They were moments of triumph and despair, deeds that wrenched tradition, achievements that set standards for a whole generation of striving. Out of these 20 years, there emerge a few prime movers, a few seminal events that continue to kick up bursts of dust, spray, faith, anguish and jubilation in the memories of fans who cheered and moaned. The photographs on this and the next 27 pages celebrate the athletes, the moments, the turning points.
Pro football went big-time on Dec. 28, 1958, as the Colts' Alan Ameche beat the Giants in sudden death.
Polizei stalked terrorists at the Munich Olympics.
Billie Jean King proved a good woman could beat Bobby Riggs.
Ron Turcotte rode Secretariat as the chestnut colt ran away with the '73 Belmont and the first Triple Crown in 25 years.
THE FORCE AND THE OBJECT
Unimaginable in growth, pervasive in its influence, pro football has added a new all-out, high-pressure oomph to sport, and the pounding heart of the game is hitting. Dick Butkus, the middle linebacker, would hit you and keep on hitting you all over until someone stopped him, even biting your ear if he could. Jim Brown, the fullback, would hit you once, if you got in his way, and then hit somebody else 10 yards downfield one second later. Adding strategic, long-distance and spiritual elements to this countervailing crunching have been some wizard quarterbacks—John Unitas, Bart Starr, Joe Namath—a long blurred line of supersonic pass catchers and, in Vince Lombardi, that rarity in recent public life, an authority figure who held up.
Brown hits a hole that will stay hit.
Butkus, eyed from a respectful distance by an official, closes a hole that will slay closed.
Flat-out Raymond Berry set pass-catching records.