Monday, November 7, 2011

Weird, Crazy and Strange Sports Facts

In honor of the Reduced Shakespeare Company's run of The Complete World of Sports (abridged), we decided to honor the sports tradition in a way no theater has ever done before. Yes. We tweeted one strange, crazy or little-known sports fact out once a day the month before and through their run here at the New Vic. We didn't hit the 3,477.3 sports the guys hit during their show, but we definitely got more than your average theater Twitter account!
  1. In 1822, Yale University President Timothy Dwight forbade football. The dean charged student violators fines not to exceed $0.50.
  2. Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey allegedly keeps books in the top shelf of his locker. May include The Life of Pi and C.S. Lewis writings. 
  3. Native Americans used Lacrosse to train for war. This means it is likely the oldest sport in North America.
  4. Hm. Apparently New York City doesn't do professional lacrosse. You got to go to Rochester and see the Knighthawks or the Buffalo Bandits for some state pride.
  5. The Olympics cut events every year. Reject sports include rope climbing, pigeon shooting and dueling pistols. Tug of War was an Olympic event between 1900 - 1920.
  6. 1904 Summer Olympic Games - Tug of War
  7. Did you know the Yankees play-by-play broadcaster Michael Kay is actor Danny Aiello’s nephew?
  8. Maryland's state sport is jousting. Not a colonial was designated in 1962. Governor O'Malley has yet to respond if he is a player. 
  9. During a typical sixty minute NFL game, the ball is only in play for eleven minutes.
  10. Allegedly, all Major League Baseball umpires must wear black underwear. Most likely unconfirmed...not sure how that's enforceable!
  11. Emmy winner and NHL analyst Stan Fischler has authored over ninety books on hockey... and the NYC subway system.
  12. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was a sous chef at Phil Trani's restaurant in Long Beach, CA - when he wasn't playing football for the University of Southern California!
  13. Tennis fact: The score "love" (zero) allegedly derives from the French "oeuf" which means egg. Anyone get the connection...?
  14. Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey is also apparently a huge Star Wars fan. Huge. WATCH - esp. at :39! 
  15. Tennis was invented by twelfth century French monks that used their hands rather than racquets.
  16. Yankees catcher Russell Martin grew up in Quebec, then lived in Paris from age 8-10. We guess he speaks le fran├žais?
  17. Paul Hubbard, a deaf quarterback for Gallaudet University asked his teammates to circle up before plays so he could tell them plays - he didn't want opposing teams to see his hand signals in American Sign Language. Hence, the NFL huddle. 
  18. Did you know the NY Giants defensive end Justin Tuck was on an episode of Cake Boss in 2009? He needed a cake for his foundation, Tuck's R.U.S.H for Literacy
  19. The world ball speed record is 204 miles per hour and is held by Jason Zuback - a long drive golfer.
  20. The NY Yankees insignia was created by Tiffany and Co. in 1877. It was a medal awarded to the first New York policeman shot in the line of duty.
  21. Rangers goalie Marty Biron and his family own horses and chickens. His kids ride regularly and his horses are shown all over the country. Sounds like he's living the dream!
  22. Since 1967, every senior basketball player at DeMatha Catholic HS outside of Washington D.C. (tagline: gentlemen and scholars) have won college scholarships.
  23. Surfer Kelly Slater is the youngest (age 20) and oldest person (age 38) to be crowned World Surfing Champion.
  24. As a kid, the legendary Jets quarterback Joe Namath wanted to be in the Air Force and fly airplanes.
  25. No high jumper has ever been able to stay off the ground for more than one second.  
  26. In NFL history, the only quarterbacks to reach the conference championships in their first two seasons are Mark Sanchez and Ben Roethlisberger. That's not even a Tom Brady stat.
  27. Photos by Elsa and Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
  28. Lenin Stadium in Moscow has enough seats to accommodate more than 103,000 people.
  29. Frederick Arthur Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby and the 6th Governor General of Canada presented the first ever Stanley Cup in 1893. 
  30. Identifying baseball players by number started w/ the Yankees in 1929. The National League adopted it in 1933.
  31. There are two Vince Lombardi trophies at every Super Bowl in case one is accidentally destroyed in celebration. The trophies are made by Tiffany & Co.
  32. Surfer Kelly Slater won his 11th world title yesterday!

Actual Strange Sports News during the run of The Complete World of Sports (abridged) (via Twitter):

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