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Beatrix Schuba - Figure Skater Austria's Beatrix (Trixi) Schuba was singlehandedly responsible for changing the scoring rules of figure skating--because she was so boring. Schuba won the women's world championship in both 1971 and 1972 and the gold medal at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan. At the time 'compulsory figures' (also known as 'school figures') counted for a huge percentage of a skater's score and gave the sport its name. These consisted of skaters tracing patterns along the ice. Schuba was totally dominant at this aspect of her sport, but she was only a mediocre performer in the free skate. At the 1972 world championships in Calgary, Schuba had such a commanding lead after the compulsory figures that all she needed to do to win was show up for the free skate. That's basically what Schuba did. She came on the ice and skated only for a few seconds--but it was good enough for gold. The goings-on did not sit well with television audiences nor with the crowd in Calgary who felt Canada's Karen Magnussen, an excellent free skater, had been robbed of the gold medal. The next year FIS added a short program to the championships to reduce the importance of the compulsory figures. Schuba opted to retire. Compulsory figures were discontinued altogether in 1990.
Tags: Beatrix  Schuba  figure  skating 
Added: 6th June 2010
Views: 3501
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Posted By: Lava1964
1940 Olympics Poster The 1940 Summer Olympics were originally scheduled to be held in Tokyo. With Japan deeply embroiled in the Second World War, those plans were scuttled. The International Olympic Committee opted to move the Games to Helsinki, Finland, as this poster shows. This also proved to be impractical when the Finns began fighting the Russians. The IOC sensibly chose to suspend the Games until the war stopped. (Helsinki hosted the 1952 Summer Olympics. Tokyo got the 1964 Games.)
Tags: 1940  Olympics  Helsinki  Finland  cancelled 
Added: 9th January 2011
Views: 1760
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Posted By: Lava1964
NFL Announcerless Telecast - 1980 "We are just moments away from the kickoff of today's Jets-Dolphins game and a telecast that figures to be different. The fact that we try something different--and dare to--has been greeted with almost every kind of reaction, from good-natured humor to applause to some surprising anger." That's how NBC's Bryant Gumbel's introduced what was about to happen on Saturday, December 20, 1980: NBC was going to broadcast an entire NFL game from Miami's Orange Bowl with neither a play-by-play announcer nor an analyst. It was a meaningless, season-ending game for two mediocre NFL teams, but Don Ohlmeyer (pictured here) turned it into a happening. Ohlmeyer was the first producer of Monday Night Football. He produced and directed three Olympics, won 16 Emmy awards, and is a member of the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Based on his years of experience, Ohlmeyer always believed that sports announcers talked too much. Here was an attention-seeking vehicle that would drive that point home. Ohlmeyer also thought the gimmick might be a way to boost ratings points out of an otherwise unattractive matchup. Dick Enberg, who was one of NBC's lead football announcers at the time, was not amused. He was worried. "My first reaction was of incredible nervousness," he recalled. "We're paid to talk, so all of us want to fill the air with lots of exciting words. We all gathered together, hoping that Ohlmeyer was dead wrong. I mean, he was flirting with the rest of our lives. What if this crazy idea really worked?" The game, won by the New York Jets 24-17, featured only sounds that could be picked up by on-field microphones, the referee's calls, plus the usual announcements from the Orange Bowl's stadium announcer. To compensate for the absence of TV announcers, NBC went overboard on its graphics and pre-recorded soundbites of players and coaches. It was a onetime experiment that was largely mocked by TV critics. Surprisingly, though, comments received at NBC's switchboard were about 60% favorable.
Tags: NFL  NBC  announcerless  telecast  Don  Ohlmeyer 
Added: 30th August 2011
Views: 2099
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Washington Senators Last Game - 1971 The Washington Senators' 71st and last season in the American League came to a sad and strange end on September 30, 1971. Some 14,000 disenchanted fans came to RFK stadium one last time to see the home team play the New York Yankees in a meaningless contest. Many brought along insulting and obscene banners denouncing team owner Bob Short who had announced the team was relocating to Texas for the 1972 season. Love was showered on the players, though. Even the most mediocre Senators were given hearty cheers when they first came to bat. The loudest ovation was saved for slugging fan favorite Frank Howard who responded with a home run. However, things began to turn ugly in the eighth inning just after the Senators had taken a 7-5 lead. Here's Shirley Povich's account of what happened as it appeared in the next day's Washington Post: "As if in sudden awareness that the end of major-league baseball in Washington was only one inning way, the mood hardened. 'We want Bob Short!' was the cry that picked up in loud and angry chorus, and it was the baying-fury sound of a lynch mob. Then a swarm of young kids, squirts who wouldn't know what it had meant to have a big-league team all these years, or what it would mean to lose one, flooded onto the field from all points of the stands. A public address announcement warned that the home team could forfeit the game unless the field was cleared, and pretty soon the game resumed. It got as far as two out in the ninth, the Senators' 7-5 lead intact, no Yankee on base, when one young rebel from the stands set off again. He grabbed first base and ran off with it. Some unbelievers, undaunted by the warning of forfeit, cheered, and from out of the stands poured hundreds, maybe a couple of thousand fans. They took over the infield, the outfield, grabbed off every base as a souvenir, tried to get the numbers and lights from the scoreboard or anything else removable, and by their numbers left police and the four umpires helpless to intervene. The mad scene on the field, with the athletes of both teams taking refuge in their dugouts, brought official announcement of Yankees 9, Senators 0, baseball's traditional forfeit count almost since Abner Doubleday notched the first baseball score on the handiest twig at Cooperstown. But by then the crowd-mood was philosophical, 'So what?' Or more accurately, 'So what the hell?' The Senators were finished, even if the ball game wasn't."
Tags: baseball  riot  1971  Washington  Senators 
Added: 16th January 2012
Views: 4636
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Disco Demolition Night - 1979 Disco Demolition Night--one of baseball's most ill-conceived promotions--caused a rare MLB forfeit on July 12, 1979. It occurred at Chicago's Comiskey Park between games of a Thursday doubleheader between the hometown White Sox and visiting Detroit Tigers. Popular Chicago disc jockey Steve Dahl had been fired from radio station WDAI when he mentioned--on the air--that he listened to the album-oriented rock of rival station WLUP rather than his own station's fare--predominantly disco tunes. Dahl was subsequently hired by WLUP, known locally as "The Loop." The 1979 White Sox were a mediocre team struggling to attract decent crowds, so the team's management was willing to try anything to try to draw new fans. Dahl, in conjunction with Mike Veeck (son of then-White Sox owner Bill Veeck), devised a promotion: Anyone who brought a disco record to the ballpark would be admitted for just 98 cents. The records would be collected, placed in a large crate in center field, and blown up by Dahl between games. Dahl hyped the event on The Loop, hoping that 12,000 people might show up--double the typical Thursday attendance at Comiskey Park. The turnout exceeded all expectations. An estimated 90,000 people turned up at the 52,000-seat stadium. When the box office stopped selling tickets, thousands of people still got in by climbing over walls. It was an atypical baseball crowd to be sure. Broadcasters Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall commented on the "strange people" wandering throughout the stands. When the crate was filled with records, stadium staff stopped collecting them. The "fans" who still had records soon realized they were shaped like frisbees. A few began to throw records from the stands during the game. After the first game, a 4-1 Tigers' win, Dahl, clad in army fatigues and a helmet, proceeded to center field. The crate containing the records was rigged with explosives. Dahl led the crowd in chants of "Disco sucks!" prior to triggering the explosion. When detonated, the explosives tore a hole in the outfield grass and a small fire began burning. Dahl triumphantly circled the warning track in a jeep before leaving the field. Once Dahl left, the White Sox started warming up for the second game, but thousands of fans rushed the field. Some lit more fires. Others pulled down the batting cage and wrecked it. Bases were stolen and chunks of the outfield grass were ripped away. Most trespassers wandered around aimlessly, though a number of participants burned banners, sat on the grass, ran from security and police and threw records into the air. Veeck and Caray used the PA system to implore the fans to vacate the field, but to no avail. Eventually the field was cleared by police in riot gear. Six people reported minor injuries and 39 were arrested for disorderly conduct. The field was so badly torn up that the umpires decided the second game could not be played. The next day American League president Lee MacPhail forfeited the second game to the Tigers on the grounds that the White Sox had not provided acceptable playing conditions. For the rest of the season, fielders complained about Comiskey Park's playing surface being substandard. No AL game has been forfeited since that night.
Tags: baseball  riot  disco  Comiskey  Park 
Added: 30th January 2012
Views: 5747
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Pinky and the Brain Intro 1993 Original run : September 9, 1995 – November 14, 1998. The characters Pinky and the Brain first appeared in 1993 as a recurring segment on the show Animaniacs. From 1995 to 1998, Pinky and the Brain were spun off into their own show on The WB Television Network, Steven Spielberg Presents Pinky and the Brain, with 65 episodes produced by Steven Spielberg and Warner Bros. Animation. Later, they appeared in the unsuccessful series, Steven Spielberg Presents Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain. Pinky and Brain are genetically enhanced laboratory mice who reside in a cage in the Acme Labs research facility. Brain is self-centered and scheming; Pinky is good-natured but feeble minded. In each episode, Brain devises a new plan to take over the world, which ultimately ends in failure, usually due to Pinky's idiocy, the impossibility of Brain's plan, Brain's own arrogance, or just circumstances beyond their control. In common with many other Animaniacs shorts, many episodes are in some way a parody of something else, usually a film or novel. The opening song is preceded by the following dialogue: Pinky: "Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?" The Brain: "The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world!"
Tags: Pinky  and  the  Brain  Intro  1993 
Added: 20th August 2012
Views: 1659
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Posted By: masonx31
Muhammad Ali - Gold Medal Replaced For years Muhammad Ali claimed he'd tossed his gold medal from the 1960 Rome Olympics into the Ohio River in a fit of anger after experiencing racial discrimination in his hometown of Louisville, KY. By the early 1990s, Ali admitted the story was a fabrication and that his gold medal had simply been misplaced. This clip is from the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. IOC head Juan Antonio Samaranch gave Ali a replacement medal in a special ceremony at halftime of the men's basketball final.
Tags: Muhammad  Ali  Olympics  gold  medal  replaced 
Added: 4th February 2013
Views: 1146
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Avery Brundage Avery Brundage was the only American ever to become president of the International Olympic Committee--a position he held from 1952 to 1972. He was also the most controversial IOC head. Brundage had competed at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics in the decathlon and pentathlon. He later acquired significant wealth from his contruction company combined with some shrewd investments. His vast fortune skewed his views of amateurism. Since he was independently wealthy, he could not see why every other amateur athlete could not be self-sufficient too. As a result, Brundage believed the only true athletes were amateurs. He denounced pro athletes as entertainers. Brundage rose to become head of the United States Olympic Committee by 1936. That year he controversially allowed the American team to compete in the Berlin Olympics despite heavy public pressure to boycott the Nazi-themed Games. He personally disqualified one notable female American athlete, swimmer Eleanor Holm, for allegedly engaging in immoral behavior on the team's ocean voyage to Hamburg. (Years later Holm claimed she had rebuffed the married Brundage's advances and he suspended her out of spite.) After the 1936 Games, Brundage openly praised Nazi Germany's economic resurgence and newfound national pride. By 1952 he became head of the IOC and a staunch defender of pure amateur sports, saying that the ideal Olympian should be a Renaissance person with many interests--not just the financial benefits of being a pro athlete. Critics labelled him "Slavery Avery." Despite being anti-communist, Brundage was impressed by the Soviet Union's national physical fitness programs and was instrumental in getting the USSR into the Olympic movement. Brundage was still at the helm of the IOC at age 85 in 1972 when a terrorist attack killed 11 Israeli team members. Brundage called for a day of mourning and then insisted the Games continue-- a decision still controversial today. In one of his final public speeches as IOC head, Brundage favored abolishing the Winter Olympics because of their growing commercialization. He died in 1975.
Tags: Avery  Brundage  IOC 
Added: 5th February 2013
Views: 1404
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Posted By: Lava1964
Winning Streak - Forgotten Game Show Here is the only known complete episode of the word-based game show Winning Streak. Don't remember it? You're not alone. It only aired on NBC for six months from July 1, 1974 to January 3, 1975. Bill Cullen was the host. I can tell you one thing: a mediocre tournament Scrabble player would clean up at this game!
Tags: Winning  Streak  game  show  Bill  Cullen 
Added: 28th March 2013
Views: 1112
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Luz Long Helps Jesse Owens At the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Jesse Owens won four gold medals. His toughest struggle was in the long jump. Owens was the overwhelming favorite to win the event, but he fouled on his first two attempts. A third foul would eliminate him. Germany's Luz Long, the European long jump champion, went out of his way to assist the discouraged Owens. Long (who had set a new Olympic record with one of his qualifying jumps) informed Owens that he could easily qualify for the finals by leaping several inches behind the foul line. Owens followed Long's advice--leaping with at least four inches to spare--and qualified for the long jump finals. In the finals, the Olympic record was broken five times. Owens had the longest leap and won the gold medal. Long was the first to congratulate him. Owens and Long became friends. Long was killed serving with the German army in Sicily in 1943. Long was posthumously awarded the Coubertin Medal for Sportsmanship by the IOC. After the war, Long's widow and son continued to regularly correspond with Owens until his death in 1973.
Tags: 1936  Olympics  Luz  Long  Jesse  Owens  long  jump 
Added: 12th July 2013
Views: 1390
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964

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