At the races

3 Fun Facts About the San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs began life as the Dallas Chapparals in the ABA in 1967 before moving to San Antonio as the Spurs in 1973. Now, that was an interesting year. That year, the Philadephia Flyers scored an amazing eight goals in one period against the Islanders. One fan said, “They were all scoring, every player. I think even the Zamoboni driver scored a goal.”

The Spurs became a part of the NBA with the NBA/ ABA merger in 1976. 1976 was also a crazy year. That year the US performed a nuclear bomb test at a site in Nevada. “The biggest bomb since then was 2011’s Mars Needs Mom animated film made for $150 million and grossed $39 million. Just like my golf game — every year it’s a negative ROI.”

Before moving to San Antonio, the owners tried to sell the team, but no one would buy it. So they leased the team to a group of businesspeople who moved it to San Antonio and was an instant hit. You know your team is bad when it is being leased like a Holiday Inn meeting room rental for a multi-level marketing sales pitch. “To be a success in this business, all you have to do is buy $5,000 worth of product a month and get 457 other people to do the same thing.”

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.

At the races

3 Amazing Fun Facts About the Toronto Raptors

Along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, now Memphis Grizzlies, The Toronto Raptors were founded in 1995 when the NBA expanded into Canada as part of their goal for total worldwide domination. The only other market the NBA considered in Ontario was Punkeydoodles Corners, yes, that’s a real town. An NBA executive explained, “The team name was going to be the Punkeydoodles Corners Doodleheads, but they couldn’t fit it on the jerseys, so we went with Toronto.”

Right around this time that the NBA was expanding into Canada, the Canadian Football League was busy expanding into America. The first team was the Sacramento Gold Miners, which was largely made up of the former Sacramento Surge, a team with the defunct World League of American Football. The league failed partly because the games were played in spring, and Americans don’t think of football in spring. They think of baseball, golf, and sucking in their gut at the beach for the next 6 months instead of actually exercising.

The Raptors originally played at the SkyDome, well-known for its motorized, retractable roof. The roof worked well until that one year it broke and it snowed on the court for the entire first half of the game. An arena spokesperson said, “It was the first time we brought out the Zamboni for a basketball game.”

At the races

3 Wild Fun Facts About the Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavaliers started playing in 1970. That was a crazy year. That same year, the Jackson 5 made their debut on American Bandstand. I remember because I was a kid and I tried to spin like Michael, but I lost my balance and crashed into my dad’s liquor cabinet, breaking $30,000 worth of vodka and Jim Beam.

The Cavaliers finished their first season with a record of 15-67. John Johnson was named an All-Star that year. Did John’s parents have a hard time coming up with his name, John Johnson? But it has character. My parents should have called me Ditz Ditzel. But they saddled me with Joe, and now everybody asks me where I’m going with that gun in my hand. (For the kids, that’s a Jimi Hendrix reference.)

Johnson was drafted by both the Cavs of the NBA and the Dallas Chapparals of the now defunct ABA. The Chapparals later moved to San Antonio and switched to the NBA as the San Antonio Spurs. The Chapparals were lucky to get a few hundred people in the stands. At one game, there were more people selling hot dogs than there were fans.

“Beer here! Hot dogs! Red Hots! Cokes!….Anybody?…Aaannnnnyyyybody?…Beer! Hot dogs! Cokes!….Anyone?….I’m just going to sit down here and watch the game….Maybe I’ll have better luck in San Antonio.”

At the races

3 Amazing Fun Facts About The Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors were founded in 1946 as the Philadelphia Warriors. 1946 was a crazy year. That year “The Lost Weekend” won the Academy Award. “The movie was remade in 2009 as ‘The Hangover,'” a film historian explained.

In 1947 The Warriors won the very first Basketball Association of America Championship, now called the NBA Championship. They won it again in 1956, 1975 and 2015. They beat the Fort Wayne Pistons, now the Detroit Pistons, 3-1 to win the 1956 Championship. Fred Zollner, the owner of the Pistons, helped form the NBA by raising support from the phone next to his kitchen table. “He also ordered a Papa John’s Pizza from that same phone, which was just delivered this week, decades late, and it tasted just the same,” an NBA staffer said.

In 1962 the team first moved to San Francisco and became the San Francisco Warriors. A team official explained, “We considered and then rejected several name changes to go along with the move such as the San Francisco Outrageous Rents, the San Francisco 29 Degree Summers, and the San Francisco Democrat Strongholds.”

At the races

3 Crazy Fun Facts About the Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers were founded in 1947. That was an interesting year. The defribillator was invented that same year, a device that has come in handy for Lakers fans having heart attacks when they realize what they are paying for an average ticket.

Jerry, a longtime fan, said, “$600 for one ticket? For what? They’ve been terrible. Hell I can my whole family including my 15 cousins into thte state fair for that price, and we get to see a dinosaur in a battlle with a rodeo bull. I mean, it’s something.”

The LA Lakers started as the Minneapolis Lakers in Minnesota. The team name is in reference to the state’s nickname, “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”

An Iowan named Chester commented, “Yeah, well that nickname was inspired by Iowa’s nickname: “Land of 10,000 Pigs That Can Sing the National Anthem.”

The Lakers had one of the biggest stars in the league of the time, George Mikan. Nicknamed “Mr. Basketball,” there is even a popular practice activity named after him called the Mikan Drill.

A local coach explained: “Now the Mikan Drill is when you get under the basket and cry because you were the biggest star in the league and got bupkus while today a benchwarming point guard for the 76ers gets $57 million.”

At the races

3 Wild Fun Facts About March Madness

March Madness, formally known as the National Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Division One Basketball Tournament, started back in 1939. That was an interesting year. That same year the 1939 New York World’s Fair introduced TV to the general public. The promoters of the fair said television would help uplift humanity. That has proven to be true – television is an amazing invention that has brought humanity such uplifiting, quality entertainment such as Mr. Ed, Joanie Loves Chachi and The Real Housewives of Des Moines.

TV Announcer: “Next on the Real Houseweives of Des Moines, Anabelle returns her cow to Esther because she ain’t giving up no milk, and sparks beging to fly.”

March Madness is sometimes called the Big Dance. Similarly, the American Presidential election cycle is sometime called the BS Shuffle. “The BS Shuffle is a dance where grown men and women compete to see who can flip flop the most in the shortest period of time,” a dance expert explained.

March Madness consists of 64 teams divided into 4 brackets. Well, actually, now it’s 68 teams, but who’s counting.

Crazy Basketball Fan: “68 teams? What the hell? Why not let almost everybody in and run the tournament through June. Oh, wait, we have that already. It’s called the NBA Playoffs.”

At the races

3 Amazing Fun Facts About Syracuse University Basketball

Syracuse University started playing basketball back in 1900. That was an interesting year. That was the year Kodak came out with an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera called the Brownie. How inexpensive? It cost one dollar. It was supposed to be simple enough for a little kid to use, but it came with a 44-page book of instructions.

Camera Store Salesperson in 1900: “Sir, this camera is so simple, your 6-year-old can use, provided he can read at the college level.”

Dad: “Junior, you best be studying your readin’ and writin’, I want to take some family PHO-tos!”

Syracuse is one of the winningest teams in all of college basketball. The were recognized as national champions as early as 1918. Vic Hanson was an early standout on the basketball court at Syracuse, and later played professional ball for the Cleveland Rosenblums, a team named after their owner. I think we should go back to naming teams after their owners.

Sports Announcer: “Tonight on NBA’s game of the week! The Los Angeles Ballmers Vs. The San Antonio Holts!”

The Orangemen play at the Carrier Dome, the largest covered stadium in collegiate sports. Its name comes from the carrier pigeon. The tradition is to fly a carrier pigeon from the stadium to the student center before every game with a note attached to it’s leg. This year the note said “Stop Trump! No, really…please stop Trump.”

At the races

3 Astounding Fun Facts About Indiana University Basketball

The Indiana University basketball program started back in 1900. That was an interesting year. That year the US Navy bought the first modern submarine, created by John Phillip Holland.

One observer at the time said. “I swear, hand to God…I ain’t lyin…the thing was painted…yellow.”

The Hoosiers play in the Big Ten which consists of 14 teams.

A parent said, “See, that’s the kind of math skills that result from the gosh darn Common Core. That core is rotten.”

The team plays on Branch McCracken court. Branch McCracken? Sounds like a type of whiskey they would order in the movie Lonesome Dove.

“Barkeep, give me a Branch McCracken…and a Shirley Temple for my horse.”

At the races

3 Slightly Amazing Facts About University of Kansas Basketball

The University of Kansas basketball program started way back in 1898. That same year the highest speed record for automobiles was set at 39mph.

“More than 100 years later, the top speed for automobiles on Los Angeles freeways is 15 miles per hour less,” a California Highway official said.

Kansas Basketball is one of the oldest in the country. The reason it grew so fast was there was nothing else to do in Kansas in 1898 other than making a sod hut.

“My entire hit is made of sod,” one settler said. “And I made the roof flat, so I could go up ‘ere and practice my putting.”

The Jayhawks play in the Big 12 Conference, which is named after the average shoe size of the players.

“And that was back then,” one fan said. “Now the players are 8 feet tall and their shoes are much bigger. They should call it the Big 20 conference.”

At the races

3 Crazy Facts About North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball

The Tar Heels basketball program started back in 1910. That was an interesting year. That year in Berkeley, California the first junior high school in the country opened. That fall was also the first time kids made their parents drop them off two blocks from school.

“Just drop me off here. This is GOOD.”

“Honey, we just pulled out of the driveway.”

“It’s fine! Just let me out!”

You might be wondering what a Tar Heel is. It’s a person that comes from North Carolina. The name Tar comes from the southern pronunciation of the the word tire, as North Carolina was a major manufacturer of rubber tires in the Civil War era.

“I’m telling y’all, it’s like a wagon wheel, but it’s got rubber on it. It’s a Tar!

North Carolina won the first of many NCAA Championships in 1957 under coach Frank McGuire. He came to the Tar Heels from St. John’s University, where he led not only led their basketball team to the Final Four in 1952, he coached the baseball team to the 1949 College World Series and the Beer Pong Team to victory in the 1950 Collegiate Beer Pong Classic.