Friday, October 31, 2014

How Long It's Been: The New Jersey Devils Won a Shootout


The New Jersey Devils have won a regular-season NHL game in a shootout.

Would a "Hell freezes over" joke be appropriate? It's my blog, so I'm saying it is.

The Devils trailed the Winnipeg Jets 1-0 at the Prudential Center in Newark last night, when Michael Ryder forced home the equalizer with 3:27 left in regulation. There was no overtime winner for either side, so it went to a shootout.

Damien Brunner went first for the Devils, and was stopped by Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec. But Cory Schneider, finally living up to the mantle of Martin Brodeur, stopped Blake Wheeler to keep the shootout level. Jacob Josefson put one through to give the Devils the edge, and then Schneider stopped Andrew Ladd. Patrik Elias could have clinched it, but couldn't. So it was up to Schneider to stop Bryan Little. He didn't have to: Little shot wide of the net. You might even say Little came up small.

(Yes, you might say that, if you were a wiseass like me.)

A "crowd" of 12,837 erupted, because they knew that the Devils winning was a big deal, and that the Devils winning a game by shutout was a huge deal.

The Devils had lost 18 straight games that had gone to a shootout. It was an NHL record. This included all 13 that they had played in the entirety of last season. The last such win was on March 10, 2013, also against the Winnipeg Jets at the Prudential Center.

March 10, 2013. That was 1 year, 7 months and 20 days earlier -- or, if you prefer, 599 days. How long has that been?

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This was also a shootout in which the Devils got only 1 goal -- unlike last night, Patrik Elias came through. It was also a shootout in which the Devils' goalie stopped all 3 Winnipeg shots. But it wasn't Cory Schneider, who wasn't even on the Devils yet. And it wasn't Martin Brodeur, who had a sore back. It was the Moose, Johan Hedberg.

Ryan Carter and Stephen Gionta scored the regulation goals for the Devils. Missing shootout shots were Ilya Kovalchuk and David Clarkson. Kovy, Clarky and Carter are all now playing for other teams.

The defending World Champions were the Los Angeles Kings (as is the case now), the San Francisco Giants (as is the case now), the Miami Heat (which was almost the case now) and the Baltimore Ravens.

At the time, Ravens running back Ray Rice was considered a hero. So was Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. The New York Rangers hadn't been to the Stanley Cup Finals since 1994. The Seattle Seahawks had never won a Super Bowl. And the Boston Red Sox hadn't clinched a World Series win at home since 1918. The idea of LeBron James ever playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers again was laughable. All of those facts have now changed.

New Jersey had not won the Stanley Cup since 2003, and Winnipeg hadn't won it since 1902. That's right: Nineteen aught two. Neither of those facts has changed.

Writers Richard Matheson, Elmore Leonard, Doris Lessing, Amiri Baraka, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Frederik Pohl, Nadine Gordimer, Tom Clancy and Maya Angelou were still alive.

So were film director Paul Mazursky; special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen; movie theater sound genius Ray Dolby; actors Cory Monteith, Dennis Farina, Paul Walker, James Avery, Maximilian Schell, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Harold Ramis, Bob Hoskins, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Eli Wallach, Rik Mayall, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Richard Kiel, Peter O'Toole, Mickey Rooney, Sid Caesar and Robin Williams; and actresses Jean Stapleton, Esther Williams, Eileen Brennan, Karen Black, Julie Harris, Ruby Dee, Elaine Stritch, Polly Bergen, Jan Hooks, Joan Rivers, Lauren Bacall and Shirley Temple.

So were musical personalities Ray Manzarek, Bobby "Blue" Bland, JJ Cale, Eydie Gorme, Ray Price, Frankie Knuckles, Casey Kasem, Bobby Womack, Tommy Ramone, Johnny Winter, Jack Bruce, Lou Reed and Pete Seeger.

So were journalists Helen Thomas and David Frost. So were astronaut Scott Carpenter, Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs, AK-47 designer Mikhail Kalashnikov, homophobe lawyer-minister Ian Paisley and fashion designer Oscar de la Renta.

So were Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap, Polish dictator Wojciech Jaruzelski, Haitian dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, Republic of Georgia President Eduard Shevardnadze, Northern Irish statesman Ian Paisley, Australian Prime Minister Edward Gough Whitlam, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and South African President Nelson Mandela.

So were NFL owners Malcolm Glazer, Bud Adams, Ralph Wilson and William Clay Ford, and NBA owner Jerry Buss. So were baseball legends Ralph Kiner, Jerry Coleman, Don Zimmer, Frank Cashen and Tony Gwynn. So were football legends Clarence "Ace" Parker, Frank Tripucka, Pat Summerall, Art Donovan, Deacon Jones, Chuck Fairbanks and L.C. Greenwood. So were basketball legends Bill Sharman, Bob Kurland, Vern Mikkelsen, Tom Gola, Dr. Jack Ramsay, Sam Lacey, Lou Hudson, Walt Bellamy and Sergei Belov. So were soccer legends Bert Trautmann, Djalma Santos, Nilton Santos, Bill Foulkes, Tom Finney, Alfredo di Stefano and Eusebio. So were boxing champions Emile Griffith and Ken Norton, and boxing challenger turned convict turned civil rights activist Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. So was professional wrestler James Hellwig, a.k.a. "the Ultimate Warrior."

So were 4 New Jerseyans who mattered: Sportscaster Bill Campbell, Senator Frank Lautenberg, Sopranos star James Gandolfini, and my father.

All of those people were still alive the last time the Devils won a shootout. Now, none of those people is.

The Olympic Games have since been held in Russia, and the World Cup in Brazil. The President of the United States, the Governor of New Jersey and the Governor of New York have not changed, but the Mayor of New York City has: It was Michael Bloomberg, and it is now Bill de Blasio.

The TV shows Hannibal, Da Vinci's Demons, Mistresses, The Fosters, Graceland, Devious Maids, Ray Donovan, Drunk History, Orange Is the New Black, Sleepy Hollow, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Blacklist, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Goldbergs, Trophy Wife, Masters of Sex, Reign, Ravenswood, Almost Human, Bitten, Wahlburgers, Resurrection, Turn: Washington's Spies, Fargo, Gang Related, Crossbones, The Last Ship, You're the Worst, The Mysteries of Laura, Madam Secretary, Forever, Black-ish, How to Get Away With Murder, Selfie, Jane the Virgin, The McCarthys, NCIS: New Orleans, The Flash, Gotham and Girl Meets World have since premiered.

Fringe, Private Practice, Attack of the Show!, 30 Rock, CSI: NY, Southland, Happy Endings, Vegas, the new 90210, The Office, The Cleveland Show, The Big C, Body of Proof, Merlin, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Army Wives, Futurama, Judge Joe Brown, Burn Notice, What Not to Wear, Nikita, Dexter and Breaking Bad all aired their last first-run episodes.

Jay Leno retired as host of The Tonight Show (no, no, really, he means it this time), Jimmy Fallon took his place, and Seth Meyers took Fallon's place on Late Night. A new edition of Cosmos aired. Game of Thrones aired "The Red Wedding," and then gave Joffrey and Tywin what they deserved.

In the late winter of 2013, Benedict XVI resigned as Pope, and was replaced by an Argentine of Italian descent, who took the regnal name Francis. Russia annexed the Crimea from Ukraine, rebel forces took the Central African Republic, the European Union bailed out Cypus, and 2 Chechen brothers set off bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Van Cliburn, and Hugo Chavez, and Margaret Thatcher died. Sebastian Taylor Tomaz (son of Wiz Khlaifa & Amber Rose), and Margaret Lawrence Hager (1st grandchild of George W. Bush), and North West were born. (Prince George of Cambridge came along a little later.)

March 10, 2013. The New Jersey Devils won a regular-season (not an exhibition) NHL game through a shootout. It seemed like it would never happen again.

Now, it has. Maybe this is the turnaround that the Devils are looking for, and it will send them onward to the Playoffs. And then, who knows... a 4th Stanley Cup, tying the Rangers and the Islanders, and doubling the Flyers?

Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 30, 1974: 40 Years Since the Rumble In the Jungle

October 30, 1974, 40 years ago: “The Rumble in the Jungle” in Kinshasa, in the former colony of Belgain Congo, at this point called Zaire, and since 1997 called the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

George Foreman was the undefeated Heavyweight Champion of the World, and heavily favored to defeat former champion Muhammad Ali. Ali was talking his usual trash, but most people thought Ali would lose. Indeed, there were some who feared that Ali would be killed in the ring.

Ali fooled them all. People who say Ali just leaned against the ropes in his “rope-a-dope” strategy and let Foreman tire himself out with punches are fools. I’ve seen the tape of the fight: Ali got in a lot of punches, enough to win every round except for the 2nd and the 6th. Foreman would later say that, at the end of the 6th, Ali yelled at him, “Is that all you got, George?” Years later, Foreman told an interviewer he had to admit, “Yup, that’s all I got.”

Through a months-long psychological campaign, including practically the entire black population of the continent of Africa in his favor and against the equally black Foreman – he had done something similar to Joe Frazier, who was puzzled by it: “I’m darker than he is!” – Ali had gotten into Foreman’s head, just as he had done to Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, and just about everybody else he’d ever fought.

In the 8th round, backed up against the ropes, Ali managed to turn an exhausted Foreman around, toss a few jabs, and knock him on his can. Foreman tried to get up, but he ran out of time, and Ali was the winner by a knockout.

When David Frost went to interview him for the BBC after the fight, he pointed at the camera and said, “Is this thing on? I told you all that I was the greatest of all time when I beat Sonny Liston! I am still the greatest of all time! Never again doubt me! Never again make me an underdog until I’m about 50 years old!”

He was off a bit, as he probably should have quit at 36, after losing the title to Leon Spinks and then regaining it from him. But, by far more than his boxing prowess, by the force of his personality, and by the example he set as a man of (at least, in America) a minority race and a minority religion, making him, somewhat contradictorily, the champion of the underdog, he proved that he really was The Greatest... Of All Tiiiiiiiime! At age 72, he still is.

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October 30, 1871: The final championship match of the season takes place on the Union Grounds in Brooklyn, between the Athletics and the Chicago White Stockings. The Championship Committee decrees that today's game will decide the winner of the pennant. Chicago‚ having played all of its games on the road since the October 8 fire‚ appears in an assorted array of uniforms. Theirs were all lost during the fire.

The 4-1 victory by the Athletics gives them the championship for 1871. It will be 41 years before another Philadelphia team wins a major league Pennant.

Also on this day, John Frank Freeman is born in Catasauqua, in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. The right fielder, better known as Buck Freeman, was the 1st man to lead both Leagues in home runs: The National in 1899 with 25 for the Washington Nationals (who were about to be contracted out of the NL and are not to be confused with the current team with the name), and the American in 1903 with 13 for the Boston Americans, forerunners of the Red Sox. That season, he and the Americans won the first World Series.

Should he be in the Baseball Hall of Fame? He was in the Dead Ball Era, so his career home run total, while impressive for the time, was just 82. He batted .293 lifetime, with a 132 OPS+. He was a very good player in his time, but he wasn't great for long enough. So, no Cooperstown for him. But he is in the Red Sox' team Hall of Fame. He died in 1949, age 77.

October 30, 1875: The Boston Red Stockings beat the visiting Blue Stockings of Hartford‚ 7-4‚ to finish the season without a home defeat. Boston finishes the year at 48-7, to win their 4th straight National Association Pennant.

Only 7 NA teams finish the season, with a total of 185 games played between them. The success of the Red Stockings has led to several forfeits, and this domination and erratic scheduling is one of the reasons the NA is abandoned and the National League established for 1876. The Red Stockings will join, eventually becoming the Beaneaters, the Rustlers, the Doves and finally the Braves, before moving to Milwaukee and later Atlanta.

October 30, 1896: Ruth Gordon Jones is born in Quincy, Massachusetts, outside Boston. (Founding Father John Adams was also born in Quincy on an October 30, in 1735.) Dropping her last name, she starred on Broadway and in silent films before becoming a major star in the “talkies” of the 1930s. She also collaborated on screenplays with her husband, Garson Kanin.

But she’s best known for her role in the 1968 film Rosemary’s Baby. At age 72, she got an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and said, "I can't tell you how encouraging a thing like this is." She was still acting up to the end of her life in 1985.

What does she have to do with sports? Well, in 1993, on an episode of Mad About You, Paul Reiser’s character, a documentary filmmaker named Paul Buchman, told his wife Jamie, played by Helen Hunt, that he was making a movie about Yankee Stadium, using the common nickname “The House That Ruth Built.” Jamie: “Ruth who?” Paul, sarcastically: “Gordon, honey. Ruth Gordon built Yankee Stadium.”

October 30, 1898: William Harold Terry is born in Atlanta, but lives most of his life in Memphis, giving him the nickname "Memphis Bill." The New York Giants 1st baseman helped them win Pennants in 1923 and ’24, and after succeeding John McGraw as manager, he led them to win the 1933 World Series and the ’36 and ’37 Pennants. In 1930, he batted .401, making him the last National Leaguer to date to bat .400 or higher for a season.

He is a member of the Hall of Fame, and the Giants retired his Number 3 (in 1984, albeit well after they had moved to San Francisco, but at least he lived long enough to see it, dying in 1989).

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October 30, 1916: Leon Day (no middle name) is born in Alexandria, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. He pitched for the Newark Eagles and the Baltimore Elite Giants in the Negro Leagues, and was also an excellent hitter. He landed on Utah Beach on D-Day. Although just 30 years old when Jackie Robinson debuted, he only played two seasons, 1952 and 1953, in the formerly all-white minor leagues, and was never approached by a major league team to sign. He retired in 1955.

In 1995, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, based on his Negro League service. Just 6 days later, he died, making him the only person ever to be a living Hall-of-Famer-elect, but not a living Hall-of-Famer.

October 30, 1917: Robert Randall Bragan is born in Birmingham, Alabama. Bobby Bragan was a backup catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, but when team president Branch Rickey announced he would promote Jackie Robinson to the majors, Bragan was one of the Southern players who signed a petition opposing it, and even asked Rickey to trade him rather than make him play on a desegregated team. Rickey refused, and Bragan soon realized that he was wrong.

In 1948, Rickey wanted to promote Roy Campanella to the Dodgers, putting Bragan out of a job. To make up for this, he offered Bragan, then just 30, the post of manager of a Dodger farm team, the Fort Worth Cats of the Texas League. In 1955, Rickey, now president of the Pittsburgh Pirates, gave Bragan his 1st big-league managing job, which also made him Roberto Clemente’s 1st big-league manager. When Rickey died in 1965, Bragan attended his funeral. He said, “I had to go, because Branch Rickey made me a better man.”

In 1958, he was fired as manager of the Cleveland Indians, and legend has it that he walked out to the field at Cleveland Municipal Stadium and declared that the Indians would never win another Pennant. He denied this story many times, but the Indians didn’t win a Pennant from 1954 to 1995 -- by which point they had moved out of Municipal Stadium and into Jacobs Field.

He was named the manager of the Braves in 1963, meaning he managed 4 Hall-of-Famers: Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn, Eddie Mathews and a young Joe Torre. He was still their manager when they moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966, but was fired in that 1st season in Atlanta. Despite being only 49 he was finished as a big-league manager.

But it was in the minors that Bragan truly made his mark, gaining a reputation for winning, and for fairness to nonwhite players that he could not have imagined prior to 1947. He led the Fort Worth Cats to Texas League Pennants in 1948 and 1949, and the Hollywood Stars to the Pacific Coast League Pennant in 1953. As manager of the PCL’s Spokane Indians, he taught Maury Wills (a black player) to switch-hit, enabling him to become a big-leaguer and to revolutionize baserunning even more than Robinson had. He was named President of the Texas League in 1969 and of the National Association, the governing body for minor league baseball, in 1975.

On August 16, 2005, Bragan came out of retirement to manage the current version of the Fort Worth Cats, of the independent Central League, for one game. (The original Cats, along with their arch-rivals, the Dallas Eagles, had been replaced in 1965 by the Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs, whose new Turnpike Stadium was expanded into Arlington Stadium for the arrival of the Texas Rangers in 1972.) At age 87 years, 9 months, and 16 days, Bragan broke by one week the record of Connie Mack to become the oldest manager in professional baseball annals. Always known as an innovator with a sense of humor, and an umpire-baiter, Bragan was ejected in the 3rd inning of his "comeback", thus also becoming the oldest person in any capacity to be ejected from a professional sporting event. Bragan enjoyed the rest of the Cats' 11-10 victory from a more comfortable vantage point.

He is a member of the Sports Halls of Fames of both Alabama and Texas. He died in 2010, age 92.

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October 30, 1927: Joseph Wilbur Adcock is born in Coushatta, Louisiana. The 1st baseman was an All-Star slugger for the Milwaukee Braves, hitting 4 home runs in a 1954 game, and was a member of their 1957 World Champions and 1958 Pennant winners. He also briefly managed the California Angels. He died in 1999.

October 30, 1935: James Evan Perry Jr. is born in Williamston, North Carolina. Jim Perry was an All-Star pitcher for the Minnesota Twins, helping them win the 1965 Pennant. He won 215 games in the major leagues, and took the 1970 AL Cy Young Award.

Older but lesser-known than his Hall of Fame brother Gaylord Perry, they still combined for more wins and more strikeouts than any brother combination before them, and have since been surpassed in each category only by Phil and Joe Niekro. But the Perrys are still the only brothers ever to both win Cy Young Awards.

Also on this day, Robert Allan Caro is born in Manhattan. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography for The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, in which he details both the benefits and the harm the legendary bureaucrat, builder and destroyer brought the City from the 1920s to the ‘60s, including standing in the way of Walter O’Malley getting a new stadium for the Brooklyn Dodgers. This led to O’Malley moving the team to Los Angeles, and building the Flushing Meadow facility that became Shea Stadium.

Incredibly, the book was published in 1974, while Moses was still alive. I can only guess the old bastard was no longer vigorous enough to mount any kind of attempt to stop it. Caro has also written a multi-volume biography of President Lyndon Johnson.

October 30, 1941: Robert Primrose Wilson is born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Bob first kept goal for North London club Arsenal in 1963, became the starter in 1968, and remained so until retiring in 1974. In between, he helped Arsenal win the 1970 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, and "the Double" of the Football League Division One and the FA Cup in 1971.

Although born in England, his parents were from Scotland, and he has always identified as Scottish. Yet he was only selected to play for Scotland twice. Despite all their talent from England and from Scotland, Arsenal players saw precious few international "caps" in that era.

Bob later became Arsenal's goalkeeping coach, with Pat Rice as defensive coach, under manager George Graham, the 3 members of the 1971 Double team taking them to the 1989 and 1991 League titles. Arsene Wenger kept them on, and they remained with the team through the 1998 and 2002 Doubles. Bob then retired, although Pat remained as assistant coach through 2012.

He and his wife Megs have been married for 50 years. They had 3 children, including daughter Anna, who died from cancer, leading Bob to found the Willow Foundation (the name taken from a nickname of his). In 2011, at age 70, he made a charity bicycle ride to all 20 of England's Premier League (successor to the old Division One) stadiums, and on to Hampden Park, Scotland's national stadium in Glasgow. He is currently battling prostate cancer himself, but by all accounts (including his own Twitter account, @BobWilsonBWSC), is doing well.

October 30, 1945: Henry Franklin Winkler is born in Manhattan. Ayyyyyyyy! He’s had many fine roles since Happy Days went off the air, but he will always be that show’s Arthur Fonzarelli. And that is so cool. Cooler than any typecasting could ever be. You don’t think that's cool? As the Fonz would say, “Sit on it!”

October 30, 1956: Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley sells Ebbets Field to a real estate group. He agrees to stay until 1959‚ with an option to stay until 1961. Then again, as one of the most unscrupulous lawyers in New York, what the hell is a legally binding agreement to Lord Waltermort?

October 30, 1958: Joe Alton Delaney is born in Henderson, Texas, and grows up outside Shreveport, Louisiana. He was a sensational running back for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1981 and '82, but his career was cut short when he attempted to save two drowning boys in a lake near his Louisiana home, and ended up drowning as well. He was just 24.

The Chiefs have removed his Number 37 from circulation, although they have not officially retired it. They have also elected him to their team Hall of Fame, and placed him on their Ring of Honor at Arrowhead Stadium.

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October 30, 1960: Diego Armando Maradona is born Lanus, Buenos Aires state, Argentina.  He led his homeland to the 1986 World Cup, thanks to a 2-goal game against England. The 2nd goal has been regarded as one of the greatest goals ever scored. But the 1st goal was scored when he punched it into the net, an obvious handball -- or, as he called it, “The Hand of God.” This came just 4 years after Britain had clobbered Argentina in the Falkland Islands War, so it was a huge boost for Argentina, but it made the English really mad, and it infuriated everybody else who hates Argentina (which includes most of South America).

He won league titles in Argentina with his hometown club, Boca Juniors, of Buenos Aires in 1981; and in Italy with Napoli of Naples in 1987 and 1990, the only 2 Serie A titles they have ever won. However, the club narrowly missed winning in 1989, and for 25 years rumors have been floated that Maradona, already addicted to cocaine, was, shall we say, enticed to throw some matches.

After years of dealing with drug addiction, his weight and debt from unpaid taxes during the Italian phase of his playing career, Maradona managed of the Argentina team in the 2010 World Cup, just barely qualifying. He got them to the Quarterfinals before losing, and was fired. He then managed Al-Wasl in the United Arab Emirates, and was fired after the 2011-12 season. He has not been hired to manage again.

He has been married once, and is divorced. He has 2 sons, one of whom, who goes by Diego Sinagra, plays in Italy for A.S.D. San Giorgio. He also has 2 daughters, one of whom, Giannina, married Sergio Aguero, the Argentine striker whose last-minute-of-the-season goal won the 2012 Premier League title for Manchester City. They have a 5-year-old son, Benjamin. However, they have separated. And, this week, Maradona was caught on tape hitting his current girlfriend. "El Diez" has been treated like a god for 30 years. Gods do not like to not get their way.

October 30, 1961: Scott William Garrelts is born in Urbana, Illinois. The All-Star pitcher helped lead the San Francisco Giants to the National League Pennant in 1989. The following year, he took a no-hitter into the 9th inning against the Cincinnati Reds, but it was broken up with one out to go by future Yankee legend Paul O’Neill. His career record was 69-53.

October 30, 1964, 50 years ago: Buffalo Wings are invented. Frank and Teresa Bellissimo opened a bar on Main Street in Buffalo, New York in 1939. Because it was near the Buffalo River, they named it the Anchor Bar. Because it was just 5 blocks from War Memorial Stadium, then home of that season's eventual American Football League Champions, the Buffalo Bills, it became a hangout for Bills fans.

On October 30, 1964, a Friday night, Dominic Bellissimo, son of the owners, came by with some friends, looking for a late-night snack. Teresa was there, preparing to make chicken stock with a bunch of wings and, improvising, stuck them under the broiler (later they switched to deep frying), sprinkled them with a hot sauce she concocted from a commercially available base (Frank's Hot Sauce), took some celery sticks off the antipasto dishes, put some blue cheese dressing (the house dressing) in a small bowl, and served them to the boys. They loved it, and the word of this new concoction spread.

Dom took over the bar after his parents died, and, still alive, he tells a different story. In 1980, he was interviewed for The New Yorker by Calvin Trillin. It wasn't until 1966 that the Catholic Church allowed its members to eat meat on Fridays. On this Friday night, since people were buying a lot of drinks he wanted to do something nice for them at midnight, when the mostly Catholic patrons would be able to eat meat again. It was still Terressa who came up with the idea, he said, but Dom's friends weren't there.

Of course, buffaloes don't have wings. Chickens have wings... but they don't have fingers. Nevertheless, "Buffalo wings" and "chicken fingers" have become standard pub grub in America.
 October 30, 1967: Arthur Allyn, owner of the White Sox, announces that they will play 9 "home" games at Milwaukee County Stadium in 1968. They will become the first AL team to play regular season games outside its own city since 1905. (This was occasionally done in that era, to get around "blue laws" prohibiting sporting events on Sundays in some cities.)

What Allyn really wants is to scare the City of Chicago into building him a new ballpark, to replace Comiskey Park, at the edge of the South Side ghetto. Ordinarily, Mayor Richard J. Daley was a hard man to scare -- especially since he'd just gotten re-elected in the spring. However, Daley was a White Sox fan, who'd lived most of his life in the Bridgeport neighborhood, within walking distance of Comiskey. Allyn thought he could roll Daley.

He didn't -- and the "Milwaukee White Sox" ploy did more to bring Major League Baseball back to Milwaukee (in 1970, with the Brewers) than it did for Allyn or the White Sox. In 1972, and again in 1975, they nearly moved. Then Bill Veeck came back and both the Sox, and canceled the intended move to Denver. But he couldn't afford to keep them, and sold them in 1980 to Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn. "The Reinhorn Twins" then blackmailed the State of Illinois into building them a new ballpark, or else they would move to Tampa Bay for 1989. Governor James Thompson, a White Sox fan, lobbied for the new Comiskey Park, what's now U.S. Cellular Field, and the Sox stayed.

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October 30, 1975: The New York Daily News, responding to President Gerald Ford’s statement that he wouldn’t allow the federal government to bail out New York City’s desperate finances, prints the most famous newspaper headline ever: “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD.” Ford didn’t actually say that, but that was the message he sent, intentionally or otherwise.

 
Both sides compromised, as the City did a few more things to try to get its financial house in order, and this satisfied Ford to the point where he changed his mind and signed a bailout bill.

But Ford was damned when he did, and damned when he didn’t. The bailout he actually did sign infuriated many conservatives, who already had a few problems with the mildly conservative Ford, and they voted for former Governor Ronald Reagan of California in the Republican primaries, and Reagan very nearly won the GOP nomination, and when Ford won the nomination anyway, many of those conservatives stayed home on Election Day, November 2, 1976. This may have made the difference in throwing some States to the Democratic nominee, former Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia.

In addition, a lot of people in New York City remembered only the headline, and forgot that Ford changed his mind about the bailout, and held it against him, and a lot of people in the City who might not have been comfortable with Carter either voted for Carter or stayed home, enough to throw the State of New York to Carter. Had Ford simply won the State, he would have won a full term.

True, the Nixon pardon, lingering feelings over Watergate, the shaky economy, his debate gaffe about Eastern Europe, and conservatives issues with him over things like foreign policy and federal spending also hurt him. But the day after the ’76 election, Mayor Abe Beame posed in front of City Hall with the headline, as if to say, “City to Ford: Don’t tell someone to drop dead unless you can make him drop dead. We just made your campaign drop dead.” A year later, with the City’s finances still not fully straightened out, and crime seemingly out of control, the City’s voters told Beame to “drop dead” and elected Congressman Ed Koch as its Mayor.

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October 30, 1982: Andy Greene is born in the Detroit suburb of Trenton, Michigan. He is a defenseman for the New Jersey Devils. Not a very good one.

October 30, 1995: The Quebec sovereignty referendum fails by a razor-thin margin, with 50.58 percent voting “Non” and 49.42 percent voting “Oui.” The number of “spoiled ballots,” unusable for whatever reason, is said to be greater than the margin of victory. Despite the anger of the separatists, angry over their perception of victimization at the hands of the federal government in Ottawa and the English-speaking establishment – an absolutely ridiculous notion, since the Provincial government has been dominated the ethnic and linguistic French for most of the 20th Century – the Province will remain a part of Canada, but there is still bitterness on both sides. It’s just as well: Would you be the one who has to tell the Montreal Canadiens, the greatest cultural institution in Quebec, that they had to change their name?

October 30, 2001: Game 3 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium. The flag found at the World Trade Center on September 11, with some of the stripes having come apart, is flown at the flagpole in Monument Park. This is an honor.

George W. Bush throws out the ceremonial first pitch. This is not an honor, it is a desecration: By ignoring the August 6 national-security briefing that told of Osama bin Laden’s plan to hijack American airliners, Bush allowed New York City to be attacked. Stand on the mound to throw out the first pitch? He shouldn’t have even been allowed inside the hallowed House That Ruth Built, no matter how much he was willing to pay for a ticket. (Not that the son of a bitch would have been willing to pay. Has he ever done anything in his life, without somebody doing it for him?)

The somewhat more honest and somewhat less egotistical born-elsewhere-but-calls-himself-Texan, Roger Clemens, does some of his best postseason work, and the Yankees ride a Jorge Posada homer and a Scott Brosius single to take a 2-1 win, and close to within 2 games to 1.

October 30, 2002: Jason Mizell, a.k.. Jam Master Jay of Run-D.M.C., is murdered, shot at his recording studio in Jamaica, Queens. He is 37 years old. Although suspects have been questioned, the case remains unsolved.

October 30, 2005: Al Lopez, not only the oldest living member of the Baseball Hall of Fame but the oldest Hall-of-Famer ever, dies at age 97. He had been an All-Star catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and he caught more games in the major leagues than anyone until Bob Boone surpassed him 1987, and more than anyone in the NL until Gary Carter surpassed him in 1990. (Boone’s achievement was spread over both leagues; Boone’s record was surpassed in 1993 by Carlton Fisk, and Fisk’s this past season by Ivan Rodriguez, if you cant count anything that steroid user does as legitimate.)

From 1949 to 1964 ,he was the only manager to take a team other than the Yankees to an American League Pennant, in 1954 with the Cleveland Indians and in 1959 with the Chicago White Sox. He dies just 4 days after the White Sox win their first Pennant since ’59.

Like another catcher who became famous in another sphere of baseball, Tim McCarver, he had outlived a minor-league ballpark that had been built in his home town. Al Lopez Field opened in Tampa in 1954 and was demolished in 1989. It stood in what is now the south end zone at the Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium. Just north of the stadium, Horizon Park was renamed Al Lopez Park, and a statue of him stands there.

October 30, 2007: The Yankees sign Joe Girardi to a 3-year deal worth a reported $7.5 million to replace popular manager Joe Torre, who left earlier in the month, rejecting a 29 percent pay cut after guiding his club to their 12th postseason appearance in 12 years.

The 43-year old former catcher and broadcaster, the NL manager of the year with the 2006 Marlins, beat out coaches Don Mattingly and Tony Pena to become the team's 32nd skipper.

October 30, 2010: For the 1st time, a team based in Texas wins a World Series game. The Texas Rangers, hosting a Series game for the 1st time, beat the San Francisco Giants, 4-2, at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (now named Globe Life Park), and close the gap to 2 games to 1. Previously, the Rangers (in this Series) and the Houston Astros (in their only appearance, in 2005) had been 0-6.

October 30, 2013: The Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1, to take Game 6 of the World Series, and capture a World Championship at Fenway Park for the first time since 1918. After not winning a Series for 86 years, they have now won 3 in 10 seasons.

Of course, the Most Valuable Player of the World Series was given to David Ortiz, the only man on all 3 title teams. Which means that all 3 titles are bogus, and the Red Sox still haven't won the World Series honestly since 1918.

How to Be a Jets Fan In Kansas City

With all the fuss over the Royals' 1st Pennant in almost 30 years, it's easy to forget that Kansas City is, first and foremost, a football city.

And the Jets and the Chiefs have a special relationship: The flagship and founding franchises, respectively, of the American Football League -- and the only AFL franchises to beat an NFL Champion in a Super Bowl.

Indeed, it has been argued (and I would agree) that the Kansas City Chiefs' defeat of the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV was more important than the New York Jets' win over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, because it proved that the shocking win of the AFL Champs the year before was not a fluke.

You see, the reason the Colts were favored so heavily over the Jets is that people presumed the NFL was so far ahead of the AFL, based in part on the NFL's lopsided wins in Super Bowls I and II. But that glosses over a very important fact: Those Super Bowls were won by Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers, over first the Chiefs and then the Oakland Raiders. Those Packers are on the short list for the title of Greatest Team in NFL History.

Had the Dallas Cowboys, the team the Packers beat in the 1966 and 1967 NFL Championship Games, won instead, Cowboys vs. Chiefs and Cowboys vs. Raiders would have been much more competitive games. Then, while the Colts might still have been favored over the Jets and the Vikings over the Chiefs, the spreads wouldn't have been huge. Let's not forget, also, that, despite the Jets' win, the Vikings were favored to beat the Chiefs, even though nearly everyone on that Chief roster was in Super Bowl I, and many had been in the 1962 AFL Championship Game, the franchise's last contest as the Dallas Texans. The Chiefs had the edge in experience.

Indeed, as Bob Costas said in the pregame show of Super Bowl XX, those 1960s Chiefs were "the team that time forgot," obscured by the memories of the team that beat them in Super Bowl I, and the team that preceded them in bringing World Championship glory and defeat over the NFL to the AFL.

The Chiefs may not have won a title since then -- 45 seasons -- but, along with the Packers, the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants, they are, arguably, due to their status as the AFL's founding franchise (through owner Lamar Hunt), one of the 4 most important professional football teams.

*

Going to Kansas City.
Kansas City, here I come.
They got some crazy little women there
and I’m a-gonna get me one.


Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller wrote that tune back in the 1950s, and it’s been recorded by a lot of people. It hit Number 1 for Wilbert Harrison in 1959.

It doesn’t say anything about football, though. Yet, in spite of a very spotty history -- the Chiefs have made the Playoffs a few times, but only once under the NFL banner have they reached the AFC Championship Game -- Kansas City has quite a fascinating history, and should still be regarded as a good football town.

Disclaimer: I have never been to Kansas City. Much of this information is taken from the Royals’ own website, and therefore I believe it to be reliable.

Before You Go. K.C. can get really hot in the summer, and really cold in the winter, with the wind blowing across the Plains. Check the Kansas City Star website for the weather forecast before you go. (The rival Kansas City Times stopped publishing in 1990.)

For the moment, they are predicting that Saturday night will be in the low 40s, Sunday afternoon will be in the low 60s, and Sunday night in the low 50s. They're not forecasting rain on either day, but it could rain on Monday, so if you don't fly, ride or drive out on Sunday night, you should be prepared.

Kansas City is in the Central Time Zone. Adjust your timepieces accordingly.

Tickets. Unlike the Royals, who have had attendance issues for years, the Chiefs averaged 75,539 fans per home game last season, and 75,384 so far this season, which works out to about 98 percent of Arrowhead Stadium's capacity. Getting tickets from the team website, via Ticketmaster, could be hard. You may have to go to the NFL ticket exchange.

In the lower level, seats are $191 between the end zones and $98 behind them. In the upper level, they're $80 and $75.

Getting There. Kansas City's Crown Center is 1,194 road miles from New York's Times Square, and it's 1,182 miles from MetLife Stadium to Arrowhead Stadium. Knowing this, your first reaction is going to be to fly out there. Round-trip, while changing planes in Chicago, can be just over $600 round-trip. If you want non-stop, it’ll cost more than twice that, even if you order early. When you do get there, the 129 bus takes you from Kansas City International Airport to downtown in under an hour, so that’s convenient.

Bus? Not a good idea. Greyhound runs 6 buses a day between Port Authority and Kansas City, and only 2 of them are without changes in Pennsylvania (possibly in Philadelphia, possibly in Harrisburg). The total time is about 29 hours, and costs $332 round-trip. The Greyhound terminal is at 1101 Troost Avenue, at E. 11th Street. Number 25 bus to downtown.

Train? Amtrak will make you change trains in Chicago, from their Union Station to K.C. on the Southwest Chief – the modern version of the Santa Fe Railroad’s Chicago-to-Los Angeles “Super Chief,” the train that, along with his Cherokee heritage, gave 1950s Yankee pitcher Allie Reynolds his nickname. Problem is, the Southwest Chief arrives in K.C. at 10:11 PM, meaning you would need to leave New York on Friday to get there on Saturday. And we’re talking round-trip fare of $654. But if you want to try it, Union Station is at Pershing Road and Main Street. Take the MAX bus to get downtown.

If you decide to drive, it’s far enough that it will help to get someone to go with you and split the duties, and to trade off driving and sleeping. You’ll need to get on the New Jersey Turnpike, and take Interstate 78 West across New Jersey, and at Harrisburg get on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which at this point will be both I-70 and I-76. When the two Interstates split outside Pittsburgh, stay on I-70 west. You’ll cross the northern tip of West Virginia, and go all the way accross Ohio (through Columbus), Indiana (through Indianapolis), Illinois and very nearly Missouri (through the northern suburbs of St. Louis). In Missouri, Exit 9 will be for the Sports Complex. But you’d be crazy to come all this way and not get a hotel so you’ll get a decent night’s sleep, so take I-70 right into downtown.

If you do it right, you should spend about an hour and 15 minutes in New Jersey, 5 hours in Pennsylvania, 15 minutes in West Virginia, 3 hours and 45 minutes in Ohio, 2 hours and 30 minutes in Indiana, 2 hours and 30 minutes in Illinois, and 4 hours and 15 minutes in Missouri before you reach the exit for your hotel. That’s going to be nearly 21 and a half hours. Counting rest stops, preferably 7 of them, and accounting for traffic in both New York and Kansas City, it should be about 28 hours.

Once In the City. Kansas City, founded in 1838 and named for the Kanza tribe of Native Americans who lived there, is one of the smallest cities in the major leagues, with just 460,000 people, and one of the smallest metropolitan areas, with 2.3 million -- indeed, if you rank the 24 MLB markets (remembering to divide New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco in half, although the fandom doesn't really break that way), K.C. ranks 24th.

Kansas City is set on the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas rivers, and on the Missouri/Kansas State Line. Kansas City, Kansas is a separate city with about 140,000 people, and is known locally as KCK, while the more familiar city is KCMO. As for KCMO, Main Street runs north-south and divides Kansas City addresses between East and West, while the north-south addresses start at 1 at the Missouri River.

The base fare for buses and light rail is $1.50, though to go to the Missouri suburbs or KCK it's doubled to $3.00. A 3-day pass is $10. The sales tax in Missouri is 4.225 percent, but it more than doubles to 8.475 within Kansas City.

Going In. The Harry S Truman Sports Complex, including Kauffman Stadium (known as Royals Stadium from 1973 until the 1993 death of founder-owner-pharmaceutical titan Ewing M. Kauffman) and Arrowhead Stadium, home of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs and site of a 2001 U.S. soccer team win over Costa Rica, is 8 miles southeast of downtown Kansas City, at the intersection of Interstates 70 and 435, still in the city but on the suburban edge of it.

The official address of Arrowhead Stadium is 1 Arrowhead Way. You don’t have to worry about the ballpark being in a bad neighborhood: It’s not in any neighborhood. Parking costs $11.

Public transportation is not much of an option. In fact, aside from Arlington, Texas, this is one of the least friendly stadiums in the NFL for those without a car. The Number 28 bus will drop you off at 35th Street South and Blue Ridge Cutoff, and then it’s a one-mile walk down the Cutoff, over I-70, to the ballpark. The Number 47 bus will drop you off a little closer, on the Cutoff at 40th Terrace, about half a mile away.

The big thing everyone remembers about Arrowhead is the smell -- a good smell. Kansas City prides itself on barbecue, and few football stadiums -- college or pro -- have a better reputation for tailgating. If you like to tailgate, this may be your kind of place. Especially if you're willing to swap and share. Chiefs fans are usually friendly -- usually. (More on that in "During the Game.")

Most fans will enter by the spiral walkways at each corner, a holdover from the 1960s sports stadium architecture that also befell Giants Stadium, among others. The field is natural grass, and is aligned northwest-to-southeast, but the NFL considers this to be north-south. The end zones are crowned by oval -- some might say football-shaped -- scoreboards.

Arrowhead has hosted the Big 12 Conference football championship game 5 times, most recently in 2008. The "Border Showdown" between the universities of Kansas and Missouri, the oldest college football rivalry west of the Mississippi River, was played at Arrowhead from 2006 to 2011, when Missouri left the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference. They are not scheduled to play each other in football this year or next year, and as far as I know, there are no plans to revive the rivalry in 2016 or later. But such rivalries never stay dormant for long, and if the Big 12 continues to fall apart (they're now at 10 teams, as they've lost Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC, Nebraska to the Big 10 and Colorado to the Pac-10/12, but have also gained West Virginia from the Big East and Texas Christian from the Western Athletic Conference), it wouldn't be outrageous to see Kansas in the SEC in the foreseeable future.

As Chiefs founder-owner Lamar Hunt was one of the main movers and shakers of American soccer -- the American equivalent of England's FA Cup is officially named the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup -- he helped to found MLS, and the Kansas City Wizards began play at Arrowhead in 1996. But the Hunt family sold that team in 2007, and, under the name Sporting Kansas City, it now plays across the State Line in Kansas City, Kansas. Still using the Wizards name in 2010, they played a preseason friendly against Manchester United at Arrowhead, and won 2-1.

Although the stadium is the 4th-oldest currently in use in the NFL (behind only Lambeau Field in Green Bay, the Oakland Coliseum, andJack Murphy Stadium in San Diego), it was recently renovated (as was neighboring Kauffman Stadium), and the Chiefs signed a lease that will keep them in Arrowhead through at least 2031. Granted, NFL teams have wiggled their way out of leases before, but it looks like that weird shape, with the points at the corners (I'm guessing sight lines aren't too good from there), will remain a part of the NFL landscape for a long time to come.

Food. Kansas City has a reputation for great barbecue, and Arrowhead has that, and many other good food items. Specifically, stands named "Kansas City Style Barbecue" are at Sections 215 and 238, featuring "Chiefs brisket stack and pulled pork sandwiches, smoke house loaded baked potatoes, KC brisket dogs, jumbo hot dogs, bratwursts, Big Red KC cheesesteak, nachos, vegetables, hummus." (Hummus? Must be for them dirty whinin' lib'rals at the University of Kansas.)

Fiorella's Jack Stack features "BBQ sandwiches, beef burnt ends, ribs, fries, beer and soft drinks" at 112, 130, 326 and 339. Blanc features "Specialty burgers, corned beef and chicken sandwiches, specialty fries, beer and soft drinks" at 122. Foolish Dog features "Specialty hotdogs, extreme fries, loaded nachos, beer and soft drinks" at 107, 131 and 322. Blaze has "Beef hamburgers, chicken tenders, bratwurst, fries, beer and soft drinks" at 102, 108, 111, 116, 126, 136, 310, 316, 321, 327, 333 and 345.

Gridiron Grill has "Specialty burgers, hand-breaded chicken tenders, hand-cut fries, beer and soft drinks" at 109, 127 and 303. Slice has "Specialty flatbread pizzas, pizza slices, Panini sandwich, frozen desserts, candy, beer and soft drinks" at 107, 125, 315, 323 and 343. And Chiefs Bar has a "Full selection of cocktails featuring margaritas, domestic and imported beers, wine" at 102, 104, 109, 111, 117, 121, 129, 134, 301, 308, 317, 326, 331, 332 and 340, and outside at the Ford Fan Zone.

Team History Displays. The Chiefs have won 8 AFL or AFC Western Division Championships (most recently in 2010), have reached 4 AFL or AFC Championship Games (most recently in 1993), and won Super Bowl IV, making them the World Champions of professional football for 1969 -- winning said Super Bowl (the last game before the completion of the AFL-NFL merger, and the last one with the Roman numeral not official attached, except retroactively) just 24 days after I was born. And yet, there appears to be no notation of these achievements viewable from Arrowhead Stadium's seating areas. Nor does there appear to be any notation of their retired numbers.

The Chiefs have 10 retired numbers, and 2 others that, while not officially retired, have not been issued since the players wearing them died while still active. This is an extraordinary number for a team that's been playing for less than 60 years. However, 3 of the 10 also died while still active. In fact, the Chiefs' history has been a bit tragic.

The Chiefs have a team Hall of Fame with 43 members, one elected every year since 1970, except for 1983. (Their 2014 inductee has not yet been announced.) This is the most of any NFL team except for Green Bay. Unlike their titles and retired numbers, these are visible in the seating area, around the mezzanine. There's also a Chiefs Hall of Honor inside the stadium, with each figure represented by a bust, as in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The members are:

* From before their Super Bowl win: Running backs Abner Haynes (Number 28 retired) and Mack Lee Hill (died while active, Number 36 retired) and receiver Chris Burford (who did, at least, make it to their Super Bowl I team). Running back Stone Johnson (that was his real name: "Stone Edward Johnson") was killed in a 1963 exhibition game, getting his neck broken in a tackle, and never played a regulation down. While he's not in the team Hall of Fame, the Chiefs did retire the Number 33 that he wore exactly once.

* From their 1969 World Champions, winners of Super Bowl IV: Founder-owner Lamar Hunt (who also has a statue outside Arrowhead, and the AFC Championship trophy is named for him), coach Hank Stram, team administrator Jack Steadman, quarterback Len Dawson (Number 16 retired), running backs Mike Garrett, Curtis McClinton and Ed Podoloak, receiver Otis Taylor, tight end Fred Arbanas, center Jack Rudnay, guard Ed Budde, offensive tackles Jim Tyrer and Dave Hill, defensive tackles Buck Buchanan (Number 86 retired), Curley Culp and Jerry Mays, linebackers Bobby Bell (Number 78 retired), Willie Lanier (Number 63 retired), E.J. Holub, Sherrill Headrick and Jim Lynch, cornerback Emmitt Thomas (Number 18 retired), safety Johnny Robinson, kicker Jan Stenerud (Number 3 retired) and punter Jerrel Wilson.

* From the early 1980s: Running back Joe Delaney (died while still active, Number 37 kept out of circulation), safety Gary Barbaro.

* From their 1986 AFC Wild Card Playoff team: offensive tackle John Alt, defensive end Art Still, linebacker Gary Spani, cornerbacks Albert Lewis and Kevin Ross, safeties Deron Cherry (a Rutgers graduate) and Lloyd Burruss and kicker Nick Lowery.

* From their 1993 team that won the AFC West and reached the AFC Championship Game: Coach Marty Schottenheimer, Lewis, Ross, Lowery, running back Christian Okoye, guard Will Shields, linebacker Derrick Thomas (died while still active, Number 58 kept out of circulation), defensive end Neil Smith. The quarterback on this team was Joe Montana, who led the Chiefs into the Playoffs in his last 2 seasons in the NFL, but, having played only 2 seasons with the team, he is not in their Hall of Fame. Oddly, while he starred for this team, and is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Marcus Allen has not been inducted. Ross went to other teams, then returned for their 1997 AFC West Champions. Shields remained through their AFC West Champions of 1995, 1997 and 2003, and is the inductee who most recently played. No member of their 2010 AFC Champions has yet been inducted.

Stuff. The Arrowhead Pro Shop is located in the middle of the lower level on the east sideline of the stadium. The usual items that can be found at a team gift shop (jerseys, helmets, caps, jackets, balls, etc.) can be purchased there. I presume that this includes, due to Kansas City's Western heritage, cowboy hats with the team logo. However, while they haven't had the same kind of backlash as the Washington Redskins, I wonder if this team, named for a leader of an Indian tribe, sells Native American-themed paraphernalia.

Books about the Chiefs are not exactly well-known outside the K.C. area. Jeffrey Flanagan and Doug Weaver of the paper in question wrote A Sea of Red: 50 Years with the Chiefs and the Kansas City Star. There is also a biography of their founder, Michael MacCambridge's Lamar Hunt: A Life In Sports.

While I couldn't find any books specifically about the 1969-70 Chiefs that won Super Bowl IV, the NFL did release the DVD NFL America's Game: 1969 Chiefs. They also have NFL History of the Kansas City Chiefs, released in 2007. There does not, as yet, appear to be a Greatest Games DVD package for the Chiefs.

During the Game. Because of their Great Plains/Heartland image, Chiefs fans like a “family atmosphere.” Therefore, while they hate the Oakland Raiders and, to a lesser extent, the Dallas Cowboys, any feelings they might have for the Jets dissipated with the 1970 merger. (Since the St. Louis Rams are in the NFC, there's not really a cross-Missouri rivalry going. The fact that the Chiefs have won all 6 games against the Rams since they moved to St. Louis may help.) So they will not directly antagonize you. At least, they won’t initiate it. But don’t call them rednecks, hicks or sheep-shaggers.

They will, however, much like baseball Cardinal fans across the State, come dressed in bright red. While not official like the University of Nebraska's Memorial Stadium, Chiefs fans at Arrowhead could be called the Red Sea. They are also loud: Now that the Redskins have left the tight confines of RFK Stadium in the District for the expansive stadium in the Maryland suburbs, the Chiefs have the loudest outdoor stadium in the NFL. Last month, on September 29, against the Patriots on Monday Night Football, they set an NFL record of 142.2 decibels.

In 1984, the 25th season for the 8 original AFL teams -- the Jets, the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs, the Buffalo Bills, the Boston/New England Patriots, the Oakland Raiders (then in their L.A. sojourn), the Denver Broncos, the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans) and the Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers -- wore a shoulder patch commemorating this anniversary. In 2009, they wore another for their 50th seasons. The Chiefs, the AFL's founding franchise, are the only team that still wears a patch commemorating the AFL.

As far as I know, the Chiefs do not have a fight song or a postgame victory song. Their original mascot was Warpaint, a spotted horse that would be ridden around the field before every game and after every Chief touchdown, by Bob Johnson, who wore an Indian headdress. There was a game in 1975 when the Chiefs beat the Raiders 42-10, forcing Johnson to ride the 2nd edition of Warpaint around the field 7 times (once before the game, and once for each of the 6 touchdowns). John Madden, then the Raiders' coach, said, "We couldn't beat the Chiefs, but we damn near killed their horse." (Not really: Warpaint II lived to be 37, which is very old for a horse.)

Trying to get more sensitive about the Native American stuff, in 1989 the Chiefs dropped Warpaint, a horse ridden by a man in full Indian gear, and adopted a new mascot, K.C. Wolf. He was named for a group of noisy fans at the old Municipal Stadium, who called themselves the Wolfpack. But in 2009, as part of the team's 50th Anniversary celebrations, a Warpaint III was introduced, this time ridden by a Chiefs cheerleader, not wearing Native American regalia.

After the Game. Since the sports complex is not in any neighborhood, let alone a bad one, you should be safe after a game, day or night. As I said, leave the home fans alone, and they'll probably leave you alone.

If you want to be around other New Yorkers, I’m sorry to say that I can find no listings for where they tend to gather. Even those sites that show where expatriate NFL fans watch games in cities other than their own came up short.

Sidelights. Kansas City’s sports history is a bit uneven. When the Royals and Chiefs have been good, they’ve been exceptional. But they’ve also had long stretches of mediocrity. Still, there are some local sites worth checking out.

* Site of Municipal Stadium. This single-decked, 17,000-seat ballpark was built as Muehlebach Field in 1923, by George Muehlebach, who also owned the beer and the hotel that bore his name, and the American Association’s Kansas City Blues. It hosted the Blues’ Pennants in 1929, 1938, 1952 and 1953 – the last 3 as a farm club of the Yankees. (They'd previously won Pennants in 1888, 1890, 1898 and 1901, for a total of 8 Pennants -- or 5 more than the A's and Royals combined in nearly 60 years thus far.) Future Yankee legends Phil Rizzuto (Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year in 1940) and Mickey Mantle (1951) played for this club at this ballpark.

The Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues also played at Muehlebach, renamed Ruppert Stadium for the Yankees' owner in 1937 and Blues Stadium in 1943. They won 13 Pennants there from 1923 to 1955, including 3 straight, 1923-25, and 4 straight, 1939-42.

Hall-of-Famers Satchel Paige, Willard Brown and Hilton Smith were their biggest stars, although it should be noted that, while he played with them in the 1945 season, Jackie Robinson was, at the time, not considered as much of a baseball prospect some of the other players who were thought of as potential "first black players," like Paige, Monte Irvin and Larry Doby; it was his balance of competitiveness and temperament, as much as his talent, that got Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey interested in him. And in a travesty, Monarchs legend Buck O’Neil has never been elected to the Hall of Fame. The Monarchs had to leave after the 1955 season, because of the arrival of the A’s.

In 1954, the Philadelphia Athletics were sold to trucking company owner Arnold Johnson, and he moved the club to Kansas City, where his pal Del Webb, co-owner of the Yankees, had his construction company put an upper deck on what was renamed Kansas City Municipal Stadium, raising the capacity to 35,020. Thanks to the Webb-Johnson friendship, a lot of trades went back and forth (including Billy Martin out there in 1957 and Roger Maris to New York in the 1959-60 off-season), and it was joked that Kansas City was still a Yankee farm club.

When Johnson died during spring training in 1960, insurance magnate Charles O. Finley bought the club, and he put a stop to that. Finley also debuted some of his promotional shenanigans at Municipal, including Harvey the Rabbit, a Bugs Bunny lookalike that mechanically popped out of home plate to deliver fresh baseballs to the plate umpire. And Finley convinced Brian Epstein to let the Beatles play there, on September 17, 1964, their only concert in Kansas City.

But Finley wanted a new ballpark, and Kansas City wouldn’t give it to him. It's not that they didn't support big-league ball, it's that they couldn't stand him. After flirting with Atlanta, Louisville, Dallas and Denver, he moved the team out of Kansas City in 1967, leading Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri to say, “Oakland, California just became the luckiest city since Hiroshima.”

Despite being from the St. Louis side of the State, Symington lobbied Major League Baseball for a replacement team in K.C., and MLB granted an expansion franchise to Ewing Kauffman, to start play in 1969. Symington was invited to throw out the first ball at the first Royals home game. For the new team, with Kauffman rather than Finley as owner, the city built a new park. The Royals moved out after the 1972 season. Neither the Royals nor the A’s ever came close to October while playing there.

The Chiefs began playing at Municipal Stadium in 1963, with a bleacher section from the left field pole to center field increasing the seating capacity to 47,000. Playing there, they won AFL Championships in 1966 and 1969 (in addition to their 1962 title as the Dallas Texans), won Super Bowl IV, and played their last game there on Christmas Day 1971, a double-overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins that is still the longest game in NFL history.

The U.S. soccer team played Bermuda at Municipal Stadium on November 2, 1968, and won. The attendance was 2,265. That gives you an idea of how far U.S. soccer has come.

When the merger happened, the NFL required its teams to have stadiums seating at least 50,000 people. Combined with one of Major League Baseball's requirements for a new K.C. team being a new ballpark, this doomed Municipal Stadium. It was torn down in 1976, and a housing development is going up on the site.

22nd Street and Brooklyn Avenue, near the 18th and Vine district that was the home of Kansas City jazz, making it a favorite of the Monarchs players. The legendary Arthur Bryant’s barbecue restaurant is 4 blocks away at 1727 Brooklyn Avenue. Number 123 bus.

* Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and American Jazz Museum. Founded by Buck O’Neil and some friends, this museum "tells the other side of the story." As Buck himself said, the pre-1947 all-white major leagues called themselves “Organized Baseball,” but, “We were organized.” The museum’s lobby features statues of several Negro League legends, including Paige, Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard and Oscar Charleston – having played for the Monarchs was by no means a requirement for that.

The Negro Leagues were a sometimes dignified, sometimes willingly silly, and very successful response to the color bar. But the raiding of their rosters, with no regard to contracts and thus no money changing hands, by the white majors from 1947 onward, was the beginning of the end. But Buck O’Neil had the right perspective, as he said in Ken Burns' Baseball miniseries: “Happy. Happy... Of course, it meant the death of our baseball, but who cared?” The owners of the Negro League teams cared. Other than that...

1616 E. 18th Street. The same building is home to the American Jazz Museum, which includes a working jazz club, the Blue Room. Number 108 bus. The Museum is 5 blocks west of Arthur Bryant’s, and a short walk from the site of Municipal Stadium – neither of these facts is a coincidence.

* Municipal Auditorium. Built in 1935 in the Art Deco style then common to public buildings (especially in New York), it replaced the Convention Hall that was across the street, which hosted the 1900 Democratic Convention which nominated William Jennings Bryan for President (and at which a 16-year-old Harry S Truman served as a page) and the 1928 Republican Convention that nominated Herbert Hoover.

The arena seats 7,316 people, but for special events can be expanded to 10,721. The NCAA hosted what would later be called the Final Four here in 1940, ’41, ’42, ’53, ’55, ’57, ’61 and ’64 – featuring such legends as Bill Russell (1955, University of San Francisco), Wilt Chamberlain (1957, his Kansas team losing to North Carolina in triple overtime), Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek (1961, their defending champion Ohio State getting shocked by cross-State rival Cincinnati) and John Wooden (1964, completing an undefeated season with Walt Hazzard and Gail Goodrich and starting his UCLA dynasty).

The NBA’s Kansas City Kings played their 1972-73 and 1973-74 home games here after moving from Cincinnati – having to change their name because Kansas City already had a team called the Royals. An accident at the Kemper Arena forced the Kings to move back to the Auditorium for a few games in the 1979-80 season. The basketball team at the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) played their home games here from its opening until they opened an on-campus arena in 2010. Elvis Presley sang there as a new national star on May 24, 1956, and as an entertainment legend on November 15, 1971 and June 29, 1974. 301 W. 13th Street. Pretty much any downtown bus will get you close.

* Kemper Arena. Built in 1974, it immediately began hosting 2 major league sports teams – neither of which lasted very long. The NBA’s Kansas City Kings played here until 1985, when they moved to Sacramento. The NHL’s Kansas City Scouts were the ne plus ultra – or should that be ne minus ultra? – of expansion teams, lasting only 2 seasons before moving in 1976 to become the Colorado Rockies – and then again in 1982 to become the New Jersey Devils. A few minor league hockey teams have played here since, but its only current tenant is the American Royal show.

In the Kings’ final season, they hosted the Knicks in a game that resulted in one of the most frustrating injuries in NBA history, Knick star Bernard King jumping for a rebound and tearing up his knee. I’ll never forget watching on TV and hearing him yell, “Oh, damn! Oh, damn!” and then crumpling to the floor, repeatedly slapping it with his hand. Bernard did play again, and well, but a great career turned into a what-might-have-been. But that wasn’t the worst injury here, and I don’t mean the 1979 roof damage, either: This was where professional wrestler Owen Hart was killed on May 23, 1999.

Kemper was also the last building seating under 20,000 people to host a Final Four, hosting the 50th Anniversary edition in 1988, in which the University of Kansas, led by Danny Manning, upset heavily favored Oklahoma. In fact, KU made the 40-mile trip from Lawrence many times, creating an atmosphere that got the place nicknamed Allen Fieldhouse East, a name they have now transplanted to the Sprint Center. They went 80-24 at Kemper, including the 1988 title game.

The 1976 Republican Convention was held there, nominating Gerald Ford. Elvis sang there on April 21, 1976 and, in one of his last concerts, June 18, 1977. 1800 Genesee Street, at American Royal Drive, a block from the Missouri-Kansas State Line. Number 12 bus.

* Sprint Center. This arena opened in 2007, with the idea of bringing the NBA or NHL back to Kansas City. (The arena builders appear not to care which one they get, but with K.C. being a "small market," they'll be lucky to get one, and will not get both.) It almost got the Pittsburgh Penguins, before a deal to build the Consol Energy Center was finalized. It was also being considered for the New York Islanders, before they cut a deal to move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

For basketball, it seats 18,555; for hockey, 17,752. For the moment, no teams, major- or minor-league, play here regularly, although has hosted college basketball: KU games, the Big 12 Tournament, NCAA Tournament games. 1407 Grand Boulevard, at W. 14th Street. Number 57 or MAX bus from downtown.

On May 12, 2014, the New York Times printed a story that shows NBA fandom by ZIP Code, according to Facebook likes. You would think that, being between Chicago and Oklahoma City, with no team in St. Louis, the Kansas City area would be divided between Bulls and Thunder fans. Instead, the distance is so great (508 miles from Sprint Center to United Center, 349 miles to whatever OKC's arena is called now), that they divide up their fandom among the "cool" teams: The Bulls, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat. (As yet, there is no hockey version.)

* Sporting Park‎. The new home of Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City, formerly the Kansas City Wizards, has also hosted 3 games, all wins, by the U.S. soccer team. It is across the State Line in Kansas City, Kansas. Seating 18,467, it is at State Aveune & France Family Drive, with the ballpark for the independent baseball team the Kansas City T-Bones, the Kansas Speedway racetrack, and the Legends Shopping Mall all adjacent. Number 57 bus, transferring to Number 101 bus.

* Museums. Kansas City has 2 prominent art museums. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is K.C.'s "Metropolitan Museum of Art," 3 miles north of downtown, at 4525 Oak Street, in Southmoreland Park. And their "Museum of Modern Art" is the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 2 blocks away, at 4420 Warwick Boulevard at 45th Street. Both can be reached by the Number 57 bus.

Kansas City is still, in a way, Harry Truman's town. The 33rd President, serving from April 12, 1945 to January 20, 1953, was born in nearby Lamar, and grew up in nearby Independence. He opened his Presidential Library and Museum in 1957, and frequently hosted events there until a household accident in 1964 pretty much ended his public life.

Upon his death in 1972, he was buried in the Library’s courtyard; his wife Bess, born Elizabeth Wallace, followed him in 1982, at age 97, to date the oldest former First Lady; and their only child, Margaret Truman Daniel, was laid to rest there in 2008. Currently, the Library is run by his only grandchild, Clifton Truman Daniel.

500 West U.S. Highway 24, Independence. Number 24X bus to Osage & White Oak Streets, and then 4 blocks north on Osage and 3 blocks west on Route 24. The Truman Home – actually the Wallace House, as Bess’ family always owned it – is nearby at 219 N. Delaware Street. Same bus.

Just west of the Crown Center is the Liberty Memorial, including the National World War I Museum, honoring the 1914-18 conflict that was then frequently called "The Great War" (accurate) and "The War to End All Wars" (not accurate, as it turned out). 100 West 26th Street.

There aren't a whole lot of tall buildings: One Kansas City Place, at 1200 Main Street, is the tallest in the State, at 624 feet, but only one other building is over 500 feet. The Kansas City Power & Light Building, at 1330 Baltimore Street, and the twin-towered 909 Walnut were built in the early 1930s and are the city's tallest classic buildings.

There haven't been many TV shows set in Kansas City. By far the most notable was Malcolm & Eddie, the 1996-2000 UPN sitcom that starred Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Eddie Griffin (a KCMO native). But the show was taped in Los Angeles and did no location shots, so if you're a fan of that show, there's nothing in Kansas City to show you.

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Kansas City is a great American city, almost literally in the center of this great country. And its citizens, and the people who come from hundreds of miles around to see the Royals and Chiefs, love their sports. It’s well worth saving up to check it out.

Last World Championships Won, As Of October 2014


Last won the World Series (MLB), NFL Championship/Super Bowl, NBA Championship or Stanley Cup in calendar year 2014: San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Seattle Seahawks.

2013: Boston Red Sox, Miami Heat, Chicago Blackhawks, Baltimore Ravens.

2012: New York Giants.

2011: St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Bruins, Dallas Mavericks, Green Bay Packers.

2010: Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Saints.

2009: New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Steelers.

2008: Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Celtics, Detroit Red Wings.

2007: Anaheim Ducks, Indianapolis Colts.

2006: Carolina Hurricanes.

2005: Chicago White Sox, New England Patriots.

Began in 2004 and have never won: Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets.

2004: Tampa Bay Lightning.

2003: Miami Marlins (as Florida Marlins), New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

2002: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Began in 2002 and have never won: Houston Texans.

2001: Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Avalanche. The Avs, as the Quebec Nordiques, won, slightly prophetically, the Avco Trophy as World Hockey Association Champions in 1977, Quebec City's only hockey title of the last 100 years. But after joining the NHL in 1979, they never even reached a Conference Final until they moved to Denver.

2000: St. Louis Rams.

Began in 1999 and have never won: Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild.

1999: Dallas Stars, Denver Broncos.

Began in 1998 and have never won: Atlanta Thrashers/"new" Winnipeg Jets, Tampa Bay Rays.

1998: Chicago Bulls.

Began in 1997 and have never won: Nashville Predators.

1996: Dallas Cowboys.

Began in 1995 and have never won: Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars.

1995: Atlanta Braves, Houston Rockets, San Francisco 49ers.

1994: New York Rangers.

Began in 1993 and have never won: Florida Panthers.

1993: Toronto Blue Jays, Montreal Canadiens.  Each is the last title by a Canadian team in their respective sport.

Began in 1993 and have never won: Colorado Rockies.

Began in 1992 and have never won: Ottawa Senators (current version).

1992: Washington Redskins.

1991: Minnesota Twins.

Began in 1991 and have never won: San Jose Sharks.

1990: Cincinnati Reds, Edmonton Oilers.

Began in 1989 and have never won: Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves.

1989: Oakland Athletics, Calgary Flames.

Began in 1988 and have never won: Charlotte Hornets/New Orleans Hornets/New Orleans Pelicans.

1988: Los Angeles Dodgers.

1986: New York Mets, Chicago Bears.

1985: Kansas City Royals.

1984: Detroit Tigers, Oakland Raiders (as Los Angeles Raiders). Super Bowl XVIII remains the last football title won by a Los Angeles pro team (unless you want to count the 2001 XFL title). The last time they won as the Oakland Raiders was in 1981.

1983: Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Islanders.

1979: Pittsburgh Pirates, Oklahoma City Thunder (as Seattle SuperSonics).

1979 was the last time they went as far as they were allowed to go: Phoenix Coyotes as "old" Winnipeg Jets, WHA Champions. Although they won 3 WHA titles, more than any other team, they are the only one of the 4 WHA teams to enter the NHL in 1979 to have not yet won a Stanley Cup, although both the Quebec Nordiques (1996 Colorado Avalanche) and New England/Hartford Whalers (2006 Carolina Hurricanes) had to move before doing so; the Edmonton Oilers (1984) did not.

1978: Washington Wizards (as Washington Bullets).

1977: Portland Trail Blazers.

Began in 1977 and have never won: Seattle Mariners.

1976 was the last time they went as far as they were allowed to go: Brooklyn Nets (as New York Nets), ABA Champions.

1975: Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia Flyers.

Began in 1974 and have never won: New Orleans/Utah Jazz, Washington Capitals. While the Jazz have never won a title, the Utah Stars won the ABA title in 1971.

1974: Miami Dolphins.

1973: New York Knicks.

1973 was the last time they went as far as they were allowed to go: Indiana Pacers, ABA Champions.

1971: Milwaukee Bucks.

Began in 1970 and have never won: Cleveland Cavaliers, Buffalo Braves/San Diego Clippers/Los Angeles Clippers, Vancouver Canucks, Buffalo Sabres.

1970: Kansas City Chiefs.

Began in 1969 and have never won: San Diego Padres, Seattle Pilots/Milwaukee Brewers, Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals.

1969: New York Jets. This is easily the longest drought for a New York Tri-State Area team.

Began in 1968 and have never won: Phoenix Suns, Cincinnati Bengals. Although the Bengals have won 2 AFC Championships, they are the only one of the 10 teams to have been in the 1960s AFL that was merged into the NFL in 1970 not to have won the title either in that league or in the NFL.

Began in 1967 and have never won: Denver Nuggets, St. Louis Blues. Not only do the Nugs have the longest drought of any current NBA team in its current city, they are also are the only one of the 4 ABA teams to enter the NBA in 1976 that hasn't won its league -- either the NBA or the ABA -- at least once, or even twice: The Nets won 2 in the ABA, the Pacers 3 in the ABA, and the Spurs 5 in the NBA. Unless you count the defunct Oakland Seals/California Golden Seals/Cleveland Barons, the Blues are the last of the 1967 NHL expansion teams not to have won a Stanley Cup.

1967: Toronto Maple Leafs, longest drought of any current NHL team.

Began in 1966 and have never won: Atlanta Falcons.

1965 was the last time they went as far as they were allowed to go: Buffalo Bills, AFL Champions.  This was also the last AFL Champion to not meet the NFL Champion in a Super Bowl. The next year, the Bills got to the AFL Championship Game for the 3rd year in a row, but got clobbered by the Chiefs, who then lost Super Bowl I to the Packers.

1964: Cleveland Browns, the last time any Cleveland team has gone as far as they were allowed to go. No, they did not meet the AFL Champion Buffalo Bills halfway in Erie, Pennsylvania in Super Bowl -II.

1963 was the last time they went as far as they were allowed to go: San Diego Chargers, AFL Champions.

Began in 1962 and have never won: Houston Astros.

1961 was the last time they went as far as they were allowed to go: Tennessee Titans (as Houston Oilers), AFL Champions.

Began in 1961 and have never won: Minnesota Vikings, Washington Senators/Texas Rangers.

1960: Philadelphia Eagles.

1958: Atlanta Hawks (then St. Louis Hawks).

1957: Detroit Lions, longest drought of any current NFL team in its current city.

1951: Sacramento Kings (as Rochester Royals), longest drought of any current NBA team.

1948: Cleveland Indians.

1947: Arizona Cardinals (as Chicago Cardinals), longest drought of any current NFL team.

1927: Ottawa Senators (original version), Ottawa's last Stanley Cup.

1925: Victoria Cougars, British Columbia's last Stanley Cup, and the last one won by a team outside the NHL.

1924: Washington Senators (now Minnesota Twins), longest current drought of any current MLB city.

1915: Vancouver Millionaires, Vancouver's last Stanley Cup.

1913: Quebec Bulldogs, Quebec City's last Stanley Cup.

1908: Chicago Cubs, by far the longest drought of any current team in any major league in North American sports.

1902: Winnipeg Victorias, last Stanley Cup for Winnipeg, longest current drought of any NHL or major league city.

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Or, to put it another way...

The San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Seattle Seahawks, Boston Red Sox, Miami Heat, Chicago Blackhawks, Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Bruins, Dallas Mavericks, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Saints, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Penguins and Pittsburgh Steelers have all won World Championships while Barack Obama has been President.

Under George W. Bush: The Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Celtics, Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Ducks, Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago White Sox, New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Lightning, Miami Marlins, New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Avalanche.

Under Bill Clinton: The St. Louis Rams, Dallas Stars, Denver Broncos, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Braves, Houston Rockets, San Francisco 49ers, New York Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays and Montreal Canadiens.

Under George H.W. Bush: The Washington Redskins, Minnesota Twins, Cincinnati Reds, Edmonton Oilers, Oakland Athletics and Calgary Flames.

Under Ronald Reagan: The, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Chicago Bears, Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia 76ers and New York Islanders.

Under Jimmy Carter: The Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder, Washington Bullets/Wizards and Portland Trail Blazers.

Under Gerald Ford: The Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia Flyers.

Under Richard Nixon: The Miami Dolphins, New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks and Kansas City Chiefs.

Under Lyndon Johnson: The New York Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns and San Diego Chargers.

Under John F. Kennedy: The Houston Astros and Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans.

Under Dwight D. Eisenhower: The Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Lions.

Under Harry Truman: The Rochester Royals/Sacramento Kings, Cleveland Indians, Chicago/Arizona Cardinals.

Under Calvin Coolidge: The Ottawa hockey, British Columbia hockey, Washington baseball.

Under Woodrow Wilson: Vancouver hockey, Quebec City hockey.

Under Theodore Roosevelt: The Chicago Cubs, Winnipeg hockey.

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By City:

2014 San Francisco (last Oakland title, 1989 A's)
2014 San Antonio
2014 Los Angeles (last Anaheim title, 2007 Ducks)
2014 Seattle
2013 Regina (sort of, reigning CFL/Grey Cup Champions)
2013 Boston
2013 Miami
2013 Chicago
2013 Baltimore
2012 Toronto (sort of, their last Grey Cup)
2012 New York (Giants, in New Jersey; in City, 2009 Yanks; Long Island, 1983 Islanders)
2011 Vancouver (sort of, their last Grey Cup, but Canucks fell 1 game short)
2011 St. Louis
2011 Dallas
2011 Wisconsin (Green Bay; last Milwaukee title, 1971 Bucks)
2010 Montreal (sort of, their last Grey Cup)
2010 New Orleans
2009 Pittsburgh
2008 Calgary (sort of, their last Grey Cup)
2008 Philadelphia
2008 Detroit
2007 Indiana
2006 Carolina (Raleigh; Charlotte has never won)
2005 Edmonton (sort of, their last Grey Cup)
2004 Tampa Bay
2001 Arizona
2001 Colorado
1999 Hamilton (sort of, their last Grey Cup)
1995 Atlanta (last Finals: 1998-99 Falcons)
1995 Houston (last Finals: 2005 Astros)
1993 Toronto
1993 Montreal
1992 Washington
1991 Minnesota
1990 Cincinnati
1990 Edmonton (last Finals: 2006 Oilers)
1989 Calgary (last Finals: 2004 Flames)
1988 Winnipeg (sort of, their last Grey Cup)
1985 Kansas City (last Finals: 2014 Royals)
1979 Winnipeg (sort of)
1977 Portland (last Finals: 1992 Trail Blazers)
1977 Quebec City (sort of)
1976 Ottawa (sort of, their last Grey Cup)
1965 Buffalo (sort of; last Finals: 1999 Sabres)
1964 Cleveland (sort of; last Finals: 2007 Cavaliers)
1963 San Diego (sort of; last Finals: 1998 Padres)
1951 Rochester
1927 Ottawa (last Finals: 2007 Senators)
1925 Victoria
1915 Vancouver (last Finals: 2011 Canucks)
1913 Quebec City
1902 Winnipeg (for real)