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A Press Democrat Blog

Old School

Robert Rubino connects current sports news with the past

Remember Bud Greenspan, Part 3

Bud Greenspan used to call the Olympics “two weeks of love.” This is the first Olympics in 60 years that he will miss. Greenspan, who died 19 months ago at 84, pretty much invented the Olympic film genre, Leni Riefenstahl (“Olympia,” 1938) notwithstanding. His body of film work, which included 10 “official” assignments as Olympic documentarian and countless unofficial, independent stints, stretch from the 1952 Summer Games to the 2010 Winter Games. His accomplishments are nothing short of, well, Olympian.… Read More »

Remembering Bud Greenspan, Part 2

Bud Greenspan used to call the Olympics “two weeks of love.” This is the first Olympics in 60 years that he will miss. Greenspan, who died 19 months ago at 84, pretty much invented the Olympic film genre, Leni Riefenstahl (“Olympia,” 1938) notwithstanding. His body of film work, which included 10 “official” assignments as Olympic documentarian and countless unofficial, independent stints, stretch from the 1952 Summer Games to the 2010 Winter Games. His accomplishments are nothing short of, well, Olympian.… Read More »

Remembering Bud Greenspan, Part 1

Bud Greenspan used to call the Olympics “two weeks of love.” This is the first Olympics in 60 years that he will miss. Greenspan, who died 19 months ago at 84, pretty much invented the Olympic film genre, Leni Riefenstahl (“Olympia,” 1938) notwithstanding. His body of film work, which included 10 “official” assignments as Olympic documentarian and countless unofficial, independent stints, stretch from the 1952 Summer Games to the 2010 Winter Games. His accomplishments are nothing short of, well, Olympian.… Read More »

‘A League of Their Own’ turns 20 (column)

The truth about “A League of Their Own” isn’t necessarily stranger than fiction but it might be more interesting. Definitely not as entertaining, though. This summer marks the 20th anniversary of the premiere of the movie that gave us “There’s no crying in baseball,” a reliably funny and adaptable line (take out “baseball” and substitute any sport, or any endeavor or situation) that never gets old. Purists might complain “A League of Their Own” is fiction posing as fact, and… Read More »

Bud and Fidel at the ballpark, part 2

The Orioles’ trip to Cuba in 1999 was approved by the U.S. State Department, as was the Cuban all-stars’ visit to Baltimore (the Cubans won, 12-6) some five weeks later. The general idea was that friendly cultural exchange, even if it’s a brief symbolic gesture via the escapist entertainment of sports, is a more positive way to exist in the world, as opposed to decades of rigid, enforced enmity and isolation.

Bud and Fidel at the ballpark, part 1

In March of 1999, Venezuelan shortstop Ozzie Guillen was at spring training in Florida with the Atlanta Braves. He was about to begin the 15th season of a proud and productive big-league career, mostly with the Chicago White Sox, that had included a Rookie of the Year award, three All-Star Game selections and a Gold Glove award. If Guillen, who spent some time on the Baltimore Orioles just a year earlier, had been with the Orioles instead of the Braves… Read More »

Harbaugh vs. Manning

On Nov. 29, 1998, when Peyton Manning was a 22-year old rookie, he faced the Baltimore Ravens, led by 35-year-old quarterback Jim Harbaugh. Final score: Ravens 38, Colts 31. Harbaugh led a 17-point fourth-quarter rally. On Sept. 26, 1999, Manning, 23, and Harbaugh, 36, were once again opposing starting quarterbacks, as the Colts visited the San Diego Chargers. Final score: Colts 27, Chargers 19. Manning led a 14-point fourth-quarter rally.

Al Attles’ perfect game

Today is the 50th anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game. And although Chamberlain’s accomplishment is impressive, to say the least, Wilt was far from perfect when the Philadelphia Warriors defeated the New York Knicks 169-147 on March 2, 1962, at Hershey, Pa. Chamberlain shot 36 of 63 from the field and 28 of 32 from the free-throw line. Chamberlain teammate Al Attles, though, who would go on to coach the Golden State Warriors to their only NBA championship in 1975,… Read More »

Wilt’s 100-point game still fascinates

The following is my column that ran on C2 of  last Sunday’s Press Democrat. It stands out freakishly, like the fictional Pushmi-pullyu, the two-headed creature from the old Dr. Doolittle children’s stories, with each head facing an opposite direction. It’s that odd, that unreal. As laughable as it is exotic. As sports accomplishments go, the legacy of Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100 points in an NBA game exists more as carnival exhibit or myth from ancient times (or at least pre-ESPN,… Read More »