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Sports Then and Now



2010 Was the Year of the Underdog 0

Posted on January 03, 2011 by John Wingspread Howell

In the year of the underdog, the Chicago Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup title in 46 years.

It began with the Saints winning the Super Bowl. After that, it was one underdog triumph after another.

March was unusually mad, as Butler’s Bulldogs beat several favorites to earn their place in the NCAA men’s basketball championship game.

In the NHL, the Philadelphia Flyers squeaked into the playoffs at the last possible moment and continued their unlikely run all the way to the finals before losing to Chicago. While the Blackhawks were the favorites to win the Stanley Cup, being in such a favored position was a first for that franchise in recent memory.

In Major League Baseball, the Texas Rangers made their franchise’s first appearance including their original identity as the Washington Senators. The Giants made their first appearance since leaving New York and their first in a half-century, eventually winning on the mysterious power of the fearsome beards.

Major League Soccer also crowned a first time champion, the Colorado Rapids. The most likely teams to win the MLS Cup were eliminated early. Meanwhile in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) the expansion Philadelphia Independence made it all the way to the championship game before finally falling short. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

      Read more »

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