Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Big day for birthdays
Today is Ash Wednesday, but this day, Feb. 17, may be the biggest day for sports birthdays among the other 365. Possibly the best football and basketball players of all time were born on this day, as was a three-time Olympic gold medalist.
Jim Brown turns 75. Most consider the former Cleveland Browns great from the 1960s as still the best running back to play in the NFL. Michael Jordan turns 47. Forty-seven! There are some who will argue that he's not the best basketball player of all time, but they would be in the vast minority.
Those two, along with Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali and Jim Thorpe, should be among the greatest athletes of our time. Then add swimmer Rowdy Gaines, who was born on this day in 1959. Gaines is a three-time Olympic gold medalist.
For what it's worth, Larry The Cable Guy, aka Dan Whitney, was born the same day and same year as Jordan.
The only other day that would compete with today for sports birthdays is Dec. 30. LeBron James (1984), Tiger Woods (1975) and Sandy Koufax (1935) share that birthday. Also, former Dallas Cowboy standout, Mel Renfro (1941), and Jim Marshall (1937), All-Pro defensive end for the Minnesota Vikings, share that day.