Favorite major league baseball team:
New York Yankees.....8%
Favorite NFL team:
Green Bay Packers...5%
San Francisco 49ers...5%
Favorite NBA team:
Los Angeles Lakers...6%
Favorite NHL team:
New York Islanders...3%
Favorite pro team:
Favorite college team:
Penn State football...15%
Notre Dame football...4%
Greatest athlete who ever lived in or played for a team in your
State's biggest sports rivalry:
State's biggest rival:
ENEMY OF THE STATE
As Philadelphia Eagles fans, Delawareans don't have much love for
the Dallas Cowboys' owner. Nor are they crazy about Talley, who
coaches Blue Hens football rival Villanova. The state's most
hated opponents: the Cowboys (25%), Villanova (16%) and the New
York Giants (12%).
* Harris Interactive poll, conducted online, of 400 Delaware
residents who identified themselves as sports fans. Margin of
WHO & WHERE
1 Punkin Chunkin
They've been launching pumpkins for distance (more than 4,200
feet) in southern Delaware with everything from slingshots to
pneumatic air cannons since 1986; the 2003 championships will be
held in Millsboro from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.
2 Luke Petitgout
The Giants' left tackle, from Milford, was an all-state defensive
end and tight end at Sussex Central in Georgetown before playing
at Notre Dame.
Delaware's capital is also its SI Sportstown, for having the
state's best community sports programs. Dover is home to Delaware
State, a Division I school in basketball and I-AA in football,
whose teams are the Hornets.
4 Dover International Speedway
The 34-year-old NASCAR track known as the Monster Mile draws the
state's biggest sports crowds--a combined 500,000--for racing
weekends in June and September.
5 Rich Gannon
The Philadelphia native and 2002 NFL MVP as Raiders quarterback
set 21 school records at the University of Delaware, in Newark,
running the famed Delaware wing T.
6 Dave Raymond
The Newark High grad and son of longtime Delaware football coach
Tubby was the original Phillie Phanatic. His mascot costume is
one of four in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
7 Walter Davis
The six-time NBA All-Star forward grew up in Pineville, N.C., but
attended Sanford Prep in Hockess before North Carolina.
8 Gary Smith
SI's four-time National Magazine Award-winning senior writer grew
up in Wilmington and played basketball at Dickinson High.
9 Wilmington Blue Rocks
The Class A affiliate of the Royals is Delaware's only pro sports
team and has led the Carolina League in attendance for six
straight seasons. Hall of Famer Robin Roberts pitched for an
earlier Blue Rocks franchise, a Phillies farm team from 1940 to
10 Vicki Huber Rudawsky
The two-time Olympic middle-distance runner and eight-time NCAA
champ at Villanova was an all-state field hockey player at
Wilmington's Concord High and set marks in the 800 and 1,600
meters that still stand.
11 Point-to-Point Steeplechase
The May race is the highlight of the Wilmington social season,
drawing 20,000 fans to the 979-acre estate of the late Henry
Francis du Pont in nearby Winterthur. The equine event marked its
25th anniversary this year.
12 Val Whiting-Raymond
The 6'2" Wilmington native and Ursuline Academy grad played three
seasons in the ABL and three in the WNBA after winning a pair of
NCAA championships during her All-America career at Stanford.
13 Jamie Duncan
The Rams' middle linebacker, from Wilmington, was a second-team
All-America at Vanderbilt after twice earning all-state honors at
14 DuPont Country Club
The 83-year-old Wilmington club has hosted the LPGA Championship,
one of the four women's majors, for the last 10 years.
The whole 1972 season was a triumph for coach Tubby Raymond and
his Delaware Blue Hens, who won their games by an average margin
of 27.4 points. They knocked off Bucknell 20-3 in the finale to
finish 10-0 and clinch their second consecutive small-college
national championship, as determined by the AP and UPI polls.
(The NCAA launched its lower-division playoff system the
Delaware's rank among U.S. states in great athletes produced,
according to a 1999 SI study.
Goals scored by Delaware lacrosse player Karen Emas from 1981 to
'84, an NCAA record until 2002.
Year that Dallas Green of Newport managed the Philadelphia
Phillies to their only world championship.
Average attendance for the Delaware football team in 2002, second
only to Jackson (Miss.) State in Division I-AA.
The fastest marathon run on Delaware soil, by Bill McCartan in
Lewes in 1979, the slowest time for a marathon record in any
For Delaware's top 50 homegrown sports figures, go to SI.com/50.
Randy White, Football player
The 6'4", 265-pound Hall of Fame defensive tackle and Wilmington
native played in nine Pro Bowls in 14 years with the Dallas
Cowboys. A three-sport star at Thomas McKean High, White won both
the Outland and Lombardi trophies at Maryland in 1974.
Delino DeShields, Baseball player
The second baseman from Seaford hit .268 and stole 463 bases in
14 seasons with five major league teams. DeShields, who was
all-state in football, baseball and basketball at Seaford High,
signed to play hoops at Villanova before the Expos drafted him in
Judy Johnson, Baseball player
The Negro leagues star and Hall of Famer from Wilmington batted
.301 in 17 seasons, including .406 for the Hilldale Daisies in
1929. As player-manager of the Homestead Grays in 1930, the
slick-fielding third baseman made young catcher Josh Gibson a
Vic Willis, Baseball player
The Hall of Fame righthander, who grew up in Newark, had 20 or
more wins eight times and holds the modern National League record
with 45 complete games (in 46 starts) for the Boston Beaneaters
in 1902. In 13 seasons Willis went 249-205 with a 2.63 ERA.
Harold (Tubby) Raymond, Football coach
The Michigan-born Raymond spent 36 years (1966 to 2001) as head
coach at the University of Delaware and led the Blue Hens to
three national small-college titles. The four-time NCAA Coach of
the Year is one of four coaches to win 300 or more games at one
Margaret Osborne, Tennis player
Her 37 Grand Slam titles (fourth alltime) include three singles
crowns at the U.S. Open, two at the French and one at Wimbledon.
Married to William du Pont Jr. for 17 years, she won 20 Grand
Slam doubles titles with Louise Brough, including nine straight
U.S. Opens (1942 to '50).
Compiled by Pete McEntegart
COLOR CHART Enthuse-o-meter On a scale of 1 to 100, how would you rate your state's enthusiasm for sports, relative to other states'? COLD--67.7--HOT Rank: 9th of first 9 states polled
COLOR PHOTO: JEFF MITCHELL/REUTERS (JONES)
COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT LABERGE/GETTY IMAGES (RACE TRACK) The MBNA Platinum 400 in June 2002
COLOR MAP: MAP ILLUSTRATION BY JOE ZEFF DOVER
B/W PHOTO: UNIV. OF DELAWARE SPORTS INFO ARCHIVE (ROBERTS) VERN ROBERTS RUNS WILD AGAINST TEMPLE; TUBBY (INSET) RIDES HIGH AFTER A WIN AT UCONN.
B/W PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF DELAWARE (CELEBRATION) [See caption above]
COLOR PHOTO: GREG FOSTER (WRIGHT)
COLOR PHOTO: OTTO GREULE/GETTY IMAGES (WHITE)
TWO B/W PHOTOS: NATIONAL BASEBALL LIBRARY (JOHNSON, WILLIS)
COLOR PHOTO: ROD HANNA (RAYMOND)
COLOR PHOTO: AP (DESHIELDS, OSBORNE)
B/W PHOTO: AP (DESHIELDS, OSBORNE)
"Lesbians in the sport hurt women's golf."
--BEN WRIGHT, CBS ANNOUNCER, TO WILMINGTON NEWS JOURNAL REPORTER
VALERIE HELMBRECK DURING THE 1995 LPGA CHAMPIONSHIP AT
WILMINGTON'S DUPONT COUNTRY CLUB; THE REMARK (AND WRIGHT'S
INITIAL DENIAL THAT HE MADE IT) CAUSED AN UPROAR AND LED TO
To see more photos of Dover International Speedway, read an SI
story about football great Randy White and submit your favorite
First State sports memory, go to