Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Can You Remember?

When Ahmad Rashad was Bobby Moore

When he was a running back and receiver for the Oregon Ducks he used his birth name of Robert Moore. He was an All-American running back where he played alongside quarterback Dan Fouts. He was a first round (4th overall) pick of the (then) St. Louis Cardinals in 1972 about the same time he changed his name to Ahmad Rashad (Rashad means ‘Admirable One Led To Truth’) after his mentor in St. Louis.

He was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007. He later became a TV football announcer and analyst.

When NBA referees called palming (walking, traveling, etc) on players

When pro basketball was really fun to watch (and some people on the court actually couldn’t dunk it) the referees called palming when a player (usually a guard) turned his wrist over while dribbling the ball. Now, not only do they palm, sometimes they get away with taking a couple steps after terminating their dribble.

When there was no shot clock in NCAA Basketball

In 1985 the NCAA began using a 45 second clock (which was changed to 35 in 1993) in which a team had to shoot the ball. The timer starts when the team inbounds the ball. If they don’t shoot in the appropriate time limit, the other team gains possession of the basketball.

A big reason for the rule was the North Carolina Tar Heels. Coach Dean Smith employed an offense known as the “four corners”. Four of the players would stand at each corner of the offensive end of the court while the fifth man would dribble the ball until someone challenged him. They could get a lead and just “milk” the clock with the four corner offense, usually until someone was fouled. Phil Ford was an absolute expert at running this offense for Dean Smith.

When there were no baseball playoffs in the Major Leagues?

Prior to 1969 the only major league baseball teams to play for a championship was the regular season pennant winners from the American and National Leagues respectively.

They played the best 4 out of 7 in the World Series and the winner was the world champs of baseball for that year. This is why you see such bloated ‘post season’ records today. Back then, there was no post season, it was just the World Series.

When MLB had two all-star games a year.

From 1959 until 1962 the National League All-stars and the American League All-stars met twice each year. The idea for the extra game was for the extra revenue to help with the player’s pension fund. However, many felt that the second game watered down the significance of the mid-summer classic, so it was abandoned.

When Cornerbacks were Called Defensive halfbacks and Wide Receivers were Split Ends and Flankers

Back in the day (don’t you hate that axiom?) positions on a football field were different than they are today. Cornerbacks and Safeties were called Defensive Halfbacks. Wide Receivers were called Split Ends and Flankers, or just Ends.

There was no such thing as a nose guard. You had Defensive Ends and Tackles, period.

Tight Ends were merely called Left or Right Ends. There was a Fullback and a Left and Right Halfback, now you have ‘H’ backs, Scatbacks, Running Backs, Tailbacks, etc.

Of course Quarterbacks have always been called Quarterbacks.

When You Didn’t Go to the Big Dance, if you didn’t win your Conference Title or Tournament

Prior to 1975 only one team per conference was allowed to participate in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. If you didn’t win your tournament (or regular season title in the Big 10) you were at home watching on television. It didn’t matter if you were the #1 rated team in the nation, if you didn’t win, you didn’t go.

Now look at how it has changed, with some conferences sending as many as 7 or 8 and smaller conferences just sending one. I would personally like to see it go back to that.

When the Marquette Golden Eagles were the Marquette Warriors.

The team was called the Warriors from 1954 until 1994. They changed their name to the Golden Eagles because it was felt by many that it was disrespectful to Native Americans. What about prayer warriors?

Also, the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks use to be called the Miami Redskins, but changed because of the same reason.

When the “Top of the Key” looked like the top of a key.

Long, long ago in a basketball arena demolished long ago, the key of the basketball court was a good deal skinnier than it is today.

The reason for the change is that some players had a distinct advantage with the lanes being so close to the basket. This reason also resulted in a ‘3 second’ violation to be implemented.

In the old days offensive players could just plant themselves under the basket and get great position for an offensive rebound.

When Sen. Bill Bradley played Professional Basketball

He was an All-American high school basketball player and chose the Princeton Tigers as the team he wanted to play college ball for. Bill was a 3 time All-American and National Player of the Year in 1965.

He was a Rhodes Scholar so he went to Oxford after getting his degree at Princeton. IN 1966 he joined the New York Knicks as a 6’5” guard and was later moved to forward. He retired from basketball in1977 and was inducted to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. His number 24 was retired by the Knicks.

© 2009 Clifton Eastham. All Rights Reserved.

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