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5 Most Storied College Basketball Programs

College basketball is one of those sports where if you’re good, you’re probably going to be good for a long time. There is a list of bluebloods in the sport that are seemingly in contention for the NCAA title year after year, and even new entries into the upper echelon like Gonzaga that went from being a one-time cinderella team to a top-level basketball team.

With that in mind, which programs have the most storied success throughout college basketball history? We have five in mind that rise above the rest as the most storied programs. Before we get into the list, some of the honorable mentions that just missed the cut include Indiana, Louisville, Villanova, UConn, and Syracuse.

5. Kansas

There are college basketball fans that are in their 50s right now that haven’t seen a decade without Kansas making it to the Final Four. The Jayhawks are one of the most illustrious programs in college basketball and have consistently won their conference no matter what it is. They’ve called the Big 12 their home for many years, routinely taking home the regular season championship.

All in all, the Kansas Jayhawks rank third in terms of most NCAA Tournament appearances and won their first two national titles in the pre-tournament days. Since the tournament’s inception, Kansas has won four titles, with the first coming in 1952. They added championships in 1988, 2008, and 2022, moving them up to sixth all-time.

4. Duke

Many forget that prior to Mike Krzyzewski becoming the coach of the Duke Blue Devils that the team was in that “good, but not great” category. Once Coach K took over, though, Duke became a powerhouse program that hasn’t looked back. Duke had reached the Final Four several times before Coach K, but they became regulars starting in the late 1980s.

The Blue Devils have won the NCAA Tournament five times, all of which have come since 1991, the year after Duke finished as the country’s runner-up for the fourth time. Duke is fifth all-time in terms of NCAA Tournament appearances and has won their conference more than two dozen times during the regular season. In a conference as prestigious as the ACC, that’s quite the accomplishment. Duke has also routinely put players into the NBA, with more than two dozen on pro rosters during the 2022-23 NBA season alone.

3. North Carolina

We go from one North Carolina school to its biggest rival, the North Carolina Tar Heels. UNC is the home for legendary players like James Worthy, Vince Carter, and, of course, Michael Jordan. The Tar Heels were coached by Dean Smith for more than 35 years, and after some hiccups, had the great Roy Williams at the helm for nearly two decades.

Throughout UNC history, the program has made more NCAA Tournament appearances than any other team besides one that we’ll get to in just a moment. The school has made 12 appearances in the NCAA Championship, winning six titles in the process, which is good enough for third all-time.

2. Kentucky

The Kentucky Wildcats are one of the original bluebloods of college basketball, winning multiple championships even prior to World War II. When the NCAA Tournament got its start, Kentucky was right there in contention and made it to the Final Four three times during the 1940s. The team hasn’t slowed down since then, reaching the end of the bracket at least once in every decade except for the 2000s.

It seemed like the luster of Kentucky was starting to wear off during that time, but the team hired coach John Calipari and has remained one of the most relevant programs in basketball. No team has more NCAA Tournament appearances than Kentucky, and only one team has more than the eight championships that the Wildcats have won.

1. UCLA

While the UCLA Bruins might not carry the same luster that they once did, the history of the program is impossible for anyone to catch up with at this point. Under the tutelage of the great John Wooden, UCLA basketball became a powerhouse, winning 11 championships during his more than quarter-century with the program.

UCLA was also able to win another title in their post-Wooden era, doing so in 1995 under Jim Harrick. UCLA’s 11 titles are more than any other school by a long shot, and they’ve made the Final Four in all but one decade (2010s) since the 1960s. They rank fourth in NCAA Tournament appearances, but it’s the title wins that set them apart.

5 Longest Home Runs of the Statcast Era

There was once a time in baseball when the distance of a home run was essentially measured by eye, with estimates of how far a ball flew out of the park. Since 2015, though, Major League Baseball has officially used a tool called Statcast that measures a lot of different data with extreme accuracy, including home run distance. The game’s measurables have been on full display in the Statcast era, with launch angle, exit velocity, and more all included with every swing.

Because of Statcast, we no longer have to guess how long a home run was, and gone are the days of anecdotes of 600-foot home runs. With that said, there have still been some absolute bombs hit during the Statcast era of Major League Baseball. Let’s take a look at the five longest home runs since the measuring tool was introduced.

5. Five Tied (495 Feet)

Strangely enough, there have been five batters to reach 495 feet with their home runs, with two of them appearing later in the list. Aaron Judge hit the first 495-footer of the Statcast era, hitting a missile off of Logan Verrett of the Baltimore Orioles in June 2017.

The second man to reach 495 feet was Joey Gallo while he was a member of the Texas Rangers, doing so in July 2018 on a bottom-of-the-ninth shot that tied the game and forced extra innings against Cleveland. Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves joined the party in September 2020 against the Red Sox, with Miguel Sano following up the next year (also against the Red Sox). Finally, Ryan McMahon of the Colorado Rockies hit a 495-footer against the St. Louis Cardinals in August 2022.

4. Three Tied (496 Feet)

There have been three instances during the Statcast era in which a batter has launched a home run of exactly 496 feet. The first came with American League home run record-holder Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees in one of the final games of 2017 against the Toronto Blue Jays. It was the 33rd home run of the year for Judge, which he would obviously build upon a few years later.

The next 496-footer came off the bat of Miguel Sano with the Minnesota Twins. He did so against the Chicago White Sox late in the 2019 season and it was his 30th home run of the season. Finally, there was Jesus Sanchez of the Miami Marlins, who took advantage of the thin air at Coors Field to mash a 496-foot home run during a 7-1 loss.

3. Christian Yelich (499 Feet)

Another slugger to take advantage of the Coors Field air, Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers helped keep his team in the thick of the playoff race in September 2022 by launching a 499-foot home run. The game would end up being 10-7 in favor of the Rockies, and Yelich got the party started with his massive home run.

The home run came off of Rockies pitcher Chad Kuhl, and for Yelich it was his 12th home run of the 2022 season. While it ended up being a ‘down’ season for the former MVP, it was still the longest home run of Yelich’s career by a wide margin.

2. Two Tied (504 Feet)

In 2016, Giancarlo Stanton, who was then a member of the Miami Marlins, set the then-Statcast record with a 504-foot home run off of the Colorado Rockies in the fifth inning of a game on August 6, 2016, to give the Marlins a 3-2 lead. Again, it was a product of Coors Field allowing the ball to continue to carry into the stands, and had an exit velocity of 115.8 miles per hour.

Six years later, C.J. Cron added to the lore of Coors Field by pulling a 504-footer of his own down the left field line against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The crowd was nearly empty as both teams were out of the playoff hunt, but the home run made a lot of highlight reels.

1. Nomar Mazara (505 Feet)

Finally, we reach the only man on the list to hit 505 feet with a home run, and that’s Nomar Mazara of the Texas Rangers. On June 2019, he faced Reynaldo Lopez and the Chicago White Sox at home and didn’t waste any time doing so.

The home run came in the bottom of the first of a 0-0 game, with Mazara breaking the tie on his two-run shot. Mazara’s home run was his 10th of the year at that point and had an exit velocity of 109.7 miles per hour.

The Tallest Players in Baseball History

There are certain sports where being tall isn’t the biggest advantage. Unlike football or basketball, sports like baseball tend to be advantageous for those that are around the average height. However, there have still been plenty of players that made their way into the MLB while towering over most of their teammates and fans.

Some players round up and say that they’re seven feet tall, but when using official heights, there hasn’t been any seven-footer in baseball history. There are a few that were awfully close, however. Here are the tallest players to make the MLB and how they fared on the field.

6’10”:  Andy Sisco

Andy Sisco was a second-round draft pick by the Chicago Cubs in 2001 and made his debut four years later with the Kansas City Royals. Sisco appeared in 151 Major League games with both the Royals and Chicago White Sox but never got back into the league after 2007. In that season, he had an 8.36 earned run average in 19 games.

6’10”:  Aaron Slegers

Born in Long Beach, California, the 6’10” Aaron Slegers made his MLB debut in 2017 with the Minnesota Twins as a relief pitcher and bounced around the league quite a bit over the next few years. Used as a call-up guy with multiple teams, Slegers has appeared in over 45 Major League games with an ERA of over five.

6’10”:  Andrew Brackman

While most of the players on the list saw significant playing time in the MLB, the same can not be said for Andrew Brackman. Brackman was a first-round selection in 2007 by the New York Yankees, but spent much of his career in the minors. Brackman finally made his debut in 2011, but played in just three Major League games (all with the Yankees), pitching a total of 2.1 innings.

6’10”:  Randy Johnson

Without a doubt, the best player on the list is Randy Johnson, who was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015. Johnson was a near-unanimous selection thanks to his dominant career. Known as “The Big Unit,” Johnson was a 10-time All-Star and had the best earned run average in the league on four different occasions. He finished his career after the 2009 season, and over 22 years with six different teams, had 303 wins with 4,875 strikeouts. Johnson also won the 2001 World Series MVP to cement his legacy.

6’10”:  Eric Hillman

Eastern Illinois University hasn’t produced a lot of big leaguers, but it did so in 1987 when Eric Hillman was drafted by the New York Mets. Hillman waited in the Minor Leagues for several years to get his opportunity but finally made his Mets debut in 1992. Hillman didn’t last on the big league roster very frequently, though, as he played in just 49 games with the last coming in 1994. Hillman finished with a record of 4-14 and a 4.85 earned run average.

6’10”:  Chris Young

Not to be confused with the centerfielder, this Chris Young was a solid pitcher throughout his Major League career. After being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates, he made his Major League debut in 2004 as a member of the Texas Rangers. Young would play in the MLB for 13 seasons and spent time with five teams. During that time, he made one All Star Game appearance (2007) and won the 2015 World Series as a member of the Kansas City Royals.

6’11”:  Jon Rauch

The first of the two 6’11” men to make their way into Major League Baseball is Jon Rauch, who made his debut in 2002 at 23 years old. Rauch ended up having a longer career than some might remember, as he lasted for 11 seasons and played for seven different franchises. Rauch finished his career with a record of 43-40 and actually had a solid earned run average of 3.90.

6’11”:  Sean Hjelle

Sean Hjelle made history in 2022 when he was called up to the San Francisco Giants roster to appear in eight games during the season. The call-up made him the first man since Rauch to join the 6’11” club. Hjelle made his way through the minors after getting to all levels of it, meaning that it was a long time coming.

5 Best Moments in Atlanta Sports History

Atlanta, while starving for a championship for an extended period of time before the 2020s broke the curse, has had a ton of great sports moments throughout the city’s history. It’s hard to narrow it down to just five great moments, but we’ve done our best to sum up the ones that made the entire city stand and cheer until their hands were sore. Here are our top five:

5. Primetime Shines

A lot of athletes end up playing multiple sports while they’re in high school or maybe even college, but it just doesn’t happen in the pros very often. Deion Sanders was a one-of-a-kind athlete who excelled in both baseball and football, and in 1992 he found himself on both the Atlanta Falcons as the team’s top cornerback and the Atlanta Braves as a part-time centerfielder for several seasons.

The man known as Primetime would split his duties between the Falcons and Braves, and in 1992, he became the only person to pull off the feat of playing an MLB game and an NFL game on the same day. Sanders suited up for the Falcons early in the day as the team played the Dolphins, and was able to make it to the National League Championship Series in time for the Braves. Though he didn’t see the field in the NLCS, what made it all the more impressive was that neither game was played in Atlanta.

4. Falcons Upset Vikings

Coming into the 1998 NFC Championship Game, all anybody could talk about was the top-seeded Minnesota Vikings. They had just capped off one of the greatest NFL regular seasons of all time with a historic offense and a 15-1 record. They were heavy favorites at home against the Falcons, but many people forget just how good Atlanta was that year.

The Falcons came in just one game behind Minnesota at 14-2 but were still 11-point underdogs. After three quarters, the Falcons trailed by three and were down by seven when Vikings kicker Gary Anderson missed for the only time in the 1998 season. The Falcons stormed back and won in overtime, stamping their ticket to the Super Bowl for the first time.

3. Braves Win 1995 World Series

The 2021 World Series was special for the Atlanta Braves, but it came as more of a surprise for a team that was ahead of schedule in a rebuild. The 1995 Braves, however, felt like the culmination of years of being oh-so-close and a massive sigh of relief. The Braves took on the Cleveland Indians, who were looking to break an extremely long World Series drought of their own, too.

The Braves took the first two games in Atlanta while Cleveland took two out of three at Jacobs Field. In game six, pitchers Tom Glavine and Jim Poole were in an absolute duel, and the game ended in a 1-0 win for the Braves for their first title in Atlanta. That one run came off the bat of David Justice, who bombed a solo shot in the sixth inning that would ultimately decide the Series.

2. The 1996 Olympics

Between 1905 and 1995, the only United States city to host the Summer Olympics was Los Angeles. That would change in 1996 when the city of Atlanta held the opening ceremonies to the Summer Games, and it ended up being one of the most-watched and successful Olympics in history. Atlanta was chosen to showcase a more modern version of the US south, while also serving as a great hub for travelers.

There were plenty of highlights for the 1996 Summer Olympics, as well. From Muhammad Ali holding the torch during the opening ceremonies to Michael Johnson and Kerri Strug becoming Olympic stars, the 1996 games had a lot to talk about.

1. The Home Run King

One of the most sacred records in all of sports is baseball’s career home run record. There were a lot of people who thought that Babe Ruth would never be topped when he hit home run number 714, but that would change when Hank Aaron started to get on that pace that would put him ahead.

On April 8, 1974, Hammerin’ Hank topped the ‘unbeatable’ record and rounded the bases in Atlanta in front of tens of thousands of screaming fans. Along the way, there’s a memorable shot of Aaron being greeted by two fans, which is something that seems unfathomable these days.

5 Tournament Formats To Know If You Run a Sports League

If you’re running a sports league, you know how hard it can be to get everyone on the same page. This is especially true if you’re trying to determine a champion of the league, but not all champions are crowned in the same way. There are several different formats to use to determine your overall winner, each with its pros and cons.

Let’s take a look at the most popular tournament formats that are used in professional and college leagues around the world. Then, you can decide which one is best for you and run it by your members to see if you can implement these formats into your next league season.

1. Single-Elimination Bracket

If you want the simplest format for tournaments in any sport, it’s the single elimination bracket. There are very few moving pieces involved in this type of tournament unless you re-seed people or teams after every round. The single-elimination bracket is typically used by professional sports leagues, however, the NBA is the only professional league in the United States that has a set single-elimination bracket without reseeding.

Think of the NCAA basketball tournament as a good way to set up a single elimination bracket. The best teams are the ones given high seeds, and they take on the lowest competition in the first round. The teams that are right in the middle also meet in the first round and whoever advances then takes on the top.

2. Double-Elimination Bracket

Sometimes fluky things can happen in sports and a team or person that has the talent to win the tournament can get bounced out early due to bad luck. With that in mind, a double-elimination bracket may be a good way to truly determine the best of the best. This is seen in many sports organizations, most notably in college baseball and softball.

Once a team loses a game, they are placed into the “losers” bracket of the overall tournament. The winner of that bracket will then take on the champion of the “winners” bracket to see who wins it all. You can reset losses to make it a best-of-three in the finals like the NCAA does, or you can make it so that the losers bracket representative has to defeat their opponent twice in a row.

3. Round-Robin

The round-robin tournament is a simple format that doesn’t require a bracket and tends to avoid any team or athlete fluking their way to a championship. In this format, every single person or team takes on every other one as they rotate through the schedule. It can be as simple as a four-team round-robin and can go as far as you’d like.

This is a more popular style of tournament for running the regular season of a league that doesn’t have playoffs. Think of the English Premier League and how their season is handled. The entire season is a straight-up round-robin and whoever has the most points once all of the games are completed becomes the champion with no postseason tournament.

4. Multi-Stage Bracket

There’s an excellent combination of round-robin and single-elimination called the multi-stage bracket, and that’s how the World Cup champion is determined every four years. The first stage (group stage) is a round robin that takes the top one or two teams and places them into the next stage.

Once the teams are decided from the group stage, you can then place them into a single or double-elimination bracket to determine the winner. It makes for some very compelling storylines in your league when this is the format.

5. Guaranteed Games Bracket

When running a sports league, you want to make sure the participants are getting their money’s worth and not wasting their time. Nobody wants to travel a long way only to get knocked out in the first round and then have to turn around and leave right away. That’s why there are guaranteed games tournaments, which are quite common in youth sports, especially travel sports where multiple games can be played in one day.

Essentially what happens is that you extend the double-elimination bracket until you run out of space for “losers” brackets. Typically you can guarantee three games even with a small pool of teams (at least eight) and can guarantee even more as that number jumps to 16, 32, and beyond. 

5 Most Successful NCAA Hockey Teams

In professional hockey, it can be hard to put together a dynasty thanks to the salary cap and free agency, but that’s not the case in the college ranks. Typically, teams that are toward the top tend to stay there, while the lower programs are only just a few players away from joining them.

Over the years, a handful of college hockey teams have had the sustained success that puts them above the rest. Between trips to the Frozen Four, national championships, and eventual NHLers that made it into the Hall of Fame, these are the five most successful NCAA hockey programs.

Before we get to the list, here are some of the teams that just missed the cut but have had tremendous program success: Boston University, Wisconsin, Minnesota-Duluth, Michigan State, Wisconsin.

5. Boston College

The Boston College Eagles come to mind for a lot of hockey fans in terms of teams that have had sustained success without piling up too many championships. Outside of their dynasty run from 2001 to 2012, the Eagles have just one NCAA Tournament championship which came in 1949.

The Eagles have still made the NCAA Tournament more often than not, though, so they are always near the top of the title contention scene. There have been a lot of great NHL players to come from Boston College, including Hall of Famers like Brian Leetch and Joe Mullen, as well as star players Johnny Gaudreau, Bill Guerin, and Brian Boyle.

4. Denver

The University of Denver was an absolute dynasty during its early years as they started play in 1949 and were the NCAA champions within a decade. Denver dominated in the 1960s and reached the Frozen Four regularly in the early 1970s. Throughout the rest of the decade and into the early 2000s, though, Denver was a sleeping giant.

Thankfully for the Pioneers, they were able to right the ship and have since become one of the top hockey programs in the NCAA once again. They won the NCAA Tournament twice during the 2000s, then again in 2017 and 2022. Among the notable NHL players to attend Denver are Paul Stastny and Tyler Bozak and Hall of Famers Craig Patrick and Glenn Anderson.

3. North Dakota

While ND might translate to Notre Dame for college football fans, it certainly means North Dakota when it comes to college hockey. The Fighting Hawks have been among the best teams in the NCAA since starting play in the mid-1940s and have reached the Frozen Four more than 20 times.

Along the way, North Dakota has won several championships and routinely makes the NCAA Tournament. The top NHL players who make their way through the North Dakota hockey program include Dave Christian, Jason Blake, and Hockey Hall of Famer Ed Belfour. More recent players include Zach Parise, Jonathan Toews, and T.J. Oshie.

2. Michigan

Known by casual fans perhaps more for its football program, the University of Michigan has also had a rich tradition in hockey. Also, like the football team, Michigan hockey last won a national championship in the late 1990s despite routinely being one of the top teams in the nation.

Overall, Michigan has nine national titles between 1948 and 1998, and more than two dozen trips to the Frozen Four. Some of Michigan’s top players to reach the NHL include Andrew Cogliano, Mike Knuble, and former number-one overall draft pick Jack Johnson. Michigan was also home to the Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin.

1. Minnesota

The Minnesota Golden Gophers began play in 1921 and have been one of the top teams on an almost annual basis ever since. No team has won the Big Ten title more than Minnesota, and they’ve made the NCAA Tournament regularly since the early 1970s. Minnesota has more wins than any other NCAA program, as well.

Interestingly enough, Minnesota only has five national championship wins, but they’ve reached the Frozen Four well over 20 times, including every year between 1986 and 1989. Some of the most successful NHL players to come from Minnesota include Phil Kessel, Neal Broten, and Alex Goligoski.

5 Best NFL Careers by Former Wisconsin Badgers

The University of Wisconsin has a rich football tradition as one of the oldest teams in the Big Ten, and along the way has produced some terrific NFL talent. A handful of players have gone on to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and set records at the top level of football. Let’s take a look at the Badgers that put together the finest NFL careers.

Before we get into the list, let’s take a look at some of the Badgers that just missed the cut as part of our honorable mentions: Troy Vincent, Tim Krumrie, Chris Chambers, Travis Frederick, and Paul Gruber.

5. T.J. Watt

As you can probably guess, there is more than one Watt on the list, and it begins with outside linebacker T.J. Watt. T.J. spent four seasons in Wisconsin, and in his senior season, was named to both the All-Big Ten and All-American teams. Considered by some to be undersized, Watt was selected late in the first round, with the Steelers taking a chance on him at 30th overall in 2017.

Watt almost instantly became a perennial All-Pro, and even tied the single-season record for most sacks with 22.5. Watt was also named the 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and continues to rack up the accolades. By the time his career is over, there’s a chance that Watt could end up having the more impressive resume in the family.

4. Mike Webster

Hailing from Rhinelander, Wisconsin, Mike Webster spent the early 1970s in Madison and played center for the Badgers until 1974. After being named to two All-Big Ten teams, Webster was selected in the fifth round of the 1974 NFL Draft (125th overall) by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Webster spent most of his 17-year career with the Steelers and was named to the All-Pro Team in nine of those seasons. Webster was also a four-time Super Bowl winner and was named to Pittsburgh’s All-Time Team, as well as two different NFL All-Decade Teams.

3. Joe Thomas

Joe Thomas is the highest-rated player on the list that spent their entire college career with the Badgers, and he was named a two-time First-Team All-American. During his senior season, Thomas was also an All-American and was given the Outland Trophy as the best offensive lineman in the nation. At the 2007 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns made Thomas the third overall pick.

Thomas would end up becoming one of the best left tackles in NFL history and certainly the most durable. Thomas set the record for most consecutive snaps played in league history and was a 10-time Pro Bowler, as well as an eight-time All-Pro. Unfortunately for Thomas, the only downside of his career was never reaching the postseason.

2. Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson may have only spent one season with Wisconsin, but it was quite the season as he was named to the first-team All-Big Ten squad and was the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year. Wilson wasn’t expected to do much in the NFL when he entered in 2012, however, as the Seahawks used their third-round pick (75th) overall to have him back up Matt Flynn.

Wilson assumed the starting role right away with the Seahawks and spent 10 seasons with the team. During that time, he compiled an impressive 104-53-1 record, throwing for 37,059 yards, 292 touchdowns, and 87 interceptions. Wilson also added 4,689 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns en route to nine Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl title.

1. J.J. Watt

J.J. Watt had initially gone to Central Michigan University, but the Chippewas wanted the walk-on from Pewaukee to become a tight end. After spending just one year in Mt. Pleasant, Watt made his way to Wisconsin to become a defensive end. As a Badger, Watt became a first-team All-American and won the Lott Trophy, leading him to be selected 11th overall in 2011 by the Houston Texans.

Watt spent 10 seasons with the Texans and was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year on three occasions. Watt finished his Texans career with 101 sacks before signing with the Arizona Cardinals in 2021, and Watt has also been named an All-Pro six times and was the 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year.

5 Most Surprising NHL Relocations

When there’s an expansion franchise in a professional sports league, the people of that city fully embrace the team right away. Look at how Las Vegas and Seattle fans have come to love their new franchises. When teams move, though, there can be an awkward period for the new city as they may feel like they ‘stole’ a team. There have been several instances of that happening in the NHL, and these five moves were the most surprising NHL relocations.

5. Atlanta (Twice)

The city of Atlanta, Georgia has had two attempts at hosting an NHL franchise, and neither time did it end out working for the city. Originally, Atlanta was the home of the Flames, which made sense in terms of team names because if you’ve been to the ATL, you know why they call it Hotlanta, as well. The team would keep the name, but move to the much more frigid Calgary in 1980 after eight seasons of financial troubles.

Just under two decades after the Flames moved, Atlanta got a second chance when the NHL expanded back into the city, and the Atlanta Thrashers were born. The Thrashers lasted just 11 seasons in Atlanta before the team ran into financial peril and, just like the last team, moved to Canada. The Thrashers became the new Winnipeg Jets (more on that later).

4. Quebec to Colorado

One of the best uniforms in sports history belonged to the Quebec Nordiques, who began play in the WHL in 1972. After the league merged with the NHL, the Nordiques came along in the package to expand the NHL’s influence in Canada. The Nordiques were the only pro team in Quebec City throughout their run but were placed up for sale in the mid-1990s.

Nordiques fans could see the writing on the wall when the team was sold, with an investor group from Denver, Colorado making the acquisition. After 16 years in Quebec, the franchise moved to Denver, becoming the Colorado Avalanche. Of course, immediately after moving, the franchise won its first Stanley Cup because life is unfair.

3. Winnipeg to Arizona

When you think of hockey, you think of Canada first and foremost. Before the 1990s, the last thing that you’d probably think of is the desert. That was, of course, before the Arizona Coyotes and Vegas Golden Knights came along. While the Knights were an expansion team, the Coyotes came about by taking an existing franchise.

The Winnipeg Jets had been part of the WHA-NHL merger and was founded in 1972. The team went through a sale as most franchises do, but the new owners wanted desperately to move to a larger city. With that, the Jets moved way down south, landing in Phoenix and becoming the Coyotes. Thankfully for Winnipeg, the Thrashers would move to their city 15 years later.

2. Hartford to Carolina

We’ve already mentioned teams that started in the WHA and have amazing logos, and the Hartford Whalers were one of those teams. The franchise known for playing in a shopping mall and having ‘Brass Bonanza’ blare over the speakers after every goal was a favorite of casual fans around the league. However, being in a small market meant that their days were numbered from the start.

The Whalers simply weren’t making enough money in Connecticut and upgrading their arena proved to be difficult. After 18 NHL seasons in Hartford, the Whalers moved down the Atlantic coast to Raleigh, North Carolina where they became the Carolina Hurricanes. Though the transition period was difficult, Carolina has fully embraced the team.

1. Minnesota to Dallas

If you had to come up with a list of the best American states for hockey, a lot of lists would have Minnesota at the very top. The state is synonymous with pond hockey and is essentially an extension of Canada. For more than a quarter-century, Minnesota was the home for the North Stars, but that would change in 1993.

The team flirted with the idea of moving to Anaheim, but Disney bumped ahead of them in line and the Ducks were formed. The backup plan to move to a larger market was to move the Stars to Dallas in one of the most head-scratching moves in terms of fan support.

5 Biggest What-Could-Have-Been Players in Chicago Bears History

The Chicago Bears have hit some home runs when it comes to signing free agents and drafting players, but there have also been some big misses. Not all of them have been misses due to talent, however. There are plenty of notable Chicago Bears players that have seemed like they were going to be great, but for one reason or another, ended up not meeting their full potential. Here are the five biggest what-could-have-been player stories in Bears history.

5. Rashaan Salaam

Rashaan Salaam was selected fairly low for a running back that won the Heisman, doing so in 1995 as a member of the Colorado Buffaloes. Salaam was a steal in his rookie season as he rushed for 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns. Injuries would begin to hamper Salaam in his second season, though, cutting his production in half while also having off-the-field issues.

By his third year, Salaam played just three games and he was almost entirely out of the league. He never truly recovered from injury or his substance abuse problems, having just one more rush in 1999 with the Cleveland Browns. Had he continued down his path from his rookie season, he may have been an all-time great.   

4. Curtis Enis

Curtis Enis was one of the most hyped-up running backs throughout the 1990s, and many thought the Bears were going to get a surefire star when they used the fifth-overall pick on him out of Penn State in 1998. Enis struggled to find the field in his first season, starting just one game before tearing a knee ligament.

Enis saw significant playing time in his second season but didn’t look like the same running back as he did in college, rushing for 916 yards and three touchdowns. Injury troubles would only get worse, and he played just one more season in 2000, carrying the ball only 36 more times. Enis was signed by the Browns in 2001 but didn’t see the field again.

3. Cedric Benson

Yet another running back on the list, Cedric Benson was selected out of Texas with the fourth overall selection in the 2005 NFL Draft. Hopes were high for Benson, but he didn’t want to be on the team before he was even drafted. He held out before getting a big contract, missing all of training camp.

Benson disappointed on the field, too, and was held back from the starting lineup in his first two seasons. By his third season, Benson became the full-time starter but averaged just 3.4 yards per carry. He was released by the Bears and became a starter for the Bengals and was actually solid in Cincinnati before injuries mounted and ended his career in the early 2010s.

2. Mitchell Trubisky

The Chicago Bears moved up to the second overall spot of the 2017 NFL Draft, swapping picks with the San Francisco 49ers. It was clear they wanted a quarterback, but not many were sure which one they’d get. Could it be Patrick Mahomes? Could it be Deshaun Watson? It turned out to be neither, as the Bears drafted North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky.

While the other two quarterbacks turned out to be All-Pro talents, Trubisky lasted just four seasons in Chicago. While he compiled a winning record, he still put up disappointing numbers and became a backup for the Bills and Steelers after his fifth-year option wasn’t picked up by the team.

1. Gale Sayers

Gale Sayers could have been one of the best running backs of all time if not for a shared workload and multiples. Drafted fourth overall in 1965, Sayers led the NFL in rushing during his second season before splitting the carries with Brian Piccolo. In his fourth year, Sayers would suffer a bad knee injury and then suffered a major injury to his other knee just two years later.

Sayers would end up with 4,956 career rushing yards, which is nothing to scoff at, but he averaged well over five yards per carry prior to his injuries. Many wonder if he could have been the greatest running back in Bears history, which is saying something with Walter Payton on the list.

The Greatest South East Asian Footballers Of All Time

When it comes to the world of football, most of the attention is paid to Europe and South America. Southeast Asia can be overlooked by the global media, but they’re really missing out on some great football when doing so. Through the years, the region has produced some of the greatest players on a global scale, though some don’t get their time to shine until the World Cup every four years.

It may be hard to narrow down the best of the best when it comes to Southeast Asia’s greatest players since there are so many countries, but there are a few that truly stand out. Here are our picks for the top five, with some honorable mentions to make sure that everybody gets the recognition they deserve.

5. Bambang Pamungkas

Known to many as Bepe, Bambang Pamungkas hails from Semarang, Indonesia and played his youth football in the country for over a decade prior to making his senior career debut as a member of Persija Jakarta. In 126 appearances with the club, Bepe netted 80 goals and was sent on loan for a brief period to EHC Norad.

Bepe continued to be a dominant force when he played for two years with Selangor FA before returning to Persija Jakarta for another six years, this time scoring 73 goals in 149 appearances. After one year with Pelita Bandung Raya, Bepe finished his career with a third stint in Jakarta, finishing his senior career with 222 goals and 37 international goals.

4. Neil Etheridge

We now turn our attention to the Philippines, the home of goalkeeper Neil Etheridge. He made history by becoming the first-ever player from the Philippines to make it to the English Premier League as he played his youth career with both Chelsea and Fulham. He’d make his senior debut in 2008 with the latter club, though he didn’t see on-field action in the EPL.

Instead, Etheridge was sent on loan to several clubs between 2008 and 2014, and then finally settled down with Walsall in 2015. He then joined Cardiff City and eventually Birmingham City, making dozens of appearances with both clubs.

3. Dang Van Lam

Etheridge isn’t the only goalkeeper on the list as Dang Van Lam of Vietnam has also enjoyed a long professional career and started minding the net for his home country starting in 2015. Dang was actually born in Moscow, Russia, but his father hails from Vietnam while his mother is Russian.

Instead of following in his parents’ footsteps and getting into performance arts, Dang went the football route and it ended up paying off big time. He started his senior career with Hoang Anh Gia Lai before moving to several other clubs, most notably with Hai Phone from 2015 to 2019 and Muangthong United from 2019 to 2021.

2. Thanawat Suengchitthawon

Thanawat Suengchitthawon was born in Suphan Buri and spent his first several years in Thailand before joining the Nancy in France as part of the club’s youth program. Thanawat then began his senior career with Nancy II, making 16 appearances with the club and netting one goal as a midfielder.

In 2020, Thanawat made headlines when he became the first Thai player to join the English Premier League as he was transferred to Leicester City. Thanawat proved to be a major player with the Premier League 2 team and was moved to the senior squad beginning in 2021. Thanawat also represents Thailand on the international circuit instead of France.

1. Paulino Alcantara

You have to go way back in time to find the greatest Southeast Asian football player of all time. His name was Paulino Alcantara, who was born in Concepcion, Philippines in 1896 and lived to be 67 before his death in 1964. Alcantara moved to Barcelona as a child and came into the professional ranks with Barca back in 1912.

Alcantara made 40 appearances for the club, scoring 40 goals during that time. In 1916, he would shift clubs to Bohemian for two years, but returned for nearly another decade with Barcelona. This time around, he had 130 appearances and 102 goals, causing many to consider him the greatest Southeast Asian player ever.