Today in Sports History: November 29th

11/29/1972 - Pong is released

It was on this day in 1972 that the first commercially successful video game of all time was released: Pong. The gameplay was simple enough -- the user moved a 2D paddle where a square ball would bounce, with either the computer or another player trying to hit it back. The player who got the ball past the opponent the most times was the winner. Just like ping pong. Pong was immensely popular, so much so that you couldn't go anywhere in the 1970's without finding an arcade cabinet or a console version of the game. Nowadays, Pong is downright primitive compared to the video games of the present. On a side note, there is some ambiguity when it comes to declaring the first video game of all time. Many consider a 1958 analog tennis game called "Tennis For Two" to be the original, while others point to even earlier electronic devices. While it's up for interpretation which came first, the fact remains that if you like video games, you better have some appreciation for what the game of tennis done for you. Without Tennis For Two and Pong, Super Mario 64 and Half-Life 2 may have never existed. 11/29/2000 - First NBA steroids suspension Don MacLean of the Miami Heat is the first player in NBA history to get busted for using steroids, receiving a five-game suspension. MacLean's career fit the biography of someone who needed a competitive edge -- he played with seven different teams over the course of his nine-year career, and was briefly on four other rosters but never played for them. The best year of his career came in his sophomore season, when he averaged 18.2 per game and won the Most Improved Player award.

As for his body type, a few people were surprised to learn that his scrawny frame was the result of chemical-enhancement. Charles Barkley quipped, "Don MacLean? I've seen Don MacLean naked, and he doesn't use steroids."

It wasn't until 2009, when Rashard Lewis was suspended for the first ten games of the year, that a notable player got suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs.

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