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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

    • Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger
      March 30, 2020 | 7:24 pm
      Rocky Colavito

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

      Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

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