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Sports Then and Now



Automatic Otto Graham 1

Posted on September 02, 2012 by Dean Hybl

Otto Graham

As we begin another football season, we recognize as the September Sports Then and Now Athlete of the Month an all-time great whose first sport wasn’t football, but after he found his calling excelled both as a collegiate player and as one of the greatest winners in pro football history.

Otto Graham didn’t actually come to Northwestern University to play football. He originally came to Northwestern on a basketball scholarship. It was only after Northwestern football coach Pappy Waldorf saw Graham playing freshman intramural football that he was invited to tryout for the football team.

Graham ended up playing three seasons for Northwestern and broke every existing Big Ten passing record during his career. He was a two-time All-America selection and won the Big Ten MVP Award. Read the rest of this entry →

Fearless Zultan Predicts College Football Winners in Week 6 34

Posted on October 05, 2011 by JA Allen

Iowa State self destructed last week.

It was an agonizing week for the all-seeing seer as four of his ten picks went South on October 1.

In retrospect, Zultan offers these occult words of wisdom to the Iowa State Cyclones, “In the future, if you are going to shoot yourself in the foot, do not use a sub machine gun.”

Prior to the Texas vs. Iowa State debacle, Arkansas came back to thwart Texas A & M as the Aggies failed by five points. Zultan could not believe his eyes as he watched A&M’s second collapse in a row. Someone must tell the Aggies that the game lasts 60 minutes, not 45.

Even playing in Columbus, Ohio State could only hold on, losing by three. It could have been even uglier. But MSU quarterback Kirk Cousins spared the Buckeyes abject humiliation by doing his own Spartan version of self-destruction in key moments.

Zultan blames his cloudy crystal ball which continues to conjure up  images from 2010.

But the pigskin prognosticator’s biggest miss was Clemson who stomped on Virginia Tech 23-3 without mercy. This Tiger is all business and will claim the ACC in 2011.  Zultan made a note to himself—C Rules in ACC.

What is more—to heap on massive degradation— almost three score of you recorded better results that the Mighty One. Zultan has barricaded himself in Mom’s garage, pouting and throwing rocks at a poster of Paul Rhoads.  Where was the triple overtime win when you really needed it, Coach?

Those surpassing the great one will be listed at the end of this article along with appropriate, if begrudging accolades.

Next up for the all-seeing seer—Week 2 in the Big Ten, Week 6 overall in the college football season.

Zultan offers you another week of difficult picks daring you to try to outguess him again.  If you feel lucky, or even if you don’t, click here to make your picks and see if you can surpass the big Z this coming Saturday.

Read the rest of this entry →

College Football Week 10 Review: Falling Off The Edge 4

Posted on November 08, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Iowa's chances at a national title ended with the injury to quarterback Ricky Stanzi.

Iowa's chances at a national title ended with the injury to quarterback Ricky Stanzi.

It was another interesting week of college football as one national title contender saw its dreams end while a couple others had close calls.

It still seems like the BCS Championship Game seems destined to be Texas against either Florida or Alabama, but all three teams have some work to do before that will be ensured. If they do falter, then others are lining up behind them ready to move into the mix.

Falling Off The Edge

After flirting with defeat seemingly every week, the Iowa Hawkeyes finally were unable to pull out a last minute miracle in dropping their first game of the season. The 17-10 setback to the Northwestern Wildcats not only ended their chances at a national title, but also came with a major cost as starting quarterback Ricky Stanzi missed much of the game after suffering an ankle injury.

I know that everyone in Iowa had hoped they might be catching lightning in a bottle and could keep pulling off miracle wins, but I think everyone else in the country knew it was only a matter of time before the bubble burst for the Hawkeyes.

After all, this is the team that needed to block two field goals in the final seconds of their season opener just to avoid a loss to Division I-AA Northern Iowa. Then, they had to hold on for a 24-21 win over Arkansas State. In recent weeks a last play touchdown against Michigan State and fourth quarter explosion against Indiana kept them undefeated, but also emphasized their vulnerability.

Read the rest of this entry →

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  • 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.

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