Tag Archive | wayne gretzky

Sports Numbers You Need to Know

Simply the best.

Simply the best.

So in honor of Derek Jeter’s historic sendoff last night, I thought I would compile a quick list of these sports stats and numbers you often hear in bar conversations, on Sports Center, and even in rap songs (scroll to :46 for a Jay-Z reference to #5).

So here is a baker’s dozen (and just a FEW–bear with me, I’m writing this on a coaster), so please feel free to comment with other biggies.

I’m listing the numbers first for a little quiz fun, then scroll down for the answers.

Let’s go!

1 — 2

2 — 12th Man

3 — 60 feet, 6 inches

4 — 23

5 — Game 6

6 — 42

7 — 17-0

8 — 158.3

9 — 100

10 — 99

11 — 2,131

12 — 18

13 — Oh let’s go for the baker’s dozen: 1,098. Now you may scroll….


1 — Derek “Captain” Jeter, Yankees shortstop for 20 years, retiring after 2014.

2 — Slogan (with a super cool history) of Texas A&M and Seattle football (and a host of others), meaning the crowd’s noise and support as the additional team member to the 11 on the field.

3 — Distance from professional pitcher mound to home plate.

4 — Michael Jordan’s jersey number.

5 — Famous 1998 NBA Finals game between the Bulls and the Jazz; Bulls won 87–86, their sixth NBA Championship in eight years. It was also the final game with the Bulls for Jordan and coach Phil Jackson. It earned the highest TV ratings of an NBA game of all time. Jordan hit a jump shot with 5.6 seconds left to put the Bulls on top for good 87–86.

6 — Jackie Robinson’s jersey number – first African-American to play in Major League baseball.

7 — Final 1972 record of the Miami Dolphins, still the only fully undefeated NFL season.

8 — A “perfect” passer rating for a quarterback’s game. Stat is calculated using a player’s passing attempts, completions, yards, TDs and interceptions. NFL rates QBs from 0 to 158.3. College football uses a different formula and ranks from -731.6 to 1261.6. (Shrug.)

9 — Number of points Wilt Chamberlain scored in a single game in an NBA win over the Philadelphia Warriors, 169-147, on March 2, 1962. (Another key number: 20,000, the number of women he claims to have bedded.)

10 — Wayne Gretzky’s jersey number, the first ever to be retired league-wide by the NHL.

11 — Number of consecutive games played by the Oriole’s Cal Ripken to surpass Lou Gehrig’s 56-year-old record (2,130).

12 — Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 career major championships.

13 — Number of all-time wins by Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt, before retiring in 2012 due to dementia. She is the only coach in NCAA history, and one of three college coaches overall, with at least 1,000 victories.


I Believe. That We. Will Win. (Even if We Do Not.)

You're good enough, you are smart enough, and doggone it, GO USA!

You’re good enough, you are smart enough, and doggone it, GO USA!

Last year was not a good one for me. By a country mile.

Which is why the simple sentence, “I believe that we will win” got my attention. Its philosophy is one I have worked to consciously emulate after the Year From Hell and Back Again.

Now what began as a random cheerleader chant at an Army-Navy football game two decades ago has spread to become the mantra, the top-decibel declaration of faith by and for the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team.

I can’t think of anything more American than to win during this most patriotic of weeks. But I hope the lesson that we all take from this motto is that it isn’t the winning that comes first—it’s the BELIEVING. That is the important part of the equation. Because without it, winning is not possible. You have to believe.

Listen to me. You. Have. To. Believe.

Yes we are AMURRICANS and we love winners. (And man, do we hate soccer ties.) But what makes a real winner?

Preachers and presidents, psychics and psychiatrists–believe who you want, but in the end they really all are saying the same thing: Pray, State, Declare, Claim what you want, what you deserve, and it will come. BELIEVE.

No it’s not a sports car, or a boyfriend, or even necessarily that job we are sure is perfect for us. It’s showing the Universe that You Are In Charge Of Your Life and demanding to be recognized! The important part is that you try, that you shove—or at least poke—the negative thoughts that storm your mind, and tell them NO. This is my destiny, and I will do everything I can to make it happen.

I have become a begrudging fan of positive affirmations and have them taped around my house like Stuart Smalley. Only mine are Jim Valvano and Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky—so it’s more like Stuart Smalley with muscles. And MVP trophies.

I’ve never understood or enjoyed people who say, halfway through a game, “It’s over, we lose.”

ssbird_swallowing_choking_frogWhy keep playing then? And if you are such a fortune teller, please come to the Tip-Top with me because I need some Lotto numbers.

Anything can happen. The sun can get in a player’s eyes. She can slip on muddy turf. Or maybe like Rudy, you aren’t the underdog you think.

Gretzky was right: 100% of shots not taken don’t score. In other words, whether it’s a game, a work presentation, or just dealing with your goofed-out kids at the supermarket, give it all you have and you will at least respect yourself, and have it from others, for leaving it all on the field.

Or Aisle 6–sometimes, just getting past the Super Sweeties Cereal is your personal Super Bowl. You still did better than Denver last year.

If you buy into the bad stuff, you become it. It’s not hocus-pocus, it’s scientific fact. Studies have shown your brain develops deep neural grooves when the same sad thoughts and behaviors are repeated, kind of like pacing on a worn carpet.

But you can do the same with positive thoughts. Faith. Prayer. Affirmations. BELIEF in whatever form works for you.

You don’t even have to believe 100%; but mathematically, you stand no chance of winning, succeeding, surviving, without at least showing up. If you sit it out, you’ve already lost. It’s like the Monty Hall Problem, but it’s your life.

So don’t ever, ever give up. Believe that you will win. You are good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.

Unless you are beating them. Like Belgium today. Because I believe–it can only hurt if you don’t. USA USA USA!!!!

11 Sports Trivia Answers You Should Know

I have found a new reason for ladies to read my blog. But I warn you, it is not for the timid. It is not pretty. It involves excruciating tests of will. Men and women sacrificing one another for the trophy. Kinda like “The Hunger Games,” but with beer.

100 points yes, and sex with 20,000 women. Is there a Hall of Fame for that?

100 points yes, and sex with 20,000 women. Is there a Hall of Fame for that?


And last night my pal Kathy was the new host, so I showed up for moral support (and half-price wine til 8 pm).

I’ve been to a few of these quiz quells in my time, and I know three things: 1) Gender doesn’t matter; 2) Prizes–and PRIDE–are on the line, and 3) There are ALWAYS sports questions.

And sure enough, last night had plenty. So if you want to fare better at your next trivia game, or holiday party, here’s a sampling of sports questions/answers that are considered fairly common knowledge (or at least according to the writers at DistrictTrivia.com).

I won’t lie, I think I got only about 65%, but I was by myself. (With half-price wine.)

OK here we go (answers below). Enjoy!

  1. How many teams play in the NFL?
  2. How many regular season games do NBA teams play?
  3. What sport has Cooperstown as its Hall of Fame home?
  4. What sporting event has the mint julep as its signature drink?
  5. In golf, what is a sharp bend in the fairway called?
  6. What was the site of the first Muhammad Ali/Joe Frasier fight?
  7. What athlete is the only one to play in both a Super Bowl and a World Series?
  8. Philadelphia’s Wilt Chamberlain scored his historic solo 100 points against what team, in one game, in 1962?
  9. The movie “National Velvet” with Elizabeth Taylor was about what sport?
  10. What athlete has been awarded the most MVPs of any sport?

And the bonus question, my favorite: What pro teams (we covered this for college teams a few months ago) of the four major male U.S. sports (NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA) have mascots that DO NOT end in “s”?

(PS I paraphrased these questions and answers – they belong entirely to DistrictTrivia.com, and any typos are my own.)
******* Scroll down for answers *******


  1. 32
  2. 82
  3. Baseball
  4. Kentucky Derby
  5. “Dogleg”
  6. Madison Square Garden
  7. Deion Sanders
  8. New York Knicks
  9. Horseracing
  10. Wayne Gretzky with 9


NHL: Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche, Tampa Bay Lightning

NBA: Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat

MLB: Red Sox, Chicago White Sox

NFL: None