Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Historically Speaking: Inauguration Day 2009

I think it's fair to say that a great many of us have been waiting for this day for some time. I know there are some fussy Republicans out there that will do everything in their power to avoid all media outlets today, and hopefully we've gotten all of the play-in-traffic tickets distributed to them. But before we make political history, let's look at some sporting events of days past...

* For a brief moment -- actually an entire season -- the NFL adopted a free-substitution rule. That must've looked awesome, like pigskinnery with line changes.

* In 1974, Essex Community College defeated Englewood Cliffs in a friendly game of basketball. Friendly to the tune of 210-67.

* Six years later, United States President Jimmy Carter announced that the United States would boycott the Moscow Olympics.

* In 1985, nearly 116 million viewers tuned in to Super Bowl XIX. Joe Montana, en route to his third SB MVP award, led his San Francisco 49ers to victory over Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins. The final score was 38-16, and it was the first time in television history that commercials sold for one million dollars per minute.

* A decade later, the 1994-95 NHL season would be delayed by almost half the campaign. Then, in 1999, it was the NBA's turn. Their lockout would go for more than 200 days. Both leagues were arguing over who would get more piles of money for playing a game.

And your Sports Illustrated quote of the day comes from the mouth of...

...Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson. Circa 1973, Dawson, at age 38, scrambled for 21 yards in two carries against the Denver Broncos. When asked about the speed he displayed, he said,

"I may be faster. I'm more frightened than I used to be."