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Pete Sampras Cries on Court, Then Wins at Australian Open – January 24, 1995

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After losing the first two sets (both tie breakers) to Jim Courier in quarter finals of the 1995 Australian Open, Pete Sampras fought back and won the third set 6-3 and the fourth set 6-4. At the start of the fifth set, Sampras heard a fan call out “C’mon do it for your coach.”

A few seconds later Sampras, sitting on a stool at center, held a towel to his face, and was sobbing uncontrollably. Sampras’s coach, Tim Gullikson had just been flown home after being hospitalized for dizzy spells. Gullikson died the following year (at the age of 44) from a brain tumor that had caused his dizziness.

‘Do It for Your Coach’ : An Emotional Sampras, With Ailing Gullikson on His Mind, Rallies From Two Sets Down to Beat Courier in the Australian Open

Pete Sampras stood still on center court at the Australian Open as if naked, his emotions exposed, his face awash with tears, his chest heaving.

“C’mon, honey, get in there,” his girlfriend, Delaina Mulcahy, said gently from the front row.

Across the net, Jim Courier shouted jokingly to his friend and rival, “Are you all right, Pete? We can do this tomorrow.” It was a gesture of love by Courier, who knew how much Sampras was hurting inside and wanted to help him stop crying. Read more LATimes

Sampras splashed some ice water on his face, got his composure back and won the fifth set (6-4) and the match.

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Red Wings Blow Out Rangers 15-0 – January 23, 1944

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The Detroit Red Wings recorded the most lopsided win in NHL history when they “outlasted” the New York Rangers 15-0 at Olympia Stadium in Detroit, on January 23, 1944.

Syd Howe (not related to Gordie) led the Wings in scoring with three goals. Howe did all of his scoring during the third period, but he was hardly alone. In addition to Howe’s contribution, Dan Grasso scored twice – in the third period. They were joined by Flash Hollett, Murray Armstrong and Carl Liscombe who all scored once – in the third period.

Armstrong also scored the first goal of game, at 2:48. Bill Quackenbush scored at 18:01, and the first period ended with the Red Wings having unmemorable lead of 2-0. Detroit didn’t score again until 8:48 of the second period. The wild rumpus really didn’t kick into high gear until the Wings next goal which came a little less than three minutes later. They scored three more times in the second period and scored eight more goals in the last period.

Red Wings goalie Connie Dion was the only Detroit player who didn’t score. His counterpart Ken McAuley, did manage 43 saves for the night.

Red Wings Beat the Rangers 15-0

1943-1944 Detroit Red Wings Click to see on eBay

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“Down Goes Frazier”, George Foreman Wins Title by TKO – January 22, 1973

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More than 40 years after George Foreman won the heavyweight title by knocking out Smokin’ Joe Frazier, the expression Down goes Frazier still lives in the American Lexicon. According to Urban Dictionary Down goes Frazier is

said when you are severely intoxicated or got the “itis” or you are really tired.Refers to you laying down imediately or going to sleep extremely fast
Shawn popped an E pill and now he’s down goes Frazier status

Howard Cosell coined the expression at about two minutes into the first round of the title bout that took place in Kingston, Jamaica. It was the first of six knockdowns that Frazier endured. Referee Arthur Mercante stopped the fight at 1:35 of the second round.

Although Foreman came into the fight undefeated, he was still a 5-1 underdog. That’s because Frazier was also undefeated and was attempting to win his 10th title defense. Frazier first won the title by defeating Buster Mathis in 1968, the year after Muhammad Ali was stripped of his title for refusing to join the army.
Frazier’s most illustrious title defense was against Ali in Madison Square Garden in 1971.

Foreman had won the gold medal at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico. He turned pro the following year and won 37 consecutive fights against a string of very undistinguished opponents. Three months before Foreman fought Frazier, he knocked out Terry Sorrell. Before Foreman knocked him out, Sorrell’s record was 4-15. Earlier in 1972 Foreman collected paychecks and padded his unbeaten record by defeating Clarence Boone, 3-24-1 and Joe Murphy Goodwin, 1-14-1. Foreman’s knocked out of Goodwin in the second round was the 11th consecutive fight in which Goodwin had been stopped by his opponent.

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John McEnroe Gets Ejected from Australian Open January 21, 1990

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John McEnroe, First Player Ever Ejected from an Australian Open Match, January 21, 1990

John McEnroe was playing the Swedish born Mikael Pernfors in the fourth round of the Australian Open. Pernfors was winning the third set of the match, 4 games to 2, but McEnroe was still ahead in the match, having won the first two out three sets. Then McEnroe missed a few shots, got the short end of a some close calls, and worst of all, got set off by crying baby. McEnroe yelled into the stands “Give him a drink, the boy’s hungry.”

    One baby is asked to leave, then another

    Umpire Gerry Armstrong asked the parents to take the baby out of the stadium, and the mother complied. Down 3-2 in the fourth set, McEnroe bounced his racket. He managed to get back to deuce, but then he smashed his racket again after hitting a forehand wide. This time he broke the head of the racket. Armstrong then hit McEnroe with a code violation. McEnroe answered with several expletives and asked to speak with Kevin Farrar, the chief of supervisors. McEnroe began swearing at Farrar and then with Farrar’s approval, Armstrong called out “Code violation, continued abuse. Default Mr. McEnroe. Game, set, match. And with that, McEnroe was in the record books as the first player ever ejected from an Australian Open match.

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John Stockton Sets NBA Assist Record – January 21, 1995

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John Stockton Sets NBA Assist Record, January 21, 1995

His 9,992nd assist tops Magic Johnson. Stockton will dish off 5,814 more times, bringing his NBA assist record up to 15,806.

How many of John Stockton’s 15,806 assists were delivered to the Mailman, Karl Malone? Nobody seems to know the exact number.

We do know that Stockton’s assist record of 15,806, is 3,912 more than the second most prolific passer in NBA history, Jason Kidd. We also know that Karl Malone’s 36,928 points are the second highest in that category. (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has 38,387.) If you really feel like it, go ahead and take away the 415 assists that Stockton had during the 1984-1985 season, the year before Malone came into the league. You can also back out the 554 points Malone had when he played for the Lakers during the 2003-2004 season, the year after Stockton retired.

That leaves Stockton with 15,391 assists during the same 18 seasons that Malone was scoring 36.374 points. There are probably score-books filed away somewhere in Utah where somebody with the time and motivation could reconstruct the 1.400+ games that Malone and Stockton played together, and then we could all know for sure just how many of Stockton’s assists were delivered to Malone.

Or maybe a statistician with the skills and resources of a Nate Silver could devise a less tedious method of giving us the answer, with a margin of error of no more than 1%.

This much we do know. In the history of the NBA, there is no other combination of passer and scorer that even comes close to Malone and Stockton. The second most prolific pass-scorer pair was probably Magic Johsnon and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but their numbers pale in comparison to Malone and Stockton. Magic and Kareem only played 10 seasons together. During those 10 seasons Jabbar scored 16,246 points and Johnson landed 8.025 assists.

Westbrook and Durant are the top pass-score combo among active players.

Among active players, Oklahoma City’s Russel Westbrook throws a lot of passes that Kevin Durants drops for field goals. They’ve been together since the 2008-2009 season. During that time Durant has scored 9.500+ points while Westbrook has passed for 2,450 assists. This season Westbrook is averaging 8.3 assists a game and Durant is averaging 29.3 points a game. Stockton had a career average of 10.3 assists per game. Malone only averaged 25 points per game. So if Durant and Westbrook stay together for another 13-15 seasons, and if they stay injury free, and if they can keep their current level of productivity for another decade and a half, then they just might have a chance of catching Stockton and Malone.

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Carter Announces Olympic Boycott Threat January 20, 1980

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Coca Cola Commercial Promotes the 1980 Olympics (The One We Boycotted)

Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, Spawns Olympic Boycott Talk.

Russians start invasion Christmas Day, 1979

The Soviet Union began its invasion of Afghanistan on Christmas Day, 1979. On New Years Day, 1980, with already more than 10,000 Russian troops engaged in heavy fighting near Kabul (eventually the Soviets would have more than 100,000 personnel deployed in Afghanistan), the New York Times reported that “West Germany’s representative at an emergency meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization raised the question of whether the Western Allies might want to withdraw their participation in the Moscow Olympic Games this summer as a result of the Soviet Union’s intervention in Afghanistan, a NATO official said.”

Or did he say that?

The next day, The Washington Post disclosed that “a West German government spokesman denied newspaper reports that its NATO ambassador was the one who had suggested the boycott. In the same article the Post reported that Lord Killanin, head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), “vowed to resist any political interference with the Olympics”.

On January 3, the New York Times reported that France did not support the idea of an Olympic boycott.

President Jimmy Carter in a nationally televised speech on January 4, outlined his plans for forcing the Soviets out of Afghanistan, he hinted at the possibility of an Olympic boycott.

Saudi Arabia became the first nation to officially withdraw from the Moscow Olympics. On January 6 the LA Times reported that a spokesman for the Saudi Royal made the announcement, citing Soviet aggression against the “friendly and brotherly Moslem nation of Afghanistan.

Day by day, more and more editorials were written, interviews were given, and opinions taken on the not yet officially proposed Olympic boycott. For the most part, politicians favored the boycott while athletes and Olympic officials opposed it.

Carter Goes on Meet The Press and Makes Olympic Boycott Threat Official

Finally, on Sunday Morning, January 20, Carter appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press. Bill Monroe led off the interview by asking Carter, “Mr. President, assuming the Soviets do not pull out of Afghanistan any time soon, do you favor the U.S. participating in the Moscow Olympics, and if not, what are the alternatives?”

To which Carter replied, “No, neither I nor the American people would favor the sending of an American team to Moscow with Soviet invasion troops in Afghanistan. I’ve sent a message today to the United States Olympic Committee spelling out my own position that unless the Soviets withdraw their troops, within a month, from Afghanistan, that the Olympic Games be moved from Moscow to an alternate site, or multiple sites, or postponed, or cancelled. If the Soviets do not withdraw their troops from Afghanistan, within a month, I would not support the sending of an American team to the Olympics.

Watch Carter’s Announcement about Olympic Boycott Threat

(more…)

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UCLA Basketball Win Streak of 88 Games Ended by Notre Dame January 19, 1974

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Notre Dame Stops UCLA Baskeball Win Streak that Started January 30, 1971 and Ended January 19, 1974.

Bruins Last Loss Before the Streak Started was Also to the Irish

UCLA ended the the 1969-70 season with a 5 game winning streak. As the 1970-1971 season progressed, the Bruins tacked another 13 games onto that run. On January 23, 1971 they faced Notre Dame. Austin Carr torched them for 46 points enabling the Irish to end UCLA’s streak at 18 games. Two years eleven months and twenty-eight days later, Notre Dame stopped another UCLA streak, but this one was the longest in NCAA men’s basketball history.

GAME BY GAME: The UCLA winning streak from 1 to 88 DailyNews.com

Win 1:
Jan. 30, 1971: 74-61 vs. UC Santa Barbara:

After their loss to Notre Dame, the Bruins fell to No. 2 in the AP poll, behind 14-0 Marquette and ahead of 14-0 USC. Curtis Rowe had 28 points with 11 rebounds and Sidney Wicks scored 19 as the Bruins were ahead by only eight with 8:39 left. “Let me initiate this by saying I’m not at all pleased,” Wooden said. “We didn’t play well today and we didn’t play well last weekend.”

… Read them all

Win 88:
Jan. 17, 1974: 66-44 vs. Iowa:

“I think Bill will play; the streak is important to him,” said Wooden after his star missed his third game in a row. Drollinger stepped up with 13 points and 17 rebounds, and the Hawkeyes’ 44 points were the lowest a UCLA team held anyone to that point. “I thought we were lackadaisical and I have never had that trouble with my teams,” said Wooden, perhaps a precursor to having the streak come to an end two days later at Notre Dame: 71-70.

From 1970-1974 UCLA Had Talent, Talent, and More Talent

1970-1971 was the season between Lew Alcindor (who became known as Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and Bill Walton. This is not to say that the 1970-1971 wasn’t stacked. They featured four future NBA players; Sidney Wicks, Curtis Rowe, Steve Patterson, and Henry Bibby. But during that “between season”, Johnny Wooden had to “make do” without a single future NBA Hall of Famers.

Bibby was the only future NBA guy left when UCLA started the 1971-72, but he was joined by Walton and another future Hall of Famer, Jamaal Wilkes. Two other guys who merely made it into the NBA were also on the team, Swen Nater and Greg Lee. So it wasn’t surprising when that team went 30-0.

Then Bibby was gone for the 1972-1973 season, but Dave Myers, another future NBA player was added to the roster, and again UCLA won 30 and lost none.

The 1973-1974 team had seven (count ‘em) future NBA players. Lee, Walton, Wilkes and Myers were joined by Andred McCarter, Richard Washington and Marques Johnson. Johnson averaged more than 20 points a game over an eleven year NBA career, and played in five All-Star Games, but has not yet been elected to the Hall of Fame.

The 1973-1974 team had the most talent, but underachieved

In one disastrous weekend in Oregon. The UCLA Basketball team lost a Friday night game to Oregon State (February 15) and on Saturday night they lost again, this time to the University of Oregon. After that, the Bruins seemed to regain their footing. They won the remainder of the their regular season games, and despite the back-to-back losses in Oregon, they managed to win another PAC 10 title.

In the NCAA Tournament they beat San Franciso and then Dayton, to win the Western Regionals, but in the Final Four they lost the semi final game to a David Thompson led North Carolina State.

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