Category Archives: Sports

Cutting the Nets: The Origin of a College Basketball Tradition

The buzzer sounds. The teammates’ hands link and raise up in victory. The heads of the other team dip in defeat. The orange basketball is flung up in celebration. Young student-athletes dance around, releasing a year’s worth of pent up stress due to basketball and (in theory) school-work. Another men’s basketball NCAA championship has been won. The winning team gathers, […]

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The Lowest Scoring Game in NBA History and the Fix that Saved Professional Basketball

On a cold, late November Wednesday in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a crowd of 7,021 arrived to the Minneapolis Auditorium to watch an NBA game between the Fort Wayne Pistons and the Minneapolis Lakers. This was a new experience for many of the fans in the stands. The NBA had formed due to a merger between rival leagues, the Basketball Association of […]

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The Story of the U.S. National Anthem and How It Became Part of the National Pastime

As Francis Scott Key sat aboard a ship, now officially a prisoner of war, he could only watch as the British bombarded American forces at Fort McHenry.  He had been sent to the British ship HMS Tonnant, along with John Stuart Skinner, by President James Madison himself to negotiate the release of prisoners of war. After dining with British officers, […]

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The Amazing Jim Thorpe

When people make lists of the greatest athletes of the 20th century, they are populated with the usual suspects: Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, Serena Williams, Wayne Gretzky, Jim Brown, Pele… but there is one name that should always make the list even though many people, even the biggest sports fans, may not recognize it, or if they do, […]

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Buzkashi (Goat Grabbing): The National Sport of Afghanistan Played with a Headless Animal Carcass

Beloved by Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kyrgz, Kazakhs, Pashtuns and Turkmens as well as Afghans, the equestrian sport known as Kokpar or Buzkashi is a rugged, and traditionally extremely violent, game similar to polo with one surprising twist; rather than hitting a ball with mallets toward a goal, players vie for control of a headless animal carcass. While at first glance this […]

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How Each MLB Team Got Its Name (National League)

With the 2013 All Star game just around the corner, we thought it might be a good time to read-up on the history of today’s National League team names and a few interesting facts about each franchise. (for the American League team names, click here) NL East Atlanta Braves (54-41) 2013 All-Stars: Craig Kimbrel (RHP), Freddie Freeman (1B) Origins: Founded […]

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How Each NFL Team Got its Name (NFC)

Nothing short of a room decorated in team gear epitomizes a National Football League fanatic better than an internal database of useless trivia spanning your team’s history. Read on for the origin of the nickname of your favorite NFC team. NFC East  Dallas Cowboys (431-287-2) Super Bowl: (5-3) Noteworthy: With the 1st and 9th all-time rushing leaders in Emmitt Smith […]

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How Each NFL Team Got its Name (AFC)

With the 2013 NFL season set to begin in just over three months, it’s time to start collecting trivial facts to help spice up the trash talk in your fantasy football league. Read on for the origin of the nickname of your favorite AFC team. AFC East Buffalo Bills (323-393-4) Super Bowl: (0-4) Noteworthy: Alums include O.J. Simpson, Jim Kelly […]

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The Only Major League Baseball Player to Openly Admit He was Gay During His Career Also May Have “Invented” the High-Five

“They can’t say that a gay man can’t play in the Majors, because I’m a gay man and I made it.”- Glenn Burke Major League Baseball has been going strong now for well over a century. Many thousands of players have taken the field since the beginning of organized professional baseball, but only one, Glenn Burke, ever “came out of […]

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Jackie Robinson was Not the First African American to Play Major League Baseball

Myth: Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play in the Major Leagues The great Jackie Robinson accomplished an amazing amount in his lifetime both on and off the field.  Despite all the adversity and pressure he experienced, he somehow managed to put up legitimate Hall of Fame numbers doing what is often described as the hardest thing in […]

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Does Sex Before An Athletic Event Really Hinder Performance?

Frank asks: Does having sex before an athletic event really hurt performance in the event? Good question! There are two schools of thought on this particular issue, but the short answer is that it could psychologically (although no study has definitively proven it), and “no” physically (unless you need a reduction in testosterone to help with excessive anxiety and lack […]

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