15 sports facts millennials will be shocked to find out – For The Win
Last month, one simple question took the Internet by storm:
It elicited all kinds of responses, but there wasn’t much in the way of sports.
That got us thinking — what are some sports facts that would surprise a younger person? Here are a few (and, please, by all means, tell me other facts I might have missed):
1. OJ Simpson was once a beloved actor and TV personality
This might not actually be a surprise thanks to The People v. O.J. Simpson and O.J.: Made in America. But in case you missed those: After his Hall of Fame career and before he was known for the trial of the century, everyone loved Simpson’s role in the Naked Gun franchise, he hawked Hertz rental cars in commercials and was an NFL analyst on NBC.
2. The Buffalo Bills were once a dynasty
They weren’t always a laughingstock in Buffalo. Jim Kelly and Co. made four straight Super Bowls in the 1990s … and lost all of them. But still: Four straight Super Bowls!!
3. The New England Patriots weren’t always a dynasty
They made the postseason just once between 1987 and 1995 before Bill Parcells led them to the Super Bowl in 1996.
4. Bill Belichick was the coach of the Jets for one day
This is a fun story that we covered recently: He resigned just one day on the job by allegedly writing that he was quitting on a napkin.
5. Chelsea and Manchester City used to be bad in soccer
Both teams were relegated in the 20th century before finding success as of late.
6. Dick Vitale was once the head coach the Detroit Pistons
And that was way before you were a Diaper Dandy.
7. Heavyweight champion of the world was still the greatest title to have in the 1990s
Long after Muhammad Ali was a champion, heavyweights were still seen as legends even for the most casual of boxing fans. Which should remind you that Mike Tyson once dominated the sport.
8. The last NHL player not to wear a helmet retired in … 1997
That would be Craig MacTavish. NHL players were required to wear helmets starting in 1979, but MacTavish signed before the rule went into effect and was grandfathered in. He played until 1997 without a helmet. Crazy, right?
9. Hartford had a NHL team
They were called the Whalers and they eventually bolted for Raleigh to become the Carolina Hurricanes in 1997. People in Connecticut miss them dearly. Also, they had a super-awesome theme song.
10. Jeff Fisher was a respected head coach
He took the Tennessee Titans — who had been the Houston Oilers before they moved in 1997 — to a Super Bowl, where he lost in heartbreaking fashion to the St. Louis Rams.
11. A rapper once got a contract to play in the NBA
That would be Master P. The man better known as Percy Miller actually came to training camp with the Charlotte Hornets in 1998-99 and then played for the Raptors in the preseason the following year before he was cut.
12. The Winter and Summer Olympics used to be held the same year, every four years
So you’d have to wait a while before they came around again, which was no fun.
13. Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Bo Jackson were part of a Saturday morning cartoon called ProStars
They fought crime. Seriously. It was amazing.
14. Magic Johnson once hosted a talk show
It was called The Magic Hour and didn’t last too long.