Category Archives: Sports

Episode 10: ’80s Crushes

80s-crushes

It’s time for another 80s League event! This month, the 80s League, which consists of 80s Reboot Overdrive, Rediscover the ’80s, Weegiemidget, and Killer Kitsch. As part of this crossover event, Return to the ’80s is dedicating a full episode on the topic instead of only a segment. Joining Robert and Paul is Marissa, a true lover of the greatest decade ever!

Not only do we talk about our celebrity crushes, but we talk about our real life crushes. We also have our regular segments of Play This, Not That, Remember That Song, and ’80s Trivia.

Also, I should mention that as I am fairly new at podcasting, I am still working out some of the technical kinks. So I apologize for some of the minor sound issues that occur this episode. Future episodes should be much better. I hope it’s not distracting. We had a lot of fun recording this, and I think you will have fun listening. And feel free to join in on the conversation by emailing us at returnto80s@gmail.com, and tell us about your 80s crushes, or love story.

Opening

– Welcome Marissa to the show

– New Def Leppard DVD/CD called And There Will Be a Next Time (unless it’s in Providence, apparently)
– New Night Ranger album – March 24 – Don’t Let Up
– Two Super Bowl Commercials with ‘80s music ties:

Wendy’s – “Cold as Ice”

Kia – Holding Out for a Hero

R.I.P.

– Mary Tyler Moore
– John Wetton
– Richard Hatch
– Sorry Al Jarreau. First, Paul didn’t know he died. Then our tribute to him somehow turns into a retrospective look at the career of Curtis “Booger” Armstrong.

Play This, Not That – Air Supply

Instead of playing “Lost in Love”

Play “I Can Wait Forever”

Remember That Song

Last Song:
You play tricks on my mind, you’re everywhere, but you’re so hard to find
You’re not warm, you’re sentimental

“Urgent” by Foreigner

Winner: Peter

New Song: I know what you’re thinking / Cause I’ve been there myself / I’ve been kicked so many times / I don’t know nothing else / Still I noticed your urgency / I recognized the flair / That you got from chasing all those East coast dares

80s Trivia

Last Question:
What screen siren appeared in Stripes, Blade Runner, No Way Out and Wall Street?

Answer: Sean Young

Winner: Jim Vilk

New Question: What brokerage firm’s name, when mentioned in TV ads, silenced entire rooms of people?

Main Topic – ’80s Crushes

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– Crossover Event, featuring the following blogs/podcasts
80s Reboot Overdrive
Rediscover the ’80s
Weegiemidget
Killer Kitsch

– Listener Feedback
– Personal Stories
Marissa’s numerous crushes and obsession with swimmers
Robert meets his future wife in high school on a bus to a football game
Paul tells the story of his high school girlfriend and their serendipitous meeting 28 years later

– The gang talk about their celebrity crushes
Rick Springfield (Marissa)
Olivia Newton-John (Robert)
Catherine Bach (Paul)
John Taylor (Marissa)
Elisabeth Shue (Robert)
Erin Gray (Paul)
Richard Gere (Marissa)
Susanna Hoffs (Robert)
Alyssa Milano (Paul)
Mickey Rourke (Marissa)
Christie Brinkley (Robert)
Debbie Gibson (Paul)

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Tweet of the Day: Back to the Future

Here is an awesome Tweet from the official Back to the Future. Thanks to my friend Jim for sending this my way! For those of you who don’t follow baseball, last night, the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series title since 1908. This was predicted in Back to the Future Part II. The only problem is that this took place in 2015 and not 2016. But this discrepancy is explained here. Congratulations to the Cubbies!

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Quote of the Day: Terry Fox

I don’t feel that this is unfair. That’s the thing about cancer. I’m not the only one, it happens all the time to people. I’m not special. This just intensifies what I did. It gives it more meaning. It’ll inspire more people. I just wish people would realize that anything’s possible if you try; dreams are made possible if you try.

 

Runner, Terry Fox was born on this day in 1958.

In 1977, Terry had his right leg amputated after he was diagnosed with cancer. In 1980, the Canadian began the Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research. He hoped to raise one dollar from each of Canada’s 24 million people. He began with little fanfare from St. John’s, Newfoundland, in April and ran the equivalent of a full marathon every day. Fox had become a national star by the time he reached Ontario; he made numerous public appearances with businessmen, athletes, and politicians in his efforts to raise money. He was forced to end his run outside Thunder Bay when the cancer spread to his lungs.
Fox was hospitalized on June 19, 1981 with chest congestion and developed pneumonia. He died on June 28, 1981, a the age of 22. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research. Considered a national hero, he has had many buildings, roads and parks named in his honor across the Canada.

Remember That Song: 9/3/15

Can you name the artist and song:

You played dead, but you never bled
Instead you laid still in the grass all coiled up and hissin’


Last Song: “Let’s Go Mets” (1986)

Great job Andy (@andytorah)!!!

This is actually a pretty good, rockin’ song. And look for the Joe Piscopo cameo.

We’ve got the teamwork
To make a dream work, let’s go

Big League Chew

“You’re in the big leagues when you’re into Big League Chew!”

Ah, the athelete’s answer to candy cigarettes – Big League Chew! Now that baseball season has kicked into full gear, it brings back memories of “dipping” (with gum instead of real chewing tobacco). Oh, who am I kidding? I very rarely got to have any Big League Chew. I was never allowed to have gum unless it was sugar free. I didn’t get to have Big League Chew. I didn’t get to have Bubble Yum. I didn’t get to have Hubba Bubba. But, you know what else I didn’t get? Cavities!! Yes, my teeth to this day, are cavity free.
But, I did feel envious of my friends that got to have Big League Chew. It was so different. Instead of unwrapping a square or rectangular shaped piece of gum, you got to open a pouch, and take out as much shredded gum as you wanted.

Big League Chew was invented by Rob Nelson and Jim Bouton. Jim Bouton was a good pitcher for the New York Yankees in the early to mid ’60s. He developed arm troubles so his career dwindled. He is best known for the book he wrote, called Ball Four. In the book, Bouton wrote about his baseball career. It was unique because it was basically a “tell-all” book, which was unheard of at the time. He wrote about his exploits along with his fellow teammates, which did not go over to well with them. Nowadays, “tell-all” books are commonplace. You might say that Bouton was ahead of the curve (pun intended)!

In the late ’70s, Bouton was pitching in the minor leagues. The following is from Jim Bouton’s web site:

Sitting in the bullpen one night, Bouton watched his much younger teammates chewing tobacco. Fellow pitcher Rob Nelson said it was too bad they didn’t make gum that looked like chewing tobacco.

After the season ended Bouton called Nelson and offered to put up the money and help sell the idea. They made a great team. Bouton designed a pouch, Nelson made gum in a frying pan and they chopped it up, stuffed it in pouches and showed it to the major gum companies, who all said the same thing. “That’s interesting, but we don’t make anything like that.” Bouton and Nelson said, “Precisely!”

Finally, Amurol Products, a novelty gum company in Illinois, introduced Big League Chew in 1980. To make a long story short, in the first twelve months Amurol sold $18 million at wholesale. Big League Chew still sells today, having replaced chewing tobacco at many high schools and colleges.

Ronald Reagan – Summer of Strikes

President Reagan’s first few months in office was anything but uneventful. Immediately after taking office, hostages were freed from Iran. Then there was the assassination attempt. This was followed by 2 major labor strikes in the summer of ’81 – one of which, President Reagan got heavily involved in.

Major League Baseball Strike

First was the Major League Baseball strike, which began on June 12. This was the first baseball strike I remember. There had been a strike in 1972, but I was way too young to know about that one. The strike in the 1981 season was pretty significant, as it lasted almost 2 months. That’s a big chunk out of the season.

However, this strike did not affect my baseball viewing to badly. The Triple-A level did not go on strike. Being from Rhode Island, I got to see the Pawtucket Red Sox more often. I enjoyed watching them more than the Boston Red Sox, so it was pretty cool that I finally got to watch the Pawtucket Red Sox on television.

On July 31, 1981, a compromise was finally reached. Major League Baseball resumed on August 9 with the All-Star Game in Cleveland’s Municipal stadium. Regular season games started the next day.

Since there was such a big gap in the season, a unique situation occurred. The owners decided to split the 1981 season into two halves, with the first-place teams from each half in each division (or a wild card team if the same club won both halves) meeting in a best-of-five divisional playoff series. The four survivors would then move on to the two best-of-five League Championship Series. It was the first time that Major League Baseball used a split-season format since 1892.

This format ended up screwing the Cincinnati Reds (National League West) and St. Louis Cardinals (National League East) as each failed to make the playoffs. This was despite the fact that they had the two best full-season records in the National League that season (and would have won their divisions under normal circumstances). St. Louis made up for it the next season by going on to win the 1982 World Series.
Not only did the Cardinals and Reds not make the playoffs, with their good records, but the Kansas City Royals made the playoffs even though they had a losing record overall. Here are the post-season results:

In the first round, the New York Yankees beat the Milwaukee Brewers (3 games to 2), the Oakland Athletics swept the Kansas City Royals (3 games to 0), the Montreal Expos beat the Philadelphia Phillies (3 games to 2), and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Houston Astros (3 games to 2).

In the League Championships, the Yankees swept the A’s (3 games to 0), and The Dodgers beat the Expos (3 games to 2).

And then the Dodgers won the World Series by beating the Yankees 4 games to 2.

Air Traffic Controllers’ Strike

As the Major League Baseball strike was coming to a conclusion, another one was starting up.
On August 3, 1981, federal air traffic controllers went on strike. They were seeking better working conditions, better pay and a 32-hour workweek. However, by the union declaring a strike, they were violating a law that banned strikes by government unions. Ronald Reagan declared the PATCO strike a “peril to national safety” and ordered them back to work under the terms of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. Only 1,300 of the nearly 13,000 controllers returned to work. Reagan held a press conference in the White House Rose Garden, where he stated that if the air traffic controllers “do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated.”

Even though members of President Reagan’s cabinet were worried about political backlash, Reagan fired 11,345 striking air traffic controllers who had ignored his order to return to work, busting the PATCO union. He banned them from federal service for life. According to Charles Craver, a labor law professor at George Washington University Law School, the move gave Americans a new view of Reagan, who “sent a message to the private employer community that it would be all right to go up against the unions”.

The FAA then had to hire and train enough air traffic controllers to replace those that had been fired. This was challenging because it normally took 3 years to train a new controller. The fired controllers were initially replaced with nonparticipating controllers, supervisors, staff personnel, some nonrated personnel, and in some cases by controllers transferred temporarily from other facilities. Some military controllers were also used until replacements could be trained. The FAA had initially claimed that staffing levels would be restored within two years; however, it would take closer to ten years before the overall staffing levels returned to normal. PATCO was decertified on October 22, 1981. Some former striking controllers were allowed to reapply after 1986 and were rehired; they and their replacements are now represented by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, which was organized in 1987 and had no connection with PATCO.

The lifetime ban that President Reagan placed on the striking air traffic controllers was rescinded by President Bill Clinton in 1993.

Here are Ronald Reagan’s Remarks and Question and Answer Session held on August 3, 1981.

Daily Trivia: 8/8/12

Question: What former Disney on Parade dancer landed the lead role in the miniseries North and South?


Last Question: What Olympic sprinter was stripped of his 1988 gold medal after testing positive for steroids?

Answer: Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson was born in Jamaica in 1961, and emigrated to Canada in 1976. He would go on to have a fierce rivalry with American sprinter, Carl Lewis.

At the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Ben Johnson reached the 100 meter finals. He would win the bronze behind Carl Lewis and Sam Graddy. He also won the bronze as part of the 4×100 meter relay team.

In 1985, after eight consecutive losses, Johnson finally beat Carl Lewis. He would also go on to beat Lewis at the 1986 Goodwill Games. By the time of the 1987 World Championships, Johnson had won his four previous races with Lewis and had established himself as the best 100 m sprinter. At Rome, Johnson gained instant world fame and confirmed this status when he beat Lewis for the title, setting a new world record of 9.83 seconds as well, beating Calvin Smith’s former record by a full tenth of a second.

Then without naming names, Lewis said “There are a lot of people coming out of nowhere. I don’t think they are doing it without drugs.” He then called on the sport of track and field to start investigating the abuse of steroids.

On September 24 1988, Johnson beat Lewis in the 100m final at the Olympics n Seoul, lowering his own world record to 9.79 seconds. However, three days later Johnson was disqualified for testing positive for steroids. Carl Lewis had won the silver, but was bumped up to gold after Johnson’s disqualification.

Ben Johnson was suspended until 1991. Then he attempted a comeback. He had failed to qualify for the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo but made the Canadian Olympic team again in 1992 in Barcelona, Spain. He did not do very well at the Olympics as he finished last in the semi-finals.

He found success again in 1993 as he won a 50 meter race and was just 0.04 seconds shy of the world record. However, there was a reason why he became successful once again – once again he was found guilty of doping – this time for excess testosterone. He was then banned for life by the IAAF.

In 1999, Johnson made headlines again when it was revealed that he had been hired by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to act as a football coach for his son, Al-Saadi Gaddafi, who wanted to join an Italian soccer/football team. Al-Saadi was able join an Italian team but was fired after one game when he — you guessed it– failed a drug test.

Daily Trivia: 7/31/12

Question: What body part was Nicolas Cage’s lovelorn character missing, in Moonstruck?


Last Question: Who took five stitches in the scalp after smacking his head on the diving board at the 1988 Olympics?

Answer: Greg Louganis (Great job Jim and 80s Hog – @80slegends!)

Greg Louganis dominated the diving world in the ’80s. He won gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games on both the springboard and platform. He is the only male and the second diver in Olympic history to sweep the diving events in consecutive Olympic Games. He had also been the favorite to win the gold in those events in 1980 as well. However, the U.S. boycotted the Olympics that year as they were held in Cold War-era Moscow.

One of the most memorable images of Greg Louganis was in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul when he suffered a concussion after hitting his head on the springboard during the preliminary rounds while performing a reverse 2½ pike. That did not slow him down though. He earned the highest single score of the qualifying rounds on his next dive, and he would go on to win the Gold.

However, there was controversy after that event. It was discovered that 6 months before the Olympics, Louganis was diagnosed as being HIV positive, which he did not disclose. But his blood in the pool actually posed about zero risk. The blood was diluted by thousands of gallons of water, and “chlorine kills HIV”, said Dr. John Ward, chief of HIV-AIDS surveillance at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 1995, Greg Louganis went on Oprah’s show, and announced to the world that he was gay. It was one of Oprah’s top-rated shows and listed as one of her “25 Most Unforgettable Guests”.

Since November 2010, Louganis has been coaching divers of a wide range of ages and abilities in the SoCal Divers Club in Fullerton, California. He is also a mentor to the US diving team at the London 2012 Olympics.

Daily Trivia: 7/30/12

Question: Who took five stitches in the scalp after smacking his head on the diving board at the 1988 Olympics?


Last Question: What women’s track star pioneered the one-legged body suit?

Answer: Florence Griffith-Joyner – a.k.a Flo-Jo (Great job Jim!)

Florence Griffith-Joyner is considered to be the “fastest woman of all time” as she holds the world record for both the 100 meters and 200 meters, both set in 1988 and has never been seriously challenged. She was the wife of triple jumper Al Joyner and the sister-in-law of heptathlete and long jumper Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

“Flo-Jo” was the big favorite for the titles in the sprint events at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. She did not disappoint! She won the Gold in the 100 meters and 200 meters races, as well as the 4×100 meters relay, and she won the Silver in the 4×400 meters relay.

She would go on to win the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States. Griffith-Joyner retired from competitive sports shortly afterwards.

Then Flo-Jo became the object of controversy. Since her performance had improved dramatically over a short period of time, and her physique changed a lot, she was accused of using performance enhancing drugs. She attributed the change in her physique to new health programs. It turns out that the International Olympic Committee’s medical commission claimed that Joyner was singled out for rigorous drug testing during the 1988 Seoul Olympics because of steroid rumors. And she passed with flying colors. There was not a trace of any performance enhancing drugs in her system.

In 1996, Flo-Jo attempted a comeback, so she could run the 400 meter race, and potentially become a record holder in that event as well, since she had already set world marks in both the 100 and 200 meter events. However, tendonitis in her right leg ended her hopes of becoming a triple world record holder.

Sadly, Flo-Jo died in her sleep on September 21, 1998 from a severe epileptic seizure. She was only 38.

Here is Flo-Jo in action: