California Golden Bears
The California Golden Bears are the athletic teams that represent the University of California, Berkeley. Referred to in athletic competition as California or Cal, the university fields 30 varsity athletic programs and various club teams in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I as a member of the Pac-12 Conference, for a limited number of sports as a member of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Over the course of the school's history, California has won team national titles in 13 men's and 3 women's sports and 107 team titles overall. Cal athletes have competed in the Olympics for a host of different countries. Notable facilities used by the Bears include Haas Pavilion. Cal finished the 2010–11 athletic season with 1,219.50 points, earning third place in the Director's Cup standings, the Golden Bears' highest finish ever. Cal did not receive any points for its national championships in rugby and men's crew because those sports are not governed by the NCAA. Cal finished 12th in the 2014-15 standings.
In 2014, Cal instituted a strict academic standard for an athlete's admission to the university. By the 2017 academic year 80 percent of incoming student athletes were required to comply with the University of California general student requirement of having a 3.0 or higher high school grade point average. The California football team began play in 1885 and with its home games at California Memorial Stadium, except for in 2011 while Memorial Stadium was being renovated; the team has produced two of the oddest and most memorable plays in college football: Roy "Wrong Way" Riegels' fumble recovery and run toward the Cal goal line in the 1929 Rose Bowl, The Play in the 1982 Big Game with the winning kickoff return after five laterals. The program has produced numerous NFL stars, including Aaron Rodgers, Ryan Longwell, Marshawn Lynch, DeSean Jackson, Desmond Bishop, Jahvid Best. Tony Gonzalez, the NFL's all-time receptions leader among tight ends, played both football and basketball at Cal. Head coach Justin Wilcox began his tenure in 2017.
California has participated in 23 bowl games, garnering a record of 11–11–1. The California men's basketball team has represented the University of California intercollegiately since 1907 and subsequently began full conference play in 1915. Cal basketball's home court is Haas Pavilion, constructed atop of the old Harmon Gymnasium using money donated in the late 1990s in part by the owners of Levi-Strauss; the program has seen success throughout the years culminating in a national championship in 1959 under legendary coach Pete Newell and have reached the final four two other times in 1946 and 1960. The 1926–27 team finished the season with a 17–0 record and was retroactively named the national champion by the Premo-Porretta Power Poll; the current head coach of the California men's basketball program is Wyking Jones. Some notable NBA players that spent time playing in Berkeley include Jason Kidd, Kevin Johnson, Darrall Imhoff; the Cal baseball team plays at Evans Diamond, located between Haas Pavilion, the Recreational Sports Facility, Edward's Track Stadium.
Cal has appeared in the post-season a total of nine times, including five times in the College World Series. The most famous Cal player was second baseman Jeff Kent, who led the Golden Bears to the 1988 World Series, would go on to be named the 2000 National League Most Valuable Player as a member of the San Francisco Giants. Shortstop Geoff Blum of Cal's 1992 College World Series team hit the game-winning home run in the 14th inning of a 2005 World Series game for the Chicago White Sox. In September 2010, the university announced that baseball would be one of five sports cut as a cost-cutting measure. However, in April 2011, after receiving more than $9 million in pledges from supporters of the program, the program was reinstated. Men's bowling was a varsity-level intercollegiate sport at the University of California in the 1970s and won a national championship in 1979, governed by the ABC; the University of California's intercollegiate cross country team is under the direction of head coach Tony Sandoval, in his 30th year at the university and 20th season as the cross country head coach.
The California Golden Bears men's cross country team appeared in the NCAA Tournament five times, with their highest finish being 16th place in the 2007–08 school year. Men's rifle began intercollegiate competition at the University of California in the 19th century and won 5 national championships in the 1950s. At that time, the national event required five firing members per team, one alternative, a team captain and a coach; the national championship competition consisted of ten shots per firing member at 50 feet, indoors. Cal competes in the Collegiate Rugby Championship, the highest profile college rugby sevens tournament in the US; the CRC is held every June at PPL Park in Philadelphia and is broadcast live on NBC. Cal reached the finals of the 2010 CRC, losing to Utah in the finals in sudden death extra time, finished third in the 2012 CRC. Cal won 2014, 2015 and 2016 CRC titles. In September 2010, the university announced that rugby would be one of five varsity sports cut as a cost-cutting measure, though the team would have continued to represent the university as a "varsity club sport."
A large group of rugby supporters organized to oppose the relegation. On February 11, 2011, the administration reversed its decision on rugby and two other sports, thus continuing them as sponsored varsity sports. Men's soccer began intercollegiate competition at the University of California in
WWE ECW is a professional wrestling television program, produced by WWE, based on the independent Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion that lasted from 1992 to 2001. The show's name referred to the ECW brand, in which WWE employees were assigned to work and perform, complementary to WWE's other brands and SmackDown. ECW debuted on June 13, 2006, on Sci Fi in the United States and ran for close to four years until it aired its final episode on February 16, 2010, on the rebranded Syfy, it was replaced the following week with WWE NXT. Every episode of the show is available for on-demand viewing via the WWE Network. WWE acquired the rights to Extreme Championship Wrestling's trademarks and video library in 2003 and began reintroducing ECW through content from the ECW library and a series of books, which included the release of The Rise and Fall of ECW documentary; the enormous popularity of ECW merchandise prompted WWE to organize ECW One Night Stand, an ECW reunion pay-per-view in 2005. The financial and critical success of the event motivated WWE to organize a second One Night Stand the following year.
With rejuvenated interest in the ECW product, WWE began exploring the possibility of reviving the promotion full-time. The news that WWE was planning to bring back ECW was leaked in the middle of April as Vince McMahon decided to revive ECW as a full-time brand. Reports beforehand stated that WWE was prepared to bring back ECW after WrestleMania 22. On May 25, 2006, WWE announced the launch of ECW as a stand-alone brand, congruous to Raw and SmackDown!, with its own show on Sci Fi. Despite initial concerns that professional wrestling would not be accepted by Sci Fi's demographic, network President Bonnie Hammer stated that she believed ECW would fit the channel's theme of "stretching the imagination". Sci Fi is owned by NBC Universal, parent company of USA Network and exclusive cable broadcaster of Raw and Smackdown. ECW's weekly series was given a thirteen episode run as a "summer series" on Sci Fi; the premiere received a 2.79 rating. Because of its good ratings it was granted an extended run through the end of 2007.
On October 23, 2007, the network renewed the series through 2008. Prior to the show's launch, WWE opted to cancel its webcast Velocity and replace it with the new ECW program. ECW was produced differently from WWE's other shows. For televised events, the main ring-facing cameras were placed on a different location in the arena while the wrestling ring itself featured an ECW logo on the mat and blank turnbuckle covers; the male performers were referred to "Extremists" instead of "Superstars" while female performers were called "Vixens" rather than Divas. However, the show began being produced following the same format of the other shows; as opposed to the original promotion, match rules, such as count outs and disqualifications, were now standard. Matches featuring the rule set of the original promotion were classified as being contested under "Extreme Rules" and were only fought when specified. Former ECW owner Paul Heyman served as the on-air "ECW Representative". According to an interview in the UK newspaper The Sun, Heyman wrote the show's weekly scripts and submitted them to writers for possible changes, Vince McMahon for final approval.
Following December to Dismember, Heyman was relieved from both his on and off-air duties with World Wrestling Entertainment. While the show started out a ratings success, it began drawing criticism from fans of the original ECW early on; this was most evident by the negative crowd reaction "old school" fans gave the main event of Batista vs. Big Show at the August 1, 2006 show from Hammerstein Ballroom, which held original ECW events while it was a company. After Heyman left in late 2006, there was no ECW authority figure until August 14, 2007, when Armando Estrada was announced as the General Manager. On May 6, 2008, ECW celebrated its 100th episode on Sci Fi. On June 3, 2008 Estrada was replaced by Theodore Long as General Manager of ECW. ECW moved to 9:00PM Eastern/8:00PM Central on September 30, 2008. ECW moved back to 10:00PM Eastern/9:00PM Central on May 5, 2009. On the April 7 edition of ECW it was announced that Theodore Long was returning to SmackDown to fulfill the role of General Manager.
From this point the Interim General Manager was named as Tiffany who took over as full-time General Manager on the June 30, 2009 episode. On July 7, 2009, the Sci Fi Channel renamed itself to "Syfy", prompting WWE to rename the show ECW on Syfy to reflect the changes. In 2009 a "superstar initiative" was established for the purpose of introducing new talent to WWE programming those from WWE's developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling to ECW's roster. On February 2, 2010, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced that ECW would be going off the air and would be replaced with a new weekly program in its slot in which McMahon announced as "groundbreaking, original show." It was announced that the show would air its final episode on February 16, 2010. On the February 9, 2010 episode of ECW, the new show's name was announced as WWE NXT. At ECW's launch, WWE.com introduced Hardcore Hangover, a video feature which allowed fans in the United States and Canada to stream or download video footage from the weekly show.
On October 16, 2007, it was replaced by a new feature which made full episodes of the show available for streaming on WWE.com the day after they aired. After gathering a list of names from fans and conducting an online poll, the feature was named ECW X-Stream on October 31, 2007. Past episodes of ECW were p
American Indoor Football
American Indoor Football was a professional indoor football league, one of the several regional professional indoor football leagues in North America. The AIFL began as a regional league with six franchises on the East Coast of the United States in 2005; the AIFA expanded throughout existing territory and, in 2008, expanded into the Western United States. The league divided into two entities to allow for a partial merger with the Southern Indoor Football League, which resulted in all of its Eastern teams merging into the SIFL and the AIFA only maintaining its western teams; the league's western component, which remained separate of the merger, had indicated it would play as the AIFA West for the 2011 season but ceased operations January 2011. The league announced it would be relaunching as American Indoor Football in time for spring 2012. After the 2016 season, the AIF ceased operations with the former AIF owner stating his support for the created Arena Developmental League; the last market with a direct connection to the original AIFL was Pennsylvania.
Erie's team, the Explosion, joined other regional leagues when the SIFL disbanded after the 2011 season. The league has its roots in the Atlantic Indoor Football League, which began play in 2005 under the leadership of Andrew Haines; the first team to join the AIFL was the Johnstown RiverHawks. The league began with all of them based in the eastern United States. Two teams played all of their games on the road, the regular season was cut short two weeks because of teams being unable to secure venues for playoff games. In the 2005–06 offseason, the league changed its name to the American Indoor Football League, while nine expansion teams entered the league and a tenth joined from the National Indoor Football League; the 2006 season was marred by the folding of two teams, the league used semi-pro teams to fill scheduling vacancies. The league was acquired by Greens Worldwide, Inc. the owners of the amateur North American Football League, during the 2006 season, but they terminated the contract soon afterwards.
Nine teams left the league after the season, including four who split off to create the short-lived World Indoor Football League. On October 2, 2006, a massive reorganization took place as Morris and Michael Mink set up a new league, which absorbed all of the remaining AIFL franchises, Haines was ousted; the league took on the American Indoor Football Association name at the same time. The 2007 season was successful for the league, as all 112 scheduled games were played and no teams folded mid-season, a major improvement over the past two seasons; the AIFA Championship Bowl I was a neutral site game held in South Carolina. In addition, the league held its first All-Star Game the same weekend in Florence. League owners stated that the neutral site was chosen so that both games could be televised to obtain nationwide exposure for the league; the league expanded nationwide. The league earned a major television contract as well: On September 17, 2007, The American Indoor Football Association owners John Morris and Michael Min announced that the league signed a three-year national television broadcast, mobile phone broadcast, webcast licensing agreement with Simply 4Me Incorporated.
However, that deal was subsequently cancelled. In the season, FSN Pittsburgh agreed to pick up the remaining games. Eight teams participating in the league in 2007 did not return for the 2008 season, including the 2007 champion Lakeland Thunderbolts; the AIFA became the third league since 2004 to lose its standing champion. However, nine teams signed on to begin play in 2008, the league created a Western Conference. In 2007, the team farthest west was based in Mississippi. Three of the four teams who had won the league championship to that point were no longer active league members; the 2009 season culminated in AIFA Championship Bowl III, hosted by the Western Conference champion Wyoming Cavalry on July 25, 2009. The game, played before 6,500 fans at the Casper Events Center, saw the Reading Express defeat the Wyoming Cavalry for their first title, 65–42; as the 2010 season approached, AIFA continued to expand its nationwide footprint. Expansion franchises had been added in Virginia; the moves gave the AIFA a much more significant presence on the West Coast of the United States.
To accommodate this, to keep travel expenses down, for the 2010 season the AIFA adopted a scheduling system that treated the Eastern and Western conferences as separate leagues, with no regular-season crossover between the tw
Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points. The sport is known to be fast-paced and physical, with teams consisting of six players each: one goaltender, five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team. Ice hockey is most popular in Canada and eastern Europe, the Nordic countries and the United States. Ice hockey is the official national winter sport of Canada. In addition, ice hockey is the most popular winter sport in Belarus, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovakia and Switzerland. North America's National Hockey League is the highest level for men's ice hockey and the strongest professional ice hockey league in the world; the Kontinental Hockey League is much of Eastern Europe. The International Ice Hockey Federation is the formal governing body for international ice hockey, with the IIHF managing international tournaments and maintaining the IIHF World Ranking.
Worldwide, there are ice hockey federations in 76 countries. In Canada, the United States, Nordic countries, some other European countries the sport is known as hockey. Ice hockey is believed to have evolved from simple stick and ball games played in the 18th and 19th century United Kingdom and elsewhere; these games were brought to North America and several similar winter games using informal rules as they were developed, such as "shinny" and "ice polo". The contemporary sport of ice hockey was developed in Canada, most notably in Montreal, where the first indoor hockey game was played on March 3, 1875; some characteristics of that game, such as the length of the ice rink and the use of a puck, have been retained to this day. Amateur ice hockey leagues began in the 1880s, professional ice hockey originated around 1900; the Stanley Cup, emblematic of ice hockey club supremacy, was first awarded in 1893 to recognize the Canadian amateur champion and became the championship trophy of the NHL. In the early 1900s, the Canadian rules were adopted by the Ligue Internationale de Hockey sur Glace, the precursor of the IIHF and the sport was played for the first time at the Olympics during the 1920 Summer Olympics.
In international competitions, the national teams of six countries predominate: Canada, Czech Republic, Russia and the United States. Of the 69 medals awarded all-time in men's competition at the Olympics, only seven medals were not awarded to one of those countries. In the annual Ice Hockey World Championships, 177 of 201 medals have been awarded to the six nations. Teams outside the "Big Six" have won only five medals in either competition since 1953; the World Cup of Hockey is organized by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association, unlike the annual World Championships and quadrennial Olympic tournament, both run by the International Ice Hockey Federation. World Cup games are played under NHL rules and not those of the IIHF, the tournament occurs prior to the NHL pre-season, allowing for all NHL players to be available, unlike the World Championships, which overlaps with the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs. Furthermore, all 12 Women's Olympic and 36 IIHF World Women's Championships medals were awarded to one of these six countries.
The Canadian national team or the United States national team have between them won every gold medal of either series. In England, field hockey has been called "hockey" and what was referenced by first appearances in print; the first known mention spelled as "hockey" occurred in the 1773 book Juvenile Sports and Pastimes, to Which Are Prefixed, Memoirs of the Author: Including a New Mode of Infant Education, by Richard Johnson, whose chapter XI was titled "New Improvements on the Game of Hockey". The 1573 Statute of Galway banned a sport called "'hokie'—the hurling of a little ball with sticks or staves". A form of this word was thus being used in the 16th century, though much removed from its current usage; the belief that hockey was mentioned in a 1363 proclamation by King Edward III of England is based on modern translations of the proclamation, in Latin and explicitly forbade the games "Pilam Manualem, Pedivam, & Bacularem: & ad Canibucam & Gallorum Pugnam". The English historian and biographer John Strype did not use the word "hockey" when he translated the proclamation in 1720, instead translating "Canibucam" as "Cambuck".
According to the Austin Hockey Association, the word "puck" derives from the Scottish Gaelic puc or the Irish poc. "... The blow given by a hurler to the ball with his camán or hurley is always called a puck." Stick-and-ball games date back to pre-Christian times. In Europe, these games included the Irish game of hurling, the related Scottish game of shinty and versions of field hockey. IJscolf, a game resembling colf on an ice-covered surface, was popular in the Low Countries between the Middle Ages and the Dutch Golden Age, it was played with a wooden curved bat, a wooden or leather ball and two poles, with t
Minor League Baseball
Minor League Baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development and a way to prepare for the major leagues. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses. Most are members of the umbrella organization known as Minor League Baseball, which operates under the Commissioner of Baseball within the scope of organized baseball. Several leagues, known as independent baseball leagues, do not have any official links to Major League Baseball. Except for the Mexican League, teams in the organized minor leagues are independently owned and operated but are directly affiliated with one major league team through a standardized Player Development Contract; these leagues go by the nicknames the "farm system", "farm club", or "farm team" because of a joke passed around by major league players in the 1930s when St. Louis Cardinals general manager Branch Rickey formalized the system, teams in small towns were "growing players down on the farm like corn".
Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball teams may enter into a PDC for a two- or four-year term. At the expiration of a PDC term, teams may renew their affiliation, or sign new PDCs with different clubs, though many relationships are renewed and endure for extended time periods. For example, the Omaha Storm Chasers have been the Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals since the Royals joined the American League in 1969, but the Columbus Clippers changed affiliations, after being associated with the New York Yankees from 1979, to the Washington Nationals in 2007, have been affiliated with the Cleveland Indians since 2009. A few minor league teams are directly owned by their major league parent club, such as the Springfield Cardinals, owned by the St. Louis Cardinals, all of the Atlanta Braves' affiliates except the Florida Fire Frogs. Minor League teams that are owned directly by the major league club do not have PDCs with the parent club and are not part of the reaffiliation shuffles that occur each year.
Today, there are 14 MLB-affiliated minor leagues with a total of 160 revenue-generating teams, located in large and small cities and suburbs across the United States and Canada, there are three MLB-affiliated rookie leagues with a total of 80 teams, located in Arizona and the Dominican Republic, though these teams do not generate revenue. The Mexican League, with 16 teams, is independent but tied with MLB. Several more independent leagues operate in the United States and Canada; the earliest professional baseball league, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players of 1871 to 1875, comprised all professional teams. This system proved unworkable, however, as there was no way to ensure competitive balance, financially unsound clubs failed in midseason; this problem was solved in 1876 with the formation of the National League, with a limited membership which excluded less competitive and financially weaker teams. Professional clubs outside the NL responded by forming regional associations of their own.
There was a series of ad hoc groupings, such as the New England Association of 1877 and the Eastern Championship Association of 1881. These were loose groups of independent clubs which agreed to play a series of games over the course of one season for a championship pennant; the first true minor league is traditionally considered to be the Northwestern League of 1883 to 1884. Unlike the earlier minor associations, it was conceived as a permanent organization, it along with the NL and the American Association, was a party to the National Agreement of 1883. Included in this was the agreement to respect the reserve lists of clubs in each league. Teams in the NL and the AA could only reserve players, paid at least $1000. Northwest League teams could reserve players paid $750, implicitly establishing the division into major and minor leagues. Over the next two decades, more minor leagues signed various versions of the National Agreement; the minor leagues joined together to negotiate jointly. In the late 1890s, the Western League run by Ban Johnson decided to challenge the NL's position.
In 1900, he changed the name of the league to the American League and vowed to make deals to sign contracts with players who were dissatisfied with the pay and terms of their deals with the NL. This led to a nasty turf war that heated up in 1901 enough to concern Patrick T. Powers, president of the Eastern League, many other minor league owners about the conflict affecting their organizations. Representatives of the different minor leagues met at the Leland Hotel in Chicago on September 5, 1901. In response to the NL–AL battle, they agreed to form the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, called the NAPBL, or NA for short; the purpose of the NAPBL at the time was to maintain the independence of the leagues involved. Several continued to work independently. Powers was made the first president of the NAPBL, whose offices were established in Auburn, New York. In 1903, the conflict between the AL and NL ended in the National Agreement of 1903; the NAPBL became involved in the stages of the negotiations to develop rules for the acquisition of players from their leagues by the NL and the AL.
The 1903 agreement ensured that teams would be compensated for the players that they had taken the time and effort to scout and develop, no NA team was required to sell their players, although most did because the cash was an important source of revenue for most teams. The NA leagues were still fiercely
San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks are a professional ice hockey team based in San Jose, California. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League; the franchise is owned by San Jose Entertainment Enterprises. Beginning play in the 1991–92 season, the Sharks played their home games at the Cow Palace, before they moved to their present home, the SAP Center at San Jose in 1993; the SAP Center is known locally as the Shark Tank. The Sharks were founded in 1991 and were the first NHL franchise based in the San Francisco Bay Area since the California Golden Seals relocated to Cleveland in 1976; the Sharks have advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals once, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016. They have won the Presidents' Trophy once, as the team with the league's best regular season record in the 2008–09 season, they have won six division titles as a member of the Pacific Division since 1993. The club is affiliated with the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League.
The Oakland Coliseum Arena was home to the California Golden Seals of the NHL from 1967 to 1976, who were never successful either on the ice or at the box office. Gordon and George Gund III became minority owners of the Seals in 1974, were instrumental in their move to Cleveland in 1976 and a 1978 merger with the Minnesota North Stars, which they purchased that year, they had long wanted to bring hockey back to the Bay Area, asked the NHL for permission to move the North Stars there in the late 1980s, but the league vetoed the proposed move. Meanwhile, a group led by former Hartford Whalers owner Howard Baldwin was pushing the NHL to bring a team to San Jose, where a new arena was being built; the League struck a compromise: the Gunds would sell their share of the North Stars to Baldwin's group, with the Gunds receiving an expansion team in the Bay Area to begin play in the 1991–92 season and being allowed to take a certain number of players from the North Stars to their new club. In return, the North Stars would be allowed to participate as an equal partner in an expansion draft with the new Bay Area team.
On May 5, 1990, the Gunds sold their share of the North Stars to Baldwin and were awarded a new team for the Bay Area, based in San Jose. The owners paid to the league an expansion fee of US$45 million. Over 5,000 potential names were submitted by mail for the new team. While the first-place finisher was "Blades", the Gunds were concerned about the name's negative association with weapons, went with the runner-up, "Sharks." The name was said to have been inspired by the large number of sharks living in the Pacific Ocean. Seven varieties live there, one area of water near the Bay Area is known as the "red triangle" because of its shark population; the team's first marketing head, Matt Levine, said of the new name, "Sharks are relentless, swift, agile and fearless. We plan to build an organization that has all those qualities." For their first two seasons, the Sharks played at the Cow Palace in Daly City, just outside San Francisco, a facility the NHL and the Seals had rejected in 1967. Pat Falloon led the team in points during their first season.
The team was placed in the Campbell Conference's Smythe Division. George Kingston was their first head coach during their first two seasons. Though the 1991–92 roster consisted of NHL journeymen, minor leaguers and rookies, the Sharks had at least one notable player when they acquired 14-year veteran and former Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Doug Wilson from the Chicago Blackhawks on September 6, 1991. Wilson was named the team's first captain and All-Star representative in the inaugural season. However, the Sharks' first two seasons saw the typical struggles for an expansion team; the 71 losses in 1992–93 is an NHL record, they suffered a 17-game losing streak, while winning just 11 games and earning a mere 24 points in the standings. Kingston was fired following the end of the 1992–93 season. Despite the Sharks' futility in the standings, the team led the NHL's merchandise sales with $150 million, accounting for 27% of the NHL's total and behind only National Basketball Association champions Chicago Bulls among all North American leagues.
Several team "firsts" happened in the 1992–93 season. On November 17, 1992, San Jose goaltender Arturs Irbe recorded the first shutout in team history, defeating the Los Angeles Kings 6–0. On December 3, against the Hartford Whalers at the Cow Palace, right winger Rob Gaudreau scored the first hat-trick in franchise history; the inaugural year saw the birth of the San Jose Sharks mascot, "S. J. Sharkie". On January 28, 1992, at a game against the New York Rangers, the then-unnamed mascot emerged from a Zamboni during an intermission. A "Name the Mascot" contest began that night, with the winning name of "S. J. Sharkie" being announced on April 15, 1992. For their third season, 1993–94, the Sharks moved to their new home, the San Jose Arena, were placed in the Western Conference's Pacific Division. Under head coach Kevin Constantine, the Sharks pulled off the biggest turnaround in NHL history, finishing with a 33–35–16 record and making the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in team history with 82 points, an NHL record 58-point jump from the previous season.
They were seeded eighth in the Western Conference playoffs and faced the Detroit Red Wings, the top-seeded Western Conference team and a favorite to win the Stanley Cup. In one of the biggest upsets in Stanley Cup playoff history, the underdog Sharks shocked the Red Wings in seven games. In Game 7 at Joe Louis Arena, Jamie Baker scored the game-winning goal i
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws; the team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play is mandated. Players advance the ball by bouncing it while walking or running or by passing it to a teammate, both of which require considerable skill. On offense, players may use a variety of shots -- a dunk, it is a violation to lift or drag one's pivot foot without dribbling the ball, to carry it, or to hold the ball with both hands resume dribbling.
The five players on each side at a time fall into five playing positions: the tallest player is the center, the tallest and strongest is the power forward, a shorter but more agile big man is the small forward, the shortest players or the best ball handlers are the shooting guard and the point guard, who implements the coach's game plan by managing the execution of offensive and defensive plays. Informally, players may play three-on-three, two-on-two, one-on-one. Invented in 1891 by Canadian-American gym teacher James Naismith in Springfield, United States, basketball has evolved to become one of the world's most popular and viewed sports; the National Basketball Association is the most significant professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries and level of competition. Outside North America, the top clubs from national leagues qualify to continental championships such as the Euroleague and FIBA Americas League; the FIBA Basketball World Cup and Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament are the major international events of the sport and attract top national teams from around the world.
Each continent hosts regional competitions for national teams, like FIBA AmeriCup. The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup and Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament feature top national teams from continental championships; the main North American league is the WNBA, whereas strongest European clubs participate in the EuroLeague Women. In early December 1891, Canadian James Naismith, a physical education professor and instructor at the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School in Springfield, was trying to keep his gym class active on a rainy day, he sought a vigorous indoor game to keep his students occupied and at proper levels of fitness during the long New England winters. After rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules and nailed a peach basket onto a 10-foot elevated track. In contrast with modern basketball nets, this peach basket retained its bottom, balls had to be retrieved manually after each "basket" or point scored.
Basketball was played with a soccer ball. These round balls from "association football" were made, at the time, with a set of laces to close off the hole needed for inserting the inflatable bladder after the other sewn-together segments of the ball's cover had been flipped outside-in; these laces could dribbling to be unpredictable. A lace-free ball construction method was invented, this change to the game was endorsed by Naismith; the first balls made for basketball were brown, it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball, now in common use. Dribbling was not part of the original game except for the "bounce pass" to teammates. Passing the ball was the primary means of ball movement. Dribbling was introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls. Dribbling was common by 1896, with a rule against the double dribble by 1898; the peach baskets were used until 1906 when they were replaced by metal hoops with backboards.
A further change was soon made, so the ball passed through. Whenever a person got the ball in the basket, his team would gain a point. Whichever team got; the baskets were nailed to the mezzanine balcony of the playing court, but this proved impractical when spectators in the balcony began to interfere with shots. The backboard was introduced to prevent this interference. Naismith's handwritten diaries, discovered by his granddaughter in early 2006, indicate that he was nervous about the new game he had invented, which incorporated rules from a children's game called duck on a rock, as many had failed before it. Frank Mahan, one of the players from the original