The Post Reviews 1995 in Sports
December 24, 1995
Number of stories in which the name "Bill Clinton" appeared in The Washington Post in 1995*: 1,513
Number in which the word "Redskins" appeared: 1,242
Number in which the name "O.J. Simpson" appeared: 1,189
Number in which author of crowd-pleasing dunks "Michael Jordan" appeared: 428
Number in which author of crowd-pleasing memoir "Colin Powell" appeared: 410
Number in which "Newt Gingrich" and "Contract with America" appeared: 387
Number in which "Cal Ripken" and "streak" appeared: 211
Number in which "Cleveland Browns" and "move" or "moving" appeared: 117
Number in which rival federal agencies "Office of Management and Budget" and "Congressional Budget Office" appeared: 72
Number in which rival tennis players "Monica Seles" and "Steffi Graf" appeared: 66
Number in which "Bill Gates" and "Windows 95" appeared: 37
* Through December 20, 1995
Top Area High School Stories
(In Chronological Order)
- The Robinson girls basketball team, which had lost twice by at least 20 points to previously unbeaten Madison, defeated the Warhawks, 44-39, in the Virginia AAA final.
- Suziann Reid, the senior All-Met 400-meter specialist from Eleanor Roosevelt, was named the outstanding girls performer at the National Scholastic Indoor track and field championships and the Penn Relays.
- Northeast's All-Met twins Marty (112 pounds) and Mike (119) Kusick finished their wrestling careers by each winning a third consecutive Maryland 2A/1A championship. Their combined four-year record was 253-7-1.
- Damone Boone of West Springfield ran for a Virginia record 500 yards and five TDs on 32 carries in his final game, finishing the season with an area-best 2,635 yards and 30 TDs.
Mickey Mantle's Aug. 13 death of liver cancer, after years of alcohol abuse, marked the sad end of a career that, remarkable as it was, left fans wondering what his full potential might have been.
Howard Cosell, simultaneously loved and hated by millions, died April 23. He revolutionized sports broadcasting by "telling it like it is."
Other notable deaths:
Sergei Grinkov, figure skater.
Joe Blair, area sports publicist.
Bobby Riggs, tennis player.
Pancho Gonzalez, tennis player.
Kiwis Take Cup
After making inflammatory remarks about the first all-women's team in the America's Cup, yachtsman Dennis Conner beat them to advance to the finals against the New Zealanders, above. Conner was then swept in the best-of-11 series by an expert team sailing a technologically superb boat. Conner became the only American to lose the Cup twice.
Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was released from prison on March 25 after serving three years for a rape conviction. On Aug. 20, he returned to boxing, scoring a 89-second knockout of laughingly overmatched Peter McNeeley. Tyson earned $25 million for the bout.
On Sept. 6, Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken broke what many believed to be the unbreakable sports record: Lou Gehrig's 2,130 consecutive games played. The streak, which began on May 30, 1982, was the top story not only in baseball but in all of sports in 1995. The redemptive values Ripken exemplified hard work, humility, team playPprovided a kind of salve for the open wounds left by 1994's baseball strike, which caused the first cancellation of the World Series since 1904. Ripken was a heroic Everyman, the perfect living metaphor of a blue-collar city that puts great value on doing the job the way it ought to be done. After the game became official in the bottom of the fifth inning, cementing the record, adoring fans gave Ripken a 22-minute standing ovation. He responded by taking a victory lap around Camden Yards and shaking hands with and hugging as many fans as he could.
"Tonight, I stand here overwhelmed, as my name is linked with the great and courageous Lou Gehrig. I am truly humbled to have our names spoken in the same breath." — Cal Ripken, Sept. 6, 1995
His Airness Returns
After a season as a mediocre minor league baseball player, Michael Jordan returned to the Chicago Bulls and professional basketball on March 19. After a shaky start, Jordan exploded for 55 points against the Knicks nine days later, silencing naysayers. A secondary source of discussion was Jordan's uniformPwhich number would he wear? The Bulls had retired his old No. 23, which hung from the rafters of Chicago Stadium. When he announced he would wear No. 45 -- his baseball uniform number -- a buying frenzy ensued. Eventually, the Bulls unretired No. 23, which Jordan continues to wear.
Seles' Claim to No. 1
Former No. 1 women's tennis player Monica Seles came back from a two-year hiatus on Aug. 15. She lost to arch-rival Steffi Graf in the final of the U.S. Open.
Whose team is it, anyway?
It is emblematic of the modern era of high-finance, low-loyalty sports--just because the Browns always have been in Cleveland doesn't mean they always will be. On Nov. 6, Browns owner Art Modell shocked the sports world--and sent thousands of Clevelanders into apoplexy--by announcing he was moving his Browns to Baltimore for the 1996 season. Also: The Raiders moved back to Oakland after 13 years, the Rams skipped to St. Louis and the Oilers announced they were leaving Houston for Tennessee. In hockey, the Nordiques left Quebec, got a new name (the Avalanche) and landed in Denver, and the Jets will leave Winnipeg to play in Phoenix next season.
New Arena, New Name, New Logo
Bullets and Capitals owner Abe Pollin broke ground with D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, right, for the $175 million MCI Arena on Oct. 18. Pollin's teams plan to leave USAir Arena for the Chinatown venue in time for the 1997-98 seasons. Also, the Capitals changed logos and uniforms and Pollin, moved by the Nov. 4 handgun assassination of his friend, Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin, vowed to change the Bullets' name when the team moves.
More than just winning a Super Bowl or a World Series, these achievements carried special significance:
The Best Ever?
Atlanta Braves pitcher Greg Maddux made history by winning his fourth consecutive Cy Young Award, establishing him as the most dominating pitcher of this or perhaps any era.
Young Exorcises Ghost of Quarterback Past
San Francisco quarterback Steve Young finally, forcefully stepped from the long shadow of 49ers legend Joe Montana while leading a 49-26 Super Bowl rout of San Diego. Young threw six touchdown passes, eclipsing Montana's Super Bowl record of five. Three months later, Montana removed himself from the picture, retiring after a 16-year career.
Here are some of the year's best examples of bad behavior:
ALBERT BELLE: The Cleveland Indians slugger was fined $100 for reckless operation of a motor vehicle after trying to run down teenagers who pelted his house with eggs on Halloween after Belle refused to pass out treats.
BEN WRIGHT: The CBS golf announcer reportedly said in an interview that "lesbians in the sport hurt women's golf." He also said: "Women are handicapped by having boobs. It's not easy for them to keep their left arms straight."
TIE DOMI: The Toronto Maple Leafs hockey player sucker-punched the Rangers' Ulf Samuelsson, causing him to crack the back of his head on the ice, resulting in a concussion and seven stitches.