Monday, January 02, 2006

Dropkick Murphy or Dropkick Flutie?

The Hot Stove League has gone eerily quiet as the Sox try to extinguish the Manny Ramirez legacy from their current edition. Meanwhile, in the shadows of the Dropkick Murphys, Dropkick Doug Flutie scores an extra point on a dropkick, a feat not accomplished in the NFL since 1941.

Just wondering what the equivalents are in other sports? My son and I have a hard time even thinking of one event, something de facto disappeared and returning for even a nanosecond in professional sports.

Football. Well, you have helmets without facemasks, but I can't remember even a single bar since Sonny Jurgensen. The goal posts aren't coming back to the goal line or kickoffs to the forty, and short of John Madden resuming flying, I don't think there's much of an equivalent.

Baseball. A few players used to wear helmets without earflaps, but again, that's equipment not game play. The spitter's not coming back, nor tiny leather gloves. The Eephus pitch didn't serve Rip Sewell too well against Teddy Ballgame in the All-Star game, and the Leephus got taken onto Lansdowne by Tony Perez in the 1975 series. Wasn't it Bert Campaneris who played all nine positions in a game. Short of somebody trying to run out a homer backwards, a la Jimmy Piersall, I can't conjure up anything similar.

Hockey? Dropping the red line/two line pass over center helps a little, but it isn't like bringing back Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull, the Rocket Richard or Jean Beliveau. I guess seeing goalies playing without masks would be shocking, but I'm not waiting for Jacques Plante, Gump Worsley, or Terry Sawchuk to make comebacks.

Basketball. The game was clearly better in the sixties and the seventies, but maybe that's just because of Celtic dominance. Maybe not. Trash talk existed back then, and the three point line and the no-charge zone didn't. Somehow even bringing back George Mikan wouldn't measure up. Hell, the NBA didn't even exist in 1941.

Bottom line is that Flutie's 'show' resurrected something from our very distant sports past. It reminds us that some of the stars from the past could still play today, maybe with a little less power and speed, but more savvy and heart.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think in basketball the equivalent would be Dennis Rodman coming back to the NBA and making a Rick Barry style double-underhanded free throw.

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