Moeller: Replace the Present With the Past to Satisfy Your Fix

Depending on when your read this, the sports world has been shut down for roughly a week.

How does it feel and how are you coping? How do you get your necessary sports feed?

One of the ways to rekindle some past memories. Take a look again when sports was at a more modest stage when work ethic, sportsmanship, and role models were truly more present and more pure.

Yet, all of the major leagues, the NCAA, golf, and NSACAR made the right choice to suspend play.

Remember, you’re still watching games, and life is more important.

It gave a second wind to the likes of MMA and fishing that are usually ratings graveyards among the channel multitude.

Iona grabbed the local headlines by hiring the much-maligned Rick Pitino to run its program after highly regarded Tim Cluess stepped down due to an unknown illness.

Pitino’s would be controversial hire likely will slip under the radar due to the Coronavirus, but the 67-year-old will face his share of scrutiny once the hoops season kicks in. He should be a good hire and keep the program moving forward

I an old-school sports guy and always have cherished the 1960s and 70s, two decades in which I made my sports foundations.

There have been their share of memorable colleges basketball games on ESPN and major networks, classic NFL contests on the NFL network, and some interesting team and individual biographies on the MLB and NHL networks respectively.

Personally, I found an interesting piece, “For the Love of Basketball” on ESPN that detailed players such as University of North Carolina standout Charlie Scott break the color barrier down south in the late sixties, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar change the game during the same time.

Along with some other topics, the piece highlighted the rise of the ABA –one of the forgotten leagues – and its then starts Rick Barry, Louie Dampier, Artis Gilmore, Julius Erving and the often-troubled ruffian John Brisker and local ladies’ man Wendell Ladner, who also was an enforcer for Erving with the Nets.

There also was a segment on the collegiate showdown between Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor) and Elvin Hayes in the fabled “Game of the Century” in January of 1968 before nearly 53,000 fans in the Astrodome.

An intriguing aspect was the lack of multiple channels available to televise these games, often kept within the confines of local broadcasts such as the Nets’ games on Channel 11 called by the legendary Marty Glickman.  Dick Enberg and Curt Gowdy called their share of “big” college games.

So, if you’re sports appetite is severely suffering, watch an old game or a documentary about the old days.

Hopefully, we’ll see your favorite teams soon play again. Until then, take a look back to recall, remember, and reflect.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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