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Sports Then and Now



Vintage Video: Remembering Gordie Howe “Mr. Hockey” 2

Posted on June 12, 2016 by Dean Hybl
Mr. Hockey earned NHL All-Star honors in five decades.

Mr. Hockey earned NHL All-Star honors in five decades.

Before there was the “Great One” (Wayne Gretzky), the king of the hockey world was “Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe. During a 32-year career that spanned parts of five decades, Howe, who passed away Friday at age 88, was a dominating performer and skilled performer who was able to compete at a high level even past the age of 50.

Howe joined the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL as an 18-year old rookie in 1946. During his 25 seasons in Detroit he led the Red Wings to four Stanley Cup titles while winning six scoring titles and six Hart Memorial Trophies as the league MVP.

During the 1968-69 season, at the age of 40, Howe scored a career-high 103 points (the NHL expanded from a 70 game to 76 game season in 1967-68).  He was named an All-Star in 22 of his 25 seasons with the Red Wings.

After retiring in 1971, Howe returned to the spot in 1973 as a member of the Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association. There he played with his sons Mark and Marty and soon proved that he was still among the best hockey players in the world. He was named league MVP in 1974 (an award renamed the next year as the Gordie Howe Award). He also led the Aeros to two WHA championships.

He moved to the New England Whalers in 1977 and after the WHA folded the renamed Hartford Whalers joined the NHL in 1979. Howe, at the age of 51, played in all 80 games of the 1979-80 season while helping the Whalers make the playoffs.

In a fitting tribute, Howe was named to the All-Star team with the game being played at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Howe completed his career having been selected to NHL All-Star teams in five decades. Also appearing in that game was 19-year-old Wayne Gretzky.

Below are links to some of the great highlights of Howe’s career available on YouTube.

 

Read the rest of this entry →

Waiting For The Weekend: Looking at the Numbers 0

Posted on October 15, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Jacksonville Jaguars v Seattle Seahawks

Edgerrin James is within 18 yards of moving into the top 10 in NFL rushing history.

This week we are looking at some statistics and looking at their worth in determining all time greatness.

Reaching the Edge
I saw an interesting note this week that Seattle Seahawks running back Edgerrin James is 18 yards away from passing Marcus Allen for 10th place on the NFL’s all-time rushing list. He is less than 100 yards away from passing Marshall Faulk and Jim Brown to move into eighth place on the all-time list.

Now, James is a very good player and will probably one day earn a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he is no Marcus Allen or Marshall Faulk and definitely not on the same level as Jim Brown.

His situation is just another example of how inaccurate statistics can be when used as a tool for measuring all-time greatness.

I still believe that statistics have value, but now see them as a way to compare players of the same era rather than for looking across generations.

When Jim Brown passed Jim Perry to become the NFL’s all-time rushing leader and then became the first player in NFL history to eclipse the 10,000-yard mark, there was little question that he had achieved something very special.

Today, the 10,000-yard club includes 24 players with Clinton Portis likely to become the 25th member later this season. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

      Read more »

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