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North American Soccer League The North American Soccer League was supposed to be the 'next big thing' in sports. It lasted 17 seasons but it failed to dislodge the traditional team sports from their longtime perch as fan favorites. The league began in 1968 with the merger of two small pro leagues and lasted until 1984. At the peak of the NASL's popularity in the late 1970s, it had 24 teams. The New York Cosmos (who featured Pele and Franz Beckenbauer on their roster) sometimes drew 70,000 fans to Giants Stadium. However, the league average never exceeded 15,000 fans per game and some teams struggled to draw 5,000. By its last season, the NASL had dwindled to nine teams. By the time the final NASL game was played between the Chicago Sting and Toronto Blizzard, only three teams were solvent. To Europeans, the NASL was perceived as soccer's version of an elephants' graveyard where players long past their primes could extend their careers for sizable money. The Euro stars, despite their diminishing skills, accounted for large chunks of teams' payrolls that could have been better spent fostering North American talent. Traditionalists were also put off by the NASL's gimmicks to Americanize the sport: a liberalized offside rule, game clocks that counted downward instead of upward, penalty shootouts to break ties, and a crazy points system that rewarded goals scored as well as wins. In the end, the NASL managed to alienate traditional soccer fans while failing to attract new ones.
Tags: NASL  soccer 
Added: 12th April 2011
Views: 1254
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Posted By: Lava1964
Harmon Killebrew passes at age 74 Harmon Killebrew, the big-swinging Hall of Famer whose tape-measure home runs made him the cornerstone of the Minnesota Twins, died Tuesday at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., after battling esophageal cancer. He was 74. The Twins said Killebrew passed away peacefully with his wife, Nita, and their family at his side. He announced his diagnosis just six months ago and last week Killebrew said doctors had deemed the "awful disease" incurable. Killebrew is 11th on baseball's all-time home run list after a 22-year career. His eight seasons with 40 or more homers still is tied for second in league history to Babe Ruth, and his upper-cut swing formed the silhouette that inspired Major League Baseball's official logo.
Tags: Harmon  Killebrew,  Hall  of  Fame,  Minnesota  Twins,  esophageal  cancer,       
Added: 17th May 2011
Views: 1145
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Posted By: pfc
Albertine Lapensee Mystery During the First world War, most of Canada's young able-bodied males enlisted in the military. As a result the quality of men's hockey dropped dramatically. For a short time, women's pro hockey took center stage--and Albertine Lapensee briefly and mysteriously became a superstar. Nicknamed 'the Miracle Maid,' the 26-year-old Lapensee played for her hometown Cornwall (Ontario) Victorias. Her hockey debut came in January 1916 against Ottawa; she scored five of the six goals in Cornwall's victory. Immediately after her debut game, Ottawa players complained that she was really a man. Suspicions and accusations dogged her the rest of her brief career. A week after her debut, Lapensee scored four goals in an 8-0 shutout against the Montreal Westerns before a crowd of about 3,000 fans. At one point the Montreal players yanked off Lapensee's toque to see how long her hair was. (She had braids that fell past her shoulders.) The continuous rumors about Lapensee's gender prompted her hometown newspaper, the Cornwall Standard, to vouch for her. Miss Lapensee, it said, '...played more with her brothers and other boys than with her girlfriends, and this accounts for the masculine style of play she has developed.' Furthermore, 'Scores of people in East Cornwall have known her since her infancy.' Albertine played on, indifferent to the rumours, and the fans didn't seem to mind too much either, as large crowds came to watch her play. In one game she scored 15 goals. When the Victorias agreed to play against the Ottawa Alerts, the Vics' manager had to guarantee Lapensee's appearance by contract. She even behaved like her male counterparts off the ice. She once refused to play until she had been paid, which nearly caused a riot. Although scoring records for the time are incomplete, they indicate Albertine scored about 80 percent of Cornwall's goals in the 1916-1917 season. The next season, Lapensee led her team to an undefeated season. Then, after two spectacular seasons, Albertine Lapensee vanished. There is no record of her playing hockey again--at least as Albertine Lapensee. Family legend says she went to New York in 1918 and had a sex change operation. She/he supposedly married and settled down to run a gas station near Cornwall under the name of Albert Smyth. There are no known photos of Lapensee. Her story is not widely known--not even in Canada.
Tags: hockey  Albertine  Lapensee  controversy  gender 
Added: 24th June 2011
Views: 2452
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Posted By: Lava1964
Bubba Smith dead at age 66 Former NFL defensive star Bubba Smith, who found a successful second career as an actor, has died in Los Angeles at age 66. Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman Ed Winter says Smith was found dead Wednesday at his Baldwin Hills home. Winter says he didn't know the circumstances or cause of death. Police spokesman Richard French says the death does not appear to be suspicious. Smith spent five seasons with the Baltimore Colts and two season each with Oakland and Houston. He played college ball at Michigan State. As an actor he played such characters as a police officer in the "Police Academy" series.
Tags:  
Added: 3rd August 2011
Views: 904
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Posted By: pfc
Hot L Baltimore - Sitcom Flop 1975 ABC had high hopes when its risque and controversial sitcom Hot L Baltimore debuted in 1975. Ultimately, though, the show never captured the hearts of TV viewers and was summarily axed less than five months into its run. The show, based on a successful off-Broadway play, took place in the rundown Hotel Baltimore in Baltimore, MD. It drew its title from the cheap establishment's neon marquee, which had a burned-out letter "e" that had never been replaced. The half-hour series premiered on January 24, 1975 and was produced by Norman Lear for ABC. (It was, in fact, the first Lear property to air on ABC.) The cast included Conchata Ferrell, James Cromwell, Richard Masur, Al Freeman, Jr., Gloria LeRoy, Jeannie Linero, and Charlotte Rae. The show's plots focused on the lives of the odd assemblage of disparate characters who called the seedy hotel home. The series had several controversial elements, including two primary characters who were prostitutes--one of whom was an illegal immigrant--and one of the first gay couples to be depicted on an American television series. Because of its storylines, Hot L Baltimore was the first network television show to have a warning during its opening, cautioning viewers about mature themes. ABC gave Hot L Baltimore a full publicity campaign, but it failed to win an audience and was canceled after just 13 episodes; its last telecast was June 6, 1975. This series is notable as the first failure for producer Norman Lear after a very successful streak of mega-hit TV series beginning with All in the Family in 1971 and continuing with Sanford and Son, Maude, Good Times, and The Jeffersons, among others.
Tags: Hot  L  Baltimore  sitcom  flop  Norman  Lear  ABC 
Added: 29th August 2011
Views: 3336
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Posted By: Lava1964
Donald Haines - Our Gang War Casualty Donald Haines was a supporting character in the Our Gang comedies just after the transition from silent movies to sound. Haines's tenure began during the early talkies up through the "Miss Crabtree episodes," when he would leave for feature films at Paramount only to return a few months later. His tenure continued through 1933. Haines's first short was Shivering Shakespeare, which featured the youngster giggling his way through his lines. On the next short The First Seven Years, he was a main character, playing opposite Jackie Cooper. After that, he was a recurring character with a few small speaking roles until 1931. At that time he was offered a contract with Paramount, which would begin with a role in a feature called Skippy. Jackie Cooper also was offered a role on that feature and a contract. Cooper would remain at Paramount. Haines, on the other hand, would quickly leave Paramount to return to Hal Roach Studios just in time for the 1931-1932 season. At that point, several major characters had left the series because they were perceived as too old. This left a depleted Our Gang of only three regulars and a few recurring characters. Haines would resume his role as a recurring character with an occasional speaking role for the next two seasons. Shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941, Haines joined the Army Air Force and rose to the rank of lieutenant. He was listed as missing in action in February 1943. His body was never found.
Tags: Donald  Haines  Our  Gang  MIA 
Added: 10th September 2011
Views: 1833
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Posted By: Lava1964
Nancy Kulp-Buddy Ebsen Feud - 1984 Nancy Kulp and Buddy Ebsen starred together for nine seasons on The Beverly Hillbillies, one of the most popular sitcoms in television history. From 1962 to 1971 Kulp played prim bank secretary Miss Jane Hathaway. Ebsen played the patriarch of the oil-rich, unsophisticated Clampett clan. In 1984 Kulp, a Democrat, decided to run for Congress in her home state of Pennsylvania. She attempted to unseat popular 12-year Republican incumbent Bud Shuster in the state's 9th District. During the campaign, Kulp made an offhand remark that all the surviving cast members from The Beverly Hillbillies were supporting her. Ebsen, a lifelong Republican, wanted to set the record straight: He dispatched a note to Kulp from his California home. It read, "Hey Nancy, I love you dearly, but youíre too liberal for me. Iíve got to go with Bud Shuster." The rift between the two actors was further exacerbated when Ebsen did a radio spot for Shuster in which he reiterated his objections to Kulp's liberal politics. Kulp believed Ebsen's intrusion into Pennsylvania politics was "cruel." Embittered, she terminated their friendship. On election day Shuster soundly trounced Kulp by about a 2:1 margin. Apparently Kulp and Ebsen only reconciled shortly before Kulp's death from cancer in 1991.
Tags: Nancy  Kulp  Buddy  Ebsen  Beverly  Hillbillies  politics  feud 
Added: 18th September 2011
Views: 14984
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Posted By: Lava1964
Tell It To Groucho - 1962 After hosting the hugely successful You Bet Your Life on TV from 1950 to 1961, 70-year-old Groucho Marx was persuaded to return to the tube with Tell It To Groucho--a short-lived game show that aired for just five months on CBS in 1962 before being axed. The show was similar to YBYL, where the ad-libbed comedic banter between Groucho and the contestants was far more important than the game. This time the game portion was almost an afterthought. To win $500, contestants had to identify celebrities whose pictures were only shown for a split second. The show had a rotten time slot. It was directly pitted against Dr. Kildare on NBC and My Three Sons on ABC. Early in the show's run, Groucho wrote to a friend and described his on-air assistant, Patty Harmon, as "a sprightly young doll with oversized knockers who leaps around the stage with all the abandon of a young doe being pursued by an elderly banker". (Harmon was a onetime runner-up in the Miss Connecticut pageant and had been a contestant on YBYL. She later got some acting gigs as Joy Harmon. Her most famous role was in Cool Hand Luke; she's the busty blonde who provocatively washes her car within eyeshot of the aroused chain-gang prisoners.) Groucho never had another regular TV show after the last episode of Tell It To Groucho aired on May 31, 1962.
Tags: Joy  Patty  Harmon  Groucho  Marx  Tell  It  to  Groucho  game  show 
Added: 5th October 2011
Views: 3968
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Maudie Hopkins - Last Civil War Widow Maudie Hopkins (December 7, 1914 Ė August 17, 2008) was an American woman believed to be the last known surviving widow of a Civil War veteran. Born Maudie Cecilia Acklin in Baxter County, Arkansas, she married William M. Cantrell (aged 86) on February 2, 1934, when she was 19. Cantrell had enlisted in the Confederate States Army at age 16 in Pikeville, Kentucky, and served in General Samuel G. French's Battalion of the Virginia Infantry. He was captured in 1863 and was later part of a prisoner exchange. He had had a previous wife, who died in 1929. Cantrell supported Maudie with a Confederate pension of $25 every two or three months. She inherited his home upon his death in 1937 but received no further pension benefits. She remarried later in 1937, and twice thereafter, and had three children. It was not especially uncommon for young women in Arkansas to marry Confederate pensioners for purely financial reasons. In fact, it became something akin to a career choice. To curtail these sham marriages, in 1937 the state passed a law stating that women who married Civil War veterans would not be eligible for widows' pensions. (The law was later amended in 1939 to state that only widows born after 1870 were ineligible for pensions.) Hopkins generally kept her first marriage a secret, fearing the resulting gossip from marrying a much older man would damage her reputation. After researching records from Arkansas and United States Census Bureau data, Hopkins was certified as the last Civil War widow by various historical organizations, most notably the United Daughters of the Confederacy. A spokeswoman for the UDC, Martha Boltz, said at the time that there may be two other unverified widows, one in Tennessee and another in North Carolina, but if they were still alive, they had chosen to remain in anonymity. Hopkins, show here in a photo from 2004, died on August 17, 2008 in a nursing home in Lexa, Arkansas, aged 93.
Tags: widow  Civil  War  Maudie  Hopkins 
Added: 23rd November 2011
Views: 3062
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Posted By: Lava1964
Verizon--Its an old persons nightmare Tags: Verizon.  It 
Added: 12th February 2012
Views: 2173
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Posted By: Old Fart

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