April 18: A ‘Triumph’ for Conan, and Derrick Brooks
April 18 — Birthday wishes for a couple of greats …
Conan O’Brien (1963) is 58 today, having turned a comedic writing career into sketch comedy and late-night hosting since 1993. He went from being president of the Harvard Lampoon to host of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” (1993–2009). There, he gave us everything from mock interviews with cardboard cutouts to Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. He earned the seat on “The Tonight Show” briefly in 2009 before it got yanked from him seven months later. He disappeared from public for several months before re-emerging on TNT in November 2010.
Derrick Brooks (1973), 48 today, was a revolutionary middle linebacker for the Buccaneers since being drafted there in 1995. A central component to the Bucs’ “Tampa 2” defense, Brooks earned 11 Pro Bowl bids and a Hall of Fame induction in 2014.
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Headbangers Ball debuted OTD in 1987. Or rather, it kicked in our doors, grabbed us by the collars, and screamed in our faces. It was a great excuse to sneak into the living room, turn on the cable box, and quietly rock out to the latest from acts both known and obscure. The rise of grunge in the early ’90s led to the decline and cancellation of “The Ball” in 1995. Headbangers Ball licensed some products, including a guitar tabs book and three CD sets.
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OTD in NFL Draft history …
1998 — Peyton Manning went first overall to the Colts, and the Chargers went with Ryan Leaf, who was about as good as Manning and bound for a long, productive NFL career. Eight of the top 13 picks made Pro Bowls, and Manning, Charles Woodson, Randy Moss, and Alan Faneca earned busts in the Hall of Fame.