Anaheim Angels

Oct 12 in Sports History: The other choke of 1986

In 1986: As much as fans of the Boston Red Sox moped about the monumental chokes their team performed on the postseason stage, it is somewhat forgotten in the Buckner hoopla that the California Angels pulled off one of the biggest gag jobs of all time in the 1986 ALCS. Up three games to one at home in Game 5 and leading 5-2 going into the top of the ninth inning, Don Baylor hit a home run close the gap to one. Then, with Donnie Moore on the mound, Dave Henderson stroked a two-out, two-strike, two-run homer for a 6-5 lead. The Angels rallied to tie it at six, but Henderson, who would’ve been the goat because he dropped a fly ball in the seventh that could have cost the Sox, hit a game-winning sacrifice fly to send the series back to Boston, where the Sox took it in seven games. It later turned tragic as Moore, who was never the same pitcher after that game, committed suicide years later.

In 1989: Although in the midst of a 1-15 season, the Dallas Cowboys laid the foundation for their championship teams of the 1990s by trading disgruntled star running back Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings in a 12-player deal. The Cowboys sent Walker and some late-round draft picks to Minnesota in exchange for first and second round draft picks, “The Trade” was very complicated, as the Cowboys dealt many of those picks, but it eventually netted Dallas cornerstones Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, Kevin Smith and Darren Woodson; and it propelled the Cowboys to three Super Bowl wins in four years. The Vikings, on the other hand, decimated their defense and are still searching for their first title. As one final groin-punch to the Vikings and former GM Mike Lynn, Walker ended up back on the Cowboys a few years later. (

Minnesota Vikings

July 31 in Sports History: Korey Stringer tragedy

In 2001: All-Pro offensive tackle Korey Stringer collapsed on the field of the Minnesota Vikings training camp at Mankato State University and was taken to the hospital. Stringer suffered from heatstroke in the 90-plus degree heat. The 335-pound Ohio State grad, one of the most popular players on the team, would die of heart and kidney failure early the next morning at the age of 27. Stringer’s death sent shockwaves through the sports world, and it caused the NFL and its teams to closely review their policies on training in excessive heat and humidity. Stringer was survived by his wife Kelci and three year-old son Kodie. His widow unsuccessfully sued the NFL and the Vikings in 2002.

In 1990: Pitcher Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers notched career victory no. 300 in an 11-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Ryan became the 20th member of the 300 Club, the first since Don Sutton in 1986. Only Roger Clemens has joined the club since, in 2003. Ryan won a total of 324 games as a member of the Mets, Angels, Astros and Rangers. He also holds the career strikeout mark with 5,714, and he threw a major league record seven no-hitters (including two after his 300th win). Despite the fact that his real first name was Lynn, the “Ryan Express” was one of the toughest pitchers ever, lasting 27 years and pummeling a young Robin Ventura after he charged the mound. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.

Minnesota Vikings

The Original Whizzinator-er is heading to the CFL

The CFL has become a halfway house for the NFL’s substance abuse violators. “Come up north! We don’t bother with those little details like drug use!” We’re still awaiting Ricky Williams’ next move but Onterrio Smith is joining the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as a backup RB.

On the Blue Bombers’ web site, there is no mention of Smith’s drug use that lead to his suspension from the NFL. Only noting his career stats and that he was a teammate of the Bombers QB Tee Martin at Tennessee.

My skill is still there. It’s just a case of coming up there and learning the system. I’ve already been checking through the rule book and getting a feel for the (CFL) game. It’s brand new to me. But it’s football, so I’ll be able to adjust on the run. I’ve got no problem with whatever my role is. I’m not looking to come in and step on any toes. Hopefully everything will work out.

Plus, I keep hearing the BC bud they have up here is unbelievable.

OK… we might have made up that last part.

[Winnipeg Sun]: Bombers sign Onterrio Smith
[Winnipeg Blue Bombers]: Onterrio heads north to join Blue

General Sports

Odds and Ends for Thur Apr 27 2006: The most whipped athletes

Maxim has named the 5 most whipped athletes in professional sports. These are the guys whose wives make more headlines than they do for controlling their careers or basically just saying too much in the press. To no one’s surprise, Doug Christie made the top of the list, followed by Kris Benson, Nick Harper, Antonio Davis, and Kurt Warner. The Nick Harper listing is a little harsh. The guy can’t help it if his wife is pyscho, stabbed him in the leg, and cost the Colts a playoff game.

In other news…

[Sydney Morning Herald]: Quick! Someone call and tell them Barry Bonds is doping.

[Fox Sports]: USC backup QB suspended after being charged with sexual assault.

[Twin]: Onterrio “Whizzinator” Smith is released by the Vikings

[Yahoo]: This is why the media sucks. Must Favre get credit for everything?

[Off Wing Opinion]: Family who bought the St. Louis Blues in 1999 have lost $200M on their investment.

Real Odd of the Day: 3 to 1 that Colin Finnerty will be found guilty in Duke lacrosse trial.