But wait this just in from Troy: the RPI hockey team's 1985 NCAA Championship tied Siena's victory over Stanford for second place. Wow. Who knew there would still be people in the region who fondly remember that moment, which was seen by maybe 20,000 people nationwide? And that includes the people inside Joe Louis Arena in Detroit that night.
3. Who is the greatest Capital District athlete of the last 30 years?
Perhaps because this is an Olympic year (or perhaps because his backstory of overcoming cancer was so intriguing), 1984 Greco Roman wrestling gold medalist Jeff Blatnick led the pack with three times the votes as the other candidates. The Niskayuna native still has a strong following 24 years after his golden moment in Los Angeles.
The rest of the votes were split evenly among Sam Perkins (who, as a couple of voters noted, is a transplant " but he still graduated from Shaker High School), Dottie Pepper (yay for women's golf) and Funny Cide (yay for gelded thoroughbreds). I thought Perkins might give Blatnick a run for his money, but Blatnick pinned him easily.
There were a couple of people who went off the board with their picks. One chose recent Tewaaraton Trophy winner Mike Leveille from Delmar, and the other went with Albany Firebird legend "Touchdown" Eddie Brown. Nice to see there's still some love for the old Firebirds around here, even though the team left town in 2000.
4. What is the best Capital District sports team?
This wasn't even a contest, as the Siena College men's basketball team ran roughshod over the competition (kind of like the Saints did to Vanderbilt in last season's NCAA Tournament). Fran McCaffrey's crew racked up more than half of the votes cast, leaving the rest to fight for the scraps.