- Associated Press - Thursday, December 24, 2020

Dec. 31

1961 - Paul Hornung, on leave from the Army, scores 19 points to lead the Green Bay Packers to a 37-0 win over the New York Giants for their seventh NFL championship. Green Bay’s Bart Starr throws three touchdown passes in the first title game ever played in Green Bay.

1962 - The American Basketball League folds. The ABL played one full season, 1961-1962, and part of this season. The ABL is the first basketball league to have a three point shot for baskets scored far away from the goal. The league also had a 30-second shooting clock and a wider free throw lane, 18 feet instead of the standard 12.

1973 - Third-ranked Notre Dame edges top-ranked Alabama 24-23 in the Sugar Bowl. Notre Dame’s Bob Thomas kicks a 19-yard field goal with 4:26 left to give the Irish a one-point lead. With two minutes left, the Irish clinch the victory when on third-and-8 from the their own 3, Tom Clements completes a 35-yard pass from his own end zone to Robin Weber, and Notre Dame runs out the clock.

1982 - Jockey Pat Day edges Angel Cordero Jr. by two races to capture leading rider honors. Day rides Dana’s Woof and Miltons Magic to victory during the evening program at Delta Downs for 399 wins for the year.



1988 - A blinding fog rolls in during the second quarter of the Chicago Bears’ 20-12 NFC semifinal victory over the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field in Chicago. The fog obscures the game from most of the 65,534 fans present and a national television audience that could watch only ground-level shots.

1989 - Jockey Kent Desormeaux sets the world record for most number of wins in a single season. His 598th win is aboard 2-year-old East Royalty in the Inner Harbor Stakes at Laurel Racecourse.

2005 - Harness drivers Catello Manzi and Brian Spears each set single-season records. Manzi, 55, becomes the oldest harness driver to lead North America in victories (727), even without a win on the last day. Sears becomes the first driver to surpass $15 million ($15,085,991) in pursue earnings.

2013 - Johnny Manziel lives up to his nickname “Johnny Football,” leading 20 Texas A&M; to another comeback win, 52-48 over No. 22 Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. The Aggies are down 38-17 at halftime but with Manziel at the helm they came back in the highest-scoring game in the bowl’s history. The 2012 Heisman trophy winner throws four touchdown passes, completes 30 of 38 passes for 382 yards and runs for 73 yards and a touchdown.

2016 - Top-ranked Alabama relies on a stifling defense and the bruising runs of Bo Scarbrough to wear down Washington for a 24-7 victory in the Peach Bowl semifinal game.

2016 - Deshaun Watson runs for two touchdowns and throws another and No. 3 Clemson crushes No. 2 Ohio State 31-0 on in the Fiesta Bowl to set up a rematch with Alabama for the College Football Playoff national championship.

2017 - The Cleveland Browns complete the second 0-16 season in NFL history with a 28-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

2017 - The Buffalo Bills snap the longest current non-playoff streak in North American pro sports with a 22-16 victory at Miami and Cincinnati’s victory at Baltimore. The Bills hadn’t made the postseason since 1999.

Jan. 1

1902 - Michigan beats Stanford 49-0 in the first Rose Bowl.

Neil Snow scores four touchdowns in a game that ends with eight minutes to play. The Wolverines earned the nickname as the “Point a Minute” team, having scored 501 points in their ten games. The next Rose Bowl game does not occur until 1916.

1916 - Washington State beats Brown 14-0 in the return of the Rose Bowl. Brown halfback Fritz Pollard, the first African-American to play in the Rose Bowl, gains just 47 yards in the rain-soaked game. After a scoreless first half, Washington State scores on short runs by Ralph Boone and Carl Dietz.

1934 - Columbia upsets Stanford 7-0 in the Rose Bowl when Al Barabas scores in the third quarter on a 17-yard hidden-ball play.

1935 - Bucknell beats Miami 26-0 in the first Orange Bowl.

1935 - Tulane beats Temple 20-14 in the first Sugar Bowl. The Green Wave complete a 14-0 comeback when Temple defender Horace Mowery tips a pass into the direction of Dick Hardy, who takes it in to the end zone.

1961 - The Houston Oilers beat the Los Angeles Chargers 24-16 to win the first AFL Championship.

1961 - Boston Bruins rookie Willie O’Ree, the first black player in NHL history, scores his first goal in a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens at Boston Garden.

1971 - Notre Dame ends Texas’ 30-game winning streak with a 24-11 win in the Cotton Bowl.

1991 - Georgia Tech routs Nebraska 45-21 in the Citrus Bowl to finish as college football’s only unbeaten team (11-0-1).

1992 - Miami beats Nebraska 22-0 in the Orange Bowl, the first shutout of the Cornhuskers since 1973, and finishes with a 12-0 record.

1993 - No. 2 Alabama wins its first national championship in 13 years and deprives Miami of its fifth title as the Crimson Tide defense humbles the No. 1 Hurricanes 34-13 in the Sugar Bowl.

1993 - Florida State beats Nebraska 27-14 in the Orange Bowl to set an NCAA record by winning eight consecutive bowl games.

2000 - Georgia’s Hap Hines kicks a 21-yard field goal in overtime to complete the greatest comeback in bowl history. The Bulldogs pull out a 28-25 victory over Purdue after trailing 25-0 early in the second quarter in the Outback Bowl.

2006 - New England’s Doug Flutie converts the NFL’s first successful drop kick in 64 years during a 28-26 loss to Miami.

2007 - Boise State, after tying the game with seven seconds to go in regulation, stuns No. 7 Oklahoma 43-42 in overtime to win the Fiesta Bowl. The No. 9 Broncos win on Ian Johnson’s 2-point conversion run after receiver Vinny Perretta throws a fourth-down touchdown pass to Derek Schouman.

2008 - Sidney Crosby’s shootout goal gives Pittsburgh a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres in the inaugral outdoor Winter Classic in front of a league-record 71,217 fans. In elements way more suited for football than hockey, Crosby wins the NHL’s second outdoor game - and first in the United States - in the most dramatic of fashion at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home to the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.

2012 - Backup quarterback Matt Flynn throws for a franchise-record six touchdowns to give Green Bay a 45-41 victory over the Detroit Lions.

2014 - Central Florida pulls off one of the biggest upsets of the bowl season by outlasting No. 6 Baylor 52-42 in the Fiesta Bowl. It’s the highest-scoring game in Fiesta Bowl history and second-highest BCS bowl ever.

2015 - Marcus Mariota and Oregon roll past defending national champion Florida State 59-20 to turn the first College Football Playoff semifinal into a Rose Bowl rout.

2015 - Cardale Jones turns in another savvy performance in his second college start and Ezekiel Elliott runs for a Sugar Bowl-record 230 yards, leading Ohio State to a 42-35 upset of top-ranked Alabama in the second semifinal of the College Football Playoff.

2018 - Sony Michel’s 27-yard touchdown run in double overtime gives Georgia a 54-48 win over Oklahoma in a Rose Bowl. It’s the first overtime game in the 104-year history of the Rose Bowl, the highest-scoring Rose Bowl ever and the first College Football Playoff game to go into overtime.

Jan. 2

1961 - George Blanda passes for three touchdowns and kicks a field goal and the extra points to give the Houston Oilers a 24-16 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in the first American Football League championship game.

1965 - The New York Jets sign Alabama quarterback Joe Namath for a reported $400,000, the most lucrative rookie contract in football history.

1966 - Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung gain 201 yards on four inches of snow at Lambeau Field to lead the Green Bay Packers to a 23-12 victory over the Cleveland Browns and their third championship in five years.

1977 - Atlanta Braves’ owner Ted Turner is suspended one year by Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn for tampering in the free-agent signing of Gary Matthews.

1982 - Rolf Benirschke’s 29-yard field goal at 13:52 of overtime ends one of the wildest and highest-scoring playoff games as the San Diego Chargers beat the Miami Dolphins 41-38. San Diego’s Dan Fouts completes 33 of 53 passes for 433 yards and three TDs. Miami quarterback Don Strock completes 29 of 43 passes for 403 yards and four TDs.

1984 - Miami defeats Nebraska 31-30 in the Orange Bowl to win the national championship.

1985 - Nevada-Las Vegas beats Utah State 142-140 in triple overtime as both teams set an NCAA record for total points. The Runnin’ Rebels score a record 93 points in the second half, and coach Jerry Tarkanian gets his 600th victory.

1986 - Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders becomes the 11th NHL player to score 500 goals. Bossy scores No. 500 on an empty netter with 17 seconds remaining to clinch a 7-5 victory against the Boston Bruins at Nassau Coliseum. Bossy reaches the milestone in 647 games, fewer than anyone in NHL history at that time.

1987 - No. 2 Penn State beats No. 1 Miami 14-10 in the Fiesta Bowl for the national championship.

1989 - Notre Dame beats West Virginia 34-21 in the Fiesta Bowl to finish the season at 12-0. The Irish are named national champion in the polls.

1996 - No. 1 Nebraska demolishes No. 2 Florida 62-24 in the Fiesta Bowl, making them the first repeat champions in 16 years.

2001 - Jose Theodore becomes the sixth NHL goalie to score a goal in a regular-season game and stops 32 shots as Montreal blanks the New York Islanders 3-0.

2002 - Carolina’s Ron Francis becomes the fifth player in NHL history to record 500 goals and 1,000 assists when he scores in the Hurricanes’ 6-3 loss to Boston.

2009 - Utah finishes 13-0 with a convincing 31-17 win over No. 4 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. The Utes are the first team from a non-BCS conference to win two BCS bowls.2009 - Doug Weight has a pair of assists for the New York Islanders in a 5-4 loss to Phoenix to become the eighth American-born player to reach the 1,000-point mark.

2011 - Seattle becomes the first sub-.500 division champ in league history with a 16-6 win over St. Louis. The Seahawks finish as champs of the NFC West at 7-9, the first playoff team with a losing record - sans the 1982 strike-shortened season - since the merger in 1970.

2018 - Marc-Andre Fleury stops 29 shots in his second shutout of the season, leading Vegas past Nashville 3-0. Vegas wins its eighth straight and earns at least one point in 13 consecutive games, both NHL records for a first-year team.

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