The most-recognized team in professional sports always gets the undeserved breaks. This episode, the first SportsCentury devoted to a team, is certainly no exception. Jeremy Schaap sends more excess glory on the team that won an all-sports record 26 world championships, all in the 20th Century.
This will go down in history as The Flu That Killed The Utah Jazz. John Stockton and "Mailman" Karl Malone were forever denied a championship ring because of this game. It taught us all that, sadly for 28 other teams, stopping Michael Jordan was, at the very least, a thirteen-man job.moreless
The teams that dominated their sport–the New York Yankees, Boston Celtics, Montréal Canadiens, UCLA Bruins, Notre Dame Fighting Irish–are profiled. So are the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Bulls, and San Francisco 49ers.
As the master of comebacks, John Elway rose to become the winningest quarterback in NFL history. Comebacks were part of the rise of the Denver Broncos organization as well. Once the team had players with talents equal to Elway's Denver finally won Super Bowls.
Counts down the ten non-athletes who left the greatest impact on the sports world in the 20th Century. Profiles include: Walter O'Malley, Branch Rickey, Pette Rozelle, David Stern, Roone Arledge, and Marvin Miller.
As the quarterback of the Baltimore Colts and the greatest athlete in Baltimore sports history, Johnny Unitas stood for all the American values. He was up-front, a proven winner who brought pro football into the national conscience.
From a lifetime of tragic turns, Bart Starr emerged with visions that will endure forever. Five NFL Championships in seven years and victories in the first two Super Bowls made him the Packers' model quarterback.
Jim McMahon was a wild man at quarterback, on and off the field. Despite his troubles at BYU and the Chicago Bears, one thing remained constant: he was a winner. He made the Holiday Bowl a thrill-packed tradition, and on the Bears, he gave Chicago its first Super Bowl.
The SportsCentury entry chronicles the life and career of Coach Willie Jeffries, who in 1979 became the first African American to coach Division I college football when he took over the Wichita State program. Jeffries coached 19 years at his alma mater, South Carolina State University. He also coached five years at Howard University and five years at Wichita State. He is the only man to have coached against both Eddie Robinson of Grambling and Bear Bryant of Alabama.moreless
A profile on this NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback touches on everything from his career records, his childhood in Pittsburgh, and his draft status, to his trip to the Superbowl at such a young age....only to never return again. Only from ESPN's award winning SportsCentury series.
He has been despised by every fan of every NBA team that has never won the World Championship or died trying. To be sure, Phil Jackson does not have as much an in-your-face attitude as the men he coaches. But after a triad of threepeats, is Jackson finally up Shaq's creek without a paddle?moreless
It's all too easy to inflict the word "scandal" on this game, or fall back on "Of course the postponement made a difference." But, upon perhaps the first close reflection of this U.S. basketball team, it appears that America had prepared to fail.
The SportsCentury begins with this two-hour reflection of the major sports events that endeared themselves to the American conscience in the first half of the 20th Century. Dave Anderson, Dick Schaap, and Curt Gowdy sit around newspaper offices as the "hosts" in this newsreel-type retrospective.
The National Football League was in need of an identity. With that, Pete Rozelle rose from obscurity. As the Commissioner, he used marketing expertise to lift pro football to America's most popular spectator sport.
Denny McLain has never been the same since his fatherdied tragically in 1959. Though Denny amazed America by winning 31 games in the Tigers' 1968 championship season, he would become infamous in later years. He would serve two jail terms for fraud, and in the process, he would lose his family.moreless
Jerry Jones took over the Dallas Cowboys in 1989 to restore the glory of "America's Team." It worked, as the Cowboys went on to win three Super Bowls in four years. But when it was over, it was really over. The 'Boys were suddenly back where they started, and worse.
Duke is the Yankees of men's college basketball, winning its way to high tournament space year after year. While its coach did not top ESPN's 25th-anniversary list of the Best Coaches, Mike Krzyzewski is clearly the coach for his sport.
Charlie Finley was the only owner who could turn the Kansas City Athletics away from their destructive reputation as the "Yankees' farm team." He was also the only owner to govern a team of battling players from another state. He used telephones for "surgery" as the Oakland A's won three World Series and then promptly disintegrated.moreless
Billy Martin's playing and managing skills came from his gut, a gut famous for confrontation. Early on as a player and a manager, it led him to success. But there were clear signs of self-destruction surfacing.
A nation of American baseball fans have grown to hate the Yankees. Their dreams were realized when the team went from dynasty to dumpster between 1965 and 1972. Then came George Steinbrenner, a native Clevelander who, despite turmoil and controversy, returned the Yankees to glory–twice.
MAJOR POINTS HIGHLIGHTED IN THIS YEAR PROFILE: * U.S. Olympic Hockey Team victory (Miracle on Ice) * Ali/Holmes fight * New York Marathon scandal * Wimbledon Men's Final: Bjorg vs. McEnroe * NBA Finals that saved the NBA: Magic Johnson's Lakers vs. Dr. J's 76ers AFTERTHOUGHTS: Super Bowl XIV, Jack Nicklaus's fourth U.S. Open victory, the N.Y. Islanders' first Stanley Cup, Larry Bird's Rookie of the Year honor (and there are others)moreless
Intensity was personified in Yastrzemski, successor to Ted Williams in the Boston outfield near the Green Monster. It led "Yaz" to the last Triple Crown of the 20th Century and two American League pennants.
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