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Oct 11, 2019. 4 comments

Bonesetter Reese And The (Mostly Painless) Birth Of Sports Medicine

Bonesetter Reese And The (Mostly Painless) Birth Of Sports Medicine

Honus Wagner’s career hung in the balance. In 1901, the superstar shortstop was in his second season with his hometown Pirates. But a wrenched knee suffered on the turf at Exposition Park—the Pirates’ home on the north side of Pittsburgh, a few hundred feet from where their current stadium stands today—along with rheumatism threatened to send him back to the coal mines from whence he came as a...

4 Comments

Jul 18, 2019. 5 comments

The Forgotten All-Star Game That Helped Integrate Baseball

The Forgotten All-Star Game That Helped Integrate Baseball

When Cleveland celebrated its sixth time hosting MLB’s All-Star Game last week, it might have seemed an odd event to commemorate baseball’s integration. But when Jackie Robinson stepped onto the field in a Brooklyn Dodgers uniform in April of 1947, becoming the first African-American to play in white organized baseball since the 19th century, it was the culmination of years of work by...

5 Comments

Jun 28, 2019. 15 comments

The Man Who Walked His Life Away

The Man Who Walked His Life Away

George Wilson stepped out into the medieval-walled prison yard and began to walk. He was 47 years old, beaten-down, and half-starved. His squat frame and stubby legs hardly suggested athletic excellence. But Wilson was well-known as a perambulator, a peregrinator, and a master of “leg-ology.” He was a celebrated competitive walker and a champion in the bizarre sport of pedestrianism.

It was...

15 Comments

Mar 22, 2019. 6 comments

How The Crooks, The Cons, And The Legends Built America's Largest Stadium For The Beating Of The Century

How The Crooks, The Cons, And The Legends Built America's Largest Stadium For The Beating Of The Century

Toledo was a place where you could fight a man for money.

At the dawn of the 20th century, the boom town—billed as where the rails and water met—was growing and prosperous. Its location on the southwestern shore of Lake Erie made it a major port, bringing with it the industries that inspired the slogan, “You will do better in Toledo.” The population had swelled from 13,768 in 1860 to 131,822 by...

6 Comments

Feb 20, 2019. 12 comments

Not Even A Baseball Strike Could Stop Cleveland From Hosting The All-Star Game. Sort Of.

Not Even A Baseball Strike Could Stop Cleveland From Hosting The All-Star Game. Sort Of.

When Cleveland was awarded the 1981 MLB All-Star Game, it was a city in dire need of a boost.

The previous decade, beginning with a fire on the Cuyahoga River in 1969, had battered the city that once billed itself as the “Best Location in the Nation.” In fact, on the day in 1979 the Plain Dealer announced Cleveland had been picked to host the All-Star Game, the story shared the front page with...

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Gabe Fernandez Gabe Fernandez Oct 14, 2018. 10 comments

Gibraltar Wins First Competitive Match In Its History

Gibraltar Wins First Competitive Match In Its History

History was made at the Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium in the Armenian capital on Saturday as Gibraltar won its first ever competitive match, beating Armenia 1-0. The self-governing territory was first officially recognized by UEFA in 2013 and had lost 22 competitive matches since, including all of their Euro 2016 and 2018 World Cup qualifying matches.

The day started as anything but a...

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Timothy Burke Timothy Burke Jul 06, 2018. 15 comments

On The Origins, Use, And Meaning Of "Ass In The Jackpot"

MLB
On The Origins, Use, And Meaning Of "Ass In The Jackpot"

The emergence last month of a 2016 video featuring mic’d-up Terry Collins arguing with umpire Tom Hallion not only gave the world, if only briefly , a unique insight into how umps deal with enraged managers, but also its most prominent demonstration of a phrase that was, until that point, known by only a small, niche audience. This is the story of “ass in the jackpot.”

Let’s get one thing...

15 Comments

Tom Ley Tom Ley Jun 27, 2018. 19 comments

Weird FS1 Segment: Say What You Will About Joseph Stalin, But He Had A Sick House

Weird FS1 Segment: Say What You Will About Joseph Stalin, But He Had A Sick House

Today’s World Cup coverage on Fox Sports 1 featured a short segment produced by National Geographic, in which a reporter gave viewers a light-hearted tour of Joseph Stalin’s dacha while going to some remarkable lengths to avoid mentioning that Stalin was a brutal dictator who was responsible for the deaths of millions of people.

The segment starts with a guy striding toward the camera and...

19 Comments

May 28, 2018. 18 comments

The Cleveland Barons' NHL Existence Was A Short And Spectacular Disaster

NHL
The Cleveland Barons' NHL Existence Was A Short And Spectacular Disaster

Bob Whidden got the bad news first. On June 14, 1978, Whidden was in Montreal representing the Cleveland Barons at the NHL owners’ meetings.

Whidden had come to Cleveland to play for the Crusaders, a World Hockey Association team, and after they left, took a job in media relations with the Barons, the NHL franchise that had moved from the Bay Area just two years earlier. It had been...

18 Comments

Tim Marchman Tim Marchman Mar 27, 2018. 23 comments

Phyllis Schlafly Finally Croaks

Phyllis Schlafly Finally Croaks

Phyllis Schlafly, who spent her adult life encouraging the American courts, legislature, and public to oppress women, among others, died tonight, not a moment too soon. She was 92.

The Washington Post writes in its obituary that Schlafly was “credited with almost single-handedly stopping the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.” This ludicrously overstates her power—that the ERA, which in...

23 Comments

Tom Ley Tom Ley Mar 01, 2018. 8 comments

The First Basketball Game Was Just A Big Brawl

The First Basketball Game Was Just A Big Brawl

The University of Kansas has unearthed a rare audio recording of basketball inventor James Naismith discussing the first-ever basketball game. The audio, recorded in 1939, is a fun listen, and not just because Naismith sounds like a real-life Simpsons character. The best part is when Naismith describes how violent the first game of basketball was.

From the interview:

Well I didn’t have enough...

8 Comments

Patrick Wyman Patrick Wyman Jan 28, 2018. 9 comments

Climate, Plague, And The Fall Of The Roman Empire

Climate, Plague, And The Fall Of The Roman Empire

The Roman Empire in the west fell for a great many reasons. We could cite a lengthy series of breakdowns in its political structures, feckless leadership by a series of child-emperors and self-interested court officials, and aggressive and opportunistic barbarian groups. As the Empire fell apart, the whole Roman world the political unit had supported—a world of cities, trade between regions...

9 Comments

Alex Pareene Alex Pareene Jan 27, 2018. 17 comments

You Found Our Tribute To Vikings History

You Found Our Tribute To Vikings History

Last night, the Minnesota Vikings inaugurated their new stadium with a 17-14 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Deadspin celebrated the team’s rich history by buying a commemorative “Legacy Brick” in the plaza outside the stadium , and asking readers to find it.

Can You Find Our Heartfelt Tribute To The Minnesota Vikings Outside Their New Stadium?

On Sunday night, the Minnesota Vikings will...

17 Comments

Patrick Wyman Patrick Wyman Jan 04, 2018. 10 comments

After The Black Death, Europe's Economy Surged

After The Black Death, Europe's Economy Surged

The Black Death, the wave of bubonic plague that devastated Europe after 1348, marked the final end of a long period of economic growth. The several prior centuries had been a time of explosive expansion of both the population and economy of Europe, a development the historian Robert Lopez termed the commercial revolution of the Middle Ages. For the first time since the days of the Roman...

10 Comments

Tom Scocca Tom Scocca Dec 14, 2017. 13 comments

Who Was The Actual Best Player In The NBA Every Year During Kobe Bryant's Career? 

Who Was The Actual Best Player In The NBA Every Year During Kobe Bryant's Career? 

Kobe Bryant’s career spans a remarkable amount of NBA history, from the late years of the Chicago Bulls dynasty through the rise of the Golden State Warriors. If there’s been one constant through all those years, it’s that the best player in the league has never, ever been Kobe Bryant.

In 1996-97, when Kobe was a rookie teenage bench player, the top performer in the NBA was 24-year-old Grant...

13 Comments

Patrick Wyman Patrick Wyman Nov 04, 2017. 11 comments

How The Roman Empire's Cities Crumbled

How The Roman Empire's Cities Crumbled

When we think of the Roman Empire as a physical space, cities are what come to mind. We see the huge bulk of the Coliseum. The ruined husks of aqueducts, bathhouses, and grand temples reach for the sky, reminders of the engineering prowess and resources the Romans had at their disposal. Those kinds of monuments, all residents of the Empire’s cities, define it in popular imagination far more...

11 Comments

Patrick Wyman Patrick Wyman Oct 14, 2017. 7 comments

What Were The Knights Templar Really Like?

What Were The Knights Templar Really Like?

Over the last seven centuries, the Knights Templar have left the realm of history and entered the realm of pop culture. They’re a major plot point in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and the villains of the Assassin’s Creed series of games, and feature in an astonishing array of pseudo-history and conspiracy theories.

Despite their outsized legend and legacy as fodder for the fever dreams of Alex...

7 Comments

Patrick Wyman Patrick Wyman Oct 05, 2017. 20 comments

If Rome Was So Weak Before It Fell, How Did Its Industry Manage To Pollute Greenland?

If Rome Was So Weak Before It Fell, How Did Its Industry Manage To Pollute Greenland?

If the Roman Empire was ever something you had to learn about in a high school or college history class, a major piece of those lectures probably had to do with its fall.

If you got the standard version of this story, you might have heard about the degeneracy of the later Roman Empire’s culture, the ineffectiveness of its armies, or the weakness of its emperors.

But that’s not a very good...

20 Comments

Patrick Wyman Patrick Wyman Sep 27, 2017. 18 comments

Professional Mercenaries And Cannon Made Medieval War Obsolete

Professional Mercenaries And Cannon Made Medieval War Obsolete

As the medieval world gave way to the early modern around 1500, European warfare was utterly transformed. Mounted knights and castles gave way to cannon, firearms, and enormously complex fortifications. The scale of war grew as well. Armies that had contained thousands of soldiers in the 15th century turned into tens of thousands in the 16th, then hundreds of thousands in the 17th and 18th....

18 Comments

Patrick Wyman Patrick Wyman Sep 19, 2017. 16 comments

When Rome Fell, Some Barely Noticed And Some Were Murdered By Rampaging Hordes

When Rome Fell, Some Barely Noticed And Some Were Murdered By Rampaging Hordes

The fall of the Roman Empire can mean a lot of different things, depending on precisely where you’re talking about. In some cases, it meant rampaging, marauding barbarians tearing down city walls and running off with the accumulated wealth of generations of prosperous Romans. In other areas, it meant the end of an economy based on money and industrial production.

But in other regions, the fall...

16 Comments

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