Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Historically Speaking: 2-4-09

So, everyone's been creaming their pants for two days now about what a fantastic job Al Michaels and John Madden did calling Super Bowl XLIII on Sunday. I don't get it. Hadn't we already agreed at one time that these guys were, at worst, decent at broadcasting some football? There are those that argue that Madden's oral diarrhea has brought Michaels' abilities down a notch. I'm fine with either side of that argument, and frankly, don't care. I just imagine that even if they've slipped a bit in old age, they'd step it up a notch for the biggest game of the year.

Nevertheless, Madden has somehow managed to get mentioned in consecutive posts, thus the plastering of his mug at the top of this one. Enjoy.

* The place: Chamonix, France; the year: 1924; the event: first Olympic Winter Games. The world held on to its collective hats, just as I'm sure you did when reading that tension-building sentence.

* In 1968, the late Bowie Kuhn was named the fifth commissioner of Major League Baseball. He succeeded William Eckert, who I think taught my 11th-grade chemistry class.

* The following year, the one, the only, John Madden was named head coach of the Oakland Raiders Football Club.

* Fast forward to 1997, and Mario Lemiuex scored his 600th goal in his 719th game. Old No. 66 became the second-fasted to accomplish the feat; Wayne "Old No. 99" Gretzky did it one game quicker.

* Four years later in Florida, in a National Basketball Association contest between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat, referee Joe Forte forced Jimmy Buffet to give up his courtside seat for using profanity. And they say the west is wild...

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

...Steven Barry.

Who, you ask, is Steven freaking Barry? Well, I'll tell you. In 1983, the Cardiff, Wales resident won the 30-km walk in the Commonwealth Games in two hours, 10 minutes, and 16 seconds. The then 32-year-old bloke who made a living as a plasterer was asked how he intended to celebrate the victory. His response (Editor's Note: Come, now. Say it with me in your best wanker voice):

"I'll get plastered."