A sports writer wrote a rude and snarky article about the Women’s National Basketball Association even though he had never been to a game. He was confronted by a WNBA star who chided him and invited him to watch her play. Two years later they were married.
In 1974, drinkers in a British pub were bemoaning the fact that the UK didn’t produce world champions, so they invented a sport that no one else knew about: toe wrestling. In 1976, a Canadian visitor competed and won, so with the point of the sport gone, the “World Championship” was discontinued.
Junior Bridgeman a former NBA player who was not a star in the league, took his earnings from the NBA and invested them into food franchises. He now has a net worth of $600 million only behind Michael Jordan as the richest NBA player in history.
During the early years of the Tour de France, guzzling alarming amounts of alcohol was the norm. Beer, wine, and brandy were considered safer to drink than water from questionable roadside wells or springs, and cyclists drank copiously.
The Canadian ice hockey team were so dominant that they did not participate in the knock-out tournament of the 1930 World Championships. They were put straight into the gold medal final game, and the tournament was played to determine an opponent. Canada won 6-1 in the final to claim the gold.
Michael Jones, one of the all-time greatest rugby players, was a devout Christian, and didn’t play on Sundays (which made him miss many World Cup matches). When asked how a religious person can be such a fierce tackler, he replied with a quote from the Bible: “It’s better to give than receive”.
Bowling was such a popular sport during the 1960s-1970s, top earning pros made twice as much money as NFL stars and other athletes. Today, even the very best bowlers usually have second jobs.
Nadia Comăneci became the first gymnast to receive a perfect score at the Olympics, at 14 years old in ’76. The song “Cotton’s Dream” was used often by Roger Riger to playback Nadia’s performances. The song became a hit in ’76 & the composers changed the song’s title to “Nadia’s Theme”.
F1 driver Kimi “Iceman” Räikkönen once had his car break down during the Monaco Grand Prix. After this, live TV showed him walking along the sidewalks with helmet still on, straight to the harbour, where he climbed aboard his yacht.
In the 1938 World Cup, Brazil were so sure of winning the semi-final against Italy that they requisitioned the only plane to Paris on the day after the match. After losing to Italy, they refused to sell them the tickets, and the Italian team had to travel from Marseilles to Paris by train.