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The professional sport of basketball began in 1896 at a YMCA in Trenton, N.J., following a dispute between the YMCA's players and a YMCA official. In 1937, the National Basketball League began play with 13 teams. The Basketball Association of America began in 1946 and changed its name to the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1949 after adopting teams from the rival NBL.
The NBA adopted a 24-second clock in 1954, triggering a much more up-tempo, offense-oriented style of play. The arrival of Bill Russell in Boston in the late 1950s helped the Celtics dominate the game for the next decade despite the arrival of Wilt Chamberlain, still the most dominant scorer in NBA history. The NBA fought off challenges from rival leagues, most notably the ABA in the 1970s--four ABA teams joined the NBA in 1976. Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six championships in the 1990s, and Kobe Bryant was part of five title teams with the Los Angeles Lakers after 2000.
National Basketball League teams
Eastern Atlantic Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets ,New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors, Central Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, Southeast Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Bobcats, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards, Western Southwest Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Northwest Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves , Portand Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz, Pacific Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings
The history of the National Hockey League (NHL) actually begins with the National Hockey Assocation (NHA), formed in 1910 in Canada, which split into a couple of different associations before forming the NHL.
The first NHL season in 1917, started off very roughly. First, a team called the Bulldogs backed out. Then the Montréal Wanderers also quit in January of 1918. This essentially left the NHL with three teams to go for a championship. This first season for the NHL was also problematic due to the fact that the league was formed as a result of the split of the NHA. Owners of the teams in this league were not happy with Eddie Livingstone one of the team owners. Livingstone was not invited to join the NHL which led to many years of fighting and bickering.
Frank and Lester Patrick were signed at $3000 each to the Millionaires team for the 1910 to 1911 season, kicking off the first bidding war in the history of the NHL. Player unrest was prevalent during the season because the unfit salaries.
Despite the rough start and all of the turmoil that the NHL faced in the beginning, like the game of hockey itself the NHL has risen out of the struggle to prevail and become one of the top sports organizations in the world.
National Hockey League teams
Eastern Atlantic New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Northeast Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Southeast Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets, Western Central Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, Northwest Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota Wild, Vancouver Canucks, Pacific Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks
From grass roots roots in the deep South, NASCAR racing has developed to unbelievable success through the entire united States. Over the decades, from the inaugural races conducted in 1948, NASCAR has turned into arguably the most watched spectator competition in The United States of America. NASCAR, with the current NEXTEL Cup and Busch series, boasts 75 million sport fanatic fans. Interesting demographics reveal that 40% of fans are women and 53% work in white-collar or skilled labor jobs. Not your typical racing fanatic that many people anticipate. The other arenas of fan interest are strong also; yearly attendance at contests is In excess of 7 million, more than of 275 million Race fans follow on the tube, and the products market is greater than $2 billion
The American passion for auto racing that grown in the 1940's did not elude the attention of boosters who rapidly made an "official" sport out of it, creating many organizations, each with their own rules. Then on December 14, 1947, Bill France, decided to get together with thirty five of the organizers of all racing associations in place to draw the outline of what was going to become the American national automobile sport. It took four days for the group to agree on all the formulas, to pick out the name of NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) and the Association was finally officially created on February 21, 1948.
The game of GOLF is an honorable game played by an overwhelming majority of honorable people who don't need referees. Golf is one of the few ball games that does not use a standardized playing area; rather, the game is played on golf "courses," each one of which has a unique design and typically consists of either 9 or 18 separate holes. Golf is not rocket science, but for all of the wrong reasons, it has been made to look that way. The origin of golf is open to debate as to being Chinese, Dutch or Scottish. However, modern golf is considered to be a Scottish invention, as the game was mentioned in two 15th century laws prohibiting the playing of the game of 'gowf'. In match play competition, handicap strokes are assigned on a hole-by-hole basis, according to the handicap rating of each hole (which is provided by the course). The hardest holes on the course receive the first handicap strokes, with the easiest holes receiving the last handicap strokes. Calculating handicaps are often complicated, but essentially are representative of the average over par of a number of a player's previous above average rounds, adjusted for course difficulty. For example, handicap rules may include the difficulty of the course the golfer is playing on by taking into consideration factors such as the number of bunkers, the length of the course, the difficulty and slopes of the greens, the width of the fairways, and so on. The major changes in equipment since the 19th century have been better mowers, especially for the greens, better golf ball designs, using rubber and man-made materials since about 1900, and the introduction of the metal shaft beginning in the 1930s. Though wooden tees are still most popular, various designs of plastic tees have been developed in recent years, and the synthetic materials composing the modern ball continue to be developed. Golfers in their eighties claim that the game helps them to keep physically and mentally fit. This demand for travel which is centered around golf has led to the development of luxury resorts which cater to golfers and feature integrated golf courses. In addition to the officially printed rules, golfers also abide by a set of guidelines called Golf etiquette. A small elite of professional golfers are "tournament pros" who compete full time on international "tours". Gaining membership of an elite tour is highly competitive, and most professional golfers never achieve it.
If you believe everything you see on TV, you will most probably think that the Americans invented the game of BOWLING. But actually it can be traced as far back as 3200 BC in Ancient Egypt. They did not have the same questionable fashion back then that seems to be synonymous with the modern game, or at least not especially for bowling, but the tools, (a ball and pins) were, in essence, the same. After that history is a bit sketchy, with the first written accounts being accredited to King Edward III of England with him telling his troops off for skiving from archery practice and attempting a perfect 300 instead! But the game has gone through its growing pains to reach the format we know today. The zany Germans, crazy Dutch and preposterous Poms are credited with taking the game across the Atlantic to America. But after some fall-outs with the law involving gambling and crimes related to the bowling alleys, the game of ninepin bowling, as it was originally played, was banned under Connecticut law. Not to be outdone by the government, they just added another pin, making it a nice round number and thus preventing the law to be applicable to them. And that is why we take aim today at a ten pins arranged in a triangle, instead of nine. Ten Pin Bowling is split up into 10 frames, and each frame is split up into two shots. Each frame score is combined with the previous frames to give you a points total. If you knock all ten pins down, the first shot from the next frame is added to your score for the frame where you knocked all ten pins down. The scoring continues until 10 frames have been played, remembering that in the 10th frame, a strike would give two more bowls and a spare gives one more bowl with the maximum score in any one game being 300. Apart from the history of the game, rules, the funny shoes, heavy balls and slippery wood lanes, (there is a reason they warn you not to step over the line,) the greatest invention simply has to be the computer that keeps score.
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International Soccer Leagues
1.Bob Hope and Billy Joel were both once boxers.
2. In the 1930's, American track star Jesse Owens used to race against horses and dogs to earn a living.
3. Kite flying is a professional sport in Thailand.
4. The chances of making two holes-in-one in a round of golf are one in 67 million.
5. The height of a bowling pin is equal to its circumference.
6. Prior to 1900, prize fights lasted up to 100 rounds.
7. The practice of identifying baseball players by number was started by the Yankees in 1929.
8. Today's top fuel dragsters take off with more force than the space shuttle.
9. Tug of War was an Olympic event between 1900 and 1920
10. The word 'gymnasium' comes from the Greek word gymnazein which means 'to exercise naked.'"
11. The state sport of Maryland is Jousting.
12. The odds of getting a hole-in-one in golf are estimated at about 18,000-to-1.
13. At 120 miles per hour, a Formula One car generates so much downforce that it can drive upside down on the roof of a tunnel.
14. When pitched,the average Major League baseball rotates 15 times before being hit.
15. Racehorses can wear out new horse shoes in one race.
16. In England, the top three most viewed sports on TV are soccer, Formula One auto racing and boxing.
17. There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball.
18. 300 million golf balls are lost or discarded in the United States alone, every year.
19. Kresimir Cosic is only non-American player in NBA Hall of Fame.
20. Fastest round of golf (18 holes) by a team - 9 minutes and 28 seconds. Set at Tatnuck CC in Worcester in September 9, 1996 at 10:40am.
21. Frank Mahovlich played for 3 different teams during his NHL career: Toronto, Detroit, and Montreal. For all three, he wore the number 27.
22. In the NHL in the 1960's, the league decided that home teams would wear white, while visiting teams would wear their dark jerseys. The reasoning behind this was that it would be more difficult to keep white uniforms clean while on the road.
23. Before 1850, golf balls were made of leather and were stuffed with feathers.
24. Golfing great Ben Hogan's famous reply when asked how to improve one's game was: Hit the ball closer to the hole.
25. Americans spend more than $630 million a year on golf balls.
26. The National Hockey League had a rule that permits their players from taking aspirin. Strangely, there is no rule that says they can't drink or use illegal drugs.
27. In 1870 British boxing champ Jim Mace and American boxer Joe Coburn fought for three hours and 48 minutes without landing one punch.
28. Brazil is the only country to have played in every World Cup soccer tournament.
29. JFKs golf clubs sold for 772500 at a 1996 auction. The buyer was Arnold Schwarzenegger.
30. Bowlers are allowed to have a maximum of five finger grip holes on a regulation bowling ball.
31. Jerry West was the model for the official NBA logo. His silhouette appears dribbling a basketball.
32. Moses Malone was the first basketball player to go directly from high school to a professional American team.
33. Basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith. He set out to invent a game to occupy students between the football and baseball seasons.
34. Before 1917 goalies (in hockey) were not allowed to fall to the ice to make saves or else they were penalized.
35. The original name for basketball as invented by Dr. James Naismith was indoor rugby. It was one of the games first players that started calling it basketball because of the peach baskets that acted as the original goals.
36. According to manufacturer Spalding, the average lifespan of an NBA basketball is 10000 bounces.
37. The average height of an NBA basketball player is 6 feet 7 inches.
38. Sharunas Marchulenis was the first Soviet basketball player to join the NBA.
GREAT MOMENT: 1980 USA Hockey Team Defeats Soviet
Rag tag bunch of mostly teenaged amateurs, barely together a few months and playing a sport invented and perfected elsewhere, take on the most polished, professional and unbeatable team in the history of international hockey, and win it. In exhibitions that year, Soviet club teams had gone 5-3-1 against National Hockey League teams, and a year earlier the Soviet national team had defeated the NHL All-Stars 6-0 to win the Challenge Cup. The Soviet and American teams were natural rivals due to the decades-old Cold War. In the final seconds of the game the crowd began to count down the seconds left. Sportscaster Al Michaels, who was calling the game on ABC along with former Montreal Canadians goalie Ken Dryden, picked up on the countdown in his broadcast, and delivered his famous call "Eleven seconds, you've got ten seconds, the countdown going on right now! Morrow, up to Silk..five seconds left in the game..Do you believe in miracles? Yes!" US won the game 4-3. This victory was voted the greatest sports moment of the twentieth century by Sports Illustrated.
GREAT MOMENT: Michael Jordan's Final Shot
Michael Jordan is often referred to as the best player to play the game. He is a 5 time NBA MVP and 6 time NBA finals MVP. Michael Jordan played his last game with the bulls in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals at the Delta Center, the Chicago Bulls led the series 3-2, but trailed the game 86-85 with 10 seconds left. Jordan started to dribble right, then crossed over to his left. Jordan then released a shot that would be rebroadcast innumerable times in years to come. The perfect way to go out. We can all just pretend the wizards never really happened.