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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

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

      Read more »

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