Monday, September 22, 2014
Hurricane Hugo Hit 25 Years Ago Today. How Sports Have Changed
I'm a sports nerd, so I look at things in a different way when it comes to timelines. How did our sports look back in September 1989?
These franchises didn't exist at that time: Miami Marlins, Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Tampa Bay Rays, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets, Toronto Raptors, Memphis Grizzlies and Charlotte Bobcats.
The Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves were set to debut the following month.
Since then the Charlotte Hornets moved to New Orleans. The Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals. The Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens, but then got a new Browns team back. The Houston Oilers are now the Tennessee Titans. The Los Angeles Raiders are now in Oakland and the Los Angeles Rams are in St. Louis. The New Jersey Nets now reside in Brooklyn. Seattle Super Sonics are now Oklahoma City Thunder. In the NHL, the Winnipeg Jets became the Arizona Coyotes, Quebec Nordiques became the Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota North Stars became the Dallas Stars, Hartford Whalers became the Carolina Hurricanes.
Since then, we also had the Vancouver Grizzlies born then move to Memphis. The Atlanta Thrashers were born and moved to Winnipeg to become the new Jets.
The Washington Bullets became the Wizards. The New Orleans Hornets are now the Pelicans. The California Angels changed to the Anaheim Angels and then the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Phoenix Coyotes became the Arizona Coyotes.
The Charlotte Hornets moved to New Orleans ... and then changed their name to the Pelicans, which the Charlotte Bobcats then changed to the Hornets.
That doesn't even take into account the Florida Marlins turning into the Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Devil Rays into the Tampa Bay Rays, Anaheim Mighty Ducks into just the Ducks,
In the NFL, we had two conferences with the East, Central and West divisions. The MLB had just the East and West in each league -- no interleague play or wildcards -- with the division winners facing off in the LCS. The NBA had just four divisions (Atlantic, Central, Midwest, Pacific). So did the NHL, but they were the Adams, Patrick, Norris and Smythe divisions.
The Houston Astros have moved from the NL to the AL. The Milwaukee Brewers moved from the AL to the NL. The Seattle Seahawks moved from the NFC to the AFC.
*Only 7 of the 30 MLB stadiums were around then. The Blue Jays' SkyDome was brand spanking new.
*Only 8 of the 31 NFL stadiums were around then. The newest stadium at that time was Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami.
*Only 5 of the 30 NHL arenas were around then, including classics like Madison Square Garden and Joe Louis Arena.
*Only 4 of the 29 NBA arenas were around. Oracle Arena and Sleep Train Arena (formerly Oakland Arena and ARCO Arena) are set to be replaced. The other two? Bradley Center and Madison Square Garden.
Remember all the multipurpose stadiums? Then the Braves and Falcons, Reds and Bengals, Angels and Rams, Indians and Browns, Mariners and Seahawks, Giants and 49ers, Astros and Oilers, Pirates and Steelers, Phillies and Eagles, Padres and Chargers and Twins and Vikings all shared stadiums.
Now only the Athletics and Raiders share a stadium.
The NBA was on CBS. The NFL had their AFC games on NBC, the NFC games on CBS, Monday Night Football on ABC and Sunday Night football on ESPN. MLB was on ABC and NBC.
This would've been a great fantasy football team in 1989:
QB-Jim Everett (Rams)
RB-Christian Okoye (Chiefs)
RB-Barry Sanders (Lions)
WR-Jerry Rice (49ers)
WR-Sterling Sharpe (Packers)
TE-Keith Jackson (Eagles)
K-Mike Cofer (49ers)
* Michael Jordan hadn't won a championship yet