This Day in Sports

January 26

Robbie Cicciari, Staff Reporter

  1961: “The Great One is born”

 The greatest hockey player to ever live, Wayne Gretzky, was born in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. His parents,  Phyllis Hockin and Walter Gretzky, were very influential on his life. They introduced him to hockey and the rest is history.

  Growing up, Wayne learned how to skate on the family farm by the age of 3, and he was playing on a team of 10 year olds at age 6.  At age 14, he moved to Toronto in order to further his career. He was then drafted by Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League at age 16. A year later, he signed his first professional contract with the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association. The Racers were forced to sell  him as the team was going under, and that is when the famous pairing of Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers was established. Edmonton did not join the National Hockey League until the next season though. When Gretzky finally joined the league, the records never stood a chance. He ended up playing for 4 teams in his NHL career including the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, and the New York Rangers. He ended his career with a total of 894 goals, 1,963 assists, and 2,857 points. Each of these stats are remarkably NHL records that he set during his career, and all three still stand to this day. Junior Will Walker said, “He was so dominant, there will never be another Wayne Gretzky.” Will may be right, as when he retired, Gretzky held 61 NHL records, most of which are thought to never be broken.

1991: Bills Lose 4 straight

 The 1990’s Buffalo Bills were one of the best teams to ever play in the NFL. However, they had one big problem: they could not win a Super Bowl. Led by quarterback Jim Kelly and running back Thurman Thomas,  the Buffalo Bills went to four straight Super Bowls against the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, and the Dallas Cowboys twice. On this date though, the Bills lost their first Super Bowl of the four. They lost this game 20 to 19 against the Giants, the closest game they had attempting to win the Super Bowl as each of the next three games they lost by at least double digits. The most memorable game of the 1991 Super Bowl was Bills kicker Scott Norwood missing a 47 yard field goal wide right at the end of the game as time expired to lose the game. The game has since been remembered by the kick and is known as “wide right.” Since losing their last Super Bowl, they have not been back to the big stage once. Going 0 for 4 in the early 1990’s may just be a team crumbling under pressure.  Now it is more than that, and some say is a curse of the Bills.