After the Winter Olympics, ice shows featuring Sonja Henie also became main moneymaking productions. Dates had to be coordinated for such activities, so the operators formed close working relationships, and in the late s found a new highly successful date-filler, college basketball doubleheaders.
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At this point in time, professional basketball was in ill repute and a commercial failure. Attempts at establishing league play flourished in the s but died in the Depression of the s. Games were staged in dance halls and theaters, armories and small gyms. A college star's reputation seldom extended beyond its immediate locality or region.
Most did not continue their careers, and those who did had only two outlets, the small-income professional minor leagues or "amateur" teams subsidized by business firms, which also hired those players.
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But from on, when basketball itself magnified its spectator appeal by abandoning the center jump after every score and creating a "racehorse" style of play, the college doubleheaders had become a big moneymaker. The college game flourished during the war because outstanding players could stay in school. Some of the best players were too tall for military service; others who were in service were assigned to on-campus training; others were still too young to be drafted.
When the war ended, there would still be open dates to fill. Hockey, boxing and college basketball with its short December-March season took up only five nights a week. Why not a professional basketball league to continue cashing in on the reputations the college stars had built up? The rudiments of an organization were in place. Walter Brown, who owned the Boston Bruins, and Al Sutphin, who owned the AHL Cleveland team, took the lead within the arena operators' group in pushing for a basketball league.
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John Harris of Pittsburgh, the chief ice show impresario, was in favor. Ned Irish of Madison Square Garden, dedicated to the college basketball phenomenon he had created, was reluctant but unwilling to let an outsider in, so he went along. On June 6, two years to the day after the invasion of Normandy, exactly ten months after the first atom bomb fell on Japan-they formed the Basketball Association of America during a meeting at New York's Commodore Hotel, next to Grand Central Station.
There would be 11 teams, playing a schedule of 60 games, each 48 minutes long, to make a full enough evening for ticket buyers accustomed to two minute games.
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They chose as league president Maurice Podoloff, who was also president of the American Hockey League, in whose office the BAA could be given some office space. He knew as little about basketball as he did about hockey, and didn't pretend otherwise, but his knowledge of law and real estate and his familiarity with the club owners he would administer suited their needs.
To handle publicity, they hired a truly knowledgeable Walter Kennedy, well known within the sports media establishment. The concept was clear-cut: The teams had no identity and didn't last long enough to gain one.
The college doubleheaders were going stronger than ever. Most of the best existing pros were in the year-old National League or with Industrial teams playing within the structure of the Amateur Athletic Union. You couldn't claim to be "major league" when it was obvious that more proficient players and teams were not included. The biggest arenas, such as Madison Square Garden, couldn't give their teams 30 home dates, and consigned them to smaller courts. The reason these suggestions are so often repeated is that they are legitimately successful tactics.
You have a high probability of meeting other singles -- even a romantic match -- if you get involved in special-interest groups like sports leagues and athletic teams [source: This is assuming, of course, that you enjoy sports and athletic activities.
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If not, perhaps a gardening or basket-weaving class will be a better place for you. The key is to do something you like.
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