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Ice Hockey and The Stanley Cup: Canada’s Official Sport and the Game’s Ultimate Prize

Modern-day Ice Hockey

Modern-day Ice Hockey

Fun Facts About Ice Hockey and The Stanley Cup

The Origin of Hockey

Ancient hockeyHockey has been played in some form or other for 100s of years. It is thought to be 1 of the earliest sports in the world, and was played by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Persians, Romans, and Arabs.

Hurling, a sport very similar to hockey, is known to have been played during the first millennium BC in Ireland, and other similar types of sports were adopted by other Europeans in the Middle Ages (5th century to 15th century). In pre-Columbian times (before the 16th century) Native South Americans also played a game much the same as hockey. The name hockey, thought to have been adapted by the English from the French word hoquet (shepherd’s crook), was 1st given to the sport in the eighteenth century but was not in common usage until the nineteenth century.

Ice Hockey

The modern game of ice hockey was invented in the mid-1850´s by British soldiers based in Canada. Rules were set by students at McGill University in Montréal, Canada, in 1879, and many amateur clubs and leagues were organized in Canada by the late 1880´s. The game is believed to have been 1st played in the USA in 1893. By the beginning of the twentieth century the sport had spread to England and other parts of Europe. The modern game developed in Canada, and nowadays is very popular in North America and East Europe.

The NHL is the most important league in the world; this National Hockey League comprises teams from the United States and Canada, but for many years almost all NHL players Canadians. The winning team of this competition is awarded the Stanley Cup trophy. Ice Hockey became an Olympic sport in 1920 and is 1 of the most popular events at the Winter Olympics.

The Stanley Cup

“I have for some time been thinking that it would be a good thing if there were a challenge cup, which would be held from year to year by the leading hockey club in Canada. There does not appear to be any outward sign of a championship at present, and considering the interest that hockey matches now elicit, I am willing to give a cup which shall be held annually by the winning club.”

So mused Lord Stanley of Preston in 1892, at a sports banquet in Ottawa. The following year Canada’s governor-general was true to his word, purchasing a silver bowl for $50 and naming it the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup. Hockey folks went with a less formal designation, the Stanley Cup.

The first winner was a Montreal team that finished atop the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada, considered the best league going at the time. But in its early years, the prize was not exclusive to one hockey league, nor was it meant to be. It was a challenge cup, changing hands in much the same way as a boxing title. Contenders issued challenges, and the champions held the Cup for as long as they could fend off all comers. Independent trustees ensured that legitimate challenges were met on a regular basis.

In later years, as professionalism swept the game, it was accepted that the Stanley Cup could not remain exclusive to amateur teams. The Stanley Cup officially turned pro in 1910, when the National Hockey Association took possession of it. But it was not until 1926 that the National Hockey League emerged indisputably as the top league in North America, effectively taking control of the Cup. That control was formalized in an agreement signed with the Cup trustees in 1947.

Special thanks to CollegeSportsScholarships.com and About.com

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The Whisky-a-Go-Go: LA’s Contribution to Rock ‘n Roll History

The Iconic Whisky-a-Go-Go Exterior

The Iconic Whisky-a-Go-Go Exterior

Fun Facts About LA’s Whisky-a-Go-Go

  • The Whisky A-Go-Go, at 8901 Sunset Blvd at Clark, West Hollywood, CA became the principal hangout of Sunset Strip musicians and hipsters in the 1960s
  • The 1967 film The Graduate features Dustin Hoffman’s character Benjamin running out its doors into the street
  • Johnny Rivers was the first sensation to come out of the club, soon after it opened
  • The ‘trend’ of having a mini-skirted girl dancing above the crowd in a cage got its start at the club
  • The Whisky always had two or three bands playing, but they were not always billed.
  • Often the unbilled bands were simply local bands, but it being Hollywood and all, sometimes unbilled local groups acting as the house band went on to become hugely famous (like The Doors)

  • At times, the billed bands couldn’t make it, and another band was substituted. While this is common in nightclubs, what was uncommon about the Whisky was that the band substituting could be just as good or better, and possibly even better-known, than the band it was replacing
  • It was not uncommon for a group to be booked for a week at the Whisky and then to skip a night for a larger gig
  • The Whisky, in its heyday, was open six or seven nights a week
  • When no one well-known was billed, local groups from LA would play
  • A partial list of the acts that played at the Whisky – it is literally a “Who’s Who” of Rock ‘n Roll:
    • Johnny Rivers
    • The Doors
    • The Turtles
    • Otis Redding
    • Jefferson Airplane (later Jefferson Starship/Starship)
    • The Byrds
    • Sam & Dave
    • The Rascals
    • The Jimi Hendrix Experience
    • Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
    • Cream
    • Eric Burdon & The Animals
    • Them
    • Steppenwolf
    • John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
    • The Hollies
    • Lemon Pipers
    • Traffic
    • Canned Heat
    • The Nazz
    • Three Dog Night
    • Ten Years After

    • Alice Cooper
    • Steve Miller Band
    • Chicago Transit Authority (later Chicago)
    • Velvet Underground
    • Taj Mahal
    • Led Zeppelin
    • Pink Floyd
    • Bob Seger
    • Flying Burrito Brothers
    • Linda Ronstadt
    • Dr. John
    • Blues Image
    • Count Bassie
    • Junior Walker
    • Buddy Rich
    • Mountain
    • The Zombies
    • Chuck Berry
    • Little Richard
    • The Kinks
    • King Crimson

    • Grand Funk Railroad
    • Humble Pie
    • Fleetwood Mac
    • Golden Earring
    • Iron Butterfly
    • Sha na na
    • Billy Preston
    • The Five Stairsteps
    • Mott the Hoople
    • Redbone
    • The Beach Boys
    • Black Sabbath
    • Allman Brothers
    • BB King
    • Sugarloaf
    • J Giles Band
    • Ted Nugent
    • Brownsville Station
    • Mothers of Invention
    • Yes
    • War

    • Elvin Bishop
    • Quicksilver Messenger Service
    • Edgar Winters
    • Little Feat
    • LaBelle
    • Badfinger
    • ZZ Top
    • Nazareth
    • Looking Glass
    • Flo and Eddie
    • Foghat
    • Stevie Wonder
    • Steely Dan
    • Roxy Music
    • Focus
    • Status Quo
    • Chambers Brothers
    • Climax Blues Band
    • Iggy and the Stooges
    • Rufus (featuring Chaka Khan)

    • New York Dolls
    • Funkadelic
    • Bachman Turner Overdrive
    • Aerosmith
    • Lynyrd Skynyrd
    • Rick Springfield
    • Van Halen
    • Motley Crue
    • Guns ‘n Roses
    • and many, many more…

 

Special thanks to www.ckickenonaunicycle.com

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The Cincinnati Red Stockings: Baseball’s First Professional Team

The Cincinnati Red Stockings, 1869

The Cincinnati Red Stockings, 1869

Fun Facts About the Cincinnati Red Stockings


  • The team was organized by businessman, Harry Wright, who also played center field for the team and managed the defensive positioning, which was something that typically wasn’t done at that time.
  • The team got their name from their uniform, consisting of knickerbockers with flashy crimson hosiery.
  • Harry Wright’s younger brother George Wright, played shortstop for the Cincinnati red-stockings and later the Boston Red Stockings. He is reputed to have been the best player of that era.
  • The Red Stockings featured ten men on salary for eight months from March 15th to November 15th.
  • The Cincinnati Red Stockings won their first game on May 4th, 1869 by a score of 45-9. They then went on to go 57-1 (wins-tie), touring the U.S. playing teams from Boston to San Francisco, something that had not been done before.
  • The following year, they won another 24 straight games before finally losing 8-7 in 11 innings against the Brooklyn Atlantics on June 14th. After their first loss, attendance declined substantially and they were disbanded the following year despite only losing 6 games all season.
  • After the Cincinnati Red Stockings were disbanded as a professional club, Harry Wright was hired by Ivers Whitney Adams to organize a new professional club in Boston with the first professional league. In 1871, he then put together the Boston Red Stockings, bringing over three of the members of the former Cincinnati Red Stockings.
  • The Cincinnati Red Stockings have no connection with the 1876-1880 and 1882-present day Cincinnati Reds other than being from the same town and inspiring those club’s names.
  • The Boston Red Stockings eventually became the Boston Braves, which are now the Atlanta Braves. The Boston Red Sox were not established until 1901.
  • The Cincinnati Red Stockings continue today as a vintage baseball team, playing the game of baseball as it was back in 1869: rules, uniforms, etc.

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