The National Football League’s roots in the 1920s were planted in sleepy burgs across the Midwest. It was a small town league, offering the curious something to follow until the next baseball season. The franchises were located in such dazzling metropolises as Canton, OH; Racine, WI; Akron, OH; and Rock Island, IL. The locations were [...]

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Jul
20

Tall, Dark and Oklahoman

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James Garner was once asked if he’d ever do a nude scene on camera. “I don’t do horror movies,” he said. Rim shot. Garner, who died on Saturday at age 86, was a Hollywood leading man but a humble Oklahoman at heart. “I got into the business to put a roof over my head,” he [...]

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Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has won a Stanley Cup, lost two others in the Finals in seven games, has won two Olympic Gold Medals and a World Juniors Championship. His Red Wings teams have never missed the playoffs in the nine years he’s coached in Hockeytown. So who can blame him for puffing out [...]

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It’s an old line, written by an ink-stained wretch sometime in the early-1960s, when the Yankees were continuing to dominate Major League Baseball. “When the New York Yankees go out to dinner together, they sit at 25 different tables,” the line went. The implication was clear. Togetherness and camaraderie, those feel-good words, were overblown. The [...]

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Jul
10

Rockets’ Red Blare

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I’m beginning to think that the celebration of Fourth of July with fireworks is carrying on longer than the Revolutionary War itself. In our neighborhood, the pop-pop-pop of things with fuses starts in late-June and is still going on, and this is nearly a week after the 4th. Granted, the pace is slowing, but why [...]

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Categories : Enotes, holidays
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Jul
04

Torres’ Big Hat is the Jacques Plante Mask of Today

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Jacques Plante had had enough. Plante, goalie for the Montreal Canadiens, had taken the last puck off his unprotected face in an NHL game. It was November 1, 1959. Earlier in the season, Plante—who was the most innovative goalie in league history—had been experimenting with a crude form of a hard fiberglass face mask in [...]

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Categories : Baseball, Hockey
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Jul
02

You Couldn’t Better Fretter

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Before the commercial airwaves on television were taken over by ads for prescription drugs, lawyers and car insurance companies, there was the wild and crazy pitchman. Every city had them. The products being pumped were usually electronics, appliances and used cars. The ads were low on productions costs—usually all we saw was the pitchman screaming [...]

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The question, I suppose, was fitting, because Travis Bader seems to like to do things in threes. “They asked me what three celebrities I’d like to have dinner with,” Bader told Al Beaton, Adam Biggers and me on the latest episode of “The Knee Jerks” podcast last Sunday. The “they” were a consortium of NBA [...]

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May
22

Safety in (Recall) Numbers

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The recall of a car seems to be a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” kind of proposition. General Motors is recalling cars almost as fast as they’re making them, but what is worse—recalling cars or ignoring the problem? If anyone knows both sides of that sword, it’s GM. Nearly 14 million GM [...]

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Categories : cars, economy, Enotes, laws
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Stan Van Gundy was less than 30 seconds into his first press conference as the Pistons’ coach and director of basketball operations, and his voice was already hoarse. But that’s par for the course. Basketball coaches always sound like they’ve been screaming bloody murder for days on end. Listening to Van Gundy speak today at [...]

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