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Mahomes and Brady Redux
[Posted Tues. p.m.]
NBA Quiz: With Tom Brady’s win there is lots of talk about whether he is the GOAT of all GOATS. Bill Russell won 11 titles in 13 years, 1956-69, so some folks say that in a team sport he is still the best. But let’s pick the sixth of the 11 title seasons, 1962-63. Name the nine teams in the NBA that year. Answer below.
Final Thoughts on the Super Bowl
Adam Kilgore / Washington Post
“The leaders on the Kansas City Chiefs’ sideline repeated the word over and over even as their fate grew more and more dire: Believe. They trailed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by three touchdowns late in the third quarter. They had committed penalties, dropped passes and shanked punts all through the Super Bowl against the greatest quarterback ever, an opponent who leaves no mistake unpunished. But they had Patrick Mahomes, and so they had reason to believe.
“For the first four years of his charmed career, Mahomes won a Super Bowl, became the face of the NFL, started a business empire, transformed Kansas City’s image of itself, urged Americans to vote and launched a presumed dynasty. He also made the Chiefs impervious to humiliation. He almost never lost – and when he did, the final seconds determined the outcome.
“Mahomes is still a quarterback worth believing in, and the Chiefs may still stack Lombardi trophies. But no longer can he claim to be unacquainted with the wrong end of an NFL butt-kicking. The Chiefs suffered the biggest defeat of Mahomes’ young career in perhaps his biggest game, a 31-9 loss that delayed, or possibly derailed, Kansas City’s burgeoning dynasty and made the task of Mahomes surpassing Tom Brady in the NFL annals an even more astronomical mission.
“The Chiefs’ startling demise came swiftly and thoroughly. They did not score a touchdown for the first time since Mahomes and Coach Andy Reid joined forces and revolutionized NFL offense. They did not score double-digit points for the first time with Mahomes behind center and failed to reach 20 for the third time in his 54 career starts. Mahomes had never lost by more than eight. He had lost nine times in his career, including playoff games, by a total of 44 points. In one night, the Buccaneers dusted him by half that total.
“ ‘I didn’t see it coming at all,’ Reid said. ‘I thought we were going to come in and we were going to play these guys just like we’ve been playing teams. And it didn’t happen that way. They did a nice job. Give them credit. I didn’t anticipate this coming at all.’”
Reid sucked, including his clock management in the latter stages of the first half that gave Tom Brady time for a last touchdown drive to make it 21-6. And his postgame comments on his son’s auto accident were sorely lacking. Not a good day for his legacy.
As for Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, his “plan to stymie the Chiefs…ranks among the all-time Super Bowl coaching masterpieces,” as Adam Kilgore writes. “The Chiefs planned for the Buccaneers to play their usual style, mostly man coverages with a little zone mixed in and heavy blitzing.
“Instead, Bowles adjusted to both his strengths and the Chiefs’ weaknesses. Bowles kept two safeties back deep in zone coverage all night, switching between cover-two and cover-four, to take away the speed of Tyreek Hill. He trusted blazing linebackers Devin White and Lavonte David to contain tight end Travis Kelce over the middle. He believed his front seven could stop running plays even with the safeties backed up. Bowles knew his pass rush could devour the Chiefs’ offensive line, which missed injured starting tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, so he blitzed just five times.”
Get this…according to Next Gen Stats, Mahomes ran 497 yards before making throws or taking sacks, the most in one game since it started keeping track.
Travis Kelce said: “They made us dink and dunk, take what was there. They put a cap over top and didn’t let us get behind the defense, knowing how much speed we have. Sure enough, what that made us do is try and run the ball a little bit better, but their front seven is second to none in the league. It was frustrating. It was one of those where you felt like anything you did, they had an answer for.”
To me, every loss can be traced to an early muff. You see this a ton of times in the college game, a receiver dropping a bomb that would have put them in the lead 10-7, and instead the other team takes the ensuing punt, drives down the field and it’s 14-3 and the game gets away from the other side.
In the Super Bowl, it was Travis Kelce’s early third-down drop in Kansas City territory, which led to a shanked punt. The Chiefs then lined up offside on a Bucs field goal attempt, giving Tampa Bay a first down and, bingo, Brady had his second touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski, Bucs up 14-3, and the Chiefs never got closer than 14-6, 21-6 at half, 124 yards of offense at the intermission, game over. Kelce makes that catch, who knows. That’s just how sports goes.
College basketball game and a team is down 52-38 at the half. But they start the second half hot, cut the lead to six, 56-50, they have a fast break, guy goes in for the jam and muffs it! Fast break the other way, opponent lays it in and is fouled. Suddenly, what should have been 56-52, and tons of momentum, is 59-50, momentum lost.
Similarly, as Adam Kilgore points out:
“If Mahomes does get back to winning Super Bowls, he will start at a 7-1 deficit against Brady, the quarterback he will be measured against in any all-time conversation. A 6-2 edge would look and feel much different. Mahomes must now prove he can solve the next defensive coordinator with a rugged front seven who plays his safeties back in deep zone.
“ ‘When we joined together, we knew it wasn’t going to be always successful, and you weren’t going to be able to win 1,000 championships in a row,’ Mahomes said. ‘We knew we were going to go through times like this.’
“Maybe Mahomes knew, but nothing could have prepared an observer for what transpired Sunday night. Knowing Mahomes is at risk of being blown out and shut down is one thing. Seeing vivid proof on the sports’ grandest stage is another. Mahomes will get on with his career, starting Monday when, he said, he’ll consider surgery on his damaged toe. It is still easy to believe in him, but maybe not quite as easy as it once was.”
Dan Shaughnessy / Boston Globe
“The same age as president-elect JFK, older than Elvis lived to be, Camelot quarterback Tom Brady is still The King.
“Brady, 43 years old, beat the defending world champion Kansas City Chiefs, 31-9, in Super Bowl 55 on Sunday night, capping the greatest individual sports story of this century.
[Ed. Tiger Woods, and moi, would disagree with this statement.]
“After 20 seasons and six Super Bowl rings with the Patriots, Brady relocated to Tampa Bay in March and engineered the greatest revenge tour in football history. It took him a couple of months to get acclimated, but he got hot in December, then capped a playoff tour de force with three touchdown passes in one of the most-hyped matchups in the history of the Super Bowl.
“It’s Brady’s seventh Super Bowl victory, more than any NFL franchise. He was named Super Bowl MVP for a record fifth time; John Elway is the only other quarterback to make five Super Bowl starts, period.
“How does that taste, Bill Belichick? And what about you, Bob Kraft? Still think Brady wasn’t worth a two-year contract after six Lombardis, nine conference championships, and 17 division titles?
“Not to pile on here, but it has to be pointed out that Brady’s touchdown passes against the Chiefs were thrown to Rob Gronkowski (two) and Antonio Brown, two more ex-Patriots. This could not have worked out better for Brady, or worse for the 7-9, non-playoff, Brady-less Pats. I was expecting a TD pass to Mookie Betts before the night was over.
“With Brady matching up against KC young gun Patrick Mahomes, CBS billed the game as ‘the Super Bowl the universe has been waiting for.’ A tad lofty, perhaps, but there is no such thing as overstatement when you are talking about Tom Brady.
“It was a regional mind-bender for Patriot Nation. In the lead-up to the game, The Wall Street Journal featured a page one story in which clinical psychologists and ‘breakup coaches’ – did you know they existed? – speculated on the mindset of New England football fans who feel jilted by Tom.
“Indeed, even though this game pitted teams from Tampa and Kansas City, Super Bowl 55 was all about us. Here in 2021, our doctors, lawyers, stockbrokers, and parents of little children were middle schoolers eating Super Bowl sheet cakes and raising foam fingers when 24-year-old Brady beat the heavily-favored Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI on Feb. 3, 2002.
“Fast forward 19 years and Brady has stopped the clock. The bells do not toll for him. The Sunday New York Times put him on a par with freak carnival figures, like P.T. Barnum’s bearded lady and four-legged girl: ‘…Brady, wearing a new costume, performs like a carnival act – Come see the ageless man!...’”
Mark Cannizzaro / New York Post
“Brady…knows who the true MVP of the game was.
“It was Todd Bowles.
“Yes, Jets fans, that Todd Bowles….
“How good was Bowles’ plan?
“If you didn’t know any better, you’d have assumed he’d been sitting in on the Chiefs offensive meetings for the past two weeks, eating dinner at Mahomes’ house and discussing the Kansas City offensive game plan for Sunday.
“In the teams’ previous meeting, a 27-24 Kansas City win on Nov. 29, the Chiefs offense boat-raced Bowles’ Buccaneers’ defense. It was an embarrassing day for Tampa Bay. The Chiefs led 17-0 in the first quarter and 27-10 in the fourth quarter before the Bucs scored a couple of garbage-time TDs in the fourth quarter.
“Mahomes completed 37 of 49 for 462 yards and three TDs that day. Hill, who finished that game with 13 catches for 269 yards and three TD receptions, had 203 of those receiving yards in the first quarter.”
In the Super Bowl, Mahomes had 270 empty yards, but only 67 in the first half.
Hill had just two catches for 13 yards in the first half, and meaningless yardage after.
The Chiefs converted only 3 of 13 on third down.
Mike Lupica / New York Daily News
“In the end, this season and this story is about Tom Brady. He goes to Tampa and ends up with more offensive weapons than he ever had in New England, and then he watches his defense do what Belichick defenses used to do for him. And wins again. The last time Brady won a Super Bowl with the Patriots, his defense gave the Rams three points. Sunday night the Chiefs didn’t score a touchdown.
“The Bucs don’t win the second title in their history if Brady doesn’t decide to go play football for them this season. The GOAT of all the other GOATS. There have been other athletes who won more titles in other sports. This all just feels like more with Brady, because he does what he does at the age of 43….
“And you know what? He was right about that the way he was right to think he could win another title in Tampa. He was right to think he still had this much football in him. He kept telling people that he might play until he was 45. Try telling him can’t. He began to show everybody how much talent and will and game he had after the Patriots didn’t draft him until the sixth-round. He did that when he was young. Now he does what he does with the Bucs when he is old.
“This isn’t about this one night or this one game. It is about all of them. It is about all of it with Brady. There will never be another career like this, in any team sport in this country. Brady at 43, winning Super Bowl 55. He won his first Super Bowl 19 years ago. The Bucs won their first Super Bowl 18 years ago. Now they win one together. Jack Nicklaus won another Masters, his sixth, when he was 46. Brady was three years younger on Sunday night when he won again. He is a quarterback. No, amend that: He is the quarterback….
“If you are keeping score for his time in sports, in this American century, he now has won one more title than Michael Jordan did. He has won three more titles than LeBron James, at least so far. LeBron has won titles with three teams. Now Brady has won with two.
“On the field when it was over, Brady said, ‘We came together at the right time.’
“Then he said, ‘I’m not making any comparisons,’ when Jim Nantz asked him if this really was his crowning achievement.
“It was a perfect answer, on what felt like one more perfect night for him, because there are no comparisons to be made to No. 12. He has been showing everybody his whole football career. Did it again in Tampa on Sunday night. Home field. Home office.”
--The football world is suddenly in love with Todd Bowles, with all manner of folks, including Jim Nantz on Sunday, saying that while Bowles was turned down for one of the seven head coaching vacancies this year, he will surely get one next season.
But I need to remind Mr. Nantz et al…that Todd Bowles sucked as a coach with the Jets. Yes, he was 10-6 in his first season, 2015 (no playoffs), but the history of most Jets coaches is they do OK in year one, and then most of them flame out. Bowles then proceeded to go 5-11, 5-11 and 4-12 before being let go.
The guy was truly pathetic. Very nice man, no doubt. You’d love him as your neighbor to watch your house while you were on vacation and water the flowers. Kind of like the late Kofi Annan, as I used to write.
But as a head coach? Boy, some guys are just destined to be great assistants. See Jeffrey Immelt, a godawful successor to Jack Welch at G.E., but I digress.
--How cool is Gronk? I mean we all know Tom Brady has the world by the balls, but Gronk has far more fun.
--Johnny Mac notes that the key to winning a Super Bowl is to sign running back LeSean McCoy for one season and then don’t play him in the big game…as was the case last year with Kansas City and this season when with Tampa Bay.
--Lastly, one of the winningest coaches in the NFL, Marty Schottenheimer, died. He had been at a hospice center in Charlotte. He was 77. His family said in a statement he had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Schottenheimer was a sterling 200-126-1 in 21 seasons, first with Cleveland, then Kansas City, Washington for one season, and San Diego. The 200 wins are the seventh most in NFL history. Every other eligible coach with as many victories has been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
But he was also famously 5-13 in the playoffs, which is a huge reason why he isn’t in Canton.
Schottenheimer developed a reputation for turning around losing teams by emphasizing strict discipline and a conservative, error-free style of play.
Hailing from western Pennsylvania, and later becoming an all-American linebacker at Pitt, from which he graduated in 1965, he would go on to be mostly a backup linebacker for six seasons with the Buffalo Bills and then the Boston Patriots. Schottenheimer then got his first coaching experience in 1974 with the Portland Storm of the short-lived World Football League.
He then went to the Jets and was linebackers coach for the Detroit Lions before becoming the defensive coordinator of the Browns in 1980.
Schottenheimer approached the sport with a steely, well-prepared resolve. His summer training camps were both grueling and meticulous.
Each practice session was planned to the minute, and players were punished if they were late. On the field, he emphasized rugged defense and an offensive attack built around the running game – a style of play sometimes mockingly called “Martyball.”
But he’s best remembered for his playoff failures, losing to Denver and John Elway in the AFC championship game in both 1986 and ’87, the second which came to be known for a single play, Earnest Byner and “The Fumble,” which also came to symbolize Schottenheimer’s postseason woes.
While he never made the Super Bowl, three of Schottenheimer’s former assistants did, and won – Bill Cowher with the Steelers, Tony Dungy with the Colts, and Mike McCarthy with the Packers.
After my years on Wall Street before I started this site, I most took pride in that so many of the people I hired went on to have great careers (many of whom still write me today). And they’d all tell you I was the easiest interview they ever had. Why? Because I didn’t give a s--- where they went to school or their GPA, or how they’d make the company better. I’d ask them, “What’s your favorite sports team?” “What do you like to do outside of work?” and go on from there. If they were comfortable talking about the topic, and I liked them, ‘Hired!’
Marty Schottenheimer obviously did an outstanding job in judging character and gauging a candidate’s potential talent. And for that reason, along with his regular season success, he should be in the Hall of Fame.
--AP Poll (records thru Sun.)
1. Gonzaga (55) 18-0
2. Baylor (8) 17-0…but on Covid pause again
3. Michigan 13-1
4. Ohio State 15-4
5. Villanova 12-2
6. Illinois 13-5
7. Texas Tech 14-5
8. Houston 16-2
9. Virginia 13-3
10. Missouri 13-3
20. USC 15-3…first ranking since Dec. 2017
22. Loyola of Chicago 17-3
25. Rutgers 11-6…four straight Big Ten wins, 8-5 in the conference overall
The Big Ten has seven teams in the Top 25.
Kansas is finally out of the AP men’s poll for the first time in 12 years, ending the Jayhawks’ record streak of 231 consecutive weeks ranked in the Top 25. The Jayhawks did beat 23 Oklahoma State last night, 78-66, to improve to 13-7, after starting the season 8-1.
Gonzaga and Baylor have held the first two spots all season. The Zags had a solid 82-71 win on the road at BYU (15-5, 6-3) last night.
4 Ohio State beat Maryland (10-10, 4-9) on the road Monday, 73-65.
As for Loyola, this is startling. They are ranked for the first time since the final poll of the 1984-85 season. But how can that be, you ask? What about their run to the Final Four in 2018? Well they were never ranked in the Top 25 that season. Pretty bizarre.
--We have us some “Idiots of the Year” for the December file and yearend hardware.
UNC hoops players Day’Ron Sharpe* and Armando Bacot, who were caught on video partying without masks on, along with other young people who also weren’t wearing masks Saturday after UNC’s 91-87 win over Duke.
So Monday night, two hours before tipoff, after the video had surfaced the game was postponed.
*The Crystals had a 1963 hit, “Da Day’Ron Ron Ron…Da Day’Ron Ron….”
….I was just informed this is not accurate. I stand corrected.
--MLB and the Players Association reached an agreement Monday night on health and safety protocols that will cover spring training and the regular season, but it does not include a universal DH.
Spring training starts next week and the accord has many similarities to last year’s Covid-related approach, including using seven-inning doubleheaders (good) and starting extra innings with a runner on second (also good…a year ago I wouldn’t have said that). Both were designed to shorten time at the ballpark during the pandemic, but I just think they make the game better.
The union, though, has seen the installment of a full-time DH as a health and safety issue to protect pitchers, while MLB views the DH as a financial issue because it believes it offers monetary benefits to the players. Therefore, the league has wanted to exchange inclusion of a universal DH for an element that MLB wants, such as expanded playoffs. The players union has not favored expanding the postseason for a variety of reasons, including concerns it could disincentivize teams that think it is easier to get in the playoffs from spending more on players.
We have a long ways to go before Opening Day, and the two sides could still negotiate on the DH and expanded playoffs.
Mets fans desperately want the DH because we have this first base combo, Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith, where one would be a natural DH in most games, though Smith can play left field.
The Braves with Marcell Ozuna are another contender that would love the DH, as I wrote the other day.
--The Angels signed Shohei Ohtani to a two-year, $8.5 million contract, avoiding a hearing in his first year of arbitration eligibility.
L.A. is hoping for a major bounceback from their once two-way star, banking on Ohtani’s upside when it comes to his presence in the starting rotation. In 2018 when Ohtani burst on the scene, over 10 starts and 51 2/3 innings, he was 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA and 63 strikeouts.
At the plate he had 22 home runs and 61 RBIs over just 326 at-bats, batting .285 with a superb .925 OPS. Ohtani followed that up with a solid 2019 at the plate, but he was shelved in terms of pitching due to Tommy John surgery, which he underwent in October 2018. Last year was then a total waste, as he hit just .190 with 50 strikeouts and a .657 OPS in 153 ABs.
I’d love for the guy to kick ass in 2021. Sho-hei! Sho-hei!
--The league’s serious Covid issues continue. The Devils are losing three more games because of a slew of positives among their players. The Sabres and Minnesota Wild also currently have more games postponed.
Overall, as of Tuesday morning, the NHL had postponed 33 games and rescheduled at least half of them.
--After his immediate post-round interview following his win Sunday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Brooks Koepka talked of being in a “dark place.” In his formal interview after with the press, Koepka expounded on his struggles with injuries and his poor play.
“It was a lot worse than I probably let one,” he said. “There was a period maybe for about two months where I just questioned whether I was ever going to be the same, whether I was even going to be somewhat remotely the same golfer that I ever was. Those dark places, a lot of tears, questioning yourself, and in dark places mentally. You’ve got to come out of that. …I’ll tell you what, it takes a lot of effort just to get out of those places.”
Despite entering the week having missed three straight cuts for the first time in his career, Koepka kept telling anyone that would listen that his game was fine. “Sometimes results aren’t everything,” he said. “You know it’s coming. You can feel it.”
--Before the first round of the Phoenix Open, Golfweek’s Adam Schupak interviewed Golf Channel’s outspoken Brandel Chamblee. When asked the question, “Which former World No. 1 gets back into the winner’s circle first: Justin Rose, Jason Day, or Jordan Spieth?”
BC: “I don’t mean any ill will towards Justin Rose and Jason Day but I hope it’s Jordan Spieth. It probably will be Jason Day, but good question…
“Spieth is headed into oblivion. That’s hard to turn that ship around….
“If you go back and look at Ian Baker-Finch and David Duval’s ascent and descent in the game of golf, they track a similar path to Jordan Spieth. When they get to a point where they are really searching and they get desperate there’s not only the insecurity of whether or not you’re ever going to find it again, there’s also that psychological scar tissue. It’s like a physical wound and some of them will heal up and some of them will kill you.”
Hours later Spieth teed it up and fired the first of consecutive 4-under 67s. Spieth then tied his lowest score on the PGA Tour with a 10-under 61 in the third round. So Schupak of course had to go back to Chamblee.
“He did something today I don’t think I’ve seen. I’ll go look it up. I can’t remember a person being in the lead position in a golf tournament being dead last in fairways hit and next-to-last in distance from the edge of the fairway. That’s unprecedented. I don’t know how you do that….
“Henrik Stenson was No. 4 in the world after winning the Players in 2009 and he fell down to No. 230 when he got the driver yips. I’m not saying Jordan Spieth has the driver yips but on your way to them you miss by wide margins in every direction.”
Spieth's driving in the fourth round was not good. He hit 5 of 14 fairways, on his way to a 1-over 72 and a T4, and was 23/56 for the tournament.
But as Chamblee said, Spieth just outwardly stays positive.
“If he loses his attitude, there’s no way back. I’ve never seen him slump his shoulders, I’ve never seen him throw clubs. I’ve never seen him use profanity. I’ve never seen him give the Heisman to people asking him tough-to-answer questions. I said today on our show that I’ve never seen anybody, except for maybe Chip Beck, handle really poor play with more class. It’s easy to pull for somebody like that.”
And so we do.
--I didn’t have a chance last time to note the comments of Rory McIlroy, who weighed in on the recent announcement from the USGA and R&A of proposed rules changes, as well as exploring other areas of interest, in an attempt to curb distance at the elite level; the latest phase of the governing bodies’ now-year-old Distance Insights Report, which concluded that continuing distance gains were detrimental to the game’s future.
McIlroy, a paid endorser of TaylorMade equipment, called the report a “huge waste of time and a huge waste of money,” when it affects only “0.1%” of the game’s population.
“The authorities are looking at the game through such a tiny little lens, that what they’re trying to do is change something that pertains to 0.1% of the golfing community,” McIlroy said. “Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the people who play this game play for enjoyment, for entertainment. They don’t need to be told what ball or clubs to use.
“We have to make the game as easy and approachable as possible for the majority of golfers. Honestly, I think this Distance Insights Report has been a huge waste of time and a huge waste of money, because that money that its cost to do this report could have been way better distributed to getting people into the game, introducing young kids to the game, introducing minorities to the game.
“I heard Mike Davis say something about we’re trying to protect the game for the next hundred years – this isn’t how you do it. This is so small and inconsequential compared to other things happening in the game. It’s the grassroots. It’s getting more people engaged in golf. That’s where they should be spending their money, not spending it on the Distance Insights Report.”
Then McIlroy, as he’s done before, said he’d be “all for” bifurcation, in which the professionals and amateurs would play by a different set of rules.
“If they want to try to make the game more difficult for us, or try to incorporate more skill to the game, yeah, I’d be all for that, because I think it only benefits the better player, which I feel like I am,” he said. “Maybe they said that in terms of local rules and maybe some sort of bifurcation, but we are such a tiny portion of golf. Golf is way bigger than the professional golf. We’re such a tiny portion of it. It’s the other stuff that really matters, and that’s the stuff they need to concentrate on.”
--The pilot carrying Kobe Bryant, his teenage daughter and six other people didn’t follow his training after flying into clouds and likely became disoriented, the National Transportation Safety Board ruled today.
Pilot Ara Zobayan should have steadied the helicopter, climbed slowly and declared an emergency to get help from air traffic controllers, the NTSB said.
Once he was in the clouds, the investigators said Zobayan likely became disoriented as he lost visual references, thinking he was climbing when, in fact, the helicopter was plunging toward a hillside.
--I apologize that I don’t have the time to do Pedro Gomez’ career justice. The ESPN MLB reporter died suddenly Sunday at the all-too-early age of 58.
Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content, said: “We are shocked and saddened to learn that our friend and colleague Pedro Gomez has passed away. Pedro was an elite journalist at the highest level and his professional accomplishments are universally recognized. More importantly, Pedro was a kind, dear friend to us all. Our hearts are with Pedro’s family and all who love him at this extraordinarily difficult time.”
Gomez worked at ESPN since 2003 and covered more than 25 World Series during his 35-year career as a journalist.
Gomez’ son, Rio, is a Red Sox farmhand.
Rather than do his story injustice…I promise (Shu) I will cover the Cuba angle next time. Pedro Gomez was a good man.
--We note the passing of Mary Wilson, the longest-reigning original Supreme. She was 76, cause not immediately clear.
Wilson, Florence Ballard and Diana Ross made up the first successful configuration of The Supremes. She stayed with the group until it was officially disbanded by Motown in 1977.
The group’s first No. 1, million-selling song, “Where Did Our Love Go,” was released June 17, 1964. Touring at the time, Wilson said there was a moment when she realized they had a hit song.
“I remember that instead of going home on the bus, we flew,” she told the Associated Press in 2014. “That was our first plane ride. We flew home. We had really hit it big.”
Eleven more No. 1s followed with Diana Ross in the lead:
“Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” “Stop! In the Name Of Love,” “Back In My Arms Again,” “I Hear A Symphony,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” “Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone,” “The Happening,” “Love Child” and “Someday We’ll Be Together.”
Boy, you look at this lineup and how do you pick one favorite over the others. I loved them all.
Diana Ross tweeted: “I just woke up to this news. I am reminded that each day is a gift. I have so many wonderful memories of our time together.”
Wilson actually posted a YouTube video on Saturday, saying she was excited to celebrate Black History month and her upcoming birthday (March 6) and teased fans with the announcement Universal Music had plans to release some of her music.
The Supremes did not fare well early in their career, but they achieved success after they began working with the songwriting and producing team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland – and after Berry Gordy made Diana Ross the lead singer (Wilson and Ballard had shared most of the leads prior).
The Supremes emerged as stars during an era of tension and upheaval: Prior to JFK’s assassination, you had the March on Washington at which MLK spoke. Yet the Supremes, with all this awful stuff going on, and racial divide, found fans everywhere and were very popular with white audiences.
Dolores Barclay, an author who collaborated with Ross on a memoir, said: “Appearing in white venues was breaking down racial barriers. But it’s a different type of disruption. It’s nonconfrontational. It’s having a platform and saying, ‘Yes, we’re here, we’re great, and we’re a part of American music.’”
The New York Times added in 1967: “(The Supremes) transcend adolescence without repudiating it. Their audience spans ages and taste barriers.”
The Supremes were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
Top 3 songs for the week 2/8/75: #1 “Fire” (Ohio Players) #2 “You’re No Good” (Linda Ronstadt) #3 “Boogie On Reggae Woman” (Stevie Wonder)…and…#4 “Pick Up The Pieces” (AWB) #5 “Best Of My Love” (The Eagles) #6 “Some Kind Of Wonderful” (Grand Funk) #7 “Black Water” (The Doobie Brothers) #8 “Laughter In The Rain” (Neil Sedaka…will sound good 100 years from now...) #9 “Lonely People” (America) #10 “Get Dancin’” (Disco Tex & His Sex-O-Lites…B week…)
NBA Quiz Answer: 1962-63 NBA….
New York Knicks
Los Angeles Lakers
St. Louis Hawks
San Francisco Warriors
The Chicago Zephyrs became the Baltimore Bullets the following season. That same year the Syracuse Nationals ‘poofed’ into the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Chicago Bulls became the tenth team in the league in 1966-67. Baltimore, which had been in the ‘West,’ then moved to the East.
Next Bar Chat, Sunday p.m.