Femmes Fatales Jan 9 2014
SAVAGE GRACE
Jayne Kennedy always took aim at new targets.

Above is a photo of American actress Jayne Kennedy from her hilarious television movie Mysterious Island of Beautiful Women. The shot doesn’t begin to do her justice yet she still looks great in it. Kennedy started in beauty pageants before sliding into television roles and blaxploitation flicks such as The Muthers and Big Time before veering into sports broadcasting in 1978 with The NFL Today. In pageants she was one of the first black women to blaze a trail, winning Miss Ohio in 1970 and making the semis at Miss U.S.A. the same year. In sportscasting she was one of the first women, black or white, to earn a prominent on-camera role, making her a dual trailblazer. Somewhere in there a sex tape leaked to the public, and since it was also one of the first, she can be said to have blazed a trail there too. Both of these shots are from 1979. 

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Sportswire Oct 18 2012
DODGE CITY
Are you ready for some football?

Did you know there was a football team called the Brooklyn Dodgers? This nice little piece of Americana reminds us of that fact. It’s the cover of a program for an NFL game between the Dodgers and the Washington Redskins, played at Ebbets Field today in 1942. The Brooklyn Dodgers football team existed from 1930 to 1944, at which point it became the Brooklyn Tigers for one season, then the next year merged with the Boston Yanks. This move came about due to a decline in the on-field product caused by wartime shortages of players. But before being folded into another franchise and effectively disappearing, the Dodgers helped bring the NFL into the mass media era when its October 22, 1939 game against the Philadelphia Eagles was broadcast on television. That was the first NFL broadcast ever. Another historical note: the unusual Dodgers nickname derives from the fact that through the late 1800s and early 1900s, there were so many trolley lines running through Brooklyn that people from that borough were called “trolley dodgers.” Naturally, this is also the reason the All-America Football Conference team called the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the baseball Brooklyn Dodgers, both adopted the nickname. Of course, baseball’s Dodgers were the first to do so, by decades. Lastly, on the cover is a photo of Frank Kinard, who played for the Dodgers/Tigers and, just to make the whole name thing even more convoluted, played for the New York Yankees of the All-America Football Conference. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971. You can learn plenty more about the Brooklyn Dodgers at the website luckyshow.org.

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Vintage Pulp | Sportswire Nov 11 2010
LEADER OF THE PACK
Paul Hornung was one of the NFL’s greatest players, but he couldn’t outrun the truth.

Above is a Lowdown from November 1963, with stories on Liz Taylor, Jackie Gleason, Inger Stevens, and Green Bay Packers football player Paul Hornung, who had gotten into hot water with the NFL. Hornung enjoyed a fast lifestyle, and had gotten to know other fast people, including a gambler named Barney Shapiro who routinely called asking for inside information to facilitate his betting. Pretty soon, Hornung was betting too, up to $500 a game on both the pros and college. When NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle found out, he suspended Hornung for the 1963 season, which is about when Lowdown weighs in with their “not guilty!” claim. But Lowdown was wrong—Hornung was guilty, and he admitted it. The revelation was a stunner, and became a story so big that ESPN recently rated it the second most shocking sports scandal of all time, surpassed only by the O.J. Simpson murder trial. But Hornung had one thing going for him—he was beloved by football fans. Eager to forgive, they did exactly that when he repented. Convinced of his sincerity, the NFL reinstated Hornung for the 1964 season, and he continued a career that would end in the Hall of Fame. 

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Sportswire Apr 21 2010
BEN THERE, DONE THAT
Wild-eyed southern boy.

Word just came from the NFL commissioner’s office that two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Ben Rothlisberger has been suspended for six games next season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Rothlisberger was accused of sexual assault by a twenty year-old college student, who says Rothlisberger raped her in a nightclub bathroom. He faces no criminal charges, so the policy violation stems from his “poor judgment” in hanging around college bars trying to get young girls to hike his balls. Sigh. It’s a big, interesting world out there, filled with Eiffel Towers, Great Walls, Barrier Reefs, and Machu Picchus, yet guys like Rothlisberger spend their off-seasons playing Gears of War and shooting at deer. Don’t get us wrong—we understand that reaching an elite level of professional athletics eats up a tremendous amount of time and, as a consequence, an equal amount of self-awareness. But there’s unaware and then there’s really unaware. Just as Tiger Woods should have known that being the most famous figure in American sports means affairs will eventually come out, Rothlisberger, who is twenty-eight, should know that putting the make on co-eds is a bad idea. Sure, they look good, and they’re probably not interested in your money, because at that age they think they’re going to be millionaires too one day, but the level of behavior in that environment is a recipe for disaster. Example: one of our college friends once dragged a girl by her heels through a fresh pizza that was lying on the floor. He did it on purpose, when she refused to leave his room. When you aren’t famous, you might get away with something that fucked up and misogynistic. But if Rothlisberger had done it, he’d be in jail right now. That’s why he shouldn’t hang around college students—college isn’t reality. That world is hard to let go, and if you aren’t famous, you don’t have to. But when you’re a millionaire celebrity, let go you must. Big Ben didn’t, and now his team (one of our favorites) will go through three eighths of the upcoming season without him. 

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Sportswire Jul 5 2009
AIR DISASTER
Ex-NFL MVP DOA in Tennessee.

Former NFL quarter- back and one-time league MVP Steve "Air" McNair was found shot dead yesterday in his Nashville, Tennessee condominium. He was slumped on a sofa, with several gunshot wounds—including two to the head. Nearby was the body of 20-year-old Sahel Kazemi, who McNair reportedly knew from a restaurant he often dined at. She had a single gunshot wound to the head, and a weapon was on the floor underneath her.

McNair, 36, who played most of his career with the Tennessee Titans and on the football field was known for his physical style and fearlessness, had been out Friday night, and returned to his condo between 1:30 a.m. and 2:00 Saturday morning. According to witnesses, Kazemi’s car was already there, but it isn’t known yet if she was already at the scene or arrived with McNair. As of now, nobody is thought to have heard any disturbances, so the incident went unreported until the next afternoon, when McNair’s and Kazemi’s bodies were found by acquaintance Wayne Neely, who co-rents the condo.

One last detail of interest—Kazemi was arrested two days earlier for DUI, and at the time was driving a car registered to both her and McNair. McNair was in the vehicle, but was allowed to take a cab home because he had not broken the law. McNair’s wife, Mechell, is said to be very distraught over the news, and according to police is not a suspect in the deaths.

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Mondo Bizarro Nov 24 2008
WHIZZ KIDS
Like all good businessmen they identified a market niche and filled it—with urine.

George Wills and Robert Catalano, the inventors of the infamous Whizzinator 5000, pleaded guilty this week to conspiracy in federal court in Pittsburgh, U.S.A. The Whizzinator is a device designed to help drug users beat detection tests, and became popular quickly after its 2005 unveiling. In one embarrassing incident, NFL running back Onterrio Smith was caught with a Whizzinator at an airport security screening. Wills and Catalano’s company, Puck Technology, sold the Whizzinator for about $250 in five varieties—black, brown, tan, white, and latino. While the device conceivably could be filled with apple Schapps and used to delight college co-eds, it was actually sold with something considerably less palatable—synthetic urine powder. Because of this, the product was deemed illegal in various U.S. jurisdictions under drug paraphernalia laws. Wills and Catalano are to be sentenced next February and face up to eight years in prison, where, lamentably, few of the penises are of the prosthetic variety.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 17
1961—Bay of Pigs Invasion Is Launched
A group of CIA financed and trained Cuban refugees lands at the Bay of Pigs in southern Cuba with the aim of ousting Fidel Castro. However, the invasion fails badly and the result is embarrassment for U.S. president John F. Kennedy and a major boost in popularity for Fidel Castro, and also has the effect of pushing him toward the Soviet Union for protection.
April 16
1943—First LSD Trip Takes Place
Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann, while working at Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, accidentally absorbs lysergic acid diethylamide, better known as LSD, and thus discovers its psychedelic properties. He had first synthesized the substance five years earlier but hadn't been aware of its effects. He goes on to write scores of articles and books about his creation.
April 15
1912—The Titanic Sinks
Two and a half hours after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean on its maiden voyage, the British passenger liner RMS Titanic sinks, dragging 1,517 people to their deaths. The number of dead amount to more than fifty percent of the passengers, due mainly to the fact the liner was not equipped with enough lifeboats.
1947—Robinson Breaks Color Line
African-American baseball player Jackie Robinson officially breaks Major League Baseball's color line when he debuts for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Several dark skinned men had played professional baseball around the beginning of the twentieth century, but Robinson was the first to overcome the official segregation policy called—ironically, in retrospect—the "gentleman's agreement".

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