Before I get going, let me give a quick shout out to some new international readers. I've broken through to Canada (finally), Russia, and both of the former Czechoslovakia nations. Welcome aboard.
Surprisingly, this is the only picture I could find of the championship banners at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (nee Conseco Fieldhouse). I was really looking for a picture of just the three ABA banners, but apparently that does not exist on the internet. Next time I'm in the arena, I guess I'll have to do my best to fix that.
Anyway, as we talked about yesterday, the Pacers were and are known as the face of the ABA. Part of that was the stability that was thoroughly uncommon in the ABA. The other part of that would be the three championships, most of anybody in the league. There were two other championship appearances as well. Success breeds many things, and becoming the face is one of those things. It's probably not a coincidence that the guy who bagged Gaddafi was wearing a Yankees hat, as opposed to, say, the Mets or Cardinals. That was the Pacers of the ABA.
All that said, you might be forgiven if you didn't really notice it in the papers of the time. The Indianapolis News, I've concluded, had a lacking sports section when it came to the Pacers. For one, they won the championship during Indianapolis 500 season, which really hurt what would be devoted to the Pacers. Still, they found plenty of space to put in pictures of baseball players and golfers, and not a single picture of the Pacers in any of their three championships? Here, from the first title in 1970, we get all of three stories. The first is the only mention of the Pacers anywhere on the front page. As always, click on the stories for bigger versions.
For supposedly making Indianapolis a "big league city," they sure didn't put a lot of coverage on it. That said, read about the "victory 'picnic'" in that last paragraph again. Could you imagine that happening now? When the Colts won the Super Bowl in 2007, I never heard of anybody making a mess of ham and beans at the RCA Dome for parade goers. Part of the problem, as I alluded to yesterday, is that the ABA felt it had to legitimize itself against the NBA. Take a look at this story from Roger Brown after winning the championship.
That headline kind of says it all, doesn't it? Also interesting to note that Brown complains that the season is too long. Now, granted, the Pacers played 84 games that year. But, it's interesting to read that and think about the practically universal complaint of NBA players now about how an 82 game season is too long. In any case, here is the "official" championship story. It's about two-thirds story and one-third straight quotes from players and Slick Leonard.
After taking a year off of being champions, the Pacers once again reached the top in 1972. The front page didn't bother to mention the victory at all, but there were a pair of stories ran in the sports section. One I would call a game story, except it does take the season in retrospect. Coming into the playoffs, the Pacers didn't quite seem right, winning ten less games than they had the previous two years. But, as we've seen with wild card teams in baseball and football, all it takes is getting hot at the right time. That story is on the left. On the right, we have the celebration story. The Pacers announce they will be holding a barbecue, public invited, to celebrate the win. Seriously, this is so lacking today. Also making several notable appearances in the story is Bob Netolicky. This guy should be much more prominent in Indiana sports history, in my opinion.
After winning the title in 1973, it was clear the Pacers were the class of the ABA. And when that happens, well, we've all met a Yankee fan before haven't we? It's always a crisis unless you're on top of the pile at the end. I wish I could find the article, but I remember reading a parody where the writer lamented a world where third graders had never known a world with World Champion Yankees. Pacer fans, and the Indianapolis News, were getting greedy. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing, but it makes for some unsatisfactory coverage lo these many years later. This is the only story I found covering the Pacers third (and last, as it turned out) ABA championship.
Again, the Pacers threw a dinner for the public to celebrate. In a nice touch after beating the Kentucky Colonels, the Pacers served KFC to the masses.
You might want to come back to this post in a couple days when we move into the Indianapolis Star's coverage of the Pacers and a couple moments of glory they've had since joining the NBA. The difference is just astonishing. But, right now, I'm heading out to get some scans of another pivotal moment in Pacer history. See you then!
As I'm sure most who read this blog are well aware, Indiana loves its basketball. Many times the local high school's basketball gym was the biggest structure in town (or at least held the most people in one place). Entire towns would shut down during basketball games. My town was like that. And the team was usually the talk of the town, for good or bad. Thankfully, during my four years, it was mostly good. Purdue and IU have been basketball powers, although I'm thoroughly convinced Purdue is cursed in the NCAA tournament.
I can tell you from going back and looking at the records, the high school state tournament was an even bigger deal when it was single class. The spreads in the then Indianapolis News were the most elaborate pages I saw in all my research trying to track down the stories I will be presenting,* rivaled only by the Indianapolis 500.
*This changed once the paper changed to the Indianapolis Star, but I'm assuming technology had something to do with that.
So, yes, it was a big deal with professional basketball came to Indianapolis again. Indianapolis had the Olympians for a few years in the BAA and NBA, but the team didn't last during those early days of the league. People were excited at the prospect of having a pro team in their backyard and being able to watch all the great Indiana players, whether they had stuck around at Purdue and IU or the great players that filled the rosters of other great college teams, continue their careers back home.
The problem was, nobody really knew what to make of this new league. It wasn't said at the time, but the idea of the league from the start was to eventually fold into the NBA. If you watched ESPN's 30 for 30, and Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL? in particular, you will recognize the argument as how Donald Trump viewed that upstart football league. It was much cheaper to get an ABA franchise than getting the NBA to grant you an expansion team, and then watch the investment grow exponentially once the team is merged into the NBA.
The merger is fit for a book on its own, but we'll cover that a different day. We're talking about the founding here. The first one we have here talks about the meeting in New York where the league was established (though it wouldn't be formally announced until the next day). It got a pretty big story, but not exactly a full spread. I'm sure the biggest part of the problem was as this time, Indianapolis wasn't exactly sure if it was getting a team or not. It was said Indiana would be joining, playing in the Eastern Division of the league, but the paper didn't know of any group putting down any money, nor had it heard of any Indiana group going to the meeting at this point. And don't be fooled by the picture, that's from the Indiana State-Evansville game. Just as with the Colts, click for a larger version.
After the initial confusion, the News ran a story giving more shape (and a name) to the ABA. Still, the bigger stories on the page were golf and the Butler-Wabash game that was to be played that night. Here is the ABA article, tucked neatly by the inside margin.
The story opens up letting us know there is about to be a bidding war for talent. We'll cover that with the next story, but that definitely came to pass. The bigger stories here are the initial teams being announced, and that Indiana did indeed have representatives there.
The ABA started off with ten teams split up into two divisions or conferences. The naming hadn't quite been decided on at this point. In the East, there would be teams in Indianapolis, New York, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, and New Orleans. Out West, there would be teams in Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Oakland, and Anaheim.
This changed before the first season could even start. As seen here, the results of that first season were as follows.
1. Pittsburgh Pipers 54-24 1. New Orleans Buccaneers 48-30
2. Minnesota Muskies 50-28 2. Dallas Chaparrals 46-32
3. Indiana Pacers 38-40 3. Denver Rockets 45-33
4. Kentucky Colonels 36-42 4. Houston Mavericks 29-49
5. New Jersey Americans 36-42 5. Anaheim Amigos 25-53
6. Oakland Oaks 22-56
I did find the Texas teams' naming amusing, but the Pipers would beat the Buccaneers in seven games for the first ABA championship. The next year, you would have been forgiven if you thought you were looking at a different league. Minnesota moved to Miami to become the Floridians. Pittsburgh moved to Minnesota, but kept their name. They would move back to Pittsburgh the following year, but become the Condors. The New Jersey Americans became the New York Nets. The West would be more stable. The Anaheim Amigos became the LA Stars, but that was the only change.
Now, as was said earlier, the ABA meant that players had a decision which league to join. The ABA won many of the early battles, paying (likely greatly overpaying) players for their name and recognition, and thus legitimacy, for the league. There were also NBA stars that wanted to jump ship, Rick Barry being the most notable. In Indiana, though, the hope would be for stars to come home. The biggest prize among those Indiana pros would be Oscar Robertson. As far as I can tell, Robertson never had any serious thoughts about switching to the ABA, but his Curt Flood-like lawsuit did prevent a planned ABA-NBA Merger in 1970. The leagues wouldn't merge until the lawsuit was complete in 1976.
That'll do it for today. Tomorrow, we'll look at the "hoopla" surrounding those three ABA championship teams that caused the Pacers to be the face of the league.
Sorry for the relative silence the past couple days. Yesterday I had an interview which will most likely prove pointless. Today, though, I actually have been hard at work for blog stuff.
Next week will be Pacers week here at AP Baseball. I've gone back to the archives of the Indianapolis News and Indianapolis Star and looked at some pivotal moments in Pacers history I don't want to tip my hand any more than that, so I'm going to leave all this be for now.
Check back next week for some very interesting history as it happened!
Long story short, everybody lost. I didn't watch the Blackhawks or the Pacers, but I did record them. Still didn't watch it, though, because I saw they lost thanks to my new found addiction, ESPN Sports Bar. I'm not terribly proud of this, but there it is. I picked all my teams to win yesterday, because they are my teams. Swing and a miss there.
I did watch Purdue play, because Kristine got free tickets through work. I'm sure that helped keep me awake. After a slow start, it looked like Purdue had all the momentum in the second half, only to lose by two. Very deflating.
Wabash plays tonight on the road. I really hope somebody I root for can win this week.
In baseball news, Prince Fielder signed with the Tigers, his father's team. If you've read Moneyball,* you know Billy Beane didn't bother drafting Prince Fielder because he thought the Tigers would overpay for him because of his dad.
*Not the movie Moneyball. I have finally watched it, and it is a fine enough movie. But it totally ignores the drafting (and then not resigning once they are off their cheap rookie deals) aspect of the theory. It also didn't mention the A's happened to have one of the most dominant pitching trios of that era in Mulder, Hudson, and Zito, along with AL MVP Miguel Tejada and Eric Chavez in his prime. Maybe worse than ignoring of that, the movie says they have to sign Jeremy Giambi as one of the players to replace his brother. He was already on the team! I'm sure baseball fans, and probably most sports fans, will remember a famous play in the 2001 playoffs where Jeremy Giambi played a pivotal part. I still think he was safe, but sliding like any sensible little leaguer would have put the whole thing to bed. Still, all in all, it was a good movie and I think they did what they had to do to make a book that wasn't necessarily a story into a story.
The Tigers could have a really scary line up next year. Now, their defense might be pretty bad. Prince Fielder is not known for his glove, but he will play first. That means Miguel Cabrera will be moving back to third. And, well, there's a reason he was moved away from third. But if your choice is Cabrera or Fielder at third, I would take Miggy every time. Take a look at these options and tell me most pitchers wouldn't love to have that line up scoring runs for them.
It might change my thought that the Rangers are still the team to beat in the AL. Maybe. I'll have to think about it more when the season rolls closer. Of course, I also have another reason to root for the Rangers these days. They drafted Taylor Dennis, who was a little younger than me in high school. Like most everybody in Covington that was there when I was, He also played for my dad in Pony League. I know his dad better. Jeff, his dad, is a proud Wabash alum, who quit playing football to focus on baseball. Of course, as soon as he did that, the football team went to the national championship game. It really blows my mind to see things like this and this, though.
I didn't sleep a wink last night. I've slept a little bit throughout the day. Three heavily interrupted hours while I waited for an email that didn't come from a staffing service. Oh well. It might be good for me in the long run. Might help me reset. In related news, I rediscovered how much I love playing euchre. And based on the results, I'm not too bad at it, though that might have had something to do with who I was playing against.
Anyway, three of my teams are in action tonight. After laying an absolute egg at Michigan State,* the Boilers will be back home to take on Michigan, who are coming off their own disappointing loss after traveling to Arkansas. I'm not sure why they were playing an out-of-conference game last weekend, but I can't really be bothered to find out. In any case, Purdue has to look better than they did on Saturday.
*Some of that is defensible after reading about all the troubles the team went through just to make it from West Lafayette to East Lansing.
The Pacers are back in action now, and it looks like the national media might finally be taking notice after taking down the Lakers in a great game that featured personal favorite Roy Hibbert playing through a broken nose without a mask. I'm a little worried about tonight. They're back in Indianapolis after a long west coast road trip for one night, and the Magic are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Celtics. Can the Pacers beat the Magic? I don't see why they can't, but it seems there are a lot of things working against them tonight.
The Blackhawks also take on the Predators tonight. The Blackhawks just played Nashville on Saturday and lost badly (5-2), but I think that was mostly because Chicago was playing in a back-to-back, and had to travel for the second game. Tonight, they're back on home ice after a few days off. Nashville is no joke, but I think the Blackhawks will avenge that loss and probably curse the schedule makers while they do it.
We'll see if I can stay awake for any of this. I'm feeling okay right now, but I don't know if I count on it to last.
So now we know who it's going to be, and I have to say I'm pretty disappointed. Giants vs. Patriots. Ugh.
At least both games yesterday were awfully exciting with very unexpected endings. I think I had the same facial expressions as the Ravens players after the missed chip shot for some time. And I can't tell you how badly I felt for the 49er that fumbled the punt. He already was the victim of an unfortunate bounce,* to then lose the handle on the ball in conditions like that was heartbreaking. Could have happened to anybody.
*And maybe a bad decision to get anywhere close to the kick, but once it started bouncing, he clearly wanted no part of it.
Short post today, because were going to look at some homes for rent in Lafayette. If you are curious, though, here is a list of the free concerts in downtown Indy for the Super Bowl. The highlight seems to be LMFAO, but I should stress again that it's free.
You might have seen the story that Floyd Mayweather called Manny Pacquiao directly to try to set up a fight in May. It seems everybody in the world knows this is the fight that needs to happen. And, from the sounds of things coming out of the Mayweather side, at least, there is only one person in the world stopping it: Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum.
The last time this fight was all but a done deal, most blamed Mayweather for letting the deal fall through. Most thought that was because Mayweather was scared of Pacquiao and didn't want to take that sort of chance to taint his perfect record. I don't know if that was all of it, but I'm sure that played a role. Things seemed to have changed lately, though.
Pacquiao has fought Juan Manuel Marquez three times, and the record will show that Pacquiao is 2-0-1 in those fights. But, it seems all but the judges in those fights would probably say Pacquaio should have gone 1-2 at best in those fights, and quite possibly 0-2-1 or 0-3 depending on how you see the second fight. I haven't watched Marquez myself, but his style is usually compared to Mayweather, which obviously gives Pacquiao fits. This last real push by Mayweather started after Marquez was out and out robbed* in the last fight. I think Mayweather saw he could beat Pacquiao, even if a lot of sports-watching public** didn't. And, more importantly, I think Pacquaio (or at least Arum) thinks it, too.
*I wanted to see the fight, but the Danville BDubs doesn't do pay-per-views, so I couldn't. Still, this seems to be the consensus with everything I read immediately after the fight.
**Note that I said the sports watching public, not the hardcore boxing fans. I'm talking about people who watch a fair amount of ESPN and hear the Sportscenter and PTI take on everything.
For the curious, Mayweather and Marquez have also fought. Mayweather came away with an easy decision.
Will this fight ever happen? I really don't know. The two fighters are playing a chess game, it seems, and each side is only letting it happen when he's got the other in check. It seems like if they could just decide to hell with it and split a 50-50 purse and just fight in the ring instead of through the press, we'd all be much happier.
I'm not having such a great time. After another fight at home because I haven't found a job yet,* the dinner I made sucked, it's been pretty much decided we'll be moving soon,** and Wabash and the Pacers both managed to lose in spectacular, if different, fashion.
*Not for lack of trying, believe me.
**It's very related to the fact I haven't felt warm in two months, and still our electric bill is $250. And the landlord doesn't seem too interested in making that better.
I can definitely tell I'm getting pretty depressed. It's just two months and two days since I was let go from Watchfire. I was unemployed for roughly two months after an IT start up I joined didn't really start up in Lafayette. I definitely know where my limit is to be off work. Now, if I were off work and still making the sort of money I usually did, that might be a different story. But, as it is, things are just all around awful right now.
I'm going to try to stay dedicated to this blog, but if there is some schedule slippage, that would be the explanation. For a pretty decent description of what depression is like, Allie Brosh does a pretty good job over at Hyperbole and a Half. Now, I feel like I have a decent reason to feel like this, but the rest stands. Now I just have to wait until I break through this. I'd prefer it to be because I got hired somewhere, which is probably how it will be. Suffice to say homelife probably isn't going to do anything to uplift me.
Boiler up! Purdue decided to come out and play the second half, which came out to a season sweep of the Hawkeyes. That's something last year's team couldn't do. Of course, there was a lot unfulfilled about the Purdue teams of the past couple years that mostly centered on Robbie Hummel's deteriorating body that I'd rather not talk about. I get kind of riled up about it.
Tonight is a busy sports night. The Blackhawks and the Pacers play tonight after lengthy lay offs. The Blackhawks will take on the floundering Sabres, which is a game that might be good for Chicago. The Pacers travel out to see the Kings late tonight. I don't know much about this year's Kings team, and I'm not sure I really need to. I really can't describe just how confident I'm feeling with the Pacers this year. I really see them grabbing a top four seed in the East. I would be a nice return to prominence.
Also, Wabash takes on Wittenberg tonight in a battle for NCAC supremecy. Wittenberg is sitting at the pole position with a 6-0 record. Wabash would be undefeated if not for stubbing their toe against DePauw. That game was so frustrating. I think we're going to go with a little history lesson on the NCAC.
The NCAC (North Coast Athletic Conference, if you're unacquainted) was founded in 1983 as a split off of the OAC (Ohio Athletic Conference). The big boys from the start were Wittenberg and Wooster, and maybe a little Ohio Wesleyan sprinkled in. For example, only seven NCAC basketball titles have been won by somebody other than Wittenberg or Wooster, and all of those occurred before 1994. Ohio Wesleyan has won four titles, all in the 80's, and Allegheny won three sprinkled in the late 80's and early 90's. Football was a little more of a mixed bag, but historically, Wittenberg has the most wins in Division III, and their big rival is Wooster. Pretty easy to see where the money was supposed to go there.
Anyway, after some twists and turns, Wabash joined the conference in 2000. This seems to pretty clearly be a football move, although Wabash has been very competitive in other sports. Still, the writing on the wall is pretty clear. Despite only joining the conference for roughly half its life, Wabash has the third most conference titles. Wittenberg has 10 titles, Allegheny has 9, and Wabash has 6. Allegheny hasn't been a real force in the conference since 2003, their last conference title. I can say that with some personal knowledge. I started attending Wabash and really watching the football team in 2004, and I've never considered Allegheny a serious rival. Wittenberg is the only team that has been able to stay in Wabash's class since Wabash joined, and even then Wittenberg stole a conference title from us because of an ill-timed injury to our All-American quarterback.
As I mentioned, Wabash was invited because of football. Although we've been competitive in all sports, it wasn't until last year Wabash finally broke through and won a conference title outside of football. I really thought it would be the basketball team that would capture the title, as they went to three conference title games in a row, but it was not to be. Instead, the track team captured both indoor and outdoor titles, and the baseball team kind of came out of nowhere to capture their first title. When I first started looking at Wabash (and thinking about playing baseball, actually), they looked to be a team on the rise. They had just set a school record in wins with 22 and had a young core. But, the wheels came off from there, and the baseball team didn't threaten for much of anything for years. Then in 2010, the team sprang to life and made their first NCAC tournament.* The next year, they opened a new stadium (as seen in the header) and went on to win the whole conference. It wasn't a long stay in the national tournament, but they did get one win. Like the College World Series,** it's a double elimination tournament. Wabash lost 4-0 to Shenandoah, then beat Christopher Newport 9-3, and then fell in a close one to Salisbury 7-5.
*Baseball has the teams divided up into East and West, and you have to finish first or second in your division to make the tournament. Just so everybody is aware of the structure. Not quite like the basketball tournament, where you only have to be in the top 8 out of 10 schools.
**The NCAA likes to keep that name for just the Division I tournament, which I don't necessarily like, but whatever. Their game, their rules.
On a more personal note, if I had to pick a favorite Wabash sport, it would probably be the basketball team. Part of that is cultural. My high school was either middle of the pack or downright terrible at football, but our basketball teams were always really good. Plus, my mom had played basketball in high school (though her better sports were track and cross country), and my cousin who lived just up the lane also played basketball. I think he still holds the school record for field goal percentage. So I was always more attached to basketball than football. Then I furthered the cause and became a basketball manager in high school because I wasn't good enough to stay on the team,* but I still loved the sport and I got along really well with the coach, so I wanted to stay involved. That, combined with the fact that Wabash basketball games were and are free, made me want to check out the basketball team as soon as I fell in love with Wabash. Which was pretty much the minute I set foot on campus, actually. I didn't even apply anywhere else, I knew where I wanted to go. Thankfully, they took me.
*I could have played regularly on the freshman team (which I don't think exists anymore), but that probably would have been the limit. Practice player was probably the best role for me on that team. It was during my freshman year that we went to the state final four and started the first of five straight sectional titles. Maybe I could have played for some other schools, but I was born where I was born.
In any case, I think that's why I've pined so hard for the basketball team to break through and win a conference title. The football team is always going to be Wabash's glamour sport (though don't overlook the basketball team's history) with the Bell Game and nationally televised games and almost perennial playoff trips. But, the basketball team is where I really felt my connection.
If you're interested, the game is at 7:30 in Springfield, OH. If you don't happen to be around Springfield, you find a webcast of the game from the Wabash athletics page. Just click the camera when it's close to game time. I'll be connecting our laptop to our nice new TV to watch the game and rooting hard for my Little Giants.
Life (N): The whim of a few billion cells to be you for a little while.
Like most clever quotes and the like, it's not totally true and breaks down quickly. But I read that last night, and there's more than an element of truth to it. And it got me thinking, what really makes us, well, us?
Is there some sort of "master cell" or "master cluster" that keeps our personality consistent and holds the memories that make us who we are? Or is it really something more metaphysical than that? That said, even if it were something more spiritual, there should still be some sort of physical area that we happen and persevere in. I wrestled with that thought for a long time before another thought popped into my head.
When I think very hard, I can feel it in my head. I don't think I'm alone in this. It's taught in history class that the Egyptians believed the heart did all the thinking. Did they get chest pains when they concentrated? Do we get headaches because we know too much? It seems to me that it's the same sort of thing that when you cut yourself and don't realize it, it doesn't hurt.* But if you watch the injury happen, you feel the sting. Just how much of pain or feeling is simply awareness? Or, at least, the belief of awareness?
*Assuming, of course, the cut isn't too big or deep.
And this, of course,* got me thinking about classes we took about postmodernism in history. The idea that the very use of language limits our imagination. Why is a napkin called a napkin? Because we decided so. It could have been a balloon if society so chose. Now, I never really felt like I totally understood the whole postmodern history thing, but if I have it at all straight, I think the point is by the language we use we set parameters up in our stories and in our information that may or may not ring true. Either because the expectation of the words have changed** or wasn't entirely accurate in the first place. Why is that helpful? That I don't know, but it's interesting to think about what sort of power words have to our minds, even if unintentional.
*That was sarcastic, in case you missed it.
**A good example would be the word "gay." The Gay Nineties didn't necessarily refer to Oscar Wilde and his ill-advised slander trial.
And assuming everybody reads the asterisks, let's take another historical pause and consider this picture of Oscar Wilde. That picture was taken in 1882, most likely on his tour of America. Just to emphasize, that was 130 years ago. Almost a century and a half. One thing that really sticks out to me is just how modern it looks. In fact, he looks quite a bit to me like Hugh Grant in the 90's when he had longer hair. I would say something about just how many people walk around with canes these days when they aren't necessary, but Wilde is and was known as an aesthetic and to be just a little bit different than the average person.
Below everybody's friend Oscar, we have persistent Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan. That particular picture was taken in 1896. If you go to his Wikipedia page, the "main picture" also looks awfully modern, though I'm unsure of what year it was taken. The placing would seem to suggest it was taken while he was serving as the Secretary of State, so somewhere from 1913 to 1915. Either just over or very nearly a century ago. While casual fashion moves quickly (take a look at a documentary from the 90's and see how dated people look in their everyday life), other trends really take root. It is curious to me how culture moves and evolves, and not necessarily in a teleological fashion.
The suits and dress we see here obviously were not always the favored dress uniform of society. Take a look at his portrait of Henry VIII of England, he of the many executed wives. That was painted in 1509 when Henry was 18 and had just taken the throne. That was five centuries ago. Columbus had just made his voyage 15 years prior.If you go through a list of English monarchs, you will find this seems to have been typical dress for some time. Towards the end of his reign, you see we get a fairly major change. Here is the famous portrait most of us think of (or something similar) when we think of Henry VIII. A little more pimped out. This style, based on the formal portraits presented, lasted to about 1600, at the end of the Dutch kings. After that, formal dress got much more military, most every English king being painted wearing armor, like this portrait of William of Orange right around of the dawn of the 1700's.
By the late 1700's, we can start to really see some of modern fashion. Here is George III, who you might remember was the British king during a little conflict call the American Revolution. That particular portrait was painted in 1762. Yes, it is a little fancier than what we see out of Wilde and Bryan, but if you take out the cape, you have an opened coat that matches his breeches (obviously those lowered in the following years), revealing a matching vest. Sounds familiar, right? By the time you get to George V, you still have the cape, but otherwise get a very familiar looking military dress uniform. That portrait is from 1911, 147 years after George III. Or, roughly the difference between Oscar Wilde up there and today.
To try to make a long story short (ha!), there was really nothing good sporting wise on TV last night. None of my teams played, and the Australian Open is still too early to be all that interesting. Purdue plays tonight, though. Boiler up, beat the Hawkeyes!