At the races

3 Fun Facts About the Washington Wizards

Did you know the Wizards started back in 1961 as the Chicago Packers? What is with pro teams that can’t come up with original team names? People didn’t like the Chicago Packers nicking the name of the football team in Green Bay, especially since they are arch rivals with the Chicago Bears. One Chicagoan said, “Forget the Chicago Packers. They can pack sand for all I care.”

Wow, those are some strong feelings. Maybe some of that vitriol comes from the fact the team had the worst record in the NBA at 18-62. Either way, they quickly changed their named to Chicago Zephyrs for one season. One highlight of the Zephyrs was Terry Dischinger, who captured Rookie of the Year honors. In addition to high school basketball, Dischinger also played football and was coached by his father. No pressure there. “Son, do your best. But if you don’t score, there will be no mashed potatoes at dinner tonight, and you know how you love mashed potatoes.”

The Zephyrs pulled up stakes and moved to Baltimore as the Baltimore Bullets, the name taken from an old 1950s franchise. One of their stars was Bailey Howell, who holds a crazy number of records at Mississippi State including single-game points scored, single-game free throw percentage, single-season rebounds, single-fame rebounds, career scoring average, single-season and career rebounding average, single-season and career free throws made AND MOST shots made with one hand while making spaghetti and meat balls with garlic toast with the other.