huntington

They say the families that play together, stay together but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to stay indoors and play board games or video games. Plenty of sports are perfect for the whole family. Let’s take a look at the best sports for families to get into to maximize their quality time.

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Martial Arts

Who doesn’t want to be a karate superstar? Many martial arts dojos offer family classes so parents can learn alongside their children. These programs aren’t just good exercise — though most martial arts forms can be intense full-body workouts focusing on strength, flexibility and stamina. They also teach children and parents important concepts like discipline, self-control, teamwork and healthy conflict resolution. Look for a class that will let you participate alongside your children. You might be surprised how much fun you have while creating a unique family bonding experience. Read the rest of this entry →

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50 Years Ago: Joe Namath and the Jets Shock the World

Posted on January 11, 2019 by Dean Hybl
Joe Namath dominated the attention prior to Super Bowl III, but few expected his team to win.

Joe Namath dominated the attention prior to Super Bowl III, but few expected his team to win.

With apologies to boxing legend Muhammad Ali, the most shocking sports victory of the 1960s took place 50 years ago on January 12, 1969 when the underdog New York Jets lifted the fortunes of an entire league by defeating the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

Though the American Football League (AFL) was completing its ninth season and the champions of the AFL and National Football League (NFL) were meeting for the third straight year, most people did not consider the two leagues to be equal. In fact, it is reported that NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle believed it might be another decade before the AFL would be an equal to the NFL and that a new format for the Super Bowl might be needed.

In hindsight, we know that the two leagues were indeed much closer in competitiveness than Rozelle believed, but at the time his reasoning was hard to argue against. The NFL Champion Green Bay Packers had claimed the first two Super Bowls by a combined margin of 68-24 and the current NFL Champion Baltimore Colts were perhaps an even more dominant champion than Green Bay.

While the Colts were an established NFL power, the New York Jets were an AFL upstart that had just completed the second winning season in franchise history and were making their first-ever trip to the playoffs.

However, one “ace in the hole” for the Jets was roaming their sidelines. Head Coach Week Ewbank had won two NFL Championships during his nine year tenure as coach of the Baltimore Colts. After moving to the Jets, he had taken the team from a basement dweller to league champions.

During both his time with the Colts and the Jets, Ewbank had the benefit of having an elite franchise quarterback leading the offense.

In Baltimore, he turned Johnny Unitas into an all-time great. Though New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath had not yet reached that status level, in 1967 he did become the first quarterback in pro football history to pass for more than 4,000 yards in a season. Read the rest of this entry →

Predicting the 2019 NFL Conference Championships

Posted on January 11, 2019 by Kobe Bernard
Can Tom Brady and the Patriots make the AFC Championship Game for the 8th straight year?

Can Tom Brady and the Patriots make the AFC Championship Game for the 8th straight year?

The Divisional rounds are this weekend so it’s time to start looking at possible AFC & NFC Championships matchups and all of the historical data that comes with it.

Odds are out at the top betting site BetOnline as well as SuperBook and many others. At this point shortly before the Divisional Round plays out, the Kansas City Chiefs lead the pack at +160 to win the AFC. Not surprisingly, the New England Patriots are second at +200. The Los Angeles Chargers and Indianapolis Colts are +450 and +500 respectively.

A Brief History of Conference Championships

Let’s look at the last four years of NFL Conference Championships and see if we can’t find anything that will point us in the right direction as far as predicting this season’s outcomes.

2018 Jaguars vs. Patriots & Vikings vs. Eagles

Ok. we all remember the amazing Jaguars defense that miraculously got Blake Bortles and a less than stellar Jacksonville offense all the way to the AFC Championship Game. Amazingly enough, Bortles passed for 293 yards and a TD without an interception, but it still wasn’t enough. Brady threw two TDs and the Patriots won 24-20 and went on to the Super Bowl.

Then we had the Vikings and their resurgent Purple People Eater defense playing against an Eagles team that had to throw a Nick Foles who hadn’t seen much action all season into the starting role. So the Vikings were three-point favorites, but Foles came out and dropped three TDs and 352 yards on Minnesota. He embarrassed the Vikings in a 38-7 Eagles win. Read the rest of this entry →

How to Get Started in Truck Racing

Posted on January 09, 2019 by Scott Huntington

If you own a truck, you may have thought about taking it racing once or twice. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just showing up at the track and paying the entry fee. What do you need to do to get started in truck racing?

Choose Your Race Type

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Just like with cars, there are different types of races you can enter your truck in once it’s ready. The preparations you need to do will vary depending on the competition. There’s drag racing, where you will need to increase horsepower and torque to blast down a quarter-mile strip as quickly as possible. There’s off-road racing, where your suspension and tires will require a serious upgrade. There’s track racing, drifting, desert racing and even super truck racing, where drivers speed around the track in souped-up delivery trucks.

Your next steps for getting started in truck racing will depend on the type of race you choose. Read the rest of this entry →

Security at the Super Bowl

Posted on January 08, 2019 by Scott Huntington

The Super Bowl is one of the largest, most high-profile events held in the U.S. every year. Teams work toward the big game all year, and fans — at least those of the teams that do well — spend the whole season looking forward to it. Tens of thousands of fans attend the game, while millions more watch it at home or their local sports bar.

Planning security for such a large-scale event is no small matter. Law enforcement spent two years planning security for last year’s Super Bowl, which was held at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. This season’s Super Bowl, which will be held at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, will require a similar level of preparedness.

super-bowl-halftime-e1517505746645

Policing the Party

Last year, the Minneapolis Police Department was the lead agency in charge of security for the Super Bowl. It certainly did not do it alone though. The department’s approximately 840 officers worked together with various federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen helped provide security. In total, nearly 2,000 federal agents played in a role in security for last year’s Super Bowl, including members of the FBI, which heads up the counterterrorism efforts surrounding the big game each year. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Iron Man Randy Smith
      February 2, 2019 | 5:58 pm

      Randy Smith-BravesThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month may have had a pretty common name, but his iron man streak as an NBA player was anything but ordinary.

      In a streak that lasted more than a decade, Randy Smith played in 906 consecutive NBA games to establish an NBA iron man record that lasted more than a decade.

      That Smith made it to the NBA at all was somewhat of an underdog story.

      A three-sport standout at Bellsport High School in Long Island (basketball, soccer and track), Smith also was a three-sport All-American at Division II Buffalo State College. He helped lead the Bengals to three straight basketball conference championships and a spot in the 1970 Division II Final Four.

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