1925: In the final ride of the Four Horsemen, unbeaten national champion Notre Dame gallops to a 27-10 victory over Ernie Nevers-led Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Fleet-footed Elmer Layden is the top horseman as he scores three touchdowns, two on long interceptions returns. Two legendary coaches are on the sidelines, Knute Rockne leading Notre Dame and Glenn "Pop" Warner heading Stanford. Layden's three-yard touchdown run off right tackle gives Notre Dame a 6-3 lead before a capacity crowd of 53,000 in Pasadena, Calif. That's unbeaten Notre Dame's only offensive touchdown. In between Layden's interception returns, Ed Huntsinger (not a Horseman) scores when he picks up a fumbled punt and runs it in from 20 yards. This is the first full game of the season for Nevers, Stanford's 205-pound fullback who suffered broken ankles earlier in the season. His punishing runs and passing result in Stanford outgaining Notre Dame, 298 yards to 179, and having 10 more first downs, 17 to 7. "They earned but six points, and the statistics show we completely outplayed them except for those fatal errors," Warner says. "Notre Dame has a great team, but I think I have a better one." College football
1954: In the Cotton Bowl, Rice halfback Dicky Moegle takes a handoff on his own five-yard line in the second quarter and appears on his way to a 95-yard touchdown run down the sideline. But suddenly Alabama fullback Tommy Lewis leaps off the bench without his helmet and tackles Moegle on the Tide 40. Lewis' jarring tackle stuns Moegle and the crowd of 75,504. Referee Cliff Shaw awards Moegle a touchdown. It is one of three long touchdown runs by Moegle, who also scores from 79 and 34 yards. The 19-year-old junior finishes with a Cotton Bowl-record 265 yards rushing on just 11 carries in Rice's 28-6 victory. Moegle's 24.1-yard average is the highest average per rush in any bowl game. Lewis apologizes twice to Moegle -- once while he is laying on the ground and again at halftime. "I saw him coming a long way off," Lewis says after the game. "The nearer he got to me, the nearer I moved to the field. I don't know what happened. I couldn't realize that I had done it when I returned to the bench. It seemed like a dream." College football
1963: In a Rose Bowl between No. 1 and No. 2, Pete Beathard's fourth touchdown pass boosts Southern Cal's lead to four touchdowns six seconds into the fourth quarter. "When it was 42-14, the kids were congratulating each other on the sidelines," USC coach John McKay says. But before the game ends, the USC players are biting their fingernails. Wisconsin quarterback Ron VanderKelen puts on one of the most memorable performances in Rose Bowl history. VanderKelen, who ran 17 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, passes for two touchdowns and leads the slightly favored Badgers to 23 unanswered points in the last 12 minutes. He finishes with Rose Bowl records in completions (33), attempts (48) and passing yards (401). But his aerial artistry falls short as Wisconsin loses the thriller, 42-37, before 98,698 fans in Pasadena, Calif. Despite the narrow escape, McVay throws some darts at the Badgers. "We're still No. 1 and they're still No. 2," he says. "They're a good team, but they'd finish about sixth in our league." Pro football
1967: After scoring 14 points in 12 seconds before the Dallas Cowboys run a play from scrimmage, one might expect the Green Bay Packers to have an easy time in the NFL championship game at the Cotton Bowl. It doesn't happen, though. The Cowboys rally to tie the game at 14-14 and are down 21-20 in the third quarter. But Bart Starr throws his third and fourth touchdown passes of the game to boost the Pack's lead back up to 34-20 in the fourth quarter. It's over, right? Wrong again. Late in the period, Don Meredith throws a 68-yard touchdown pass to Fred Clarke and on the next possession he takes the Cowboys down to the Green Bay one. After a penalty moves the ball back five yards, Meredith gets Dallas to the two with a third-down completion. On fourth down, Meredith rolls right, but linebacker Dave Robinson breaks through the blocking convoy and gets into the quarterback's face. Just before he's about to go down, Meredith desperately throws into the end zone for Bob Hayes - but the pass goes directly to Packers safety Tom Brown, whose interception with 28 seconds left clinches - at last - the Packers' 34-27 victory.
Back to top
1982: The AFC semifinal playoff game between San Diego and Miami is a wild roller-coaster ride. The Chargers storm out to a 24-0 lead in the first quarter, but by halftime Dolphins reserve quarterback Don Strock has rallied Miami to within 24-17. He gets a touchdown on the final play of the second quarter when Duriel Harris catches his pass and laterals to Tony Nathan, who dashes 25 yards for the score. The Dolphins take a 38-31 lead in the fourth quarter before Dan Fouts' nine-yard touchdown pass to James Brooks with 58 seconds left sends the game into overtime. Rolf Benirschke misses a 27-yard field-goal try early in the extra period before nailing a 29-yarder to give the Chargers a 41-38 victory. San Diego's Kellen Winslow catches a playoff record 13 passes (for 166 yards and one touchdown) and blocks Uwe von Schamann's 43-yard field-goal try as the fourth quarter expires. The weary tight end is helped off the Orange Bowl field when the game ends. This is the first game in NFL history to have two quarterbacks -- Fouts and Strock -- pass for more than 400 yards. College football
1984: All during the regular season, when Nebraska was rolling to a 12-0 record and averaging 52 points, some were calling this Cornhuskers' team the greatest in college football history. But all that ends in the Orange Bowl tonight. Behind Bernie Kosar's passing. Miami takes a 17-0 lead in the first quarter and holds a 31-17 edge midway into the final period. But Nebraska storms back and Jeff Smith scores two touchdowns, with his 24-yard run on fourth-and-eight bringing the Cornhuskers to within 31-30 with 48 seconds left. An extra point ties the game and most likely gives Nebraska the national title. But coach Tom Osborne makes the gutsy call of going for the two-point conversion and victory. "We wanted an undefeated season and a clear-cut championship. I don't think we should go for the tie in that case. It never entered my head," Osborne says afterward about going for the tying kick. "I guess I'm not very smart." When Miami's Ken Calhoun knocks down Turner Gill's pass, the 11½-point underdog Hurricanes (11-1) have their amazing upset. They also will have the national championship, rising from fifth (AP) and fourth (UPI) to first in both polls. Nebraska will be ranked second.
Back to top
1920: Babe Ruth had quite a 1919 season with the Boston Red Sox. Playing more than 100 games as an outfielder for the first time in his career, Ruth, who had previously been used mostly as a pitcher, broke the major league home run record with 29 and led the American League with 114 RBI and 103 runs. He also went 9-5 on the mound. But Red Sox owner Harry Frazee needs cash to continue producing his Broadway plays. So he had agreed to sell Babe to the New York Yankees and today the announcement is made. Frazee will receive $125,000 in cash and a $300,000 loan. Boston, which had won five World Series before the deal (three with Ruth), will go 0-for-80 years after it. Many fans in New England refer to this as "The Curse of the Bambino." Pro football
1983: Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett becomes the only player in NFL history to run 99 yards for a touchdown. Taking a handoff two yards deep in the end zone, Dorsett bursts through a big hole off tackle against the Minnesota Vikings' defense, cuts to his right and then races down the sideline. He avoids being knocked out of bounds on the Vikings 25 and tightropes down the sideline for the score. "I just saw a lot of green," says Dorsett after the Cowboys' 31-27 defeat. Dorsett's run breaks the NFL record of 97 yards, set by Andy Uram of the Chicago Cardinals in 1939 and tied by Bob Gage of Pittsburgh in 1949. Pro football
1993: In college, as a quarterback for Maryland in 1984, Frank Reich had come off the bench to rally the Terrapins from a 31-0 halftime deficit to a 42-40 victory over defending national champion Miami. In today's AFC Wild Card Game, Reich goes a point better. Reich is starting for the Buffalo Bills because Jim Kelly is injured. Early in the third quarter, a Reich pass is intercepted and returned for a touchdown, extending the Houston Oilers' lead to 35-3. But showing he has the Reich stuff, he leads an un-Bill-ievable comeback. He throws four touchdown pass, the last three to Andre Reed, and Buffalo takes a 38-35 lead. A 26-yard field goal by Houston's Al Del Greco with 12 seconds left in the fourth quarter sends the game into overtime. Steve Christie's 32-yard field goal in the extra period gives the Bills the improbable 41-38 victory. The comeback from 32 points is the greatest in any NFL game, regular or postseason.
Back to top
1986: Los Angeles Rams running back Eric Dickerson has a point to prove to the Dallas Cowboys, who showed little interest in drafting him after he left SMU. Dickerson proves it, too, when he runs through the Cowboys for an NFL postseason record 248 yards in the Rams' 20-0 victory in an NFC divisional playoff game in Anaheim, Calif. In averaging 7.3 yards a carry on his 34 attempts, Dickerson scores on runs of 55 and 40 yards. His 248 yards breaks the professional playoff record of 206 set by the San Diego Chargers' Keith Lincoln in the 1964 American Football League championship game. "I have never been a fan of Dallas," Dickerson says. "Some might think that's funny because I'm a native of Texas. But, as a kid, I always used to say that I'd love to play against the Cowboys." Pro football
1987: In an NFC divisional playoff game, the New York Giants put a 49-3 licking on the San Francisco 49ers. They send Joe Montana to the hospital with a concussion and his teammates back home with a case of severely wounded pride. With the Giants leading 21-3 late in the first half, nose tackle Jim Burt hammers Montana just as the quarterback releases his pass. The wounded duck wobbles into Lawrence Taylor's hands, and the linebacker returns it 34 yards for a touchdown. "That play was like dropping the H-bomb on them," L.T. says. While L.T. is buried under an avalanche of jubilant teammates, Montana is crumpled on the ground at Giants Stadium with a concussion. "It was a clean hit," Burt says. "But I don't feel good about it." Giants quarterback Phil Simms completes just 9-of-19 passes, but four go for touchdowns. College Football:
1999: A Rocky Top celebration erupts when top-ranked and undefeated Tennessee turns a rocky game by No. 2 Florida State into its first national title since 1951. A peerless performance by a wide receiver leads Tennessee to a 23-16 victory in the Fiesta Bowl in the inaugural Bowl Championship Series title game. Tennessee finishes its first 13-0 season as Tee Martin completes 11-of-18 passes for 278 yards and two touchdowns against the nation's top-ranked defense. His favorite target is Peerless Price (four catches for 199 yards), whose 76-yard reception sets up the game's first score and whose 79-yard touchdown catch with 9:17 left in the fourth quarter extends the Vols' lead to 20-9. Meanwhile, Tennessee's defense holds Florida State's All-American wide receiver Peter Warrick to one solitary catch for seven yards before 80,470 fans in Tempe, Ariz. The D holds the Seminoles to a mere 253 yards and also contributes a touchdown when Dwayne Goodrich intercepts redshirt freshman Marcus Outzen's pass and returns it 54 yards to give the Vols a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter. When the victory is secure, the strains of "Rocky Top," Tennessee's school song, reverberate throughout Sun Devil Stadium.
Back to top
1964: San Diego fullback Keith Lincoln accounts for 329 yards running and receiving in the Chargers' 51-10 rout of the Boston Patriots in the American Football League championship game in San Diego. On just 13 carries, Lincoln runs for a playoff record 206 yards (the mark will not be broken for 22 yards, until Eric Dickerson rushes for 248 yards in 1986) and catches seven passes for 123 yards. Lincoln's first two rushes cover 123 yards -- 56 yards coming on a sweep and a 67 more on a touchdown after taking a pitchout in the first quarter. Lincoln also scores on a 25-yard pass from John Hadl in the fourth quarter. "Lincoln is the best back in the league, bar none," Patriots defensive end Bob Dee says. "About five of us hit him and couldn't bring him down." NHL
1967: In his 21st season with the Detroit Red Wings, Gordie Howe continues to add to his legend. With two goals against Chicago, Mr. Hockey is the first to reach 700. The 38-year-old right wing scores No. 699 on a slick backhander against Black Hawks goalie Denis DeJordy in the first period of Detroit's 6-4 win at home. He achieves his milestone goal 19 seconds after coming out of the penalty box in the second period. Taking a pass from Andy Bathgate, he flips his shot past DeJordy into the upper left corner. It is Howe's 635th goal in the regular season. The other 65 have come in the playoffs. Pro basketball
1988: Pete Maravich, the NCAA's all-time leading scorer, dies playing the game he loved. After a pickup game in Pasadena, Maravich tells another player, "I need to do this more often. I'm really feeling good." Turning to walk away, Maravich falls to the floor. He never regains consciousness and efforts to revive him are futile. Maravich's trademark was a pair of sloppy gray socks that fell around his ankles during a game. At age three, he could dribble. At eight, he could spin the ball on one finger. At LSU, he scored 3,667 points in his three seasons, averaging 44.2. In 10 seasons in the NBA, he averaged 24.2 points and was named to five All-Star teams. He was one of basketball's great showmen, dribbling between his legs and behind his back and throwing passes from all angles, often surprising his teammates. Pete Maravich dies of a heart attack at age 40.
Back to top
1994: Behind the glamour of figure skating, there's a cutthroat world. U.S. national champion figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, the 1992 Olympic bronze medalist, finds out the hard way after a practice for the Olympic Trials in Detroit. A powerful man strikes her with a collapsible metal baton, bruising her right knee so severely she will be forced to withdraw from the Trials. The police will arrest Jeff Gillooly, the former husband of Kerrigan rival Tonya Harding, and Harding's bodyguard, Shawn Eckhardt, for hatching the plot. Shane Stant will be arrested as the assailant and his uncle, Derrick Smith, as the driver of the get-away car. Gillooly and Eckardt will tell authorities that Harding had been an active participant in the plot. Harding will say that she only knew about the attack after it been carried out. After the Olympics, where she will finish eighth, she will plead guilty to conspiring to hinder prosecution of a case. She will be put on three years probation, be ordered to perform 500 hours of community and be fined $100,000. Kerrigan will finish second at the Olympics and go to Disney World. Pro basketball
1995: Lenny Wilkens, who has personified grace and dignity during his 22-year coaching career, becomes the NBA's all-time leader in regular-season coaching victories with 939 as his Atlanta Hawks defeat the Washington Bullets, 112-90. With the Hawks comfortably ahead in the final minutes, Wilkens salutes Red Auerbach, the man he had been tied with, by lighting up a victory cigar reminiscent of the ones Auerbach lit up after Boston Celtic wins. After the win, Wilkens receives a confetti shower from his players. Before coming to Atlanta in 1993, Wilkens had coached the Seattle SuperSonics for 11 years, the Portland Trail Blazers for two years and the Cleveland Cavaliers for seven. His 1978-79 Sonics won the NBA title.
Back to top
1927: Without much ado, the Harlem Globetrotters play their first game. Traveling from Chicago (not Harlem) to Hinckley, Ill. -- a trip of 48 miles -- they get their show on the road. They receive $75 for the game. "Abe Saperstein, a portly little man with big basketball ideas, took five players, a ramshackle flivver (automobile) and a tattered road map and started one of the most amazing careers of the sports world," Wendell Smith of the "Pittsburgh Courier," one of the nation's prominent African-American newspapers, will write many years later. "This was the unheralded and humble beginnings of the Harlem Globetrotters." That first winter, according to "The Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia," the Globetrotters will win 101 of 117 games before audiences whose exposure to the sport was minimal. College Basketball:
1965: Perhaps the lowest moment for the coach who would go on to win the most games in college basketball history comes shortly after midnight as the Tar Heels return to the North Carolina campus after last night's 107-85 loss at Wake Forest, their fourth consecutive defeat. As the team bus pulls up in front of Woollen Gym, Dean Smith and his 6-6 team see about 100 students across the street. Other students are leaning out of their windows. In front of the gym, a dummy is hanging from a noose. "Look, they're hanging you in effigy," says assistant coach Ken Rosemond to Smith. The fourth-year coach stares straight ahead, not displaying any emotion. "I could tell it was me because of its long nose," Smith will write later. After speaking to his team about that day's upcoming practice, Smith walks to his car. His players are furious. Billy Cunningham, North Carolina's star player, and Billy Galantai bolt from the bus and rip down the dummy. "I remember the team was just very hurt by this because we realized it wasn't Coach Smith's fault," Cunningham will recall. "It was our fault. It was the players' fault." NHL
1980: For 35 games, the Philadelphia Flyers didn't lose. They set a major sports pro record with their 35-game unbeaten streak, composed of 25 victories and 10 ties. Since the streak reached 15, the Flyers have not played to less than a sellout. Thirteen times during the streak they had come from behind to win or tie games. But tonight, for the first time in 86 days, the Flyers lose. After scoring the game's first goal, Minnesota goalie Gilles Meloche blanks the Flyers the rest of the way and the North Stars roll to a 7-1 victory before a capacity crowd of 15,692 in Bloomington, Minn. "We didn't really care where the streak ended," Flyers coach Pat Quinn says. "I said all along that it was inevitable. We didn't lose -- we got beat." NHL:
1981: Marcel Dionne, the Los Angeles Kings' shifty center, becomes the 13th player to score 1,000 points in NHL history. But nobody has ever done it faster. The previous standard was 823 games, set by Phil Esposito. Tonight, against the Hartford Whalers, Dionne is playing in his 740th game. Point No. 999 comes on an assist, when his shot on a first-period power play is tipped in by Dave Taylor. The milestone point comes midway through the second period when his 10-foot wrist shot beats goalie John Garrett. The goal is greeted by a prolonged standing ovation in the Forum from the crowd of 8,535. Among those attending is Magic Johnson, sitting in Jerry Buss' private box. In the third period of the Kings' 5-3 victory, Dionne scores the 1,001st point of his 10-year career when he scores his 33rd goal of the season. Baseball
1991: On a cold, gray day, Pete Rose -- No. 14 for the Cincinnati Reds and No. 01832061 at Marion Federal Prison -- is released from the minimum-security facility in Illinois after serving five months for federal income-tax evasion. Later in the day he reports to a Cincinnati halfway house. Baseball's all-time hits leader with 4,256 will serve his sentence at Talbert House, where he will be confined in the evenings for three months. He will live in a room with a metal spring bed, a steel trunk for belongings, and a bathroom. The residents live two or three to a room. During the day, he will begin his 1,000 hours of community service that are part of his sentence. After the three months, Rose will continue his community service and be on probation for nine months. Rose earned 11 cents an hour working eight-hour days in Marion Prison's welding shop.
Back to top
1955: Since losing to Ohio State 12 years ago, Kentucky hasn't lost a home game. But Georgia Tech ends the Wildcats' 129-game streak by registering a 59-58 upset. Bobby Kimmel's two foul shots with 1:12 left move Georgia Tech to within 58-57. Kentucky tries to freeze the ball, but Joe Helms steals it, and with 11 seconds left, his jump shot sinks the No. 1-ranked Wildcats. The backcourt of Helms (game-high 23 points) and Kimmel (18) account for 41 of Tech's points. Besides stopping the long home-winning streak, the Engineers also end an overall 32-game winning streak by coach Adolph Rupp's troops. It also is the first time that Kentucky loses at Lexington in the Southeastern Conference in almost 16 years, since Tennessee won 30-29 on Jan. 21, 1939.
Back to top
1972: For more than two months the Los Angeles Lakers had not lost. But their 33-game winning streak ends when the Bucks' 7-foot-2 center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar comes up big in Milwaukee, outplaying the Lakers' 7-foot-1 Wilt Chamberlain. In the 120-104 victory by the defending NBA champions, the 24-year-old Abdul-Jabbar outscores the 35-year-old Wilt 39-15 and has more rebounds (20 to 12), more blocked shots (10 to 6) and more assists (5 to 2). "I have never seen Jabbar more fired up for a game," Lakers coach Bill Sharman says. "I'm sorry the streak is over," says Lakers guard Jerry West, who shoots only 5-of-16 from the field in scoring 20 points. "I wanted it to go on forever." Sharman says, "It will be many, many years before anybody wins 33 games in a row again." He's right. As the millenium approaches, no American professional team in any major sport has bettered the Lakers' record. Pro football
1977: The Oakland Raiders make a mockery of Minnesota quarterback Fran Tarkenton's pregame "guarantee" speech by making a mockery of the Vikings' vaunted defensive line. Pounding away inside defensive ends Carl Eller and Jim Marshall, the blocking of Art Shell and Gene Upshaw enables the Raiders to run for 266 yards in their 32-14 rout in Super Bowl XI in Pasadena. "You're tougher than (defensive tackle) Alan Page," says Upshaw to a tall, thin, 40-something reporter. Clarence Davis leads the Oakland rushing attack with 137 yards. Quarterback Ken Stabler completes 12-of-19 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown to Dave Casper. Wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff is named MVP for catching four passes for 79 yards. "We had tougher games in the AFC than we did today," says John Madden, a winner in his only Super Bowl as head coach. Ice Skating:
1988: Shortly after midnight, figure skater Brian Boitano finally gets to perform his long program at the U.S. Nationals in Denver. After his scintillating performance in the short program, he appears flat. Tired and short of breath due to the mile-high altitude, he skates a program that, by his standards, is off-center and uninspired. Twice he touches the ice with his hand to prevent him from falling on triple jumps. Despite these miscues, he receives spectacular scores from the nine judges - nine 5.9s, on a scale of 1 to 6, for technical merit and seven 5.9s for composition and style. When the 6.0 from one judge is flashed on the scoreboard, most of the sellout crowd of 15,869 boos. Even Boitano's coach, Linda Leaver, said of the marks, "They were high." Boitano's first place in the long program clinches his fourth consecutive national title and a berth in the Olympics.
Back to top
1920: The nickname he got while working as a cub reporter has stuck to "Newsy" Lalonde, who led the NHL in scoring last season. The Montreal forward becomes the first NHL player to score six goals in a game as the Canadiens defeat Toronto, 14-7. The record, though, will last just 21 days, as Joe Malone of the Quebec Bulldogs will score seven goals, also against Toronto. Besides Lalonde and Malone, only five other players will ever score as many as six goals in a game. The 21 goals for Montreal and Toronto also is a record. It will be tied in 1985 by Edmonton and Chicago, with the Oilers winning, 12-9. Pro football
1982: The game will forever be remembered for The Catch. But the pass is pretty impressive, too. And so is the drive. Trailing the Dallas Cowboys 27-21 in the NFC championship game, the San Francisco 49ers take over on their own 11 with 4:54 left in the fourth quarter. Joe Montana adroitly moves the 49ers to the Dallas six, mixing five running plays with seven passes. Chased by three Cowboys on third-and-three, a mobile Montana runs to his right. In the back of the end zone, his favorite target, Dwight Clark, runs in the same direction. Montana lofts the ball and Clark makes the leaping catch with 51 seconds left. Ray Wersching's extra point gives the 49ers a 28-27 victory. "I was thinking of throwing the ball away, but I saw him come open and I figured if I could hang on another half-second ...," Montana says after the game. "We're instructed that if we throw that pass to make sure he's the only one who can catch it. Dwight's 6-4 and a lot of people don't know about his leaping ability. He can dunk a basketball."
Back to top
1970: Despite the New York Jets' stunning upset of the Baltimore Colts in the Super Bowl a year ago, many fans remain skeptical about the AFL. They expect the balance of power to be restored to the NFL in today's Super Bowl IV. It's not. The Kansas City Chiefs show that the Jets' victory wasn't a fluke. Scoring four of the first five times they have the ball (three Jan Stenerud field goals and a five-yard touchdown run by Mike Garrett), the Chiefs tear through the Minnesota Vikings' "Purple People Eaters" to take a 16-0 halftime lead. About the only thing the Vikings eat today is crow. Quarterback Len Dawson, the game's MVP, throws a 46-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter and the Chiefs win, 23-7. Defensively, the Chiefs hold the Vikings to 239 total yards. Pro football:
1981: Funny how things often work out in sports. During training camp Jim Plunkett asked the Oakland Raiders to trade him because he expected to have virtually no playing time for the third straight season. But when Dan Pastorini suffered a broken leg in the fifth game, Plunkett took over and the former Heisman winner at Stanford leads the Raiders to the Super Bowl. On the third play from scrimmage of the AFC championship game against the San Diego Chargers, Plunkett's deflected pass results in tight end Raymond Chester scoring on a 65-yard play. "If that was the way our day was going to go," Plunkett says, "that wasn't too bad." Before the quarter is over, Plunkett scrambles five yards for another touchdown and throws a 21-yard scoring strike to halfback Kenny King as the Raiders take a 21-7 lead. Plunkett finishes with 14 completions in 18 attempts for 261 yards as the wild-card Raiders win the AFC title, 34-27, in San Diego. "I admire the man," says Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts. "He was the difference." Pro football
1987: It is known, simply, as "The Drive." Quarterback John Elway has led the Broncos back from defeat many teams, but his performance in the AFC championship game against the Browns tops the list of his heroics, elevating him to superstar status. Trailing 20-13 with 5½ minutes left in the fourth quarter at Cleveland, Denver takes over on its own two, 98 yards away from the tying touchdown. Elway smartly passes and scrambles the Broncos down to the Browns' five-yard line. On third-and-one, Elway fires a dart in the end zone to Mark Jackson with 37 seconds left. Rich Karlis' extra point ties the game. In overtime, two Elway passes account for 50 yards, setting up a 33-yard field goal by Karlis that gives the Broncos a 23-20 victory, sending them to the Super Bowl.
Back to top
1946: Less than a month after winning the NFL championship, the Cleveland Rams take Horace Greeley's age-old advice and go west. When the other NFL owners grant permission for the franchise to move to Los Angeles, the Rams become the first team in a major professional sports league to locate on the West Coast. Dan Reeves, the youthful and dapper owner of the Rams, says that since 1943 he has attempted to get the league's sanction for the transfer. "Long before I came into pro football, back in 1937, I decided some day to have a team in Los Angeles," Reeves says. "It's going to be the greatest professional town in the country." Now that the NFL has broken out of its East-Midwest cocoon, it faces a transportation problem. Reeves says that, if necessary, airplane transportation will be used. Despite going 9-1 in the regular season and defeating the Washington Redskins in the title game, Cleveland drew only 77,608 fans - an average of 19,402 - in its four regular-season home games last season. Pro basketball
1958: Dolph Schayes, in his 10th season with the Syracuse Nationals, needs 18 points to pass George Mikan as the highest scorer in professional basketball history. Midway through the third period of the Nationals' 135-109 victory over the Detroit Pistons, the 6-foot-8 forward sets the record. The 29-year-old Schayes finishes with 23 points, including 11 from the foul line, as he reaches 11,770 points, six more than Mikan scored. This is Schayes' 655th regular-season game. Mikan played in 439 games in nine seasons before retiring in 1956. Schayes will finish his 16-year career with 18,438 points, an 18.5 average. Pro football
1969: Despite the New York Jets being 19-point underdogs to the Baltimore Colts, quarterback Joe Namath had visions of victory a few days before Super Bowl III. With a double scotch in his hand, he answered a heckler by saying, "We'll win. I guarantee it." Broadway Joe is as good as his word as he guides the Jets to a stunning 16-7 triumph, legitimizing the upstart AFL with an upset for the ages. He completes 17-of-28 passes for 206 yards, with George Sauer grabbing eight for 133 yards. "Joe called the right play at the right time," says backup quarterback Babe Parilli. "He read their safety blitz, and he read their pass coverage. What else is there?" Fullback Matt Snell gains 121 yards on 30 carries, including a four-yard touchdown run to give the Jets a 7-0 lead in the second quarter. Jim Turner tacks on three second-half field goals. In the locker room in Miami, Namath chides a press corps that had called him a loud-mouthed loser and expected him to eat his words. "I hope they all eat their pencils and pads," he says. "We won!" NHL
1986: By the time many of the fans in Chicago Stadium get back to their seats after the second-period intermission, Denis Savard has a goal. The Black Hawks center takes the puck off the third-period faceoff and quickly moves in for a 35-foot blast. The goal past Hartford netminder Steve Weeks comes at four seconds, tying the NHL record for the fastest score to start a period. Montreal's Claude Provost had set the record in 1957. "Denis just saw an opening, and he can really jump on something like that," says Chicago assistant coach Roger Neilson. "It was made to order for him." Earlier in the Hawks' 4-2 victory, an assist by Savard had extended his scoring streak to 17 games.
Back to top
1922: In the summer of 1921, a jury in Chicago acquitted the Black Sox of conspiracy to defraud the public concerning the 1919 World Series. Two days later, Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned the eight players for life. "The New York Times" reports today that Buck Weaver, one of the eight, had personally appealed last week to Landis for reinstatement to organized baseball. The third baseman told Landis that though he was offered the bribe to throw the Series, he never accepted the money and played his best. Landis will never lift the ban for Weaver -- or any of the Black Sox. Pro basketball
1962:: Wilt Chamberlain already has scored 78 points in a game, but that came in a triple-overtime contest last month. Tonight, the Philadelphia Warriors center scores 73, the most ever in a regulation NBA game. He hits 29 field goals and 15 free throws in the Warriors' 135-117 victory over the Chicago Packers before 3,516 fans in Philadelphia. The Stilt scores 14 points in the first period, 19 in the second, 17 in the third and 23 in the fourth. He breaks Elgin Baylor's record of 71 points in a regulation game with two free throws with 30 seconds left. The 40 points in the second half also are a league record. Less than two months later, Wilt will score 100 points against the Knicks. Pro Football:
1974: The Miami Dolphins have so little difficulty with the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl VIII in Houston, Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray writes, "The score was 24-7, but that's misleading. Think of the 10 most one-sided things you can and this makes no worse than fifth." The Dolphins run through the Vikings with such ease that quarterback Bob Griese throws only seven passes (completing six for 73 yards). With a hungry offensive line devouring the Vikings' Purple People eaters, they rush 53 times for 196 yards. Fullback Larry Csonka is the main course, bulling his way for 145 yards and two touchdowns on runs of five and two yards. Miami leads 24-0 after three quarters as it wins its second consecutive Super Bowl. Coach Don Shula believes this team (12-2 in the regular season plus three postseason victories by at least 17 points) is superior to last year's squad, which has the only perfect season in NFL history. "There's no question in my mind," he says. "We can compare ourselves to any team that's ever played this game," says Csonka, the game's MVP. "We're comparable to the Pack (of the mid-sixties)." Pro basketball:
1999: Michael Jordan retires - again. This time, his Airness says he is at peace with his decision and that it appears to be for good. "I never say never, but 99.9 percent," the 35-year-old superstar tells a packed press conference at the United Center in Chicago. "I am very secure with my decision. I know from a career standpoint I have accomplished everything that I could as an individual. Right now, I don't have the mental challenges that I have had in the past to proceed as a basketball player." In his last six full seasons, he has led the Bulls to the NBA championship each season, winning Finals MVP each time. In his 13 seasons (only 11 full ones), he has won a record 10 scoring titles and his 31.5 average (29,277 points in 930 games) is the highest in NBA history. He also is the leading scorer in the playoffs, with 5,987 points and a 33.4 average. Five times he was voted the league's MVP. This announcement is not as shocking or dramatic as the first time Jordan "retired," on October 1993. That time, he played a season of minor league baseball before returning to the Bulls in March 1995.
Back to top
1954: The marriage of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe is an amazing coupling of American celebrityhood: The man who was the country's most revered athlete hitched to its most adored actress. "We are both very happy," Monroe says before the ceremony at San Francisco's City Hall. DiMaggio nods a happy assent. Monroe wears a dark brown broadcloth suit, with a broad ermine collar. She carries three white orchids and does not wear a hat. DiMaggio is attired in a blue suit. Presiding Municipal Judge Charles Peery performs the civil ceremony. The 27-year-old bride is radiant as she exchanges vows with the blushing 39-year-old Yankee Clipper, who retired from the New York Yankees after the 1951 season. Outside City Hall there is a crowd of almost 500, though the wedding date and site were not made public. Joe kisses Marilyn, somewhat bashfully but very well, for the photographers. He does it repeatedly without too much urging. This is the second marriage for both. It doesn't have a happy Hollywood ending. In nine months they will divorce. Pro football
1973: The Miami Dolphins, as the huge scoreboard at the Los Angeles Coliseum says, are super. They also are perfect. They become the only NFL team to have an unbeaten, untied season, finishing at 17-0 with a 14-7 victory over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII. "Our team has gone into an area where no other football team has been," coach Don Shula says. Relying on a ball-control offense, with fullback Larry Csonka running for 112 yards on 15 carries, quarterback Bob Griese throws only 11 passes. One of his eight completions is a 28-yard touchdown pass to Howard Twilley in the first quarter to give Miami a 7-0 lead. Jim Kiick's one-yard run makes it 14-0 just before halftime. The Redskins get their only score when a botched field-goal attempt by Miami's Garo Yepremian results in a 49-yard touchdown return by Mike Bass with 2:07 left in the game. Miami's "No-Name Defense" holds the Redskins to 228 yards and safety Jake Scott makes two of the Dolphins' three interceptions to win MVP honors.
Back to top
1925: Benny Leonard, lightweight champ since May 1917, can stand up to the blows of his fellow man, but can't to the tears of his mother. For a while he has tried to convince her son to give up boxing. Finally, he throws in the towel. "I am retiring from boxing for the love of my mother, who has begged me not to fight again," the 28-year-old Leonard said in a five-page statement. Fears for her son's safety and the ever-present thought he might come home from a fight severely hurt made his mother apprehensive and insistent in her demands that he retire, the statement said. Leonard, though, will return to the ring in 1931 after the Wall Street crash of 1929 leaves him virtually penniless. Pro football
1967: In what will become known as Super Bowl I, the Green Bay Packers, champions of the NFL, rout the AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10. The upstart Chiefs stay close for a half, trailing just 14-10, but the Packers break the game open in the second half. Elijah Pitts runs for two touchdowns and Max McGee catches his second touchdown pass of the day from Bart Starr. McGee, who is only playing because of a first-quarter injury to Boyd Dowler, catches seven passes for 138 yards after making just four receptions all season. Starr completes 16-of-23 passes for 250 yards and is named MVP. "The Chiefs have great speed, but I'd have to say NFL football is tougher," Packers coach Vince Lombardi says. "Their team doesn't compare with the top NFL teams." Tickets cost from $6 to $12 and the game draws 61,946 fans to the Los Angeles Coliseum. Both NBC and CBS televise the game, with CBS winning the battle of the ratings, 24.8 to 17.4.
Back to top
1942: Two days ago, Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt asking if he thought professional baseball should continue during wartime. Yesterday, the President wrote Landis back. Today, White House press secretary Stephen Early tells reporters that Roosevelt has given the green light for baseball to continue. The President believes the games will provide relaxation for a hard-working populace. He also suggests that more night games be played and agrees with Landis that players subject to the draft should not be deferred. "I honestly feel that it would be best for the country to keep baseball going," Roosevelt wrote. "There will be fewer people unemployed and everybody will work longer hours and harder than ever before. "And that means that they ought to have a chance for recreation and for taking their minds off their work even more than before . . . "Here is another way of looking at it - if 300 teams use 5,000 or 6,000 players, these players are a definite recreational asset to at least 20 million of their fellow citizens - and that in my judgment is thoroughly worthwhile." Baseball
1970:Traded against his will, outfielder Curt Flood files suit in federal court in New York to knock out the player reserve clause in major league baseball. In charging baseball with violation of the antitrust laws, Flood asks the court to award him triple damages on his $1 million suit. It names as defendants Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, the presidents of the National and American Leagues, and all 24 teams. The reserve clause restricts a player to one team indefinitely. Flood's lawyer, former Supreme Court Justice and U.N. Ambassador Arthur Goldberg, charges that the system "subjects all players to peonage and involuntary servitude in violation of the 13th Amendment." Flood had played the last 12 years with the St. Louis Cardinals before he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in October. Flood will lose his battle, but the players will win the war. His action will lead to the end of the reserve clause and the birth of free agency. Pro football:
1972: Finally, after several years of losing the big game to either the Green Bay Packers or Baltimore Colts, the Dallas Cowboys win the season's decisive contest. With the Doomsday Defense dominating the Dolphins, the Cowboys cruise to a 24-3 victory in Super Bowl VI in Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. By holding the Dolphins to a lone Garo Yepremian field goal, the Cowboys set a Super Bowl record that will stand for the rest of the 20th century. Coach Tom Landry's team limits Miami to a total of 185 yards - just 80 on the ground (40 each for Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick) and 105 via the air. With an interception and fumble recovery, linebacker Chuck Howley leads the Doomsday D. The Cowboys rush for more yards than the Dolphins gain total. The 252-yard running attack is led by halfback Duane Thomas (95 yards on 19 carries, including a three-yard touchdown) and fullback Walt Garrison (74 yards on 14 carries). However, it's quarterback Roger Staubach who wins the game's MVP despite passing for only 119 yards (12-of-19). Staubach does throw for a pair of seven-yard touchdown passes - to Lance Alworth in the second quarter and Mike Ditka in the fourth.
Back to top
1967:On the team bus taking UCLA to Chicago Stadium for its game against Iowa, Tommy Curtis says, "These guys (Iowa) should stay at the hotel because they're going to get a whippin'." He's right, even if UCLA looks like it's going through the motions. In a warm-up for No. 2 Notre Dame in two days, the top-ranked Bruins extend their NCAA record-winning streak to 88 with a 68-44 victory. Coach John Wooden uses words like "lackadaisical" and "atrocious" in describing UCLA's performance. With the leader of the Walton Gang injured -- Bill Walton misses his third straight game after suffering an injury to his lower back in victory No. 85 -- 7-foot-1 sophomore Ralph Drollinger replaces Walton at center and responds with a team-high 13 points and 17 rebounds. "Ralph's a good player," Wooden says, "but he's no Walton. Bill is a superstar." Besides Drollinger, the Bruins have four other players score in double figures against the outclassed Hawkeyes. NFL:
1971: Super Bowl V is known as the Blunder Bowl because of the ineptitude of the Cowboys and Colts. A total of 11 turnovers are committed, with Baltimore making seven in the Orange Bowl. While Dallas commits a mere four, it makes the last - and most significant - one. With less than two minutes left of a 13-13 game, the Cowboys face a second-and-34 on their own 27. Craig Morton throws his third interception when his pass goes off halfback Dan Reeves' hands and to Colts middle linebacker Mike Curtis, who returns it 13 yards to the Cowboys 28. That sets up a 32-yard field-goal attempt for rookie Jim O'Brien, whose extra point in the second quarter after a 75-yard pass from Johnny Unitas to John Mackey was blocked. About 10 days ago, O'Brien dreamed that a field goal was going to win the game. "I didn't know who was going to kick it or how far or when it would happen," he says. Now he knows. O'Brien nervously kicks the field goal with five seconds left that gives the Colts the 16-13 Blunder Bowl victory in Miami. Pro football
1988: With four minutes left in the AFC championship game, John Elway's 20-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Winder gives the Broncos a 38-31 lead. Taking over on their own 25, the Browns are driving for the tying touchdown. On second down at Denver's eight with little more than a minute remaining, Cleveland running back Earnest Byner runs for five yards when he is stripped of the ball by cornerback Jeremiah Castille, who recovers the fumble at the three. The Broncos give up a safety and escape with a 38-33 victory in Denver to advance to the Super Bowl. Byner runs for 67 yards on 15 carries and catches seven passes for 120 yards. He scores two touchdowns. But he winds up the goat. "I'm not in great spirits," Byner says. "But what can I do now? I played my heart out. What do you want me to do? Cry and be a baby about it. Well, I'm not going to do that. I'm a man. I did my best out there on the field. I'm just going to come back next year, and keep working and working."
Back to top
1976: Two weeks ago, in the AFC championship game, Lynn Swann was carried off the field with a concussion, knocked woozy by a vicious Oakland Raider hit. Today, the acrobatic Pittsburgh wide receiver catches four passes for 161 yards and is named MVP of the Steelers' 21-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl X in Miami. Among Swann's receptions is a magnificent 53-yarder, with Swann catching the ball as he is tumbling to the ground with a Dallas defender draped around his pads in the second quarter. Swann's 64-yard touchdown catch of Terry Bradshaw's pass in the fourth quarter boosts the Steelers' lead to 21-10. "I looked at the films of me being carried off and I was limper than a piece of spaghetti," Swann says. "I made a vow then I'd play. Somehow, some way. And now, hey, this is the game ball, and it's mine. The Super Bowl game ball. How about that?"
Back to top
1951: Willie Mosconi, who is to pool what Babe Ruth is to baseball, retains his world pocket billiards championship by defeating challenger Irvin Crane. The first half of the match was played in Philadelphia - where Mosconi took a 1,500-1,135 lead. It ends in Kansas City with Mosconi a 3,000-2,323 victor. Mosconi, who first won the championship in 1941, is an easy winner even though Crane sets a world record with a run of 160 balls. Clicking in the balls from every angle, Crane breaks the mark of 153 by the late Andrew Ponzi. This is the 11th title for Mosconi. He will win the championship eight more times before suffering a minor stroke at the end of 1956. In 1954, he will sink 526 straight balls in an exhibition match in Springfield, Ill. He will coach Paul Newman for his role in the 1961 film "The Hustler." College basketball
1974: Three weeks after Notre Dame's football team becomes No. 1 by beating Alabama in a thrilling Sugar Bowl, the Irish score their greatest basketball victory when they end UCLA's record 88-game winning streak in an equally magnificent contest. Down by 11 points with 3 1/2 minutes left, Notre Dame's press causes UCLA to panic. The No. 2-ranked and undefeated Irish score the game's final 12 points, capped by Dwight Clay's jumper from the right corner with 29 seconds left, to gain a stunning 71-70 victory over the Walton Gang. UCLA, which had set the collegiate record with 61 consecutive victories by winning in South Bend a year ago, is doomed to have its streak end on the same court. It's the first loss for UCLA since Jan. 23, 1971 when the Bruins were beaten 89-82 by -- who else? -- Notre Dame, also on this court. In the final seconds, Bill Walton, playing all 40 minutes after missing three games with a back injury, misses a 12-footer (only his second misfire in 14 field-goal attempts) and two Bruin follow-ups also fail. When it's over, Notre Dame center John Shumate (24 points, 11 rebounds) says he couldn't breathe, guard Gary Brokaw (game-high 25 points) says he couldn't believe it and Clay (1-of-4 before the game-winning shot) says Amen.
Back to top
1968: In a basketball game that makes fans in Texas forget football temporarily, No. 2 and undefeated Houston ends No. 1 UCLA's 47-game winning streak with a 71-69 victory at the Astrodome before 52,693, at the time the largest crowd to see a college basketball game. Houston forward Elvin Hayes outplays UCLA star Lew Alcindor, who is returning after missing two games with an injury to his left eye and is still bothered by the injury. The Big E outscores Alcindor 39-15 and hits two free throws with 28 seconds left to snap a 69-69 tie. In Houston's 18th straight win, Hayes makes 17-of-25 field goals, grabs 15 rebounds and blocks four shots, although playing the last 11 minutes with four fouls. A sluggish Alcindor shoots 4-of-15 from the field and has 12 rebounds. UCLA will gain its revenge in the Final Four, routing Houston, 101-69, in the semis. Alcindor will score 19 points and grab 18 rebounds compared to Hayes' 10 points and five rebounds. Super Bowl:
1980: Three times the Pittsburgh Steelers fall behind the 11-point underdog Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV in Pasadena, Cal. And each time Terry Bradshaw leads them back on top. After trailing 13-10 at halftime, Bradshaw hits Lynn Swann with a 47-yard touchdown pass as the Steelers regain the lead for the second time at 17-13. After the Rams come back on their next possession to take a 19-17 lead on a 24-yard halfback option pass, from Lawrence McCutcheon to Ron Smith, Bradshaw works his magic again. His 73-yard bomb to John Stallworth - on "60 Prevent, Slot, Hook and Go" - puts the Steelers back in front, 24-19, in the fourth quarter and his 45-yard pass to Stallworth sets up Franco Harris' second one-yard run, the clinching score in the 31-19 victory. In winning the game's MVP for the second straight year, Bradshaw passes for 309 yards on just 14 completions (in 21 attempts). The championship is Bradshaw and the Steelers' fourth in six seasons. NHL
1989: Penguins center Mario Lemieux joins Wayne Gretzky as the only players in NHL history to score 50 goals in fewer than 50 games. Just 78 seconds into his 44th game (No. 46 for Pittsburgh), Lemieux skates past the faceoff circle and beats Winnipeg goal Pokey Reddick with a shot to the short side. Gretzky has accomplished the feat three times, with the record coming in the 1981-82 season when he scored 50 goals in 39 games. Only 23 and in his fifth season, Lemieux also becomes the Penguins' all-time leading scorer in the 7-3 loss to the Jets when he gets two assists. With 638 points, Lemieux passes Rick Kehoe (636). Despite the two marks, Lemieux sits dejectedly in the locker room after the game. "We didn't put any type of effort in out there," he says with a sigh. "I don't know what's going on."
Back to top
1938: After hitting .346 with 167 runs batted in and an American League-leading 46 homers in his second year in the majors, Joe DiMaggio believes he deserves a lot more than the $15,000 he was paid last season. DiMaggio privately meets with Colonel Jacob Ruppert, the team owner, at Ruppert's brewery office. The Yankees are willing to boost DiMaggio's salary to $25,000, but not a nickel more. When Ruppert says that's his final offer, the Yankee Clipper walks out of the room. Though DiMaggio spurns his offer, Ruppert says there's no hard feelings. "Joe is very easy to do business with," he says. "He's not as pugnacious as (Babe) Ruth was. He's a nice young fellow." While DiMaggio does not reveal how much he wants, newspapers report that's he seeking anywhere from $30,000 to $45,000. Ruppert will keep his word and not budge. Two days after the Yankees open the season, DiMaggio will give in and accept the team's offer of $25,000. Pro football
1979: The Pittsburgh Steelers become the first team to win three Super Bowls. MVP Terry Bradshaw completes 17-of-30 passes for 318 yards, with four touchdown passes, to lead the Steelers to a 35-31 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Miami. Bradshaw's first two touchdown passes are to John Stallworth, for 28 and 75 yards. With 34 seconds left in the first half, he hits Rocky Bleier for a seven-yard score to give Pittsburgh a 21-14 lead. The turning point of the game occurs late in the third quarter. The Cowboys' back-up tight end Jackie Smith is free in the end zone, but he drops Roger Staubach's third-down pass. Instead of a tie game, the Cowboys have to settle for a field goal. "I guess I was so wide open that it scared Roger as much as it did me," says the future Hall of Famer after his last game. "He took a little off the ball. It was a little behind me and a little low, as I turned back for it, I slipped. But no excuses. I still should have caught it." The Steelers score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to take a 35-17 lead and hold off a Cowboys' comeback. Basketball
1982: Ned Irish, the founder and former president of the New York Knicks from 1946-74 and one of the leaders in the development of college and pro basketball, dies of a heart attack in Venice, Fla. He was 76. Irish left a job as a New York sportswriter in 1934 to work for Madison Square Garden. His first college promotion drew 16,180 fans to a doubleheader, with NYU defeating Notre Dame in the feature game. Over the next decade, Irish spurred the growth of college basketball in New York. In 1946, he was one of the founders of the 11-team Basketball Association of America, which merged with the National Basketball League in 1949 to become the National Basketball Association. He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1964.
Back to top
1968: Duke Kahanamoku, a five-time Olympic medalist in swimming who became Hawaii's best-known citizen, dies of a heart attack in Honolulu. He was 77. Duke popularized the American crawl stroke and was the first outstanding sprinter to swim with his head and shoulders high above the water. He won the 100-meter freestyle in the 1912 and 1920 Olympics and finished second to Johnny Weissmuller in 1924 at the age of 33. As a member of the 4x200-meter U.S. freestyle relay team, he won silver in 1912 and gold in 1920. In 1932, he was an alternate on the U.S. water polo team. Duke also played a major role in introducing the sport of surfing around the world. In 1925, in a tragedy in which 17 people died when a yacht capsized off Newport Beach, Calif., Duke used his surfboard to save the lives of eight people. After appearing in minor roles in 28 Hollywood films, he served as the sheriff of the city and county of Honolulu for more than 20 years. His ashes will be deposited on the sea off Waikiki in the traditional beachboy manner, a final rite the Duke himself requested. Boxing
1973: It's a battle of unbeaten heavyweights, both of whom won Olympic gold medals. In one corner there's the champ, Joe Frazier (1964 Olympic champ), standing 5-foot-11 and weighing 214 pounds. In the other corner there's George Foreman (1968), at 6-foot-3 and 217 1/2 pounds. Frazier is the 3-1 favorite. Surprisingly, the bout in Kingston, Jamaica, lasts less than five minutes. More surprisingly, it's Foreman who's dishing out all the punishment, as he pounds away at his smaller opponent. Catching Smokin' Joe with unlooked-for right uppercuts, Foreman knocks down Frazier six times in two rounds. After the sixth, referee Arthur Mercante stops the fight at 1:35, Foreman winning the title on a TKO. "I hit him with a punch, and there was a grin on his face, as if he was saying, 'Look, man, you're going to kill me,' " says Foreman (38-0). Frazier (29-1) says, "I chose to fight him back and that was all wrong. I should have bobbed and weaved and jabbed, but my instinct made me get up and try to continue to press the fight." Super Bowl:
1989: The San Francisco 49ers trail the Cincinnati Bengals by three points in Super Bowl XXIII with 3:10 left when Montana spots - no, not an open receiver - but a personality. "There, in the stands, standing near the exit ramp," Montana says to tackle Harris Barton. "Isn't that John Candy?" After locating the comedian in the stands, Joe Cool is all business. He hits 8-of-9 passes, accounting for 97 yards. (While the 49ers start on their own eight, they have to gain 102 yards because of a penalty). Montana hyperventilates during the drive, but doesn't panic and gets his breath back. "It's like the soldier taking two in the belly and still finishing in charge," says Bill Walsh, coaching his final game with the 49ers. The last pass by Montana, who completes 23-of-36 for a Super Bowl record 357 yards, is a bullet - a 10-yard bulls-eye to John Taylor in the end zone with 34 seconds left at Miami's Orange Bowl. It gives the 49ers a 20-16 victory, their third Super Bowl triumph in the eighties. "It took 23 years, but the Super Bowl was finally super," says 49ers guard Randy Cross. "It was a game you can look back on and say, 'Now, that was a game.' "
Back to top
1944: In the most one-sided game in NHL history, the Red Wings blast the New York Rangers, 15-0, at Olympia Stadium in Detroit. The Red Wings also break another record by becoming the first team to score 15 consecutive goals in a game. After scoring two goals in the first period, the Red Wings get five in the second and eight in the third. If the game lasts another second, their total would be 16 goals as a shot goes into the net just after the contest ends. While Rangers goalie Ken McAuley, a former truant officer from Saskatchewan, misses 15 shots, he makes 43 saves. Detroit's rookie goalie, Connie Dion, has an easier time, having to make only nine saves for his first NHL shutout. Ten players score for the Red Wings, with Syd Howe leading the onslaught with a hat trick, with all three goals coming in the final eight minutes. Pro football:
1982: After playing defensive end his first three seasons with the Miami Dolphins, a sportswriter suggested in 1980 to coach Don Shula that A.J. Duhe might be better suited at linebacker. "The only good suggestion I ever heard from a sportswriter," says a laughing Shula today. In the AFC championship game in Miami, the 6-foot-4, 248-pound Duhe gives Shula plenty of reason to be happy. Though listed as an inside linebacker, Duhe lines up all over, and his duties vary as well. Sometimes he blitzes the quarterback, sometimes he falls back into pass coverage. While the defense is known for its Killer B's - the last names of several players start with the letter B - it's Duhe who kills the Jets, intercepting three of Richard Todd's passes in the second half. The first sets up the Dolphins' first score and the third he returns 35 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the Dolphins' 14-0 victory on a soggy Orange Bowl field. Duhe lets it all out with each of his big plays. He clenches his fists and holds them aloft. He points a forefinger to the sky. "I'm not going to be Mr. Mellow in a championship game," says Duhe, not known to be mellow in any game.
Back to top
ESPN TOP HEADLINES
- Urlacher retiring from NFL after 13 seasons
- Crabtree has surgery for torn Achillies
- Tiger: 'Time to move on,' Garcia apologizes
- Jarrett, Maurice Petty enter NASCAR HOF