NEW YORK, NY – The Blues Brothers was on TV the other day for like the 16th consecutive day in a row and it reminded me of that summer I went to a triplex movie theater in the Water Tower Mall in Chicago. The three movies playing at the time were the aforementioned Blues Brothers, Airplane!, and Caddyshack. Just think about that for a second! Three of the funnier films in the last 40 years or so were all playing during the same summer. What a cinematic paradise for those of us who enjoyed sneaking into other films after ours has ended. And when you think about the crap that gets released in the summer these days (Smurfs, Apes, & Aliens) you appreciate it even more. Anyway, it turns out the year this happened was 1980, a fairly monumental year for sports. Take a look.
Miracle on Frogging Ice:February 22, the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team defeats the Soviets in the semis and goes on to win the gold. Go ahead, try to come up with a more iconic moment in the history of American sports. You can’t.
Borg and McEnroe Slug it Out: The summer of 1980 may have very well been the zenith for men’s professional tennis, with Bjorn Borg first beating John McEnroe in an epic five-set tie-break final at Wimbledon. Mac then exacts his revenge topping Borg in another five-set finale at the U.S. Open.
Bob & Ray: Boxing still very much had a pulse in 1980, and the biggest matches of the year were between Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard.
I remember finding out that Duran had defeated Leonard in their first title bout during a bus ride down the Grand Concourse after a Yankees game. I was pulling for Duran (Leonard had already gotten a tad too cocky) so I was excited to go watch the still photos from the fight on the evening news. Then, in November, Leonard won the welterweight belt back when Duran thought the ref had asked him whether he thought Happy Days was still funny and he responded “No mas.”
Football and Baseball: The year began with a pretty underrated/entertaining Super Bowl pitting perennial powerhouse Pittsburgh Steelers against the Vince Ferragamo-led Los Angeles Rams.
Grote2DMax & Tall Matt will tell you that this one was a pretty good game until late. They’ll also be quick to remind you that Rams defensive lineman Jack Youngblood played the entire thing on a broken leg. In the Fall Classic, the Phillies topped the Royals in six games and the series garnered huge TV ratings despite the fact that I can’t recall watching a single inning.
Since we’ve got room for a few more words, 1980 was also a huge year for births in terms of fodder for this site is concerned. Here are just a few of our faves who were born this year: Elin Nordegren (Tiger Tamer), Tony Romo (Douche), Jessica Simpson (Former Douche Girlfriend), Sean Avery (Mega Douche), Mark Teixeira (Cookie Crush), Michael Vick (Dog Killer), Gisele Bundchen (Bride of Bradystein), Yao Ming (Chinese Giant), and Kim Kardashian(Sports Groupie/Reality Rear-End).
All in all, 1980 was a pretty wild ride. Was it a Cinderella Story? Sometimes. Were we on a mission from God? Maybe so. Whatever the case, it sure was the wrong time to quit sniffing glue.
We’re guessing that someone fetching is up tomorrow.