When he was 26, Pete Maravich said “I don’t want to play 10 years in the NBA and die of a heart attack at age 40” in an interview. He went on to play 10 years in the NBA, and died of a heart attack at age 40.
At the age of 41, Jack LaLanne swam from Alcatraz to shore handcuffed. He repeated the feat at 60, this time towing a 1000 pound boat while shackled.
Lacrosse, as originally played by Native Americans, fielded teams from 100 to 1,000 men, with goals 500 yards to 6 miles apart, with games lasting several days, played sunup to sundown. These games tended to become huge mobs of players swarming the ball and slowly moving it across the field.
During New Zealand’s first rugby match vs England, an English player’s shorts got ripped off. The NZ players formed a circle so he could change. Another Englishman picked up the ball and scored. Later the English demanded an apology after NZ criticised the referee, which was “unsportsmanlike”.
Bobbi Gibb is the first woman to have run the entire Boston Marathon in 1966. At the time when women were banned from entering because of their gender,she entered the marathon wearing her brother’s Bermuda shorts and a hooded sweatshirt and finished the race unofficially.
When Romania made their ice hockey World Championship debut in 1931, they lost 0-15 to the US. Their captain approached the referee after the game and asked him to write a message on the official game sheet: ”Thank you for playing against us, we have learned a great deal from this game”.
In 1939, Major League pitcher, Bob Feller, tested the speed of his pitches by throwing them against a racing motorcycle before radar guns were invented.
In the month before the ancient Olympics no wars were permitted so that spectators could travel from across Greece unharmed.
The Cleveland Indians once had a $0.10 Beer Night. Cleveland had to forfeit the game when their drunk fans started a riot during the 9th inning. Players had to attack fans with baseball bats to protect themselves.
During a 1978 Monday Night Football game, to fill dead air, Howard Cosell commented on a delicious new snack he was eating, thus stadium nachos went mainstream.