Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Final Four

The 1993 NCAA men's basketball tournament was played at the Superdome in New Orleans.

The biggest upset of the tournament was #15 seed Santa Clara shocking #2 Arizona in the opening round - though you might not be so shocked since Santa Clara's point guard was an all-time great.

I used to watch more college basketball back in the early '90s but I probably didn't watch a whole lot of this tournament since UConn wasn't in it. The Final Four teams in 1993 were nearly all top seeds:

#1 seed North Carolina, coached by the great Dean Smith and led by future NBA players Eric Montross and George Lynch 


#2 seed Kansas, coached by Roy Williams and led by senior point guard Rex Walters (whom the Nets would draft that June)



 #1 seed Kentucky, coached by Rick Pitino and led by future NBA star Jamal Mashburn



and #1 seed Michigan, coached by Steve Fisher and led by "Fab Five" sophomores Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, and Jalen Rose



In the championship, UNC defeated the Wolverines 77-71 in a game made infamous by Chris Webber calling a timeout when Michigan didn't have any remaining. 


This year's Final Four is a little less "chalk" with #1 seeded Baylor going up against #2 Houston and undefeated Gonzaga facing #11 UCLA, which stunned #1 ranked Michigan in the Elite Eight.


On the Women's side, the 1993 NCAA championship was won by Sheryl Swoopes and Texas Tech in an 84-82 victory over Katie Smith and Ohio State.  


This year's Final Four features #1 South Carolina vs. #1 seed Stanford and #3 Arizona going up against #1 seed UConn. The Huskies undoubtedly got a favorable call at the end of their 69-67 victory over Baylor, but there are several reasons why I don't feel bad for Baylor.




Are you watching this year's Final Four? Any favorite memories from past NCAA tournaments?



Thanks for reading!




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p.s. this is one of my final four posts leading up to the 500th post celebration :-)

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Born in 1993

I've been trying to think of topics for this here '93 blog and it hasn't been as easy as I'd imagined. Eventually I came up with the idea to discuss athletes and entertainers who were Born in 1993. That way I could tie in some currently relevant people and events to this very dated blog concept. 

Rather than actually researching people who'd been born 28 years ago I thought of someone I wanted to discuss and then googled their birth year. 


Oooh how about Elizabeth Olsen? Everyone's talking about WandaVision. Is it possible she's 28 or so?

Nope... she's 32. And - hold the phone - she's the Olsen twins' younger sister?!? GTFO!


Okay, well... how about Ryan George? I've been binge-watching his Pitch Meetings and The First Guy videos. He's very funny. Is he 28, by any chance? 

 

Nope. He, too, was born in 1989.

Damn. If only his time traveling talk show had been based in 1993 and not 1995


Oh! How about Lynn Gunn, lead singer of Pvris. Was she born in 1993?

Nope, 1994. Fvck.


Okay, fine.  Who the heck was Born in 1993? According to this list on IMDB, here are our choices:


This the dude from One Direction? You don't know you're beautiful/that's what makes you beautiful. That guy? Or was that Harry Styles? Moving on...



Ah yes, Victoria. Gorgeous young woman. Talented, too. But I covered her over at The Collector.


Hi. I don't know you, but... hi. 


i never watched iCarly. Didn't know she was in Despicable Me 2. 


No. Just... no.



Why does this guy sound familiar... was he in One Direction, too?



Hey it's the half-a-man who quit acting to join a religious cult sect. Cool.


Here we go. You probably know Olivia from Ready Player One but I first saw her in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (she was the dying girl.)



That was a lowkey good movie (and book). And since Olivia Cooke was born at the tail end of 1993 I'm satisfied that I've found someone worth discussing here. 



In the next edition of Born In 1993 I'll try to find some other entertainers to discuss. Failing that, I'll just stick to sports ;)




Thanks for reading!




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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Oil Crisis

Houston sports teams are having a rough year already. The Astros are still public enemy #1 in baseball, James Harden and J.J. Watt couldn't get their teams to a championship and left town. George Springer did win a title in Houston, but left for Toronto anyway. Deshaun Watson wants out. It's a mess. But the city's sports scene in 2021 is a well-oiled machine compared to the 1993 Houston Oilers.

Do you remember the "Luv Ya Blue" Oilers of Earl Campbell and Bum Phillips? Or the "Run & Shoot" era with Warren Moon airing it out to Haywood Jeffires and Ernest Givins? I remember these Oilers - or I thought I did. They were an exciting team. Moon was fun to watch, and their powder blue uniforms were fantastic. 

This past weekend UrinatingTree posted a documentary about the 1993 Oilers that is absolutely worth watching. There was enough drama in that one season for three or four documentaries. U-Tree tied it all together in a tidy 31 minutes and it's as fascinating and informative as any 30 for 30 episode.

 
 
I was a casual Oilers fan at the time, they were on my radar and I cheered for them against just about any AFC team except maybe the Dolphins. Their logo and wordmark were one of my favorites; I picked up Oilers memorabilia whenever I could including a collector's cup, a key chain, and this pennant:


A few years earlier (1991 I think?) I managed to find a Warren Moon Starting Lineup figure. Almost bought a Drew Hill figure from a dealer named Jack who specialized in hard to find pieces, but I passed - it was either out of my price range, damaged, or both. 

Anyway... back to the 1993 Oilers. While watching U-Tree's video I made a mental note to check my collection for cards of the principal players in this season-long drama. 

I only have 23 Oilers cards from 1993. Ten of them (nine base cards and an insert) are from the SP set. So I put together a little wantlist here, which I'll refer to next time I shop at baseballcardstore.ca.

  • 1993 Fleer #220
  • 1993 Pro Line Live #101
  • 1993 Score #216
  • 1993 Upper Deck Team MVP insert

I only have 27 total Warren Moon cards so I could definitely expand this list beyond '93 issues.


I have seven Haywood Jeffires cards including some very cool 1991 issues. Don't really need any more at the moment.

  • 1992 Pro Set #510
  • 1992 Skybox Impact #165

Ernest Givins' 1992 Upper Deck card makes me dizzy. I liked Givins and his touchdown celebration but the Electric Slide song was awful. My high school Spanish teacher played it frequently and I couldn't stand it.

  • 1994 Collector's Choice Crash the Game
  • 1995 Classic NFL Experience #38
  • 1995 SP #136
  • 1995 Topps #301

Gary Brown somehow rushed for 1,002 yards in 1993 despite getting just 195 carries in Houston's pass-happy offense. I have three of his 433(!) cards and wouldn't mind adding one or two more.

  • 1993 Bowman #394
  • 1993 Topps #547

I have one David Williams card - 1992 Stadium Club. Wouldn't mind picking up another one from 1993. (I could also use more Mike Munchak and Bruce Matthews cards.)


  • 1992 Wild Card #132
  • 1993 Bowman #65
  • 1993 Topps #90
  • 1994 Pro Line Live #314

Wilber Marshall's 1993 Topps card lists him as a "Franchise Player" -- for Washington. He signed with the Oilers that spring, then followed defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan to Arizona for 1994.



  • 1991 Upper Deck #314
  • 1993 Pacific #294
  • 1993 Score #182
  • 1994 Skybox Impact #108

13 of my 16 Sean Jones cards picture him with the Packers. I could definitely use more Oilers issues of the team's sack leader in 1993.


Backup interior lineman Jeff Alm has just eight cards. This is the only one that pictures him in the powder blue Oilers uniform - aside from his 1990 Score Supplemental card that hides the logos so well it would blend in with an unlicensed set today.
 

  • 1993 Pro Set #167
  • 1994 Skybox Impact #98
  • 1994 Topps #516

Cris Dishman had 43 interceptions in his career and yet one quote about him has stuck with me since his playing days. I think it was Deion Sanders who said "Dish hadn't had a pick since God was three." I'm assuming I read that on the back of a football card but I can't find it anywhere.

Here's another case of my memory deleting some details. I will never forget this Antonio Freeman catch but if you gave me fifty guesses I never would have remembered that Dishman was covering him on the play.


  • 1994 Pacific #71
  • 1995 Topps #196
  • 1995 Ultra #126

Bubba McDowell was the guy I remembered but Marcus Robertson was the better safety. He led the Oilers in interceptions and earned All-Pro honors in '93. I don't have any of his cards, which might explain why I didn't realize how good he was.


 

I'm not sure if there are any other Oilers logo/helmet cards out there aside from this 1994 Pacific Prisms card but I might try to seek out some Panini stickers like this one or this one


I've updated my 1993 wantlist but I might create a second page for players who started or ended their career that season. I'll probably move my Oilers wants there, too. 
 
 

Thanks for reading!



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