Archive for the ‘ 4Quarters Other Category ’ Category

Happy Fourth of July from 4Q

No new post, enjoy American’s 238th birthday today

Follow me on twitter: @MikeVmos

2014 Posts: 118

4Quarters 30 years of Champions aka the Mike Vamosi Era

Today on June 8, 2013 I turn 30 and with this milestone I felt that I’d make a list of champions in the big four (MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL) during my lifetime in addition to college baseball, basketball and football. No offense to the other sports and its champions but I feel that listing these champions since the day I arrived seemed like the geeky thing you expect from me.


The Royals won the World Series when I was two and in addition here are other champions during the first 30 years of my life (NBA/NHL/College Baseball are still in-season). Yes, Happy Birthday to me!.

The kicker is that I won’t list any team here that won its championship before 06-08-83. Sure I could claim the entire year of champions but I prefer the BMV (before Michael Vamosi) and AMV (after Michael Vamosi) here, so since it’s my blog we’ll go with my rules. I’ll also provide a recap of each sport.

Major League Baseball – Luckily this takes place in October so I’ve been “around” for all the champions since 1983 even if I was a few months old.
World Series Champions: 1983 Baltimore Orioles, 1984 Detroit Tigers, 1985 Kansas City Royals, 1986 New York Mets, 1987 Minnesota Twins, 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers, 1989 Oakland Athletics, 1990 Cincinnati Reds, 1991 Minnesota Twins, 1992 Toronto Blue Jays, 1993 Toronto Blue Jays, 1994 No World Series due to Strike, 1995 Atlanta Braves, 1996 New York Yankees, 1997 Florida Marlins, 1998 New York Yankees, 1999 New York Yankees, 2000 New York Yankees, 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks, 2002 Anaheim Angels, 2003 Florida Marlins, 2004 Boston Red Sox, 2005 Chicago White Sox, 2006 St. Louis Cardinals, 2007 Boston Red Sox, 2008 Philadelphia Phillies, 2009 New York Yankees, 2010 San Francisco Giants, 2011 St. Louis Cardinals, 2012 San Francisco Giants
Recap The Royals won when I was two years old and haven’t been back to the postseason since. Championships won since 1983: 5 – Yankees (1996, ’99, ‘00, ’01, ’09), 2 – Minnesota Twins (1988, ’91), Toronto Blue Jays (1992, ’93), Florida Marlins (1997, ’03), Boston Red Sox (2004, ’07), St. Louis Cardinals (2006, ’11), San Francisco Giants (2010, ’12), 1 – Baltimore Orioles (1983), Detroit Tigers (1984), Kansas City Royals (1985), Los Angeles Dodgers (1988), Oakland Athletics (1989), Cincinnati Reds (1990), Atlanta Braves (1995), Arizona Diamondbacks (2001), Anaheim Angels (2002), Philadelphia Phillies (2008). 17 different teams have won a title with the Yankees winning five and six teams winning two World Series in the last 30 years.


Arguable the saddest I’ve been about the result of a sports outcome

National Basketball Association – Had to look it up but the 1983 Finals concluded in May which just seems odd given how long the season currently goes. So the 1983-84 season is the first one that I claim based on the rules I put into effect.
NBA Finals Winners: 1984 Boston Celtics, 1985 Los Angeles Lakers, 1986 Boston Celtics, 1987 Los Angeles Lakers, 1988 Los Angeles Lakers, 1989 Detroit Pistons, 1990 Detroit Pistons, 1991 Chicago Bulls, 1992 Chicago Bulls, 1993 Chicago Bulls, 1994 Houston Rockets, 1995 Houston Rockets, 1996 Chicago Bulls, 1997 Chicago Bulls, 1998 Chicago Bulls, 1999 San Antonio Spurs, 2000 Los Angeles Lakers, 2001 Los Angeles Lakers, 2002 Los Angeles Lakers, 2003 San Antonio Spurs, 2004 Detroit Pistons, 2005 San Antonio Spurs, 2006 Miami Heat, 2007 San Antonio Spurs, 2008 Boston Celtics, 2009 Los Angeles Lakers, 2010 Los Angeles Lakers, 2011 Dallas Mavericks, 2012 Miami Heat
Recap – My favorite team is the Phoenix Suns and they’ve one made the championship round once since I’ve been around.
Championships won since the 1983-84 season: 8 – Los Angeles Lakers (1985, ’87, ’88, ’00, ’01, ’02, ’09, ’10), 6 – Chicago Bulls (1991, ’92, ’93, ’96, ’97, ’98), 4 – San Antonio Spurs (1999, ’03, ’05, ’07), 3 – Boston Celtics (1984, ’86, ’08), 2 – Houston Rockets (1994, ’85), Miami Heat (2006, ’12), 1 – Detroit Pistons (2004),  Dallas Mavericks (2011). Unlike MLB there have only been eight franchises who’ve won a title since the 1983-84 season with the Lakers taking home the most at eight championships, the Bulls are next at six, Spurs four, Celtics three and Rockets/Heat two then the Pistons and Mavericks have one each.


Still waiting for the Chiefs to add another one of these, it’s been a long wait.

National Football League – I was born when the 1983 season took place so the 1984 Super Bowl is the first winner that will show up on this list which was Super Bowl XVIII.
Super Bowl Champions: 1983 Los Angeles Raiders (Super Bowl XVIII), 1984 San Francisco 49ers (Super Bowl XVIX), 1985 Chicago Bears (Super Bowl XX), 1986 New York Giants (Super Bowl XXI), 1987 Washington Redskins (Super Bowl XXII), 1988 San Francisco 49ers (Super Bowl XXIII), 1989 San Francisco 49ers (Super Bowl XXIV), 1990 New York Giants (Super Bowl XXV), 1991 Washington Redskins (Super Bowl XXVI), 1992 Dallas Cowboys (Super Bowl XXVII), 1993 Dallas Cowboys (Super Bowl XXVIII), 1994 San Francisco 49ers (Super Bowl XXIX), 1995 Dallas Cowboys (Super Bowl XXX), 1996 Green Bay Packers (Super Bowl XXXI), 1997 Denver Broncos (Super Bowl XXXII), 1998 Denver Broncos (Super Bowl XXXIII), 1999 St. Louis Rams (Super Bowl XXXIV), 2000 Baltimore Ravens (Super Bowl XXXV), 2001 New England Patriots (Super Bowl XXXVI), 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Super Bowl XXXVII), 2003 New England Patriots (Super Bowl XXXVIII), 2004 New England Patriots (Super Bowl XXXIX), 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers (Super Bowl XL), 2006 Indianapolis Colts (Super Bowl XLI), 2007 New York Giants (Super Bowl XLII), 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers (Super Bowl XLIII), 2009 New Orleans Saints (Super Bowl XLIV), 2010 Green Bay Packers (Super Bowl XLV), 2011 New York Giants (Super Bowl XLVI) 2012 Baltimore Ravens (Super Bowl XLVII)
Recap – Like the NBA my team the Kansas City Chiefs have made the AFC Championship once and that was in 1993, which has been the closest they’ve been.
Super Bowl titles since 1983: 4 – San Francisco 49ers (Super Bowl XVIX, XXIII, XXIV, XXIX), New York Giants (Super Bowl XXI, XXV, XLII, XLVI), 3 – Dallas Cowboys (Super Bowl, XXVII, XXVIII, XXX), New England Patriots (Super Bowl XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX), 2 – Denver Broncos (Super Bowl XXXII, XXXIII), Pittsburgh Steelers (Super Bowl XL, XLIII), Green Bay Packers (Super Bowl XXXI, XLV), 1 – Los Angeles Raiders (Super Bowl XVIII), Washington Redskins (Super Bowl XXII), St. Louis Rams (XXXIV), Baltimore Ravens (XXXV), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Super Bowl XXXVII), Indianapolis Colts (Super Bowl XLI), New Orleans Saints (XLIV). 14 difference franchises have won a Super Bowl over the last thirty seasons with the 49ers, Giants, Cowboys, Patriots, Broncos, Steelers and Packers winning multiple over this span.


As a San Jose Sharks fan I’m still waiting for them to hoist the cup.

National Hockey League – Like the NBA the NHL season used to end in May so instead of using the 1982-83 season the champion recognized will be from the 1983-84 season.
Stanley Cup Champions: 1984 Edmonton Oilers, 1985 Edmonton Oilers, 1986 Montreal Canadians, 1987 Edmonton Oilers, 1988 Edmonton Oilers, 1989 Calgary Flames, 1990 Edmonton Oilers, 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins, 1992 Pittsburgh Penguins, 1993 Montreal Canadians, 1994 New York Rangers, 1995 New Jersey Devils, 1996 Colorado Avalanche, 1997 Detroit Red Wings, 1998 Detroit Red Wings, 1999 Dallas Stars, 2000 New Jersey Devils, 2001 Colorado Avalanche, 2002 Detroit Red Wings, 2003 New Jersey Devils, 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning, 2005 NHL Strike no season, 2006 Carolina Hurricanes, 2007 Anaheim Ducks, 2008 Detroit Red Wings, 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins, 2010 Chicago Blackhawks, 2011 Boston Bruins, 2012 Los Angeles Kings
Recap – I root for the San Jose Sharks and they made a handful of conference finals with the most recent coming in 2011 so I’m still waiting on them to lift the Cup.
Stanley Cup Champions Since 1983-84 season: 4 – Edmonton Oilers (1984, ’85, ’87, ’88), Detroit Red Wings (1997, ’98, ’02, ’08), 3 – Pittsburgh Penguins (1991, ’92, ’09), New Jersey Devils (1995, ’00, ’03), 2 – Montreal Canadians (1986, ’93), Colorado Avalanche (1996, ’01), 1 – Calgary Flames (1989), New York Rangers (1994), Dallas Stars (1999), Tampa Bay Lightning (2004), Carolina Hurricanes (2006), Anaheim Ducks (2007), Chicago Blackhawks (2010), Boston Bruins (2011), Los Angeles Kings (2012). 15 franchises have hoisted the Stanley Cup since the 1983-84 season with Edmonton and Detroit having done so four times apiece, Pittsburgh and New Jersey have three in this time with Montreal/Colorado doing it twice while nine teams have one title.

NCAA Baseball National Champions – The 1983 College World Series ended on my grandpa’s birthday of 1983 which is June 11 so it just slips in under what I’m looking for.
College World Series Winners: 1983 Texas Longhorns, 1984 Cal State Fullerton Titans, 1985 Miami (FL) Hurricanes, 1986 Arizona Wildcats, 1987 Stanford Cardinal, 1988 Stanford Cardinal, 1989 Wichita State Shockers, 1990 Georgia Bulldogs, 1991 LSU Tigers, 1992 Pepperdine Waves, 1993 LSU Tigers, 1994 Oklahoma Sooners, 1995 Cal State Fullerton Titans, 1996 LSU Tigers, 1997 LSU Tigers, 1998 Southern California Trojans, 1999 Miami (FL) Hurricanes, 2000 LSU Tigers, 2001 Miami (FL) Hurricanes, 2002 Texas Longhorns, 2003 Rice Owls, 2004 Cal State Fullerton Titans, 2005 Texas Longhorns, 2006 Oregon State Beavers, 2007 Oregon State Beavers, 2008 Fresno State Bulldogs, 2009 LSU Tigers, 2010 South Carolina Gamecocks, 2011 South Carolina Gamecocks, 2012 Arizona Wildcats
Recap – Creighton made an appearance in the 1991 College World Series while Nebraska made the 2001, ’02, ’05 CWS. I have seen Stanford and Cal State Fullerton succeed in Omaha since I’ve regularly started attending.
National Champions since 1983 season: 6 – LSU Tigers (1991, ’93, ’96, ’97, ’00, ’09), 3 – Texas Longhorns (1983, ’02, ’05), Cal State Fullerton Titans (1984, ’95, ’04), Miami (FL) Hurricanes (1985, ’99, ’01), 2 – Arizona Wildcats (1986, ’12), Stanford Cardinal (1987, ’88), Oregon State Beavers (2006, ’07), South Carolina Gamecocks (2010, ’11), 1 – Wichita State Shockers (1989), Georgia Bulldogs (1990), Pepperdine Waves (1992), Oklahoma Sooners (1995), Southern California Trojans (1998), Rice Owls (2004), Fresno State Bulldogs (2008). In college baseball 15 different programs have won the College World Series since 1983, LSU leads the way with six while Texas, Cal State Fullerton and Miami (FL) have three each with Arizona, Stanford, Oregon State and South Carolina winning two in the same period while seven have a single title.

NCAA Basketball National Champions – We start with the 1983-84 season like we’ve done with other sports on my list.
Final Four Winners: 1984 Georgetown Hoyas, 1985 Villanova Wildcats, 1986 Louisville Cardinals, 1987 Indiana Hoosiers, 1988 Kansas Jayhawks, 1989 Michigan Wolverines, 1990 UNLV Running Rebels, 1991 Duke Blue Devils, 1992 Duke Blue Devils, 1993 North Carolina Tar Heels, 1994 Arkansas Razorbacks, 1995 UCLA Bruins, 1996 Kentucky Wildcats, 1997 Arizona Wildcats, 1998 Kentucky Wildcats, 1999 Connecticut Huskies, 2000 Michigan State Spartans, 2001 Duke Blue Devils, 2002 Maryland Terrapins, 2003 Syracuse Orangemen, 2004 Connecticut Huskies, 2005 North Carolina Tar Heels, 2006 Florida Gators, 2007 Florida Gators, 2008 Kansas Jayhawks, 2009 North Carolina Tar Heels, 2010 Duke Blue Devils, 2011 Connecticut Huskies, 2012 Kentucky Wildcats, 2013 Louisville Cardinals
Recap – Sure Creighton has a handful of victories in the NCAA tournament during this time but Nebraska has yet to win a game during March Madness.
National Champions since 1983-84 season: 4 – Duke Blue Devils (1991, ’92, ’01, ’10), 3 – North Carolina Tar Heels (1993, ’05, ’09), Kentucky Wildcats (1996, ’98, ’12), Connecticut Huskies (1999, ’04, ’11), 2 – Kansas Jayhawks (1988, ’08), Florida Gators (2006, ’07), 1 – Georgetown Hoyas (1984), Villanova Wildcats (1985), Louisville Cardinals (1986, ‘13), Indiana Hoosiers (1987), Michigan Wolverines (1989), UNLV Running Rebels (1990), Arkansas Razorbacks (1994), UCLA Bruins (1995), Michigan State Spartans (2000), Maryland Terrapins (2002), Syracuse Orangemen (2003). Duke leads the way with four national championships since the 83-84 season with North Carolina, Kentucky and UConn with three titles each in the multiple title club are Kansas/Florida with 11 teams having won a single title.

NCAA Football National Champions – The 1983 national champion was crowns on New Year’s Day 1984 so the first team on the list will be from that season.
National Champion (Division 1/Football Bowl Subdivision): 1983 Miami (FL) Hurricanes, 1984 BYU Cougars, 1985 Oklahoma Sooners, 1986 Penn State Nittany Lions, 1987 Miami (FL) Hurricanes, 1988 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 1989 Miami (FL) Hurricanes, 1990 Colorado Buffaloes/Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 1991 Miami (FL) Hurricanes/Washington Huskies, 1992 Alabama Crimson Tide, 1993 Florida State Seminoles, 1994 Nebraska Cornhuskers, 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers, 1996 Florida Gators, 1997 Michigan Wolverines/Nebraska Cornhuskers, 1998 Tennessee Volunteers, 1999 Florida State Seminoles, 2000 Oklahoma Sooners, 2001 Miami (FL)Hurricanes, 2002 Ohio State Buckeyes, 2003 LSU Tigers/Southern California Trojans, 2004 Southern California Trojans, 2005 Texas Longhorns, 2006 Florida Gators, 2007 LSU Tigers, 2008 Florida Gators, 2009 Alabama Crimson Tide, 2010 Auburn Tigers, 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide, 2012 Alabama Crimson Tide
Recap – I love college baseball which teams I support have had a good amount of success but college football is also one of my loves and since 1983 Nebraska has won three national titles and played for a few others. We love this sport in the Good Life and love the Huskers who’ve been successful over the past 30 seasons.
National Champions since 1983 season: 5 – Miami (FL) Hurricanes (1983, ’87, ’89, ’91, ’01), 4 – Alabama Crimson Tide (1992, ’09, ’11, ’12), 3 – Nebraska Cornhuskers (1994, ’95, ’97), Florida Gators (1996, ’06, ’08), 2 – Oklahoma Sooners (1985, ’00), Florida State Seminoles (1993, ’99), LSU Tigers (2003, ’07), Southern California Trojans (2003, ’04), 1 – BYU Cougars (1984), Penn State Nittany Lions (1986), Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1988), Colorado Buffaloes (1990), Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1990), Washington Huskies (1991), Michigan Wolverines (1997), Tennessee Volunteers (1998), Ohio State Buckeyes (2002), Auburn Tigers (2010). 18 teams have won or claimed a piece of a national championship since the 1983 season with Miami (FL) winning five, Alabama four, Nebraska/Florida three with Oklahoma, Florida State, LSU and USC having won two during this time while 10 other schools have one title.

Teams in BOLD represent teams that I’ve been a fan of when I took a rooting interest in sports, here is refresher on those teams MLB: Kansas City Royals, NBA: Phoenix Suns, NFL: Kansas City Chiefs, NHL: San Jose Sharks, NCAA Baseball: Creighton Bluejays/Cal State Fullerton Titans/Nebraska Cornhuskers/Stanford Cardinal, NCAA Basketball: Creighton Bluejays/Nebraska Cornhuskers, NCAA Football: Nebraska Cornhuskers

Yes, I’ve got multiple teams in college athletics which will lead to some taking exception with but it is what it is the saying. For clarity in NCAA baseball and basketball I go with my hometown of Omaha first which are the Creighton Bluejays should these teams meet in the championship since I went to division II Nebraska-Kearney. Thanks and I wonder what this will look at the next time I do a list like this.

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2013 Posts: 152

WWE Royal Rumble Winners 1988-2012

Tonight is the 26th annual Royal Rumble and will take place in Phoenix, Arizona at the US Airways Center. This 30-man over the top battle royal is the pay per view before Wrestlemania. The winner of the event will get the opportunity to face either the WWE or World Heavyweight Champion at Wrestlemania XXIX on April 7 at MetLife Stadium located in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Here are all previous Rumble winners –

Year       Winner                                 Entry into Rumble            Location/Venue
1988       Hacksaw Jim Duggan      13*                                         Hamilton, Ontario/Copps Coliseum
1989       Big John Studd                  27                                           Houston, Texas/The Summit
1990       Hulk Hogan                         25                                           Orlando, Florida/Orlando Arena
1991       Hulk Hogan                         24                                           Miami, Florida/Miami Arena
1992       Ric Flair                                 3                                              Albany, New York/Knickerbocker Arena
1993       Yokozuna                            27                                           Sacramento, California/ARCO Arena
1994       Bret Hart/Lex Luger        27/23                                     Providence Rhode Island/Providence Civic Center
1995       Shawn Michaels               1                                              Tampa Bay, Florida/USF Sun Dome
1996       Shawn Michaels               18                                           Fresno, California/Selland Arena
1997       Steve Austin                      5                                              San Antonio, Texas/Alamodome
1998       Steve Austin                      24                                           San Jose, California/San Jose Arena
1999       Vince McMahon               2                                              Anaheim, California/Arrowhead Pond
2000       The Rock                              24                                           New York, New York/Madison Square Garden
2001       Steve Austin                      27                                           New Orleans, Louisiana/New Orleans Arena
2002       Triple H                                 22                                           Atlanta, Georgia/Philips Arena
2003       Brock Lesner                      29                                           Boston, Massachusetts/Fleet Center
2004       Chris Benoit                        1                                              Philadelphia, Pennslyvania/Wachovia Center
2005       Batista                                  28                                           Fresno, California/Save Mart Center
2006       Rey Mysterio                     2                                              Miami, Florida/American Airlines Arena
2007       The Undertaker               30                                           San Antonio, Texas/AT&T Center
2008       John Cena                           30                                           New York, New York/Madison Square Garden
2009       Randy Orton                      8                                              Detroit, Michigan/Joe Louis Arena
2010       Edge                                      29                                           Atlanta Georgia/Philips Arena
2011       Alberto Del Rio                  38**                                      Boston, Massachusetts/TD Garden
2012       Sheamus                             22                                           St. Louis, Missouri/Scottrade Center

Most Rumble Victories –
3: Steve Austin 3 (1997, 1998, 2001)
2: Hulk Hogan (1990, 1991), Shawn Michaels (1995, 1996)

Longest Time Spent in the Royal Rumble –
1:02:12 – Rey Mysterio (2006)
1:01:30 – Chris Benoit (2004)
1:01:10 – Bob Backlund (1993)
1:00:09 – Triple H (2006)
0:59:36 – Ric Flair (1992)
0:56:38 – Steve Austin (1999)
0:56:38 – Vince McMahon (1999)
0:54:49 – Kane (2001)
0:52:17 – Rick Martel (1991)
0:51:32 – The Rock (1998)

Shortest Time Spent in the Royal Rumble –
0:00:01.9 – Santino Marella (2009)
0:00:02 – The Warlord (1989)
0:00:03 – Mo (1995)
0:00:03 – Owen Hart (1995)
0:00:04 – Bushwhacker Luke (1991)
0:00:04 – Jerry Lawler (1997)
0:00:07 – Gillberg (1999)
0:00:07 – The Miz (2007)
0:00:07 – Montel Vontavious Porter (2010)
0:00:10 – Tazz (2001)

* = Rumble had 20 participants
** = Rumble had 30 participants

More information at WWE.com and here, official entrants

See you on Monday and enjoy your weekend! Thanks for reading Four Quarters! Follow me on twitter @MikeVmos

2013 Posts: 38

Happy New Year from 4Quarters!

Closed for New Year’s Day because like you we’re hanging out ringing in the New Year and watching football all day.


I like other bowls but today the Rose Bowl in the one I always make sure to watch.  Photo by Rose Bowl Game facebook.

Here are our today’s 4Quarter Bowl Picks

Follow us on twitter @MikeVmos and @Jerrydpxp86

2013 Posts: 2

Merry Christmas from 4Quarters!

Closed for Christmas! Merry Christmas from us!

Follow us on twitter @MikeVmos and @Jerrydpxp86

Olympic Host Cities

With the 2012 Olympics set to begin in London, England I thought that I’d list the previous hosts of the games. This is the 30th summer Olympics so here is your list of country’s and such.

The Olympics are in London this year so here is the full list

Year       City/Country                                     Dates (Opening/Closing)              Summer/Winter               Continent

1896       Athens, Greece                                August 6-15                                         Summer I                           Europe
1900       Paris, France                                   May 14-October 28                           Summer II                         Europe
1904       St. Louis, Missouri                        July 1-November 23                         Summer III                       North America
1908       London, England                           April 27-October 31                         Summer IV                        Europe
1912       Stockholm, Sweden                       May 5-July 22                                     Summer V                          Europe
1916       Berlin, Germany                             Cancelled due to WWI                      Summer VI                        Europe
1920       Antwerp, Belgium                         April 20-September 12                   Summer VII                       Europe
1924       Chamonix, France                        January 25-February 4                   Winter I                                Europe
1924       Paris, France                                   May 4-July 27                                     Summer VIII                     Europe
1928       St. Moritz, Switzerland                February 11-19                                  Winter II                              Europe
1928       Amsterdamn, Netherlands        May 17-August 12                            Summer IX                          Europe
1932       Lake Placid, New York                February 4-15                                    Winter III                             North America
1932       Los Angeles, California               July 30-August 14                             Summer X                           North America
1936       Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany February 6-16                          Winter IV                           Europe
1936       Berlin, Germany                             August 1-16                                        Summer XI                          Europe
1940       Sapporo, Japan                              Cancelled due to WWII                  Winter V                               Asia
1940       Tokyo, Japan                                   Cancelled due to WWII                  Summer XII                       Asia
1944       Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy           Cancelled due to WWII                  Winter V                               Europe
1944       London, England                           Cancelled due to WWII                  Summer XIII                       Europe
1948       St. Moritz, Switzerland                January 30-February 8                   Winter V                              Europe
1948       London, England                           July 29-Auguest 14                          Summer XIV                       Europe
1952       Oslo, Norway                                  February 14-25                                  Winter VI                             Europe
1952       Helsinki, Finland                           July 19-August 3                               Summer XV                        Europe
1956       Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy          January 26-February 5                 Winter VII                            Europe
1956       Melbourne, Australia                 November 22-December 8          Summer XVI                       Australia
1956       Stockholm, Sweden                     June 10-17                                          “                     “                          Europe
1960       Squaw Valley, New York          February 18-28                                Winter VIII                          North America
1960       Rome, Italy                                    August 25-September 11              Summer XVII                      Europe
1964       Innsbruck, Austria                      January 29-February 9                   Winter IX                             Europe
1964       Tokyo, Japan                                 October 10-24                                   Summer XVIII                     Asia
1968       Grenoble, France                         February 6-18                                    Winter X                               Europe
1968       Mexico City, Mexico                  October 12-27                                   Summer XIX                        North America
1972       Sapporo, Japan                            February 3-13                                    Winter XI                             Asia
1972       Munich, W. Germany                 August 26-September 11              Summer XX                        Europe
1976       Innsbruck, Austria                     February 4-15                                    Winter XII                            Europe
1976       Montreal, Quebec                       July 17-August 1                               Summer XXI                       North America
1980       Lake Placid, New York              February 14-23                                  Winter XIII                          North America
1980       Moscow, Soviet Union              July 19-August 3                               Summer XXII                      Europe
1984       Sarajevo, Yugoslavia                 February 7-19                                    Winter XIV                          Europe
1984       Los Angeles, California              July 28-August 12                             Summer XXIII                    North America
1988       Calgary, Alberta, Canada          February 13-28                               Winter XV                           North America
1988       Seoul, South Korea                      September 17-October 2              Summer XXIV                    Asia
1992       Albertville, France                      February 8-23                                    Winter XVI                          Europe
1992       Barcelona, Spain                           July 25-August 9                               Summer XXV                     Europe
1994       Lillehammer, Norway                February 12-27                                  Winter XVII                         Europe
1996       Atlanta, Georgia                            July 19-August 4                               Summer XXVI                    North America
1998       Nagano, Japan                               February 7-22                                    Winter XVIII                       Asia
2000       Sidney, Australia                        September 15-October 1              Summer XXVII                   Australia
2002       Salt Lake City, Utah                    February 8-24                                    Winter XIX                          North America
2004       Athens, Greece                            August 13-29                                      Summer XXVIII                 Europe
2006       Turin, Italy                                    February 10-26                                  Winter XX                            Europe
2008       Beijing, China                               August 8-24                                        Summer XXIX                    Asia
2010       Vancouver, BC, Canada            February 12-28                                  Winter XXI                          North America
2012       London, England                         July 27-August 12                             Summer XXX                      Europe

What A No-Hitter Means To A Met Fan

By Jerry Durney

On Friday night, Johan Santana did what Met fans both my age and much, much older thought they would never see as he threw the first no-hitter in Mets history in 8-0 win over the Cardinals. In a vacuum, a nice accomplishment for a franchise that had dubiously gone into its 51st season without a no-no and for a pitcher capping his long road back after years’ worth of injuries. But for Met fans, this night means so much more than that.

Of the many jokes the Mets have become over the last 5 years, the franchise’s lack of a no-hitter may be the only one they could laugh at. It had become a routine for fans to point out when the streak would continue, even after a leadoff single in the first inning, thanks to the new world of social media and websites like the very funny and informative nonohitters.com. As it can be so often in baseball, these things happen because of dumb luck or some would believe fate, or even both. Coming into Friday, the Mets had thrown 35 one-hitters in their history, none more famous than Tom Seaver’s brush with history on July 9, 1969. By any standard, Seaver was throwing one of the best games ever pitched as he was 2 outs away from a perfect game against the Chicago Cubs. Up stepped Jimmy Qualls, a backup outfielder who went on to play two more seasons in the majors, have a career .223 average, no home runs and exactly 10 RBI. Qualls then knocked a single to left to end Seaver’s bid and until recently, remained the most memorable close call. Here’s what I mean when I talk about what this streak means to Met fans: there isn’t one Cub fan who could tell you who Jimmy Qualls is, but EVERY Met fan is very aware of his existence.

Some believed there was a curse against the franchise following an ill-fated trade on December 10, 1971. In his first five years in the major leagues, Nolan Ryan had some promising moments as a starter but constantly battled command issues. Met management became convinced that he would never overcome them and traded him to the California Angels for all-star shortstop Jim Fregosi, whose career did an immediate nosedive upon arriving in Queens. What did Ryan do? Throw 7 no-hitters over the course of the next 21 years.

Many more close but not quites would occur in the next 40+ years from the likes of Dwight Gooden, David Cone, John Matlack, Gary Gentry and more recently with John Maine, Jonathon Niese and R.A. Dickey. Many believed that the Mets would never throw a no-hitter after the franchise traded away the king of them.

Simply put, the streak was something that was as much a part of Met culture as “Meet The Mets” or the home run apple. As silly or ignominious as it might have been, it was something that was ours, whether we wanted it or not.

Fate was on my side Friday night, I was slated to call a minor league baseball game but it was rained out. Even in a best case scenario with a short game, there’s absolutely no way I would’ve been able to make it home in time to see history. I ended up doing a one-hour show from my station’s studio. On my way home, at a stoplight, I saw on the ScoreCenter app that the Mets were up 6-0 in the 6th. Of course, in my excitement of seeing them taking it to the defending champs, I went to check the box score and saw J. Santana: 6 IP, 0 H. My first immediate thought was “WHOAAAAAA! NO WAY!…..wait, wait, wait, I’m not falling for the banana in the tailpipe again. Good that Johan’s doing this but it ain’t happening.” Still, I did about 10-15 MPH over the speed limit to get back home. You know, just in case it was still happening.

I arrived home shortly after Mike Baxter’s rib-splitting catch (http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=21940177&c_id=nym) in the 7th and that’s when the thought first entered my mind. Every no-hitter has to have that Dewyane Wise/Rusty Greer moment where an improbable defensive play keeps it alive. Side note: I would bet every dollar I’ve ever made that that ball would’ve gone over Jason Bay’s head for a double.

The game kind of encapsulated what it means to be a Met fan. You keep your guard up because you know the gutpunch is probably coming, but you keep just enough faith in case the glory comes.

And to those of you complaining about Adrian Johnson’s missed call of a would-be Carlos Beltran single in the sixth inning: Really? Really? You can’t let it slide this one time? As we saw with Baxter catch, you need a little luck with these things. Besides, after 50+ years of almost, the Mets deserved one of these breaks, so you can place an asterisk next to it if you want, but I’ll tell you I don’t care.

When the Cardinals came to bat, I had my family stay in the exact spot they were sitting in, while I was rocking back and forth like Leo Mazzone. In the meantime, I paced around my house like an expecting dad while rubbing my head Roy Hodgson style (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aav46Lek0Rs).

Before the 9th, I called my cousin and I said, if this is going to happen, it has to be like this, where Santana was slated to face Matt Holliday, Allen Craig and David Freese. So many no-hit close calls have been ruined by the likes of Qualls, LeRon Lee, Kit Pellow and Paul Hoover. This time, it would be three guys who played an integral role in a world championship. It’s destiny that it would be the 3-4-5 spots of one of the best hitting teams in the league, the impossible final level in a video game if you will.

Five of the final six outs were near break-down inducing. Tyler Greene’s bleeder into left to start the 8th nearly caused a collision between Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Omar Quintanilla. Carlos Beltran nearly split the infield but the defensively-challenged but lovable Daniel Murphy caught it on the run to end the inning. Holliday and Craig hit floaters to center and left respectively that held up just long enough to be caught for outs #25 and 26.

Then it came down to World Series hero David Freese. Terrifying. I’m hyperventilating at this point as the count runs to 3-2. The SportsNet New York camera does no favors as they pan to the on-deck circle where Yadier Molina, the man who crushed our championship dreams in 2006, on deck. It was at that point, I started shouting “please God, no, it can’t be (freaking) Molina!!!!” When strike 3 hit Josh Thole’s glove, I leapt up and down continuously 7 feet high, 40 feet across my living room shouting “HE DID IT! HE DID IT! HE DID IT!”

Which leads us to the man who made the seemingly impossible possible.

There was much discussion going into the ’07-08 offseason as to how the Mets would address the glaring hole at the top of the rotation. They needed a man who they could depend on every fifth day, the stopper if you will, something they sorely lacked the previous September. Pedro Martinez was dinged up once again going into the final year of his contract with the team and Tom Glavine exiled after the legendary choke job he committed on the final day of the regular season to cost the Mets the NL East title and then treating it like a business presentation afterwards. Johan Santana’s name was the one most discussed as it appeared Minnesota was willing to trade the 2-time Cy Young Award winner with his contract set to expire following the ’08 season and having nowhere near the money he was set to earn on the free agent market.

Met fans, as you’ll see again later, treated this with guarded optimism. The team couldn’t compare with the major league talent or prospects that the Yankees or Boston were willing to trade for him, but still they had a chance. Fortunately, Twins GM Terry Ryan couldn’t pull the trigger and eventually started to get desperate. That desperation led to the Twins giving away Santana for Carlos Gomez (now in Milwaukee), Phillip Humber (who, ironically threw a perfect game earlier this year, on his 3rd team since Minnesota), Kevin Mulvey (who retired on May 26th) and Deolis Guerra (now a reliever in Triple-A). For all the flack Omar Minaya rightly deserves for his time as Mets General Manager, give him credit for that heist. The deal almost fell apart as the Mets had trouble negotiating Johan’s contract extension in the 72-hour window MLB had allotted them. When it came down that the deal was official, it was like Christmas morning for Mets fans. Wait, it’s a real life ace? For us? We get to keep him? AWESOME! Everyone believed he was the piece that would bring them their first world championship since 1986.

I went to Johan’s first start as a Met on March 31, 2008 in Miami against the Marlins. He dominated over seven innings, giving up three hits, two runs and striking out 8 in a 7-2 Met win. One of the things I remember from that day was the last song I heard on the radio as I pulled into Dolphin Stadium. The song was “Superstar” by Lupe Fiasco, its chorus goes like this:

If you are what you say are, a superstar, then have no fear, the crowd is here and the lights are on and they want a show.

Given the hopes and expectations Mets fans had for him and everything that comes with being an ace in New York City, Johan, when healthy, has been the superstar we all thought he’d be and Friday night was his best show to say the least.

His first year in NY was a major success for him going 16-7, a 2.53 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 206 strikeouts in 234 1/3 innings pitched. He also left 7 different games as the winning pitcher of record but thanks to the semi-pro bullpen that’s plagued the Mets post-2006, those were all wiped out. His finest performance coming in Game 161 with the Mets needing a win to remain tied for the wild card lead. Santana, on three days rest, pitched arguably one of the greatest games in Met history: A complete game 3-hit shutout in a 2-0 Mets win. Of course, the rest of the club saw Johan’s example and proceeded to do the exact opposite the next day and complete a second straight September fade.

Weeks later, it would be learned that Santana pitched that game (and at least his previous start) with a torn meniscus in his left knee. At no point during the injury did he complain or give himself an excuse to fall back on if he came up short. He thought “I was brought here to win these games and if I don’t go out there and do my job, we will lose.” Simply put, as I will point out later, he got what it meant to pitch for this fan base. Upon that revelation, I decided that no matter what happened from there on out, he would have my utmost respect as a fan.

The next few seasons would be bittersweet. In 2009, Santana would go 13-9 with a 3.13 ERA but his season was ended in late August after having to undergo arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips in his left elbow as the Mets championship window slammed shut and they finished dead last in the NL East at 70-92. He would return to form from the start in 2010, going 11-9 (should’ve had more but was routinely betrayed by an underwhelming offense) with a 2.98 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 4 complete games. However, his season would once again be halted early by injury, and this one would be much more fearful, as he would undergo surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder in mid-September. The effects of the surgery would linger well into 2011 as there were several rounds of false hope of his imminent return, as well as stop and go rehab stints ultimately costing him the entire season.

Several whispers began to develop not only in the media, but the Met fan base as to whether he would ever pitch again. Even more, the bust label was starting to be tossed around and that he wasn’t deserving of the 7-year, $137.5 million contract he signed to come to Queens. Simply absurd. A bust who is someone who struggles and doesn’t care that they’re falling short of expectations. Bobby Bonilla was a bust, Mo Vaughn was a bust, Jason Bay IS a bust. Johan was unfortunate. As the stats above indicate, when out there and healthy, he was still every bit the pitcher we saw in Minnesota.

As the possibility of the no-hitter grew throughout the night, the more I kept thinking it has to be Johan who breaks the streak, for all that he’s gone through to get to this point, it needs to be him. When it finally happened, I wanted to re-enact the moment at 12:43:

What makes this so special is that Johan always cared about the fans and always felt like he was cheating us by not being out there. The best moment immediately following the no-hitter was Johan in the post-game interview saying to the Citi Field crowd “I’m very happy for you guys”. All we ever ask of our athletes is to give maximum effort and be appreciative of the fans. The fact that Johan Santana has exemplified both to the best of his ability, it made Friday night’s accomplishment mean just a little a bit more and why June 1, 2012 is one of the greatest days of my sporting fan life.

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