2 Cent Tuesday: FREE Comic Book – Best About Sports

2 Cent Tuesday sports blog

Today’s 2 Cent Tuesday sports blog gives sports fans the opportunity to safely download the FREE comic book titled Best About Sports.

The book offers 25 comics and chronicles 25 short stories on what I find best about sports.

All sports fans can agree that the subject of sports, any sport, will always trigger debate.

Pick a player, celebrate a team or remember a championship moment and I guarantee that a lively discussion will quickly follow.

Animated, verbal altercations about any athlete and team embroil sports fans everywhere and foster what I believe is Best About Sports.

In a relative’s living room, at a neighborhood bar or around the office water cooler, the mere mention of a certain player or team will instantaneously ignite colorful conversation and more than likely ruffle some one’s feathers.

Reference the Yankees & impassioned Boston Red Sox fans will appear out of thin air eager to engage in an animated verbal altercation.

Criticize Kobe and Lakers lovers will immediately compare the Black mamba to MJ as well as list Bryant along with Magic, Wilt, Kareem, Shaq and even Mikan in their long line of NBA titles.

Praise the Pack and surely Steelers, Saints and Patriots faithful will some how seek to metaphorically kick you right in your Cheese Head.

Wear a FC Barcelona jersey in public and you’ll quickly feel the glaring eyes of Manchester United hooligans lurking ominously nearby.

Yes, the subject of sports stirs the embers of conversations from yesterday’s nationally televised game as well as from championship games from several seasons ago. Fans who can’t remember what they ate for lunch have amazing recollection of events on the ice, hardwood, pitch, end zone or home plate from decades back and always seek outlets to share their passion, opinions and angst.

Best About SportsPlus, sports are universal.

Sports transcends religion, cuts through cultural ties, eludes ethnicity, ignores bank account balances and fails to distinguish between sex, weight, age and even familial allegiance.

Your team is your team. Not your dad’s, your sister’s or even that of your spouse. Your inalienable right as a sports fan is to root for whomever you want.

Sure, your choice may defy logic, strain family ties, break stereotypes and shatter urban myths, but it’s your choice, never to be forced upon you at any time.

The right to root for your team and your favorite player is buried deep down in your DNA.

It’s your privilege and your prerogative in spite of what others think. That’s why this book is so important to me. It’s the culmination of the top 25 things I like, no love, about sports.

My top 25 in Best About Sports includes names and teams, stadiums and sports, plus sights, sounds and smells. Click HERE to safely download.

Remember, it’s my book! My opinion. My prerogative. My top 25.

Enjoy Best About Sports and that’s my 2 cents!

Shop for Thousands of 100% Authentic Autographed Sports Collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.comAlso, for fans interested in authentic sports merchandise or collectibles, simply click on the Sports Memorabilia logo above.

Note that if you opt to purchase a Sports Memorabilia product, we earn a small commission from each sale. So, thank you.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Footer Sports 

 

 

The Masters at Augusta National: A Tradition Unlike Any Other

Augusta National Golf CourseEach spring, tradition abounds at Augusta National Golf Club.

Sportscaster Jim Nantz’s instantly recognizable words, “a tradition unlike any other,” eloquently capture the essence of the golf’s most prestigious event.

One of four United States major golf tournaments held each year, the Masters is the only one hosted by the same private course.

Formerly an expansive nursery, Augusta National has flourished as one of golf’s most famous and highly sought out places to play.

The par 72 and 7,435 yard course has been continuously updated over the years to make it more challenging. Bigger bunkers, expanded water hazards and plenty of trees and shrubs have been carefully added.

In 2009 Golf Digest Ranked Augusta National America’s Top Golf Course

It’s no surprise that in 2009, Golf Digest ranked Augusta National the top American golf course.

Bobby Jones, famous for winning golf’s grand slam, is primarily responsible for transforming Fruitland Nursery into Augusta National Golf Club. Along with designer Allister MacKenzie and The Masters’ first Chairman Clifford Roberts, Jones set out to build his dream golf course and start a competitive golf tournament that would attract the best golfers in the world. The first Masters teed off in 1934 and has run successfully every year since except during WWII.

By every indication, Jones’ vision succeeded beyond everyone’s expectation. For more than 80 years, Augusta National’s gorgeous, challenging course has been painstakingly maintained and has attracted the best golfers on the planet to compete each year.

During its storied existence, The Masters has maintained many of the traditions that have been cultivated over the years.

The Masters’ Ceremonial Green Jacket

Most notably, each year the tournament winner receives the ceremonial Green Jacket. In keeping with deep rooted Masters’ lore that began in 1949, the previous year’s Masters’ winner presents the emblematic Green Jacket immediately after the tournament to the new champion at the course’s Butler Cabin.

Since 1952, a Masters champions’ dinner is held in the Crow’s Nest Clubhouse. Tradition holds that the defending champion gets to personally select that evening’s menu.

Beginning in 1956, CBS Sports started covering The Masters. It’s the longest standing, uninterrupted television sports programming contract for one network to maintain this lengthy and successful relationship with a premier sporting event.

Six-time Masters champion Jack Nicklaus called the par three, 155 yard 12th hole the toughest short hole in golf. Plus, the unpredictable swirling winds, Rae’s Creek and the overall length of the par four 505 yard 11th hole and par five 510 yard 13th hole contribute to the enormous difficulty of this gorgeous piece of golfing real estate.

In a 1958 Sports Illustrated article, golf writer Herman Warren Wind coined the name Amen Corner after Augusta National’s signature stretch of tough play on its 11th, 12th and 13th holes. He wanted to create a catchy nickname for this glorious combination of beautifully designed, yet extremely challenging holes.

Golf’s Amen Corner

Much like baseball’s Hot Corner and football’s Coffin Corner, golf’s Amen Corner was officially born at Augusta National.

Amen Corner at Masters Golf Tournament

Throughout the years, crystal vases and even larger crystal bowls have been awarded for player excellence. The beautiful glass trophies are awarded to those who score the lowest overall score, make a hole-in-one or demonstrate golfing excellence by recording a double-eagle.

The Masters’ rituals, steeped in the tournament’s unique traditions, differentiate the elite tournament from all others. In addition to being the only major golf tournament to allow for a highly dramatic, sudden death playoff to decide its winner, the Masters field remains the smallest on the circuit with fewer than 100 total participants.

Of the 90+ entries, The Masters invites the top five amateur players in the world to compete. In keeping with the event’s quirky traditions, the amateurs are allowed to spend their nights on the course in the Crow’s Nest Clubhouse.

Every great golfer has played in The Masters. The most successful have included Jack Nicklaus with six Green Jackets, Tigers Woods and Arnold Palmer with four and seven other champions to include Gary Player, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, Nick Faldo, Sam Snead and Jimmy Demaret with three blazers.

Each spring, golf fans around the world look forward to the sport’s most cherished event not just because of the incredible collection of golfers who compete.

But, golf enthusiasts pine for traditions that the annual Masters tournament at Augusta National evokes.

The event is truly “a tradition unlike any other.”

Shop for Thousands of 100% Authentic Autographed Sports Collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.comFor golf fans interested in authentic collectibles and merchandise, click on the Sports Memorabilia logo above.

If you opt to buy something, then thanks because we earn a small commission.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

MIKE Sports Comic: All Sports Footer

FREE Book: College Basketball Comics

MIKE FREE College Basketball Comics by Jim SweeneyThe wildly popular NCAA men’s national basketball championship tournament descends upon fans every year.

From mid March through early April, college basketball fans are smitten by the sports world’s most popular annual event that the NCAA has brilliantly Trademarked March Madness.

College hoops junkies trudge around like zombies. They get through the day mumbling about stats, scores, match-ups, RPI ratings, regional brackets and overall strength of conference schedules.

They also can’t part with their remotes, dividing ESPN viewing time between jumbo televisions, smaller WiFi notebook screens and even tinier LCD screens on their pocket-sized iPhones.

This year’s tournament championship game tonight features #1 seed the Villanova Wildcats against a very hot #3 seed the Michigan Wolverines.

FREE College Basketball Comics

College basketball fans consumed by the annual NCAA tournament will enjoy this FREE sports comic book. Click HERE to safely download.

It’s filled with 25 of my all-time favorite NCAA college basketball comics. They not only capture special players from previous tournaments, but also lampoon tireless basketball clichés we utilize as part of our, at times, outdated sports language.

You’ll laugh at the guys clad in tuxedos and bow ties getting invited to the Big Dance and you’ll smile at a player attempting to remove an actual lid from the basket with a blow torch.

The Admiral, Phi Slamma Jamma, Fab 5 and more

You’ll recall the brilliant leadership of The Admiral and the amazing athleticism of Phi Slamma Jamma.

You’ll admire the poise of Louisville’s Never Nervous Pervis and the precociousness of Michigan’s Fab 5.

You’ll get a kick out of the nail biters in the stands and the tall guys who own the paint.

You’ll cheer on the little guy who takes the charge and empathize with the undersized team that came up short.

You may go mad like the Cameron Crazies or go crazy with Dickie V’s cliché laden basketball expressions.

So, cheer on your favorite team because when it comes to the NCAA college basketball tournament each March, your squad is certainly playing for all the marbles.

And, before there’s no tomorrow (see Chapter 25 to learn more), enjoy the book. It’s funny and, better yet, it’s FREE! Click HERE to safely download.

Note, whether you’re a Villanova Wildcats fan or a diehard rooter for the Michigan Wolverines, there are still plenty more MIKE Sports Comic Books available on Amazon.com.

Shop for College Fan Gear at Fanatics.com!Also, for fans interested in authentic college basketball merchandise or collectibles, simply click on the Fanatics logo above.

Note that if you opt to purchase a Fanatics product, we earn a small commission from each sale. So, thank you.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Basketball footer

#TBT Sports Blog: March Madness’ The Admiral David Robinson

The Admiral David RobinsonToday’s #TBT sports blog rewinds the game clock back to 1987 when David Robinson was the rage during that year’s NCAA March Madness tournament.

The highest rank in the U.S Navy that he ever held was Lieutenant Junior Grade. However, this former U.S Naval Academy basketball star will always be known by his notable nautical nickname, The Admiral.

While an NBA pro with the San Antonio Spurs, David Robinson won two Olympic gold medals, two NBA championships and a 1995 NBA Most Valuable Player Award.

David Robinson Named One of the Top 50 NBA Players Ever

In 1995 he was named as one of the 50 greatest NBA players in history.

Despite his professional and Olympic celebrity, David Robinson will always be remembered for his unexpected, brilliant college basketball career at the U.S. Naval Academy. That’s where Navy fans first saw him star as The Admiral.

Surprisingly, Robinson started playing basketball competitively as a high school senior. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy as a skinny 6’8” and 185 lb. freshman with very little basketball ability. He even needed special permission from the Navy to apply because he already stood taller than the military school’s maximum height allowance.

The late-blooming Robinson graduated four years later as a muscular, highly skilled 7’1” athletic center. Robinson left his mark on college basketball as the all-time greatest U.S. Naval Academy player.

David Robinson Led Navy to NCAA Elite 8 in 1986

In his junior year, The Admiral led the Midshipmen to the Elite 8 in the NCAA tournament, the school’s highest finish ever. During his senior season, he averaged 28.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.5 blocked shots per game.

Robinson received college basketball’s two highest honors during his senior season. The Admiral won both the Naismith and Wooden Awards, given each year to NCAA college basketball’s top overall player.

Even though he was selected by the San Antonio Spurs as the overall number one pick in the 1987 NBA Draft, Robinson did not enter the NBA immediately after graduation.

Instead, The Admiral served two years of his required active duty in the Navy before joining the Spurs organization in 1989. He played for San Antonio during his entire 13-year NBA career and was elected into the basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

Robinson also ships in at #4 in all-time NCAA Basketball Favorites.

MIKE NCAA Basketball FavoritesClick on the blue cover above to safely download the sports comic book from Amazon for only 99 cents.

This Naval Officer may have only worn the uniform of a Lieutenant Junior Grade during his service in the U.S. Navy.

But, whenever David Robinson stepped onto the basketball court, he played like the top ranking leader for which he was named – The Admiral.

Shop for Authentic Autographed Spurs Collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.comFor San Antonio Spurs and David Robinson fans, click on the banner ad above to shop for authentic NBA merchandise and collectibles.

If you purchase anything from the Sports Memorabilia site, we earn a small commission. So, thank you.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Basketball footer

#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.

Shop for College Fan Gear at Fanatics.com!Also, for fans interested in authentic college basketball merchandise or collectibles, simply click on the Fanatics logo above.

Note that if you opt to purchase a Fanatics product, we earn a small commission from each sale. So, thank you.

MIKE – the ultimate talking head on sports!

Basketball footer

#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.

Click on the blue cover above and safely download the book from Amazon.

Michigan Wolverines Jordan Brand/Nike fan gear at Fanatics.comFor NCAA hoops fans interested in authentic University of Michigan sports apparel, just click on the Fanatics ad above.

Note that if you purchase any Fanatics gear, we earn a small commission form the sale. So, thank you.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Basketball footer

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!

Shop for College Fan Gear at Fanatics.com!Also, for fans interested in authentic college basketball merchandise or collectibles, simply click on the Fanatics logo above.

Note that if you opt to purchase a Fanatics product, we earn a small commission from each sale. So, thank you.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Footer Basketball

 

#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.

Shop for Thousands of Authentic Autographed College Basketball Collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.comFor hoops fans interested in authentic college basketball collectibles, simply click on the Sports Memorabilia logo above.

Note that if you opt to purchase any Sports Memorabilia product, we will earn a small commission. So, thank you.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Basketball footer

#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.

New York Sports Stars and LandmarksClick on the purple cover above to safely download your FREE copy of my sports comic book New York Sports Icons.

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

Shop for Authentic Autographed Knicks Collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.comFor NBA fans interested in authentic New York Knicks collectibles, simply click on the Sports Memorabilia logo above.

Please note that we earn a small commission if you buy anything, so thanks.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Basketball footer

#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.

Shop for Thousands of 100% Authentic Autographed Sports Collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.comFor Olympic Hockey fans interested in authentic Miracle on Ice memorabilia, just click on the Sports Memorabilia logo above.

Note that we earn a small commission on any Sports Memorabilia purchase. So, thank you.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

MIKE Sports Comic: Hockey Footer