Tag Archives: television

Clint Malarchuk – Surviving The Worst Televised Sports Injury Ever

Many American professional sports can be brutal and very violent at times.  When most sports fans think of horrible sports injuries that were broadcast on American television they think of one particular injury.  That injury is the infamous Lawrence Taylor tackle on quarterback Joe Theisman in November of 1985 on Monday Night Football.  Theisman had his lower leg completely snapped in half and it was live for all of America to see.  There is an even worse sports injury that happened almost four years later.

On March 22,1989 the NHL match up between the St Louis Blues and the Buffalo Sabers began in Buffalo, NY.  Goal tending that night for the Sabers was the 8th year veteran Clint Malarchuk.  Nobody in the building had any idea what was about to happen, including Malarchuk.  During a fight for the puck at the net between Blues player Steve Tuttle and Sabers player Uwe Krupp both of them crashed into the goal.  When they did Tuttle’s skate caught Malarchuk in the throat.  Malarchuk immediately clutched his throat area.  Once every one of the Ice realized what was happening blood began pouring to the Ice from Malarchuk’s neck.  He was aided to by the referee and a few players.  The television broadcast went to a commercial break.  When they came back Malarchuk was being taken off of the ice.  Their were several pools of blood after he was taken into the back of the Arena.

Clint Malarchuk just seconds after his horrific injury. (Getty Images)

Clint Malarchuk just seconds after his horrific injury. (Getty Images)

One man was responsible for saving Clint Malarchuk’s life that night, team trainer Jim Pizzutelli.  Pizzutelli reached into Malarchuk’s neck and pinched off the bleeding until doctors could arrive.  It has been estimated that if the cut was just a little high on his neck he would have been dead by the time he received medical attention.  Malarchuk lost 1/3 of his entire blood supply and needed over 300 stitches to close the cut.

Clint Malarchuk would end up playing a few more season following his recovery.  During his seasons following this incident his play was never quite as good as it had been previous to the injury.  He would retire from Hockey 1996 and later found himself as a coach for a few NHL teams.

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Quick Fact: The Madness Began On This Day In 1939

On march 27th, 1939 the first ever NCAA Basketball Tournament began.  The first game was between Oregon and Ohio State University.  The tournament is now know as March Madness.   The interesting thing about the tournament is that it was developed before many homes had a television.  Now the Tournament dominates television ratings every year.  This year will be the 74th year the tournament has ruled March.

Two Wild Card Teams, Too Many!

This past off season Major League baseball did something they had not done since 1994. It changed it’s playoff structure by adding a new element.

Prior to 1995 there were just four teams involved in the post season. There was an Eastern and Western Champion in Both leagues who would play each other for the League Championship. Those two winners would go into the World Series and face off against the opposing leagues Champion. This had been the case since 1969.

The new system was enacted in 1994 but due to the strike shortened season it debuted in 1995.  The system worked with each league having three divisions.  Each division winner would go to the playoffs and the team with the best record that did not win a division would also go to the post season.  There have been five wild card teams that have won a World Series since MLB instituted the wild card.

In November the commissioner of MLB, Bud Selig announced that their would be a second wild card team for each league.  The two wild card teams would play each other in a one game playoff.  The winner will advance to the divisional round of the playoffs and face one of the divisional champions.  All that was added was basically one more game to each leagues playoff.  We will see the first wild card playoff game in less than two weeks from now.

The new system obviously adds something to the final month of the season.  More teams will be in the hunt for the post season with the additional wild card.  Those teams games will also be more exciting down the stretch when MLB can be boring at times.  It will also create a new buzz in the playoffs.  However there is a draw back.

The two wild card teams might actually be pretty far apart records wise.  The second wild card team will be given an opportunity for the playoffs they may not deserve. As of right now you have two teams at the top of the National League wild card race.  The Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals.  The braves lead the Cardinals by 6 games.  If the playoffs were to start today the Cardinals would get a one game playoff opportunity with the Braves they should not have.

This new system seems nice right now but over time it will dilute the MLB post season.  One wild card team per league is just enough.  If you have too many non playoff worthy teams getting a shot in the playoffs it will spell disaster for MLB.  This is just another scheme by Selig to make more money off of the last month of the season and add more money to the post season television deals.  MLB should go back to the four team per league system before the post season become watered down.  As the old adage goes if it is not broke don’t fix it.