Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Historically Speaking: 3-24-09

Amazing how fast the weeks go by in old age. Why just yesterday, I could've sworn it was Monday. Jump ahead for some stuff that makes more sense than that.

* Just a trio of NCAA men's basketball championships to remember today: Cincinnati beat Ohio 71-59 in 1962; North Carolina State beat Marquette 76-64 in 1974; and in 1980, Louisville handled Kentucky, 59-54.

* San Francisco 49ers owner Lou Spadia proposed in 1973 that the league expand to 30 teams.

* Today in 1974, Chuck Wepner took Muhammad Ali the distance in a heavyweight-title bout. Though Wepner fought to the finish, Ali remained the champ. This fight is frequently broadcast on one variety or another of the ESPNs, but you can also go here and find 'Tubes of the rounds.

* The year was 1982 when a southpaw for the Los Angeles Dodgers ended his holdout, and reported to training camp in Florida. Fernando Valenzuela, having won N.L. Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and a meager $42,000 in 1981, Valenzuela told Dodgers brass he wanted a million bucks. Allegedly, they bumped him to $350,000.

* Finally, in 1992, Pittsburgh Penguin Mario Lemieux became the second-fastest NHL player in history to hit the 1000-point mark. Old No. 66 did so in 513 games.

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

...former University of Minnesota football coach Cal Stoll, who, circa 1975, had this to say of the Cornhusker football program: "We finally got Nebraska where we want them -- off the schedule."