Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



It’s That Time Of Year 2

Posted on September 02, 2011 by Teddy Bailey

With Practically Every Sport Going On, This Season Is The Best In Sports.

Sports is in it’s grand stage. There’s only 26 games left in the Regular Season for Major League Baseball, the NFL Preseason is finally coming to an end, College Football is ready to renew rivalries and start traditions, and even the pride and passion of High School Football is about to be unleashed. What can get better than this? That’s right, nothing.

We’ll start with Major League Baseball. Normal, regular fans only get excited when September comes. Granted, Opening Day is widely anticipated, but the excitement dies down after the first few weeks. Once the Calender turns to the 9th month, however, is when the games begin. Division Races are at full stride, which means players are giving it their all to push their team just a little bit further. For the Philadelphia Phillies, the fans, know their team is the best. They always believe that. Now is the time, for the fans belief, and the team’s skill, to collide and meet face to face. Questions pop up everyday. Can the Phillies hold off the excitement and win it all? Can Milwaukee finish off the NL Central? Who will win the AL East? Will the Defending Champs be left out of the postseason? It all comes down to these 26 games. Then, it matters most.

Preseason, Spring Training, Spring Practice. Sorry if I just put you to sleep. Do the leagues realize, that no one cares about these games?! Sure, it helps make cuts and gets everyone in the groove of things, but for the fans? It’s torture. Don’t worry, because the Preseason saga is finally coming to an end. I can’t believe how much excitement this 2011 NFL Season brings after the lockout. What’s better than 16 hard fought games by your favorite team? A Super Bowl Ring. That’s the goal of every single team out there. The only problem is, there’s 31 teams in their way.

College Football, is my favorite sport. The players aren’t in it for money, (excluding the violators) their in it 100% for winning, and for their school. It’s not just 32 teams in it for the title, it’s more than a hundred! Granted, it’s mathematically impossible for some teams to not win it all, but the fight is still there, and that’s what I love about the game. Rivalries, Traditions. Michigan vs. Ohio State. Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State, Florida vs. Florida State, etc. Every game matters most, and the College Football season easily adds to the excitement this fall. Read the rest of this entry →

Should College Athletes Be Paid? 18

Posted on August 18, 2011 by Teddy Bailey

Recent "scandals" have brought up the topic of paying Collegiate Athletes.

This offseason has been by far the worst offseason in the history of College Football. USC and Ohio State have broken NCAA regulations and the allegations surrounding Miami (though not yet proven) are even worse. These situations, along with many others in recent years, beg the question as to whether college athletes should be paid.

Here’s the answer:

This a tough question, because everyone wants to see their favorite team out on the field and winning games, not being inspected and searched by the NCAA, but college athletes should NOT be paid or rewarded beyond what they already receive. Read the rest of this entry →

Will Jettisoning Jim Tressel Save Ohio State? 2

Posted on May 30, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Jim Tressel's Gatorade bath following the Sugar Bowl will be his last as head coach at Ohio State.

Given the embarrassing black eye that he has bestowed upon one of the proudest universities in big-time college football I guess it is ultimately no surprise to learn that Jim Tressel has coached his last game at Ohio State, but with the Buckeyes now squarely in the sights of NCAA investigators it is still unclear if this move will significantly reduce the inevitable penalties the school now appears to be facing.

From the president to the staff to the fans, Ohio State has long been among the national leaders in football arrogance. When the president said last fall that schools such as Boise State and TCU didn’t belong on the same field as the Buckeyes, the Buckeye Nation shook their heads in agreement.

But what made Ohio State so proud and they believed justified their cockiness wasn’t just their great record on the field, but also the pride in knowing that they accomplished their success the right way. While other programs were regularly answering NCAA inquiries, the Buckeyes ran what seemed like a clean program and were under the leadership of a coach who wrote books about integrity and doing things the right way.

But then last December the walls started to come down on this great facade.

Just days before facing Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl, news came out that five players, including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, had violated NCAA rules by selling rings and other memorabilia for cash and reduced prices on tattoos.

At the time the story seemed very contained and only became more than a minor story when the NCAA suspended the players for the first five games of the 2011 season, but let them play in the bowl game.

Critics of Ohio State cried foul, but it was obvious the power and influence Ohio State had over the BCS and NCAA. Read the rest of this entry →

Ohio State Situation Is Latest NCAA Hypocrisy 2

Posted on December 23, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Despite violations, Terrelle Pryor and four teammates will be able to play in the Sugar Bowl for Ohio State.

So let me get this straight, five members of the Ohio State football team committed actions deemed severe enough to warrant suspension for five games during the 2011 season, but not severe enough to suspend them from their bowl game for this season? I guess it just proves the old adage that the truth is stranger than fiction.

If you haven’t yet come to the realization that college football is a business, maybe this latest action will help you see the light.

Instead of suspending the five junior members of the Ohio State team (including the starting quarterback, leading runner and second leading receiver) from the high profile Sugar Bowl for which Ohio State and the Big Ten is being paid $17 million to participate, the NCAA postponed the suspension until the 2011 season. Of course it is highly likely that most, if not all, of the offending players will never serve even one game as this decision has probably ensured that they will be NFL bound following their bowl game.

I can’t really decide which part of this situation bothers me more: that the NCAA is being so blatant in ensuring the quality of the Sugar Bowl despite acknowledging that some of the participants broke known rules or that in a college football landscape where billions of dollars of revenue is being generated these players are being punished because they collected between $1,000 and $2,500 for choosing to sell items given to them during their college careers.

The NCAA and university leaders are always spouting off about the sanctity of college athletics out of one side of their mouth while seemingly doing everything they can to cash in on the other side. Read the rest of this entry →

Can the Iowa Hawkeyes Start the Football Season 4-0? 2

Posted on August 21, 2010 by JA Allen

Everybody has "high hopes" for the Iowa Hawkeyes in 2010.

With such high expectations for the 2010 Iowa Hawkeye Football team, the non-conference schedule in September takes on slightly more significance than normal.

These contests will serve as more than warm-up games for Big Ten Conference play.  Each and every non-conference opponent can burst the Hawkeye dream of winning the Big Ten with a shot at playing in a BCS Championship Bowl, maybe even for the National Championship.

These are the first four games of the season––four games that Iowa must win to get off to the start they need heading into Conference play.  Do they have the right stuff to beat these four teams?

September 4th – Eastern Illinois at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City

Eastern Illinois will open the 2010 season at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

The Eastern Illinois Panthers enter the season with a National FCS Ranking of 18.  They had an 8-4 record in 2009 and made an appearance in the FCS playoffs.

The Panthers belong to the Ohio Valley Conference and in 2009 they won the conference title, going 6-2.

They will come into the 2010 season without an experienced quarterback at the helm, although sophomore Brandon Large is expected to get the nod to start on September 4 against Iowa’s vaunted defense.

But Large should find some security in the fact that he has a seasoned surrounding cast, including all-conference offensive line center Willie Henderson.  The offense is anchored by running back, Mon Williams in his senior season. Last year Williams had 191 carries, gaining 870 yards, scoring nine touchdowns.

Coach Bob Spoo, starting his 23rd season at Eastern Illinois, considers the Panthers real contenders this year with depth and experience at many key positions.

The Panthers return 15 starters––seven on offense and eight on defense.  Senior C.J. James, the Panthers starting cornerback leads the defense with 44 tackles and 5 interceptions in 2009.

Their linebacker corps is also largely intact as they return to 4-3 with senior linebacker Nick Nasti as their leading tackler.  The Eastern Illinois Panthers are predicted to finish as No. 1 in the Conference again this year according to the Sports Network.

The Panthers are not strangers to visiting the Big Ten on the road.  Last year Eastern Illinois visited Big 10 Rival Penn State losing 3-52 in Happy Valley––not a very happy conclusion––but certainly not unexpected.

With the memory of Northern Iowa weighing heavily on the minds of the Hawkeye players and coaches, Iowa should have no problem winning their first non-conference game of the season played at Kinnick Stadium before a stadium packed with Iowa fans.

September 11th – Iowa State at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City

The test for Iowa State in 2010 will be on defense.

It will be a real shame if the Iowa-Iowa State rivalry ceases once the Big Ten Conference realigns because it is a special weekend for Iowa fans as families divide for the game with different loyalties to support––but reunite to celebrate!

Last year Ricky Stanzi had one game in the first half and then another, better game in the second half in Ames as the Hawkeyes traveled across Interstate 80 to reach Jack Trice Stadium.

In the first half, Stanzi was not sharp, throwing errant passes that allowed for missed opportunities or resulting in interceptions.  The running game was seemingly stalled until the freshmen could develop.

Much of the offense was spent airing it out but the running game grew during the game, gaining much needed yardage.  Stanzi improved and the defense came up big with Cyclone turnovers and miscues.

Iowa State improved under the direction of new head coach Paul Rhoades, ending with a winning season and an upset win over Nebraska in Lincoln, no less.  The Clones played the Minnesota Gophers and won the Insight Bowl in December of 2009.

There is much promise on this Iowa State team which returns almost all their offensive personnel from last year including QB Austen Arnaud––who has another year of experience under his belt with the new spread offense.  Adam Robinson returns as running back and the offensive line has much experience and some depth.

The question for the Iowa State team is defense.  Unless their defense jells quickly, expect Iowa to leave them exposed and scored upon.  Iowa’s defense should be able to ruffle this Clone offense. Iowa will win this one at home.

Read the rest of this entry →

All Hail The Kings 4

Posted on July 13, 2010 by Ryan Durling

It’s been a strange year for sport. A team of Geriatrics made the NBA Finals, taking the defending champs to 7 games. Two teams who had never won a World Cup played for the championship. A team (avert your eyes, Bostonians) with a 3-games-to-zero playoff series lead melted and lost in Game 7 on home ice. At baseball’s all-star break, 3 teams who didn’t finish last year with a winning record lead their divisions. The once-unflappable Tiger Woods flapped and, ultimately, folded. A tennis match lasted over 11 hours, spanning 3 days. The Miami Heat built a basketball franchise that promises to be hated by all.

But when the year is over and Time Magazine writes its Person of the Year issue, these instances will all be asterisks, if that. Sport in 2010 will be marked neither by tragedy nor travesty, but rather by life running its course. Not 40 days after John Wooden – The Coach – passed away, so, too, did The Boss.

George Steinbrenner was, no doubt, a polarizing figure, but nowhere more than in the Bronx. What he represented drew the ire of eyes in Boston, Queens, Atlanta and Los Angeles, to be sure, but it wasn’t until twenty years into his ownership of the Yankees that his own fans warmed to him – and then, only after a three-year, league-imposed hiatus from the game.

Steinbrenner, Guliani and the World Series trophy in 2001 during an Esquire Magazine photo shoot.

But this is not a history lesson. No, this writer prefers to leave history to those more historically inclined. Steinbrenner’s passing happened at a fitting time; it was, after all, the one day of the year in which there is no sports news for ESPN or any other outlet to break. And, let it be known – even in the opinion of one who often criticizes ESPN for capitalizing on narcissistic moments in sport – that ESPN covered the passing of The Boss admirably, devoting an entire morning and early afternoon of coverage to Steinbrenner, his friends, once and former co-workers and the rest.

I am a Boston fan. I grew up in Upstate New York, with the exception some instances during my childhood in which I was transplanted in Massachusetts’ South Shore. That was enough to sell me on the Red Sox and Bruins and Celtics and Patriots, despite the fact that for most of the year I was surrounded by a majority of Yankees, Rangers, Knicks and Bills fans.

That does not make me immune to feeling the same chills that so many others probably felt this morning when Bob Knight, during a phone interview on SportsCenter, broke down crying not once, but twice while talking about Steinbrenner. Or when Dave Winfield got choked up on camera. I’m almost afraid to watch Derek Jeter’s interview, when it comes.

Baseball is the one sport whose season takes place without much competition. Sure, there is the occasional major golf or tennis tournament and every other summer, the World Cup or Olympics take center stage for a few weeks. But really, baseball goes from April to September without rival – it is only its postseason that is really challenged by other, regular sports. So to say that Steinbrenner was almost single-handedly responsible for making baseball what it is today might seem like an overstatement.

It’s not. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Follow Us Online

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Tony Oliva: Hall of Fame Worthy
      April 21, 2019 | 5:18 pm
      Tony Oliva

      Cuba is known for producing great baseball talent and there has arguably been no one from the island better than the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month.

      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.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Sign up for Email Updates

    Sign-up to get daily updates of all the great articles and information on Sports Then and Now.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Check out the best free bets at freebets4all. Learn how to convert online bookmakers free bets into guaranteed cash using the matched betting technique.

  • Affordable Satellite TV Great prices on Dish network packages.

  • Gear up for your next trip with new North Face Backpacks from SportsUnlimited.com. Shop great Field Hockey Sticks from Grays & Gryphon.

    Football Jerseys

    8mm film to digital
  • Current Poll

    Which NBA Team Will Win More Games in 2019-2020?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top