Aircheck: WABC Radio (New York), 7/13/1971

With some added computer hobby time with my newfound exclusion of Facebook, I thought it’d be a good time to bring back the Saturday “Aircheck” feature.

Howard Cosell would have turned 100 on Sunday.

Not too much tape exists of his “Speaking Of Sports” broadcasts that aired several times daily over the ABC radio network. Here is one such clip of the “The Gifted One” the day of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game of that year, famous for Reggie Jackson’s bodacious home run blast that hit Tiger Stadium’s roof.


Flashback: “Do You Know What I Mean” by Lee Michaels

I thought for sure this was a song from the 1960s. Nope. It was released in the summer of 1971, peaking at #6 on the Billboard charts.

Probably heard this one in my womb, being born in September of that year.

Let’s Try This Again


Maybe it’s possible I had the right idea a bit too early, but I’m going to try it again. I’m going to try again to part ways with Facebook in light of the most recent news headlines concerning how OUR information has been sold to third-parties by the social media organization.

Common sense dictates you don’t trust a fox with a henhouse, so why trust the same fox (Mark Zuckerburg) with the same henhouse (us) over and over?

The last time I tried this, I lasted 11 days. I don’t think I’ve ever talked about what triggered my return. Basically, when I “tapped out” on March 10th, I made the mistake of logging into Facebook. When you look at the scores of notifications that accumulate in ten days and see how “life goes on” somehow without you on there, it creates a sense of belonging and a desire to get back in with the in-crowd of “cool people” on Facebook.

Hopefully, I learn from my mistake this time. I started a new Instagram account, and I think I’ll keep that around so those looking for me have a means to find me.

Urban Myths Of My Youth


I was in the seventh grade in 1984, and on one spring Thursday morning I picked on a green shirt and walked to my bus stop. The only problem is that one of the girls at my bus stop needled me over it to no end.

“If you wear green on Thursday,” she sneered, “it means you’re a horny bastard.”

I tend to take things said as they’re literally said unless someone lets me in on the joke. So, I sat on the bus heading to Largo Middle, wondering why this geeky girl was casting aspersions as to whether or not I was conceived in our out of the wedlock of my parents? It just didn’t make sense to me.

There was another big urban legend of my childhood, and come to think of it, this one doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense looking back at it, either. You have to remember that this was back in the 1980s when tight-fitting pants were still the rage. The “myth” (for a lack of a better term) was that the more a girl’s butt formed a reverse “U” in tight pants, it would mean that it was more likely the girl you were looking at wasn’t a virgin.

Crazy, right?

Just remember, don’t kill the messenger. This was the stuff we thought up to keep ourselves occupied. We didn’t have cell phones and social media to keep us occupied, so we had these myths that didn’t really make a lot of sense.

Breaking Backboards

Another feel-good story emanating from the NCAA basketball tournament is that of Loyola of Chicago’s Ramblers. They’ve now made the “Sweet 16” phase of the tournament with wins over Miami of Florida and Tennessee, making a folk hero out of 98-year-old Sister Jean, perhaps the biggest fan of the Ramblers there is.

Loyola’s no stranger to the NCAA tournament, actually winning the whole shebang in 1963 defeating then basketball powerhouse Cincinnati. My first memories of seeing the school play go back to watching them play on WGN in 1979 against Bradley and watching a forward named Kevin Sprewer.

In late 1979, there was a lot of talk about dunking the ball so hard that the glass backboards holding the rims in place were breaking. Darryl Dawkins of the Philadelphia 76ers had famously broken two backboards, one in Kansas City versus the Kings, then again a few weeks later when the Sixers entertained San Antonio.

The dunk against Kansas City was and remains the most impressive dunk I’ve ever seen, not only breaking the backboard but shattering all of the glass entirely. The rim somewhat remained intact: I guess it was somehow bolted to its support base.

Move ahead to Christmas time of 1979 and this Loyola-Bradley game. Loyola forward Kevin Sprewer stole a pass and went in for the point-blank dunk shot. Off came the rim as the glass backboard crystalized, signifying it’s newly found redundancy. It’s the first and only time I’ve ever seen a dunk break a backboard either in person or on TV as it happened. The game was held up as a new goal could be found and assembled.

The eight-year-old version of myself watched in awe, and to be honest, a bit horrified. All those of shards of glass from these broken backboards could hurt somebody, I must have thought. Over the next few years, technology allowed stronger rims were constructed, making backboard shattering a bit of a lost art, thankfully. There was the talk of the NCAA once again banning the dunk shot as they did in the 1960s, but nothing ever came of that. The art of dunking proved popular, and college basketball would soon be riding the wave of popularity they still enjoy here in 2018.

Once in a while, you see a high school or a college player shatter a backboard and getting their 15 minutes of fame. Let them have it. I still say the dunk “Chocolate Thunder” pulled off in Kansas City was the greatest of them all.


One? Done!


Cross another item off of my sports bucket list. I lived long enough to see a 16 seed beat a 1 seed in the men’s NCAA hoops tournament.

When I think of the greatest three upsets in American sports history, three events usually come to mind. The United States defeating the Soviets in a medal round game in the 1980 Winter Olympics, Mike Tyson getting knocked out to lose the heavyweight boxing title to Buster Douglas in 1990, and Virginia;s loss to Chaminade in a 1982 college basketball game when Virginia had a dominant team led by Ralph Sampson. Ironically, UMBC’s stunning win replaces Virginia’s loss to Chaminade on that list for me.

It was such a big upset, I missed watching it. That’s how big it was.

Bravo to UMBC. You’ll be part of sports history forever.