It was the year that sports forgot to take its medication and went completely nuts. We all know the rap sheet from 1994: Nancy was attacked, O.J. was apprehended, a fat 45-year-old preacher won a share of the heavyweight title, and the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup.
Michael Jordan played baseball while baseball players played hooky. Jimmy Johnson, the coach who won two straight Super Bowls, got dumped. A judge lowered Barry Bonds's child-support payments and then asked for an autograph.
Say one thing for 1995 as we take a look ahead—it has a tough act to follow.
January. The Dallas Cowboys upset the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game and advance to their third straight Super Bowl. In an odd break from their routine, the Cowboys forsake practice before the big game and lounge on the beaches of South Florida. Many of Dallas's key players sit out the game rather than risk an injury that might force them to miss the upcoming Pro Bowl. As a result, the Cowboys lose 6-3 to the Pittsburgh Steelers. "The Steelers? What happened to the Bills?" says one Cowboy. "I thought we played Buffalo in this game every year."
Jerry Jones fires Barry Switzer and hires Jackie Sherrill.
February. As promised, the baseball owners bring in replacement players and open spring training on schedule. Funnyman Bill Murray calls a press conference to announce that he has signed a contract to play centerfield for the Chicago White Sox. The NBA sues, claiming baseball stole its idea.
March. An NCAA tournament basketball game between UMass and UCLA is interrupted when a crazed fan leaps out of the stands and clubs Minuteman coach John Calipari on the knee. The NCAA vows to increase security, but a spokesman for Temple University says that won't be necessary—next year Owl coach John Chaney will not attend the tournament.
April. On Opening Day in San Francisco, Barry Bonds of the Giants crosses the picket line and sets a record with five home runs in five at bats. Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Rosie O'Donnell wonders if Bonds was stealing signs.
On his federal income-tax form, Darryl Strawberry claims three lawyers, two shrinks and a rottweiler as dependents. He also says he is over 65, legally blind and earning $12,000 a year. An IRS spokesman says additional charges may be filed against the embattled slugger.
May. Mike Tyson walks out of prison and insists he will never fight again. The former champ says he will backpack across Europe, learn Latin and take a pottery class. The next day Don King announces a five-bout, $100 million deal that calls for Tyson to fight the Spinks brothers, Roberto Duran and two guys named Ned.