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The DYKD 2016 Tournament Begins Today

Mar 17, 2016

By Dean George

The tourney brackets are set and the players are ready for the games to begin. Who will finish as this year’s champ and who will assume the role of underdog, galvanizing the hearts and passions of fans from coast to coast?

This year’s tournament promises the usual chills and thrills, last-minute buzzer beaters and more drama and passion than a gaggle of Hollywood screenplay writers could create.

Every contest has winners and losers. Are you ready for the thrill of victory and the possibility of defeat?

If you think we’re talking about the NCAA tourney that begins today, you’re wrong.

This is a dental blog so we’ll leave the basketball XX’s and OO’s to the sportswriters. We’re talking about the renowned Did You Know They Were Dentists tournament, commonly known as the DYKD.  This tournament is devoted to recognizing the who’s who in the field of dentistry.  

For example, the names of the eight individuals listed above may be recognizable, but did you know they were actually dentists before they became famous?  One participant in this year’s tourney was actually famous before he became a dentist! 

Below are summaries of each of this year’s competitors. These summaries will help guide you when filling out your brackets to potentially picking this year’s DYKD champion!

Miles Davis II – Davis is a newcomer to this year’s tournament but has accumulated some impressive milestones along the way. In 1924, Davis graduated from Chicago’s Northwestern University dental school. That same year he married Cleota Mae Henry, began his own dental practice in Alton, Illinois and fathered three children over the next five years.

Cleota tried to interest her middle son Miles in playing the piano and violin, but when he turned 13, he chose the trumpet for his music instrument. If his name sounds familiar, this dentist’s middle child, Miles Davis III, was a world renowned trumpet player and is considered to be one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century.

Jim Lonborg – This 73-year-old California native currently practices dentistry in Hanover, Massachusetts. Lonborg is better known however, for what he practiced before taking up the dental forceps. He won the major league baseball Cy Young Award in 1967 during the Boston Red Sox’s “Impossible Dream” season. He was also an All-Star that year, finished 6th in MVP voting, and won two games in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals before the Sox lost the series.

Mark Spitz – Spitz turned to dental studies at Indiana University after failing on his promise to win six gold medals at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Earning a pre-dental degree proved to be just what the Doc Councilman (his swimming coach) ordered.  Spitz won seven gold medals in Munich in 1972, a record that stood for 36 years before Michael Phelps earned eight gold medals in 2008. He also sported America’s most famous mustache before Tom Selleck’s Magnum.

Thomas Welch – Welch is a veteran competitor and jack-of-all-trades. He may have lived in the 19th century but he still has the “juice” to compete in this year’s tournament. You can read more about him in our post, No Sour Grapes from This Dentist. Those that know Welch will attest he’s a consummate professional that never “whines” about whatever he’s asked to do in competition.

Edgar Buchanan - This ex-dentist was a consummate character actor who was credited with more than 100 movies and television shows over 35 years. Buchanan was the son of a well respected Oregon dentist, whose father wanted him to shun acting in favor of the respectable profession of dentistry.

As previously reported in To Be or Not to Be a Dentist, Buchanan actually heeded his father’s advice for nearly a decade and ran a family dental practice with his wife for nine years in Oregon and California before he succumbed to the acting bug. 

After earning his first film credit playing a bartender in a crime movie in 1939, the Buchanan’s mutually decided he should leave his wife “down in the mouth” with their patients while he pursued more acting roles.

Buchanan’s fans remember him best as an affable TV character for ‘movin kind of slow’ as the affable Uncle Joe in Petticoat Junction.

John Henry (Doc) Holliday – Initial appearances can be deceiving with this southern gent turned dentist turned gambler turned gunman. He may speak slow and has a nasty cough, but there’s no questioning his acumen for the dentistry game after he graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery five months before he turned 21.

Holliday sometimes likes to take chances during a game and gambles on defense, but other times he prefers to keep his playing cards close to his vest. Holliday also possesses an excellent offensive game, as witnessed by his deadeye shooting at the famed O.K. Corral Tourney in Tombstone, Arizona.

Zane Grey – Young Zane also followed in his father’s dental footsteps just as Buchanan did. Where Buchanan had a passion for acting, Grey aspired to be a writer. He was so passionate about writing that he located his dental practice in New York City to be closer to book publishers.

If Grey’s patients suspected he wrote short stories in his imagination, between extractions and endodontic procedures, they may have dressed in Western attire to earn a literary claim of fame as a character in one of his tales. Then again, why tempt a guy with distractions when he’s doing extractions. Grey is a prolific player that has been credited with writing more than 90 books, mostly Westerns.

Paul Revere – To say Revere is revered by his legion of fans would be an understatement. This colonial superhero took up dentistry from 1768-1775 to help support his wife and eight children.

As previously reported in The Dentist, the Doctor and the Denture, Paul Revere is our number one seed based on being the principal player in performing America’s earliest known dental forensic exam. In the spring of 1775, Revere’s friend and patient Dr. Joseph Warren, led the colonial resistance against the British assaults at Bunker Hill.

During the attack, Dr. Warren was killed instantly when struck in the head with a British musket ball. Since the British held Bunker Hill for several months, it wasn’t until much later, when the colonialists regained the ground, that Revere was able to identify Dr. Warren by the denture he’d made for him the year before.

The doctor was posthumously hailed a hero and Revere went on to serve as a part-time dentist. In addition to helping Bostonians with their oral needs, Revere also helped manufacture gun powder and cannons for the colonial army, printed currency and oversaw the protection of Boston Harbor. In short, Paul Revere has game and is our choice to go all the way in the 2016 DYKD tournament.

Thanks for reading today’s hoops-inspired Agent Straight-Talk, and to score more dental facts to impress your dentist, follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn.

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Copyright 2016, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC 

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