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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

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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