I’ve always felt this is one of the best times of year for sports, the time when baseball is racing toward the climax of the season (albeit a short, strange one this year) and football kicks off. So here’s a blend of the two sports.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: The following items are ones I found interesting as I read ESPN’s College Football Encyclopedia. The early years of the sport were so violent that in 1905 President Teddy Roosevelt insisted upon changes in football, or else . . . Many injuries and deaths led to his ultimatum and changes were needed–players didn’t even wear helmets until the sport was “two decades into its existence.” Even then, the early helmets were a joke. If I recall, the leather helmets were often folded up and placed in players’ back pockets at times.
In 1988, one especially loud roar of the LSU crowd during a defeat of Auburn caused a Richter scale at the college to record/register the disturbance…The ESPN book states that during Nebraska home games at Memorial Stadium, the crowd is so large it makes the venue, in effect, the third largest “city” in the entire state…The book also says that when Boise State created a blue playing field, some birds, mistaking the field for water, crashed onto the surface…The first use of instant replay in football took place on Dec. 7, 1963 during an Army-Navy game, just 16 days after the assassination of Pres. Kennedy. Of course, if was very unsophisticated, but, just think, instant replays have been a part of sports for almost 60 years now…The first college band to spell out “OHIO” in script was, of all schools, Michigan. They did this in 1932 as a welcoming gesture. The idea to do this at OSU began with their band director, Eugene Weigel, who said he was inspired by the “rotating sign above Times Square” which he saw when he visited New York City. He also said seeing airplanes perform skywriting also helped him come up with his idea…Speaking of Michigan, their unique helmet design had a purpose behind it–to help their QBs spot receivers.
BASEBALL: Recently the 30th anniversary of the back-to-back homers swatted by the father-son Griffey duo took place. ESPN ran a nice, little piece on that historic event…Opinion: I can’t help it, to me this baseball season lacks legitimacy and I wonder how many readers agree. I still watch the games and read up on the sport, but the stats seem almost meaningless, and how legit will the league leaders be or the major award winners, given the fact that they will not have stood the normal test of 162 games…Someone brought up this issue: If, for example, the Indians would win it all, after their long drought, would the title seem as meaningful and gratifying to them and to the fans? One answer I heard quite a bit was a resounding yes, as they would still have had to battle not only throughout the (shortened) season but they would also have had to survive through many rounds of postseason play. However, I also wonder how many non-Indian fans (or fans of whatever teams wins the championship) will place the same value on the 2020 title as they normally do. Got an opinion? Make a comment on this site.
FINAL NOTE: In a few months I will have to decide if I want to keep this site going or not. I am pretty sure if I don’t get more Followers I will call it quits and devote my writing to my books. So I’m asking you to please become a Follower if you aren’t already AND pass the word to sports fans among your friends. Thanks!