Tag Archives: debut

Historic Rookies: Michael Jordan In 1984-85

During the 1984 NBA Draft a player would be selected by a team that needed a super star to lead them into the future. The NBA was also about to gain a future legend that is still talked three decades later. This player was none other than the University of North Carolina guard Michael Jordan. Jordan was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 3rd overall pick that year. His rookie season was a peak into what the future of basketball and American sports was about to become.

Michael Jordan during his rookie season. (Getty Images)

Michael Jordan during his rookie season. (Getty Images)

Michael Jordan made his NBA debut on October 26, 1984. His Chicago Bulls were hosting the Washington Bullets. Much was expected from this rookie from North Carolina. Jordan had a solid game putting up 16 points, 7 assists, and went 6 for 7 at the free throw line. The Bulls beat the Bullets by a score of 109-93. As the season went on Jordan popularity would rise just like he would glide to the basket for one of his highlight reel dunks.

The Sports Illustrated cover that would add to Michael Jordan's superstar status. (Sports Illustrated)

The Sports Illustrated cover that would add to Michael Jordan’s superstar status. (Sports Illustrated)

Before the end of 1984 Michael Jordan graced the cover of the iconic Sports Illustrated Magazine with the quote “A Star Is Born”. In early 1985 before the NBA All-Star Game the fans voted Jordan into the mid season classic featuring the leagues best players. Jordan faced some jealousy from his fellow players for the success he had achieved just a few months into his career. The most notable was Detroit Pistons star Isiah Thomas who has been the previous years All Star Game MVP. It has been said over the years that Thomas was trying to get the players on the Eastern Division Team to keep the ball out of Jordan’s hands and make him look like less of a star in the game. Jordan was was able to contribute in the game but hardly was the star of the game. Jordan scored only 7 points in his All Star debut.

The Chicago Bulls ended the regular season with a record of 38-44 and received a playoff birth. The Bulls lost their first round playoff series to the Milwaukee Bucks 3-1.

Michael Jordan played all 82 games for the Bulls in his debut season and put up outstanding numbers for a rookie. Jordan scored 2,313 points, 481 assists and had a free throw percentage of .845. He was also named the NBA Rookie of the year. Jordan would not win his first NBA Title until the 1990-91 season. He retired from the game for the third and final time following the 2002-2003 NBA Season. Jordan scored 32,292 points, won 6 NBA Titles and 6 NBA Finals MVP Awards during his career among many of his other accomplishments. He is considered by many to be the most popular American athelete since Babe Ruth and the greatest basketball player ever.

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Historic Rookies: Gale Sayers In 1965

With the 4th overall pick in the 1965 NFL Draft the Chicago Bears selected running back Gale Sayers from the University of Kansas. Sayers had been a two time All American and was highly touted coming out of college. The Bears were in need of a solid running back following the 1964 season in which the teams leading rusher was Jon Arnett who finished the season with 400 yards on the ground. Ronnie Bull was the second rusher in terms of yards with 320. Sayers would come in and rush for more yard than both backs combined.

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Gale Sayers was a very influential running back that changed how the game was played from the back field. Sayers was an explosive rusher with the ability to stop, move and go at practically any given moment. Sayers would also become one of the best kick returners the game had seen up to that point.

Gale Sayers had a phenomenal debut season in 1965. On the ground Sayers was practically unstoppable with 867 yards, 14 touchdowns. Sayers also gained 507 yards receiving and scored 6 touchdowns. Lastly Sayers returned 16 kicks for a total of 898 yards and 2 touchdowns on kickoffs and punt returns combined. Despite the incredible season Sayers had he could only help the Bears so much. The Bears finished that season with a record of 9-5 and placed 3rd in the NFL Western Conference.

Gale Sayers was named the NFL Rookie of the at the end of the 1965 season. That season he set the record for the most touchdowns scored by a rookie with 22, a record that still stands today, almost five decades later. Sayers would only play seven total seasons before retiring after the 1971 season. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 1977.

The Pursuit Of Baseball In Tampa

The State of Florida has been the home of Spring Training since the early part of the 1900s. Up until 1993 Florida never had a professional baseball team to call their own.  The Florida Marlins who were based in the Miami area were the first.  The Tampa Bay Devil Rays were soon to follow in 1998.  But Florida has a deep history of pursuing Major League Baseball before they received their teams in the 1990s.
It started in 1983 in the Tampa Bay area when local city officials considered building a baseball stadium to house a pro team.  Construction began in 1986 on what is now known as Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.  It was completed in 1990.  At the time there were no expansion franchises being granted for any city.  So they sought a team the best way they could, trying to lure a team from their current city.
Tropicana Filed,  The stadium that would bring baseball to the Tampa Bay area. (Getty Images)

Tropicana Filed, The stadium that would bring baseball to the Tampa Bay area. (Getty Images)

The Chicago White Sox were the first team that Tampa pursued.  In 1989 The White Sox were not happy in the old Comiskey Park and wanted a new stadium.  They flirted with Tampa for a while before ultimately getting their new stadium and staying in Chicago.
The next team that was rumored was the Seattle Mariners.  The talks did not go very far and the Mariners remained in Washington.
Tampa had their hearts broken in 1991 when they were denied an expansion franchise.  The Miami area won out instead of Tampa and the Florida Marlins came into existence.  The Marlins played the first ever regular season game in Florida in April of 1993.
The closest that Tampa ever came to stealing a team away from a city was in 1993.  The San Francisco Giants owners were looking to sell and a group of investors from Tampa were looking to buy them.   The deal was almost done.  The local baseball fans were already celebrating and then the bad news came.  The sale was vetoed by the National League Owners.  The Giants remained in San Francisco and Tampa was still without a team.
That was until in 1995 when they were granted an expansion franchise.  The Tampa Bay Devil Rays played their first regular season game in 1998.
The past does make one wonder how different things would be if the White Sox, Mariners or Giants would have relocated to Tampa.  If the White Sox or Mariners would have moved would there have been a team in Miami in 1993?  Probably not, there more than likely would have been years later though.  The Giants move would have been interesting.  The city of San Francisco would probably have a different team right now.  There is no way that City would be without a team for too long, not with their tradition and history.

It’s really incredible how things turned out for Tampa.  They took a huge risk by building a stadium without having a team for it.  For many years they looked like failures.  Many in the city thought they would never have a team to call their own.  But Tampa proved to be very persistent and got what they wanted in the end.

Top 3 Stories From Week 1 Of The NFL

The 2012 season is out of the gates and charging hard into the Fall.  As anticipated the first week of NFL action brought much excitement and enjoyment as America’s number 1 sport began its new season.  There were many potential story lines heading into week 1.  Here are 2centsworthofsports.com’s Top 3 stories that developed on Sunday.

RG 3 Impresses In Rookie Debut

Robert Griffin III made his highly anticipated debut on Sunday in New Orleans against the Saints.  Much like Cam Newton in his rookie season last year,  RG3 rose to the occasion.  Griffin lead the Redskins to a win over the Saints by a score of 40-32.  More impressive than the victory were Griffin’s stats.  Griffin was 19-26 with 320 yards passing, 42 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns.  Griffin completed his first 7  passes for over 123 yards.  The most exciting play came in the 1st quarter when Griffin connected with Wide Receiver Pierre Garcon for an 88 yard touchdown pass.  That TD pass would be Griffins first in the NFL and is a hell of a way to start a career.  A statement was made on Sunday, Griffin is as good as we thought he would be and he makes the Redskins a legitimate threat.

Peyton Manning Showed No Signs Of Rust In His Broncos Debut

One of the first major NFL stories of the past off season was where would Peyton Manning land in free agency.  The answer was Denver but that left a question remaining, how would he perform?  Manning sat out the entire 2011 season after having undergone neck surgery.  On Sunday night in Prime Time, Manning and the Broncos hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Manning was back to his usual form going 19-26 with 253 yards passing and 2 touchdown passes.  The Broncos beat the Steelers 31-19 in the first game of the season.  Manning showed how ready he was to be back in football.  It is safe to say he will continue to be one of the best QB’s in the league this season.

#1 Pick Andrew Luck Has A Rough Debut In Chicago

The first overall pick in April’s Draft, Andrew Luck took to the field with his Colts to face the Chicago Bears.  Luck came out of college with the same expectations that he is NFL ready.  He may very well be but Sunday did not treat Luck very well.  The Colts were defeated by the Bears by a score of 41-21.  Luck was 25-43 passing with 309 yards passing, 9 yards rushing, 1 touchdown and threw for 3 interceptions.  The Bears defense was too much for the Colts line who just did not give Luck enough time to be comfortable.  Luck’s 3 interceptions show he was not mentally ready for this game.  However his other stats look promising.  The problem for Luck this season will be that the Colts have not provided him with the best supporting cast.  Week 2 will be a good opportunity to see how Luck can recover from a tough loss and move forward.

The Stats – 5 NFL Rookie QB’s Debut

Like many sports fans I love numbers and of course numbers equal stats.  So what better way to break down the most anticipated element of the 1st week of NFL action.  The focus was on the top 5 rookie Quarterbacks.  Those QB’s being Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Branden Weeden, Ryan Tannehill and Russell Wilson.  So let’s let the numbers speak for themselves and see how these rookies did in their first NFL games.

The Stats

Robert Griffin III (Redskins)

Getty Images

Completion Percentage: 73.1%

Passing Yards: 320

Rushing Yards: 42

Touchdowns: 2

Interceptions: 0

Win (Defeated the Saints 40-32)

Andrew Luck (Colts)

Getty Images

Completion Percentage: 51.1%

Passing Yards: 309

Rushing Yards: 9

Touchdowns: 1

Interceptions: 3

Loss (Defeated 41-21 by the Bears)

Branden Weeden (Browns)

Getty Images

Completion Percentage: 34.3%

Passing Yards: 118

Rushing Yards: 25

Touchdowns: 0

Interceptions: 4

Loss (Defeated by the Eagles 17-16)

Ryan Tannehill (Dolphins)

Getty Images

Completion Percentage: 55.6%

Passing Yards: 219

Rushing Yards: -1

Touchdowns: 0

Interceptions: 3

Loss (Defeated by Texans 30-10)

Russell Wilson (Seahawks)

Getty Images

Completion Percentage: 52.9%

Passing Yards: 153

Rushing Yards: 20

Touchdowns: 1

Interceptions: 1

Loss (Defeated by the Cardinals 20-16)

“Sunday Ready” Robert Griffin III Makes A Succesful Debut

It used to be that a new NFL quarterback had time to develop and flourish over multiple season, not anymore.  There are many teams each year that need solutions for their QB position woes.  They want it fast and the best way to go now is with a top ten QB, rather than the veteran back up or fallen starting QB.  It is easier to go with a new QB and take a chance at their future.  The old system of getting a veteran QB is going away because teams just don’t want to be stagnate anymore.  Players like Cam Newton have done great things to changes the way teams look at top pick QB’s.

RG3 celebrates his 88-yard TD pass.
(Getty Images)

 

In April the Washington Redskins went in the direction that most teams are going.  That direction is with a top pick QB to be the future of their franchise.  With the second pick in the first round of the NFL Draft the Redskins selected Robert Griffin III (RG3).  RG3 had an incredible final season at Baylor in 2011 and won the Heisman Trophy.  RG3 has drawn many comparisons to Cam Newton, in terms of both athleticism and potential.

On Sunday RG3 made his highly anticipated regular season debut.  He led his Redskins into New Orleans to face the Saints and one of the best QB’s in the league Drew Brees.  Griffin got off to a great start completing his first 7 passes for 123 yards.  One of those passes was an amazing 88 yard pass to Wide Receiver Pierre Garcon.  Garcon was able to make it into the end zone for Griffin’s 1st NFL touchdown pass, which came in the 1st quarter.  Griffin’s 2nd touchdown pass came in the second quarter, a 5 yard toss to Aldrick Robinson.  Going into half time the Redskins were beating the Saints by a score of 20-14.

In the second half of the game Griffin led the Redskins down the field in position for 3 made field goal attempts.  The Saints tried to comeback in the second half but with a just a field goal, two touchdown passes and a 2 point conversion it was just not enough.  The Redskins won the game by a score of 40-32.

Griffin had an outstanding debut with 320 yards passing, 42 yards rushing, 2 touchdown passes and no interceptions.  The Redskins might just be back in a big way.  Griffin met all the expectations of the Redskin fans and his team, can he keep it up?  That will be the fun thing to watch for this season.

Top 3 Stories From Week 2 Of College Football

Week 2 of the College Football is over just in time for the first Sunday of NFL action.  There were some great games and performances on Saturday.  Let’s take our weekly look at 2centsworthofsports.com’s top 3 stories of NCAA action.

2 Major Teams Debut And Lose In the SEC

Texas A&M and Missouri made their SEC debuts on Saturday.  Much was said and predicted about their debuts in one of College Football’s best conference.  Both teams played two of the toughest teams in the SEC, the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs respectively.  A&M hosted the number 24th ranked Florida Gators at home and played the Gators in a nail biter.  The game was close the entire time and came down to a winning TD for Florida to take the game.  The final score was 20-17 for UF over Texas A&M.  In Missouri there was another great game that was really close until the 4th quarter where the number 7th ranked Bulldogs pulled away from Missouri, scoring 17 points in the last quarter.  The final score was 41-20 in favor of UGA.  It was a rough day for both debuting teams, they did however show they belong in the powerhouse conference.

Matt Barkley Throws 6 TD’s In Win Over Syracuse

The 2nd ranked team in the country the USC Trojans came into New York to play Syracuse.  The game was not as easy of a win that many expected for the Trojans, winning 49-29 on the road and advancing their record to 2-0.  Matt Barkley’s performance is the biggest story of this game.  Barkley was 23 for 30 passing with 187 yards and 6 touchdowns.  Barkley only threw 1 interception the entire game.  Barkley has really developed into the player he was expected to be coming out of high school just a couple of years ago.  This was a great statement making performance for the USC quarterback.

#13 Wisconsin Falls To Unranked Oregon State

In what was the biggest upset of a ranked team this Saturday,  Oregon State defeated Wisconsin.  This game was a low scoring affair with the final score of 10-7 in favor of the Beavers.  The star of the game for the Beavers was their QB Sean Mannion who had 276 yards passing and 1 touchdown pass.  The Wisconsin Badgers really under played themselves in this road game.  The Badgers will have to make some adjustments going ahead into the season if they want to remain in the top 25 rankings.  The Beavers could likely end up in the top 25 with this win.