Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



The Strange Saga of John Spano 1

Posted on November 25, 2013 by Martin Banks

New York Islanders fans have uttered many a profane word in the last few decades regarding the failures of their beloved team, but none so vile as “Spano.” It is rare, in sports history, to find such a bizarre story of deceit, grandstanding and unabashed bravado as you’ll find in the saga of businessman John A. Spano Jr.’s attempt to purchase the New York Islanders. Recently ESPN has chronicled the tale in one of their incredible “30 for 30” documentaries entitled “Big Shot.” Let’s take a look back at one of the NHL’s most embarrassing follies.

In the 1990’s, there was nothing left of the brilliant Islanders dynasty teams of the 80’s save for the Stanley Cup banners in the rafters and the memories of depressed fans. At the start of the 1995-96 season, Mike Milbury (whose name also is used as a swear word by Islander faithful) had been placed behind the bench as the team’s head coach. It was also the year of the much maligned “Fish Sticks” jersey, which closely resembled the Gorton’s Fisherman logo.

Islanders fisherman

 

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.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Follow Us Online

  • Current Poll

    Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
  • Post Categories



↑ Top