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Friday Flashbacks: O.J.'s White Bronco, Len Bias, and Bowie over Jordan

This week in 1994 was one of the most memorable sports weeks in my lifetime. It started with the New York Rangers, Captain Mark Messier and Conn Smythe winner Brian Leetch winning the Stanley Cup to chants of “1940”, followed by the riots in Vancouver after game 7. Friday, June 17th was also the opening day of the World Cup, with defending champion Germany defeating Bolivia 1-0, followed by a wild Spain-South Korea 3-3 draw. That evening, I settled in to watch Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets, when a white Bronco took over the television, appearing in a split screen on the television. If you were old enough then, it is one of those moments you remember exactly where you were, watching O.J. Simpson and Al Cowlings travel down the highway, followed by a host of LAPD.

Len Bias dies of overdose two days after being drafted No. 2 overall by Boston (1986) . . . Heat defeat Mavericks in 6 games, as Wade dominates and Dirk struggles (2006) . . . Giants manager Dave Bristol sucker punches his own pitcher, John Montefusco, in post-game argument (1980) . . . Federal judge rules that Billy Cannon can play for the Houston Oilers, and not the Los Angeles Rams, after signing with both teams (1960) . . . Charlie Finley sues Bowie Kuhn for blocking trade, calls him “village idiot” (1976) . . . Deion Sanders arrested for fishing on restricted airport property (1996) . . . French teenagers brawl as the Beatles leave the stage (1965) . . . Chicago news station draws criticism for its World Cup graphic (1990) . . .

The Bulls may have passed on Michael Jordan if Sam Bowie had still been available (1984) . . . Brett Hull scores controversial triple overtime winner against Domenik Hasek and Buffalo to give Dallas the Stanley Cup (1999) . . . The NFL’s drug problems: Carl Eller believes 15% of players are problem users (1982) . . . Mickey Mantle hits his 27th home run 18 games earlier than Babe Ruth did in ’27 (1956) . . . Moses Malone signed with Maryland (but never played there) (1974) . . . Payne Stewart wins U.S Open as Scott Simpson bogies last three holes of playoff (1991) . . . “The San Francisco Warriors have their big ball grabbing rebounder” (1967) . . . Dick Howser dies of brain cancer (1987) . . .

Barry Switzer resigns amid turmoil of probation and player arrests, says he is frustrated by NCAA that doesn’t “recognize the financial needs of young athletes.” (1989) . . . Martina Hingis dates the guy that prosecuted her stalker (2001) . . . An agent representing Jerry Tarkanian, who was in town for talks with Jerry Buss for Tarkanian to become next Lakers’ coach, is found dead in his Rolls Royce (1979) . . . Grantland Rice on television and sports (1951) . . . Howard Cosell urges Congress to create commission to regulate sports (1972) . . . Ferret legging? (2004) . . . Dwight Eisenhower wants to see a baseball game on his return trip to the States (1945) . . . Little league coach seeks injunction against abusive mom (1971).

[photo via Getty]

 

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