#TBT March Madness Memory: Northern Iowa’s Al Farokhmanesh

NCAA March Madness Invited to Big Dance

Today’s #TBT sports blog rewinds the clock to 2010 when Ali Farokhmanesh of Northern Iowa emerged as that year’s March Madness Cinderella story.

Paving the way for unheralded participants in this year’s Big Dance like diminutive guard KJ Maura of UMBC, the Martin twins from University of Nevada and a collection of Ramblers from Loyola Chicago, Farokhmanesh set the bar way above the rim with his stellar play.

Here’s my blog from that year….


Can You Say Ali Farokhmanesh?

Can you say Ali Farokhmanesh (Ah’-lee Fa-rook’-ha-ma-nesh)?

After this past weekend, absolutely! Even if you’re only a casual college basketball fan, you’re probably proclaiming the name Ali Farokhmanesh everywhere you go.

As a matter of fact, with unabashed confidence you’re more than likely repeatedly rattling off the tongue-twisting name Ali Farokhmanesh, but you’re also spelling it, properly syllabicating it, and quickly correcting the butchery of those who stutter when they can’t make it past the first three letters of this stellar guard’s last name.

Ali Farokhmmanesh. The Rook to his team mates – is arguably the number one story in this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and the one player mostly responsible for manufacturing America’s first bout of mania during this Spring’s March Madness.

Expect Farokhmanesh-a-mania to flourish for at least another five fabulous days until the Sweet Sixteen resumes next Saturday in St. Louis. Little Ali’s created the kind of Big Dance buzz that rivals the likes of Cincinnati’s Big O’s scintillations of the early 60’s, Michigan State’s Magic’s mesmerizing moves of the 70’s, Jimmy V’s vanquishing the vaunted Phi Slamma Jamma in the 80’s, Duke’s dazzling Laettner turn-around in the early 90’s and the Cuse’s Freshman Phenon Carmelo’s captivation of college fans earlier this decade.

Ali Farokhmanesh. The only thing wrong about him is his six foot height generously exaggerated on the Northern Iowa Panther basketball team roster. However, in spite of this one accepted abberation, everything else is soooooo very right about this thick, hairy-legged, under-sized, midwestern kid with the receding hairline and barely pronounceable last name willing to take crazy, calculated, career-defining shots on the biggest stage during the biggest game of his life against heavily favored opponents before a national television audience.

Farokhmanesh: A Name Never to be Forgotten for a Lifetime of Big Dances

Ali Farokhmanesh. A name never to be forgotten for a lifetime of Big Dances. Forget the March Madness Heroes of NCAA Tournaments past. Move over, Magic (Johnson), Michael (Jordan) and Manning (Danny). Wipe Wilt (Chamberlain) and Walton (Bill) off your list. And don’t even challenge me with the name of Kansas’ Mario Chalmers. Ali has emerged as the Hero of Heroes and Prom King of the Big Dance…..even if he never makes it past the Sweet Sixteen.

Ali Farokhmanesh. Get used to hearing and seeing a lot of this alphabet soup of a name. Ali’s two tournament game heroics will be constantly replayed, analyzed, dissected, fawned over and endlessly enjoyed in our living rooms for all of America . . . at least until he and his Panthers lace ’em up again next weekend.

Ali Farokhmanesh. The reason why teams play the game . . . any game . . . is because even the number 1 seeded, more highly touted, athletically gifted, tremendously talented teams on PAPER must show up every night to take on unknown, over-achieving underdogs. But when the nationally ranked titans don’t show up, little-known Goliath-killer mid-major teams like Northern Iowa with unheard-of players like Ali Farokhmanesh rise up, seize the moment and write their own chapter in NCAA Basketball Tournament history.

Ali Farokhmanesh. Yup, I love writing this name as much as I love saying it. Thanks to this Iowa City native and Kirkwood, Iowa Junior College transfer guard for making my March Madness so memorable already.

Ali Farokhmanesh. All the best to you in St. Louis next weekend, Mr. Fearlessly Firing Shooting Guard with the twin fire hydrant legs, when your Northern Iowa squad squares off against another heavily favored team for a spot in the Elite Eight.

Trust me, at tip-off, sports fans across America will know who you are and will eloquently and effortlessly be able to say your name – Ali Farokhmanesh.

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#TBT Sports Blog: University of Michigan’s Fab 5

The Fab 5Today’s #TBT Fab 5 sports blog recalls one of the best freshmen classes in the history of NCAA college basketball.

Their Fab 5 nickname sounded more like the popular Beatles band from the 1960s. Instead, the catchy moniker heralded the most important recruiting class in the history of college basketball at the time.

The University of Michigan’s legendary Fab 5 recruiting class had four of the top ten 1991 NCAA basketball recruits.

Their fifth recruit also ranked among the top 100 high school basketball players in the nation.

Members of the Fab 5 would all become future NBA players. Chris Webber was the nation’s #1 recruit. Juwan Howard was the #3 recruit in the country. Jalen Rose was the country’s #6 rated recruit prospect.

The Fab 5 also featured Jimmy King the #10 rated recruit and Ray Jackson, who completed the group at #84.

Under Head Coach Steve Fisher, the talented Fab 5 advanced to the NCAA Championship finals in their freshmen and sophomore years. In 1992 the team lost 71- 51 to the Duke Blue Devils, and in 1993 they suffered a 77- 71 defeat to the North Carolina Tar Heels.

The Fab 5 succeeded on the court at the University of Michigan, but the players left an even bigger mark away from the hardwood.

ESPN 30 for 30 Films Featured the Fab 5

ESPN 30 for 30 Films told of the players’ influence in transforming the landscape of college basketball. Much of their story mirrored the cultural influence of London’s musical group the Beatles, referred to as the Fab 4.

This group of young basketball stars brought their own brand of style to the game. They introduced hip-hop music, baggy shorts, brash talk, shaven heads, black shoes and black socks into the then conservative culture of college basketball.

The totally talented bunch of athletes all left school early. They entered the NBA Draft and sparked a future wave of college athletes who would do the same for the NBA.

This recruiting class may be the best ever in college basketball. Yet surprisingly, they never won a national championship.

In addition, the University of Michigan was investigated for violating several NCAA rules. Unfortunately, the university later lost many of the wins and awards earned during the Fab 5 era.

Many fans agree that the Fab 5’s reckless actions hurt their legacy.

However, this group still stands in collective NCAA memory. They were the brash, entertaining, talented and most transformational group of athletes to ever step onto the hardwood of college basketball.

Like them or not, the Fab 5 deserves a spot in College Basketball Favorites – baggy shorts, brash talk, black socks, bald heads and all.

MIKE NCAA Basketball FavoritesEnjoy reading about the University of Michigan’s Fab 5 and other great players and moments in NCAA basketball history.

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NCAA March Madness: College Basketball Bracketology Tips Off

MIKE Comic 1 March MadnessNCAA March Madness officially begun this past Sunday night and college basketball bracketology gloriously tipped off.

For weeks, eager bracketologists have had their pencils poised, erasers ready and theories exhaustively thought out.

So, immediately after the NCAA Tournament Committee’s Sunday night selections, bracketologists quickly prognosticated and filled out their brackets.

These rabid college basketball fans eschewed sleep to compare selections with those of friends, co-workers, loved ones and even total strangers on the internet.

March Madness Bracketologists

By early Sunday evening, March Madness bracketologists began to speculate about the always dangerous Kentucky Wildcats, the gritty Cincinnati Bearcats, the powerful Michigan State Spartans, an overvalued Syracuse squad, an erratic North Carolina team, the unpredictable Duke Blue Devils and the tournament’s #1 seeds Virginia Cavaliers, Villanova Wildcats, Xavier Musketeers and Kansas Jayhawks.

The debates didn’t stop there and certainly continued late into the night.

The same fans probably pondered the fate of a seasoned Purdue Boilermakers squad, an exciting Arizona Wildcats team and the always pesky Wichita State Shockers.

Can Gonzaga Reach Another Final Four?

As expected, college hoops fans begun to postulate who will be this year’s bracket buster and whether a perennial favorite and mid major Gonzaga Zags team can return to a second straight Final Four.

History reveals that every college basketball fan has a hunch. Most will have theories. But, all will be mesmerized by the madness. Yes, March Madness has descended again upon a wanting college basketball crazed America.

Eager bracketologists, like those pictured in the above comic, best capture the exuberant fans that embody this maddening spring illness that intoxicates NCAA college basketball fans each year.

Man or woman, young or old, rich or poor, Republican or Democrat, former jock or just a fan, bracketology appeals to the masses and discriminates against no one.

Everyone can fill out a bracket. And, anyone can pick a Cinderella.

The avid and toothy college basketball fans in this comic are confidently filling in their NCAA tournament brackets.

Chaotic Spring Malaise of March Madness

It’s obvious they’re eagerly embracing the annual chaotic spring malaise of March Madness. How fun. How exciting. How maddening.

Actor Samuel L. Jackson often asks in his clever Discover Card commercials, “What’s in your wallet?”

Well, let me pose today’s questions to both experienced as well as budding college basketball bracketologists.

Who’s in your bracket?

Let the madness begin. Embrace March Madness!

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#TBT Sports Blog: NCAA Basketball’s Phi Slamma Jamma

Houston's Phi Slamma JammaToday’s #TBT sports blog remembers Phi Slamma Jamma – the fabulous dunking fraternity that electrified NCAA college basketball fans in the early 1980s.

NBA greats Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler teamed with long, athletic and talented basketball teammates at the University of Houston to form the fictional dunking fraternity known as Phi Slamma Jamma.

Houston Post sportswriter Thomas Bonk first used the Phi Slamma Jamma nickname in 1982.

This fun phrase replaced the less popular label of Texas’ Tallest Fraternity. It married the high flying dunking style of basketball with Greek fraternity life found on college campuses.

The University of Houston Cougars quickly adopted the splashy, new nickname. They even proudly displayed the name on the back of their warm-ups during games.

Legendary Coach Guy V. Lewis

Phi Slamma Jamma teams were coached by legendary Guy V. Lewis who won 592 career NCAA games. Coach Lewis’ record included 27 consecutive winning seasons and five NCAA Final Four appearances.

During a time when college basketball coaches encouraged a more conservative style of play, Coach Lewis was a maverick. He shaped his athletic squads to use their speed, quickness and athleticism in a more wide open game.

Lewis even joked about how much he liked dunking because it was such a high percentage shot. Today, everyone dunks. Duh!

Under Coach Lewis, Phi Slamma Jamma appeared in three Final Fours between 1982 and 1984. However, they lost to the University of North Carolina in 1982, North Carolina State University in 1983 and Georgetown University in 1984.

In spite of the hype, the University of Houston Cougars team was made up of far more than dunkers who played frenetic playground style basketball.

Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Larry Michaeux & More

Phi Slamma Jamma members Olajuwon, Drexler, Larry Micheaux, Benny Anders, Michael Young, Alvin Franklin and Reed Gettys could not only run and jump, but they could win, and win regularly.

In perhaps their best year, the Cougars held the nation’s number one ranking for most of the 1982- 83 season. The team built an impressive 31-2 record before advancing to the NCAA Championship game. They lost on an air ball shot that NC State’s Lorenzo Charles tipped in at the buzzer. Charles’ basket secured the late Jim Valvano his only NCAA championship.

The Houston Cougars pioneered a highly entertaining and energetic style of basketball that NCAA college basketball fans had never before seen. Because of their exciting, up-tempo play, the Cougars ushered in a new norm for NCAA college basketball.

In addition to their above the rim wizardry, these dunking, scoring and winning Cougars, best known as Phi Slamma Jamma, may be college basketball’s best team ever to never win an NCAA title.

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#TBT Sports Blog: 1970 NBA Finals Hero Willis Reed

MIKE sports comic - former New York Knicks Willis Reed

Today’s #TBT sports blog rewinds the game clock to the 1970 NBA Finals.

That’s when Willis Reed provided New York Knicks fans with perhaps the most memorable entrance in Big Apple sports history.

40+ years later, Knicks fans still vividly recall when an injured Willis Reed limped out of the dark tunnel from his locker room and onto Madison Square Garden’s brightly lit center court.

Fans can even recite Knicks radio announcer Marv Albert describing Reed’s entrance “Now here comes Willis… and the crowd is going wild!”

Despite a torn lower leg muscle, Reed’s courage to play on May 8, 1970 energized Knicks fans and inspired his teammates during Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

Willis Reed Helps New York Knicks Capture 1st NBA Crown in Franchise History

The Garden erupted early in the game when the hobbled Knicks lefty center scored the game’s first two baskets. Though he did not play much during the remainder of the game, Willis Reed’s early game heroics helped the New York Knicks defeat the Los Angeles Lakers 113 – 97. That’s when the New York Knicks captured the franchise’s first ever NBA crown.

That NBA Finals victory capped an incredible year for the under-sized Reed. At 6’9” Reed battled against the league’s much taller opponents like 7-footers’ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain.

During the 1969-70 season, Reed guided the Knicks to their best record in team history. In doing so, he became the first NBA player in league history to be named MVP of the NBA regular season, the NBA All-Star Game and the NBA Finals.

During his entire 11-year career, #19 played in the pivot for only the Knicks. Drafted as the #8 pick in the second round out of Grambling State University, Reed compiled a brilliant NBA resume. When he retired in 1975, his career numbers included 18.7 points per game and 12.9 rebounds per game in 650 total games.

The seven-time NBA all-star repeated as NBA champion in 1973. In that year the Knicks upgraded their roster by adding Jerry Lucas to an already formidable frontcourt and signing Earl “The Pearl” Monroe to pair with Walt “Clyde” Frazier as the NBA’s best back court.

Reed Voted One of Top 50 NBA Players Ever

Voted as one of the 50 greatest NBA players ever, Reed continued in the game after he officially stopped playing. He coached in both the college and professional ranks at Creighton University and St. John’s University as well as the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks.

Willis Reed enjoyed his greatest sidelines success when he was appointed Senior Vice President and General Manager of the New Jersey Nets. The NBA Hall of Famer’s front office basketball knowledge was instrumental in helping the Nets advance to the NBA Finals in both 2002 and 2003.

Since Reed’s retirement in 1975, the Knicks’ franchise fortunes have never really flourished again at the same level.

However, the muscular lefty remains New York’s most beloved Knick, and the city’s never-to-be-forgotten 1970 NBA Finals hero.

Without a noticeable limp long gone, Willis Reed also makes his expected grand entrance into the #5 spot in New York Sports Icons.

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Read about legendary New York Knicks Willis Reed and other iconic sports figures in New York City history.

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#TBT 38 Years Ago Today: 1980 USA Olympic Hockey’s Miracle on Ice

1980 Winter Olympic USA Hockey victory

On this day 38 years ago – February 22, 1980 – hockey’s Miracle on Ice happened.

It marked a national day of pride in America.

The 1980 USA Olympic Hockey Team birthed a miracle in the highly competitive arena of international sports.

Known as the Miracle on Ice, an unlikely victory took place at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY and lifted America out of its funk.


During that precarious era in our nation’s history, the 1970s was a decade comprised of war protests, a Presidential scandal, and a troubling economy.

In the midst of those uncertain and depressing times, Americans were nervous and ripe for a miracle to lift their spirits.

And, then came along an unexpected special moment in sports history. The event produced one of the most amazing upsets the sports world has ever witnessed.

1980 USA Men’s Hockey Team’s Stunning Win

The 1980 USA Olympic Hockey Team’s stunning win over the heavily favored Soviet Union National Hockey Team still stands as one of the greatest victories in the history of team sports.

This USA win remains an unforgettable highlight of the 1980 Winter Olympic Games.

The semi-final match-up between the USA and the USSR not only paired two world super powers facing off against each other.

The game also featured a team of much younger American collegiate stars skating against older, better skilled and highly experienced Russians. These Russian players had been playing hockey professionally in Europe for many years.

The Soviets Dominated International Hockey

The legendary Soviets dominated international hockey. They captured gold medals at the four previous Winter Olympics and held claim to 14 of the past 17 World Hockey Championships.

The Soviets were major favorites. The scrappy Americans’ success in the semi-final would require a divine act to win.

Surprisingly, the Americans stayed close during the first two periods. Then, midway through the third period, the youthful Americans shocked the favored Russians. Captain Mike Eruzione found the back of the net past the Russian goalie and gave the USA a 4 – 3 lead.

The Russians found themselves trailing in the third period of this hockey game. They were unable to make up the American lead against a little known USA goalie named Jim Craig. Craig successfully turned back 30 shots that day against the otherwise superior Russians.

NBC Sportscaster Al Michaels, “Do You Believe in Miracles?”

With the Americans clinging to a one goal lead, the game clock slowly wound down. As the final buzzer sounded, legendary NBC sportscaster Al Michaels shouted, “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”

In the case of the 1980 USA Olympic Hockey Team, the unbelievable happened in Lake Placid, NY.

It became known as one of the greatest upsets in the history of sports.

This uplifting sports event that happened 37 years ago today will be forever remembered as the Miracle on Ice.

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Ugh! Curling at 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea

Winter Olympic Sport of CurlingThe 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea is nearing an end, but any memory of the Olympic winter “sport” of curling will be forever etched in my mind.

It will haunt me like a fake Floyd Mayweather smile or a pontificating Max Kellerman comment.

Following the hilarious hammer throw at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, I never imagined that my sports viewing standards could sink any lower.

Well, that’s until I caught the comedic competition called curling at this year’s 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

The bizarre sight of skinny Scandinavians sporting flashy harlequin pants while swooshing plastic kitchen brooms across an ice skating rink has been burnished in my memory.

Who on planet Earth, other than their mothers, would ever consider these swashbuckling Northern European Broadway wannabes true Olympians?

Just how inebriated were International Olympic Committee members when they sanctioned curling as an Olympic sport? It even got me thinking.

Could Ice Fishing & Snow Man Building Become Future Winter Olympic Sports?

If curling is an official Winter Olympic sport, could ice fishing, snowman building and snow angel making be very far behind?

Word has it that Pyeongchang Olympic mascots Soohorang and Bandabi winced when watching the curling competition and compared it to witnessing a bake-off on the Food Channel.

After seeing the curlers compete, frisbee golfers and beer pongers begun petitioning the IOC for official sanctioning in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Russia.

Is it just me or do you also view curling as scandalously skirting the sanctity of sports by not requiring even the remotest semblance of athleticism?

Let’s be honest. Have you ever heard anybody say, “I’m playing in a real competitive inner-city curling league this season?”

Or, “Who will you pick as your sweeper in next season’s Fantasy Curling League?”

Or, worse yet, “Let’s run on over to Dick’s Sporting Goods! I hear they just stocked their shelves with latest curling gear, and their curling broom assortment is awesome!”

As far as I’m concerned, any sport that rhymes with twirling can’t possibly be any good at all. Enough of this nonsense!

All this talk of curling makes me think about hurling my lunch!

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#TBT Sports Blog: Olympic Champion & DWTS Favorite Apolo Ohno

MIKE Comic 112 Apolo OhnoToday’s #TBT sports blog looks back at the speed skater who became the most decorated American Winter Olympic Champion ever and a DWTS fan favorite.

The versatile Apolo Anton Ohno effortlessly skates and dances into not only my blog today in the same fashion he easily captured the #2 spot in my book Olympic Favorites.

The popular Ohno rose quickly as an American sports and cultural celebrity.

He displayed excellence on the ice and surprised us with fancy footwork on the dance floor.

Apolo Ohno Becomes Youngest Skating Champion

In 1997, Apolo Ohno became the youngest United States national short track speed skating champion. He was just 14 years old. Ohno proceeded to win this same American skating championship title an incredible 12 consecutive times.

The 5’8” and 134 lb. Ohno emerged on the international skating scene by winning the 1999 World Cup. Since 1999, he has accumulated 8 gold, 7 silver and 6 bronze medals in the World Championships. His 2008 gold medal was for overall performance.

Apolo Ohno’s Olympic success started in 2002 in Salt Lake City where he brought home the gold in the 1500 meter race and the silver in the 1000 meter race.

In 2006 at the Torino Games, Ohno continued his excellence in the sport. He won a gold medal in the 800 meter race and collected bronze medals in the 1000 meter and 1500 meter relays.

In the Vancouver Games that followed, Apolo Ohno skated to a silver medal finish in the 1500 meters and won two more bronze medals in relay races. His overall medal count rose to eight, making him the USA’s most successful Winter Olympian of all time.

From Olympic Ice to Dancing with the Stars

The handsome and likable skater parlayed his athletic success by competing on the 2007 season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

Paired with professional dancer Julianne Hough, Ohno added the coveted DWTS Mirror Ball Trophy to his already extensive collection of glittering awards.

In addition to winning the DWTS award, Ohno endeared himself to an adoring American public which embraced him as a sports and cultural celebrity.

It’s easy to understand why the famously successful Winter Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno skates into today’s #TBT post.

Here’s hoping the next Winter Olympics Games produce another gifted and likeable athlete like Ohno who could not just skate, ski, luge, sled and jump like a gold medal winner, but also who could eventually dance like a DWTS winner.

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Friday Sports Funny: NBA Icon Wilt Chamberlain’s Quote

Wilt the Stilt Chamberlain NBA

Today’s Friday Sports Funny recalls one of my favorite sports quotes from NBA Icon Wilt Chamberlain.

“Nobody ever roots for Goliath.” ~ Wilt Chamberlain’s response to how basketball fans often treated him

Wilt’s incredible dominance as an NBA player prompted many fans to root against this giant, or Goliath, of a man.

He so totally dominated his sport that the league enacted rule changes to make the games fair for the other 99.9% of the players.

Today’s wider lane in the NBA and goal tending penalties were imposed because of the way Chamberlain vanquished all opposing basketball players.

Wilt overpowered basketball opponents whenever he stepped onto the hardwood. The 7’1″ and 260 lb. player effortlessly prevailed over all smaller, less physically gifted competitors.

Wilt Chamberlain’s towering size, strength, scoring ability and stamina empowered him to become the greatest player the NBA ever witnessed when he entered the league in 1959.

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Boston’s Beanpot Hockey Tournament

MIKE Comic The BeanpotBoston’s legendary Beanpot Hockey Tournament faced off this week at the TD Bank Garden.

It was the 66th time Boston’s top four college hockey programs took to the ice for this annual event.

The Beanpot Hockey Tournament may not be universally known outside the Boston area.

However, its storied tradition makes it one of the premier athletic events during the New England winter.

The Beanpot burst onto the Boston sports scene in 1952 like a bone jarring check into the boards.

Before face masks appeared on goalies and ESPN television coverage became ubiquitous, the Beanpot became an instant draw by pitting Boston’s four best college hockey programs for bragging rights among the area’s passionate hockey fans.

The Beanpot Brings Together College Hockey Rivals Harvard, Northeastern, Boston College and Boston University

Now in its seventh decade, the Beanpot brings Harvard, Northeastern, Boston College and Boston University to an annual battle at the Boston Garden as players vie for Hub City’s college hockey supremacy.

The former ECAC, now Hockey East, hockey programs originally faced off in the prestigious tournament over 60 years ago. They have been integral participants in this intensely localized, two day event.

With its debut, Beanpot fever emerged in the Boston area. The sports event capitalized on all four schools. They were comparable in student enrollment and located only short trolley rides away from each others’ urban campuses.

Four highly motivated hockey teams enthusiastically descended upon the bad ice of the old Boston Garden each year.

And, one school skated away with a coveted trophy from one of college sports’ best overall experiences.

Surprisingly, the Beanpot began with small expectations in December, 1952. “It was designed as a filler,” said Northeastern coach Jack Grinold, the unofficial historian of all things Beanpot. “I mean, it was originally the first two nights after Christmas of 1952. It was to help the arena on off nights. It’s way, way beyond that now.”

However, a brilliant marketing ploy moved the event to the quieter month of February. This bold move greatly boosted attendance. A few years later, the annual tournament transformed from popular to iconic.

Legendary stories have always accompanied Beanpot references. None is better than the 1978 Beanpot when the epic Boston Blizzard of that year dumped over two feet of snow and stranded hundreds of fans for two days at the old Boston Garden. Until they were able to return home, fans from the four rival schools were forced to reside harmoniously in the old Boston Garden.

The Beanpot Hockey Tournament Started in 1952

Since its inception in 1952, Beanpot rivalries have flourished in Boston hockey circles. The area’s rabid fans eagerly await each February tournament to help free them from New England winter doldrums and fuel an early spring fever.

According to former BU forward and 1980 Olympic gold medal winner David Silk, “Tradition and emotion are two words that come to mind when referencing the Beanpot. Anyone who has a pulse around here (Boston) knows about the tradition of the Beanpot.”

Per Silk’s quote, tradition certainly abounds at the Beanpot. Some fans can purportedly recite overall tournament records and individual stat sheets from all 60+ years of games.

Led for 40 years by legendary coach Jack Parker with three national titles, Boston University tops the Beanpot record book. B.U. has captured the most overall wins and has scored in an incredible 100+ straight games since 1963.

Boston College ranks second in Beanpot titles and has historically taken the ice as B.U.’s cross town rival and most hated nemesis. BC owes its success to Jerry York, college hockey’s most successful coach with five overall national titles on his resume.

Harvard’s place is secure in Beanpot history with 10 total titles and the tournament’s top scorer Joe Cavanaugh with 19 points.

Not to be overlooked, Northeastern has captured four Beanpot crowns and boasts the tournament’s best goalie in Bruce Racine who tallied an amazing 237 saves in 8 career games.

Boston sports fans have so totally embraced Beanpot hockey over the years that the wildly successful annual tournament has spawned Beanpot competitions in other collegiate sports around Boston.

Beanpot Hockey Has Spawned Other Boston Area Tournaments

Beanpot tournaments in baseball, softball, cycling, rowing, women’s hockey and lacrosse have steadily grown each year in the Boston area.

When it comes to tradition, rivalry, school spirit, great hockey and a short break from a long winter, the annual Beanpot Hockey Tournament reigns supreme for Boston sports fans.

This hallowed hockey tournament finds the back of the net in the #6 spot of my FREE sports comic book covering Boston Sports Icons.

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Read about the history of the Beanpot Hockey Tournament as well as about other iconic sports Boston sports figures like Bobby Orr, Tom Brady, David Ortiz, Larry Bird and more.

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