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Sports Then and Now



In the NFL, and in Buffalo, it’s the Year of Living Hypothetically 0

Posted on October 24, 2009 by John Wingspread Howell

The Bills dramatic victoy over the Jets is the lone highlight of the young season.

The Bills dramatic victoy over the Jets is the lone highlight of their young season.

So far, at least, it’s been a very strange season in the NFL. Some have called it bizarre.  I think that adjective applies.

The one thing that distinguishes the NFL from other major professional sports is its parity. That is no accident. The league has gone to great lengths from its straight bottom up draft (compare to the NBA’s lottery draft) to revenue sharing to salary caps, the league has done everything other than working a handicap into game scores to establish and maintain relative balance. The result is that the NFL is the most watched professional sport in the United States, and pro football has supplanted baseball as America’s pastime.

That being said, what’s going on this year? We’ve had a string of lopsided victories, including a 59-0 routing of the Tennessee Titans by the less than peak-performing Patriots. And what’s more, how have the Titans gone from winning 13 games last year to being unable to score 13 points this year? In addition, we have as many as five other teams that threaten the maxim that on any given day any given team can beat any other. More than once, sportscasters have said of the game they were reporting, “this doesn’t even resemble the NFL.”

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  • 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.

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