Helmetless Hockey Players
The last one, St. Louis Blues center Craig MacTavish, who was grandfathered in under the 1979 NHL rule making helmets mandatory, retired in April, after 16 virtually concussion-free seasons.
Western Roll High Jump
When Dick Fosbury used his backward flop to clear 7'4¼" and win gold at the '68 Olympics, he reinvented the event. Most jumpers soon gave up on the facedown, sideways roll; the last to set a world record using it was Vladimir Yashchenko, with a clearance of 7'8" in 1979.
Hall of Famer Earl (Dutch) Clark was the most recent master of bouncing the ball off the turf and kicking it through the uprights, and he retired in 1938. No one in the NFL drop-kicks now. For one thing, the holders' union would never permit it.
Toothless Hockey Players
Chew on this: Except for Doug Gilmour of the New Jersey Devils and a few others, every pro on the ice these days has teeth in his mouth. Often his own. "The days of a player missing his four front teeth are over," says Montreal Canadiens dentist Skip Kerner. "Even the ones who have lost teeth in accidents—and maybe 10% of the league can give you that Bobby Clarke smile (above)—get plates put in. I don't know why Gilmour hasn't." (Good for you, Dougie. Stick to your gums.)
Although NHLers don't wear full face shields, as youth players do, many now use mouth-guards. "Really, the only significant dental problems you see are in players from the old Soviet bloc," says Pittsburgh Penguins dentist David Donatelli. "There's not much difference now between hockey players and the general population." This is encouraging news, though Donatelli sadly reports that it has significantly cut down on the old postgame dentures-in-the-beer-glass gag.
One by one, colleges have dropped their tribal sports monikers—Braves, Indians, Redskins—in favor of inoffensive alternatives ranging from colors (Dartmouth's Big Green) to weather (St. John's Red Storm) to birds (Miami of Ohio's RedHawks). Owners of professional teams have apparently been too busy doing the tomahawk chop to notice this trend.
Good Ol' Boy Football Coaches
Profit-driven college athletic directors have lost interest in the Bum Phillips-style good ol' boy coach and now seem to hire only coaches who are bland and corporate. "No question about it," says Texas Tech's Spike Dykes, 58, one of the few remaining good of boys coaches, as he props his brown cowboy boots on the edge of his desk. "A.D.'s in the past were ex-coaches, but now they're business types who think public perception is the most important quality for a coach. I can't relate to many new coaches."