Historic Rookies: Oscar Robertson In 1960-61

With the 1st overall pick in the 1960 the NBA’s Cincinnati Royals selected Guard Oscar Robertson.  Robertson stared in college at the University Of Cincinnati.  During his college days Roberston became a 3-time scoring leader and a 3-time first team All-American.  When the 1960 season began he was kicking off what would become a Hall Of Fame career.

NBA Hall Of Famer Oscar Robertson. (Getty Images

NBA Hall Of Famer Oscar Robertson. (Getty Images

On October 19, 1960 Oscar Robertson made his NBA debut in Cincinnati against the visiting Los Angeles Lakers.  The Lakers squad who also had a rookie who would go on to be considered one of the greats, Jerry West.  Robertson’s team was victorious at home on opening night and defeated the Lakers by a score of 140-123.  Robertson scored 21 points, 10 assists and had 12 rebounds in his debut as a professional.

When his rookie season was finished in March of 1961 Oscar Robertson had led his team to a fourth place finish in the NBA’s Western Division.  Robertson was the leading scorer for the Royals with 2,165 points.  He finished with a scoring average of 30.5 points, 10.1 rebounds and 9.7 assists.  Robertson also made his first All-Star appearance in 1961 where he was named the All-Star MVP.  On top of all of his accomplishments during the 1960-61 seasons was being named the Rookie Of The Year.

Eleven season after his debut Oscar Robertson would win his first and only NBA Championship with the Milwaukee Bucks during the 1970-71season.  Robertson played with the Royals from 1960-1970 and finished his career with the Bucks from 1970-1974.  He was elected into the Hall Of Fame in 1980.

The 1933 NFL Championship Game: “The First NFL Playoff Game”

Nothing is more exciting in any professional sport than a playoff game. American’s have enjoyed the NFL playoffs for eight decades. Since the NFL’s inception there have been over 500 playoff games. That tradition did not start in 1920 with the league’s inception.  From 1920-1923 the NFL Champion was voted by the team owners.  During the 1924-1932 seasons the Championship was won by the team with the best record (win percentage) at the end of the season.

The 1932 season was the final season before a Championship Game was instituted.  The final game of the ’32 season was technically a “playoff” game. The Chicago Bears (6-1-6) and the Portsmouth Spartans (6-1-4) shared the league’s best win percentage of .857.  To settle the tie an addition game was played between the two teams. The Bears were victorious in that final contest by a score of 9-0 over the Spartans. This game was recorded as a regular season game in the record books for both teams.

At the conclusion of the the 1932 season the NFL decided that a Championship game would take place at the end of every season. The two teams holding the best record in their division (Eastern and Western) would face each other to determine a champion. Thus began what we now know as the NFL Playoffs.

The 1933 NFL Championship Game played at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (Getty)

The 1933 NFL Championship Game played at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (Getty)

On December 17,1933 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL the first NFL Championship Game took place. The Western Division’s Chicago Bears (10-2-1) went to battle with the Eastern Division’s New York Giants (11-3). This game featured two of the NFL’s all-time greats, Red Grange and Bronco Nagurski both playing for the Bears.

The Bears drew first blood with a Jack Manders 16-yard field goal in the 1st quarter. In the 2nd quarter the Bears would receive another field goal from Manders, while the Giants QB Harry Newman threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Red Badgro. The Giants led 7-6 going into halftime.

When the second half began the Bears would retake the lead with another Manders field goal. The Giants quickly responded with a 1-yard touchdown run by Max Krause, the Giants now held the lead by a score of 14-09. The Bears scored their first touchdown of the game Bronco Nagurski touchdown pass to Bill Karr before the 3rd quarter concluded.

The 4th and final quarter began with the Bears holding a 16-14 lead over the Giants. The lead would change early in the final quarter when the Giants QB Harry Newman completed his second touchdown pass for the day to Ken Strong to take a 21-16 lead. The Bears came through in the final two minutes to take the lead and the win with a Bill Karr 19-yard touchdown reception. The Bears defeated the Giants 23-21 on that day. The Bears became the first NFL team to capture a championship via a “playoff” game.

Many people debated whether the first NFL game was in 1932, 1933 of 1967. The 1932 game was not officially scored as a “playoff” game while the 1933 game was. The semifinal playoff games did not begin until the 1967 season so some consider it to be the first season with a playoff. I feel that the 1933 game was a playoff game and has even officially been regarded as that by the NFL. With that being said, the first ever NFL Championship game was the first playoff game ever.

Happy New Year From AmericanSportsHistory.com

New Years Eve 2015

Happy New Year everyone! 2014 was a great year for this web site. There was a lot of history made this year in sports and AmericanSportsHistory.com had you covered all year. We also delved into the past for stories of legends like Jim Brown, Michael Jordan and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.

I am proud to say the site attracted more visitors than ever before. I will be celebrating the 3rd anniversary of the site in March. Keep an eye out for more great American Sports History content in 2015. I plan on continuing many of the main stay articles like “History Now” and “Historic Rookies” plus bring you more exciting content. Thanks again for all of the support and get ready for a great year ahead.

Justin Hand
Founder, Owner and Writer
WWW.AmericanSportsHistory.com

AmericanSportsHistory.com’s “Best Of 2014”

This past year has been the best calender year the site has ever seen. I feel like I have really gotten into a groove when it comes to chronicling some of American’s greatest athletes, moments and milestones. I want to thank all of my followers and readers for your support that you have shown ever since I began this writing adventure in 2012.

I am starting a new tradition this year. I am going to list some of my favorite articles that were published right here on AmericanSportsHistory.com. I hope you have enjoyed the site and keep coming back. Without any further ado here are my favorites from 2014!

Justin Hand
Founder, Owner and Writer
WWW.AmericanSportsHistory.com

The 1994 MLB Players Strike: The 20th Anniversary
https://americansportshistory.com/2014/08/11/the-1994-mlb-players-strike-the-20th-anniversary-2/

The History Of The Three-Point Line In The NBA
https://americansportshistory.com/2014/02/13/the-history-of-the-three-point-line-in-the-nba/

Historic Rookies: Gale Sayers In 1965
https://americansportshistory.com/2014/07/12/historic-rookies-gale-sayers-in-1965/

Michael Jordan: The Flu Game
https://americansportshistory.com/2014/06/11/michael-jordan-the-flu-game/

Marion Motley: Breaking The Color Barrier In Football
https://americansportshistory.com/2014/05/03/marion-motley-breaking-the-color-barrier-in-football/

370 Points : The Tale Of The Highest Scoring NBA Game Ever
https://americansportshistory.com/2014/02/10/370-points-the-tale-of-the-highest-scoring-nba-game-ever/

Merry Christmas From AmericanSportsHistory.com!

xmas

I would like to take a moment and wish all of my friends, family and visitors of the site a very merry Christmas! Thanks to all of my friends and family for your support and to all of my followers and readers. I hope everyone has an incredible holiday and is lucky enough to spend it with the ones they love. Also, please let us not forget all of the men and women serving in harms way overseas. If it was not for our veterans past and present non of this would be possible. Thanks again for visiting the site and I hope to see you in the new year!

Justin Hand
Owner, Founder and Writer
AmericanSportsHistory.com

“Going Out On Top”: The Story Of Jim Brown’s Nine Season NFL Career

When football fans think of the greatest running backs of all time a few names usually come up.  Names like Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, Gale Sayers.  There is a player some would consider greater than those previously named, Jim Brown.

The legendary Jim Brown. (Getty Images)

The legendary Jim Brown. (Getty Images)

Jim Brown was taken by the Cleveland Browns with the 6th overall pick in the 1957 NFL Draft.   Brown was a first-team All American at Syracuse University.  His senior season at the school was the most impressive.  During the 1956 College Football season Brown ran for 986 yards and scored 14 touchdowns in only eight games that season.

Jim Brown’s pro career would mirror the success of his college days.  When he came to Cleveland the Browns had yet to find an incredible running back since Hall Of Fame running back Marion Motley quit the team in 1954.  During his rookie season Brown ran for 942 yards and had 9 touchdowns.  Brown really turned it up a notch in his second season in 1958, rushing for 1527 yards with 17 touchdowns.

This amazing running back went on to seven seasons with 1,000-yards or more during his nine year career.  His highest rushing yardage season came in 1963 when he ran for 1,863- yards.  Brown’s 1963 season became the running back record for most rushing yards in a single season.  The record stood until 1973 when O.J. Simpson ran for 2,003-yards.

Jim Brown’s final season came in 1965.  His final game was on January 2, 1965 in the NFL Championship game against the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, WI.  Brown ran for 50-yards, caught 3 passes for 44-yards but scored no touchdowns.  The Packers defeated the Cleveland Browns by a score of 23-12.

During his final campaign Brown ran for 1,544 yards and once again recorded 17 touchdowns on the ground.  Brown would decide to leave football following 1965 season to pursue an acting career.  Many around football could not believe he would leave the NFL while still proving to be one of the best players in the game. At the age of 29 Jim Brown was retired from football and would never play again in the NFL.  

His nine season career still stands out as one of the best in NFL History.  Jim Brown amassed 12,312 yards (An NFL record not broken until 1984 by Walter Payton) while rushing for 80 touchdowns and caught 20 touchdown passes.  Brown led the league in rushing for eight of his nine seasons and was selected as a Pro Bowler in every season he played in the NFL.  In 1971 Jim Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.

When going back through the records and accomplishments during his playing days it is hard to deny that Jim Brown is one of the greatest players of all time.  He may no lomger hold any of the amazing records he set during his career but they are still impressive 49 years after he retired. He was a bruising power back the likes we have never seen since and may never see again.  Jim Brown truly left the game of football while still on top.

History Now: Kobe Bryant Passes Michael Jordan On The All Time Scoring List

On December 14, 2014 in Minnesota, Kobe Bryant made history and moved up on the NBA’s All Time Scoring list. In a game between the Los Langeles Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves, Bryant scored 29 points. With the points scored in this game Bryant now holds the 3rd spot on the NBA’s most precious record list. He passed Jordan on a free throw in the first half (Bryant’s first career point also came via a free throw). Following this milestone point Bryant received great applause from the Minnesota crowd and was congratulated by both teams.

Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan during the 1997-1998 basketball season. (Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan during the 1997-1998 basketball season. (Getty Images)

Michael Jordan was the previously held the 3rd position with 32,292 points scored during his 14 seasons in the NBA. It took Kobe Bryant 19 seasons to pass the legendary Jordan. Bryant appears to be nearing the end of his career which would mean that he not move up any further on the list. Karl Malone is the NBA’s 2nd All Time Points Leader with 36,928 points. In order for Bryant to reach this mark he would need to stay healthy and play for at least 3-4 more seasons.

Kobe Byrant has had a few injury plagued seasons lately due to his age and the effects of 19 seasons in the NBA. Interesting enough Bryant broke another record this year in the NBA, most career missed shots. This happened on November 11, 2014 when missed his 13,418 missed shot.

Kobe Bryant (Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant (Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant is definitely a living legend and one of the all time great in the game of basketball. This latest accomplishment will surely have people debating whether he is a better player than Michael Jordan was. Beyond the records and accomplishments it is safe to say they were both two of the best basketball players of the modern era.

History Now: Samaje Perine Breaks NCAA Single Game Rushing Record

On November 22,2014 in Norman, OK NCAA history was Made. Oklahoma Sooner running back Samaje Perine set a new NCAA record for rushing yards in a single game with 427-yards. Perine did so in a blowout game where his Sooners defeated Kansas by a score of 44-7. Perine also scored 5 touchdowns during this incredible performance.

New NCAA record holder Samaje Perine. (Getty Images)

New NCAA record holder Samaje Perine. (Getty Images)

An interesting note to this accomplishment is how new the previous record was that Perine broke. Just one week earlier on November 15, 2014 Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon broke the previous record with a 408-yard rushing performance. With that performance Gordon broke a record Ladainian Tomlinson had held with a 406-yard performance in 1999.

It is pretty amazing that a record that stood for 15 years was broken twice in one week. Samaje Perine set the bar far higher than Melvin Gordon did just one week earlier. This record will be very hard to beat and will not likely be done any time soon.

History Now: Peyton Manning Sets A New Record For Career Touchdown Passes

On October 19, 2014 the Denver Broncos future Hall Of Fame QB Peyton Manning broke Brett Favre’s previous NFL All-Time Career Touchdown record in Denver, CO. Favre’s previous record had been 508 TD’s. Manning came into the game against the San Francisco 49ers with 506 career TD’s.

Peyton Manning began the game with an early score in the 1st quarter when he completed a 3-yard pass to Emmanuel Sanders. He then tied Brett Favre’s record with a 39-yard TD pass to Wes Welker late in the 1st quarter of the game. Manning’s third TD of the game came right before half time, a 8-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas. With that touchdown Manning had passed Favre with TD 509. He would throw one more TD pass to Thomas for good measure in the third quarter. When Manning was taken out of the game in the third quarter he had 510 career touchdowns. Manning broke Favre’s record in 57 fewer games played.

Peyton Manning celebrates his record breaking game.  (Getty Images)

Peyton Manning celebrates his record breaking game.
(Getty Images)

Peyton Manning’s feat is an incredible show of strength and determination. In 2011 Manning had season ending neck surgery. Many people believed he would never be the same if he was even able to return. Manning would return in 2012 with the Denver Broncos and has proven he is one of the best quarterbacks of his era. The 38 year old Manning is in fine form and does not appear to be slowing down any time soon.

Record Holders: Willie “Flipper” Anderson – Single Game Receiving Yards

On November 26, 1989 the L.A. Rams visited the New Orleans Saints in a game that would make history. A record was broken on that day, a record that has stood ever since. The star of the game was Rams Wide Receiver Flipper Anderson. On that day he amassed 336 receiving yards and scored one touchdown.

NFL Record Holder - Willie "Flipper" Anderson (Getty)

NFL Record Holder – Willie “Flipper” Anderson (Getty)

The previous record had been held by Stephone Paige of the Kansas City Chiefs. Paige broke the previous record on December 22, 1985. Paige recorded 309 total receiving yards against the San Diego Chargers in that game.

Since Flipper Anderson’s incredible performance in 1989 only one player has had more than 300 yards receiving in a single game. That player is Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson. On October 27, 2013 Johnson had 329 yards receiving in a game between the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys. Johnson missed the record by 7 yards but holds the second place position on the all time list for this particular record.

Flipper Anderson went on to have a respectable career after his amazing feat in 1989. He retired with a career total of 5,357 yards and 28 touchdowns. He played from 1988-1997 for the Rams, Colts, Redskins and Broncos. In fact his final season win the NFL was with the 1997 Denver Broncos who defeated the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII to become the Champions.