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Sports Then and Now



The Sounds of the Game 1

Posted on October 20, 2009 by Don Spieles
Steve Spurrier is one of many sports figures who are quick with the cliches when talking to the media.

Steve Spurrier is one of many sports figures who are quick with the cliches when talking to the media.

If you ask sports enthusiasts about “sounds”, you’ll receive a lot of different replies.  Baseball guys will talk about the crack of the bat or the ump shouting “strike” and pointing to…well, whatever it is umps point to when they yell “strike”.  Football fans may talk to you about the cacophony of a full stadium when the hometown leg man breaks some tackles and is on the way to a kick return TD.  Soccer fans might talk about the smacking sounds of fists hitting flesh as the hooligans enjoy a match.  I don’t know what basketball fans could mention, except for that incredibly annoying sneaker-on-the-court squeak that makes your fillings ache.

All of these responses leave out some of the most endearing sounds in sports.  These sounds are not those that are experienced by folks who actually pay to see game in person.  Instead, this group of auditory treasures is for those of us whose usual place is in front of the television or with one ear cocked to sport radio.  I am referring now to the wonderful world of sports catchphrases and clichés.

Some of the dumbest and wittiest lines ever spoken by man were done so with a sporting event as their inspiration, and there are many, many fine examples.
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  • 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.

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