Category Archives: Sports

From Titanic Survivor and Near Amputee to Hall of Fame Tennis Champion- The Story of Dick Williams

richard norris williams

In the early morning of April 15, 1912, 21-year-old Richard “Dick” Norris Williams II was washed off the deck of the doomed RMS Titanic and into the icy water of the North Atlantic. Rescued by a lifeboat, but almost up to his waist in near-frozen water for several hours, Williams suffered such extreme frostbite that medical personnel wanted to immediately […]

Read more

The Origin of Nachos and How Football Helped Popularize Them Surprisingly Recently

football-and-nachos

Americans eat a lot on Super Bowl Sunday, according to one 2015 study consuming triple the amount of their daily allowance of calories per serving during the Super Bowl. In fact, it’s the second largest food consumption day of the year in the country (behind Thanksgiving). Of the many millions of pounds of snacks eaten in honor of America’s (still) […]

Read more

The Bizarre First Super Bowl Halftime Show

superbowl

These days, Super Bowl halftime shows are star-studded affairs that can eclipse the game itself. More people watched Madonna’s 2012 halftime performance than the Patriots and Giants matchup (despite it being thrilling). In 2007, everyone remembers Prince crooning “Purple Rain” during an actual torrential rainstorm. Also, the Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears in a rather uneventful game. In 1993, […]

Read more

How the Modern Practice of Cheerleading Morphed from a Masculine to Feminine Activity

cheerleaders

While people have been cheering in one form or another at sporting events  seemingly as long as there have been organized sporting events (for instance, see: The Truth About Gladiators and the Thumbs Up), what we’ve come to know as the “American phenomenon of organized cheerleading” dates back to the 19th century, with its genesis coinciding with the rise of […]

Read more

Inventing the Huddle

huddle

Mike P. asks: Who invented the huddle in football? Prior to the twentieth century, American football teams tended to call their plays via a quarterback simply giving signals while the team either stood in more or less a generic near-set position or back from the line a bit as the quarterback called out what they’d do next. So where did […]

Read more

Did Fidel Castro Really Almost Pitch in the Major Leagues?

castro-baseball-1

There’s a long history of rulers bragging about their athletic talents. Ancient Egyptian kings sometimes used sporting prowess to show off masculinity and inspire fear. The Roman Emperor Commodus liked to step into the gladiator ring, often asking for already wounded or weakened opponents so he could look superior. (Yes, he was the partial inspiration for the movie Gladiator. Also […]

Read more

Who – or What – was the First Sports Mascot and How Did the Practice Start?

reds-mascot

Nathan M. asks: How did the idea of using animals as mascots for teams start? During lopsided games or pauses in action, it is the sports team’s mascot that keeps fans entertained. Be it with dancing, shooting t-shirts into the crowds or goading opposing coaches into attacking them, mascots make sports a little more fun – even if a few of […]

Read more

Why do Golfers Yell “Fore,” When was the Mulligan First Used, and Other Questions You Might Have Wondered About Golf

golf

There is a long-standing belief that golf was invented by the Scottish, sometime in the 14th or 15th centuries. This maybe false, at least according to Chinese professors and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. In 2006, evidence was presented that the game may have originated from the ancient Chinese game “Chuiwan” – loosely translated to “hitting ball.” Two paintings, one […]

Read more

The United States’ First Trip to the Olympics

olympic-opening-ceremony

The 1890s were a gilded age of sports in America. Backed by the country’s moral and intellectual elite in the form of ministers and urban reformers, institutions like the YMCA were popularized, enforcing the rather novel idea of healthful recreation via organized sports. While this may seem obvious to us today, this was only decades after a time when watching […]

Read more

Did Fidel Castro Really Almost Pitch in the Major Leagues?

castro-baseball-1

There’s a long history of rulers bragging about their athletic talents. Ancient Egyptian kings sometimes used sporting prowess to show off masculinity and inspire fear. The Roman Emperor Commodus liked to step into the gladiator ring, often asking for already wounded or weakened opponents so he could look superior. (Yes, he was the partial inspiration for the movie Gladiator. Also […]

Read more

The Strange Story of the First Person Disqualified From the Olympics for Doping

knud

Olympians have been bending (and occasionally breaking) the rules in an effort to give themselves an edge over the competition since the games began. Despite this, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) only started testing for performance enhancing substances in 1968, and only seem to have really started taking the issue seriously in the 1990s. As for the 1968 Games, despite that a […]

Read more
1 2 3 5