johnnysama

Sports in the 1980s

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The Dodgers last world series championship ūüôĄ¬† Getting another one is like chasing a dangling carrot.¬† So close and yet so far.

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11 minutes ago, CaliforniaGlowin said:

The Dodgers last world series championship ūüôĄ¬† Getting another one is like chasing a dangling carrot.¬† So close and yet so far.

Keep banging....

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4 hours ago, TrueYankee26 said:

Guess that explains why the Pens weren't that popular in Pittsburgh.. Didn't the White Sox do the same kind of thing in the 70s and 80s while the Cubs put their games on WGN, which means anyone with a working antenna in (and cable outside of) Chicagoland can catch the Cubs??

 

Most of the White Sox games were on an over-the-air subscription service, yes. They would still throw a few games to channel 9 or channel 32 in that time, which were free. Harry Caray realized that was bad business for the Sox but especially for Harry Caray, and jumped to the Cubs with all their games on channel 9. Of course, then-new owner Jerry Reinsdorf was kind of pushing Harry out anyway because the broadcasts with Jimmy Piersall were getting to be too toxic. Reinsdorf has always wanted the White Sox to be the Yankeedodgers, and part of getting there was by having a much more dispassionate, New York-style broadcast. Obviously, that didn't go as planned.

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16 hours ago, TrueYankee26 said:

Guess that explains why the Pens weren't that popular in Pittsburgh.. Didn't the White Sox do the same kind of thing in the 70s and 80s while the Cubs put their games on WGN, which means anyone with a working antenna in (and cable outside of) Chicagoland can catch the Cubs??

Ummm the Pens were extremely popular even with home games moved to ppv, they weren't at the level of the Steelers popularity but no other team in pro-sports has that level of fandom. The Penguins issues have always been due to the sting of penniless con-men like Howard Baldwin the NHL allowed to purchase the team, the only times they had legit ownership was under Eddie DeBartolo Sr. in the 80's and the current Lemieux/Burkle Group.

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12 hours ago, CaliforniaGlowin said:

The Dodgers last world series championship ūüôĄ¬† Getting another one is like chasing a dangling carrot.¬† So close and yet so far.

Could be worse, you could be a Pirates fan  LOL! Last time the Pirates played in a World Series, I was 6yrs old (1979).
NO Playoffs through the 1980s
Made the Playoffs in '90, '91 and '92
NO Playoffs through rest of 1990s
NO Playoffs through 2000s
Made the Playoffs in '13 (WC, then Division Series but lost), '14 (WC loss), '15 (WC loss)
NO Playoffs since then 

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On 4/28/2020 at 10:01 AM, Skycast said:

For me it's hands down the USFL, so many fond memories of that league. Bandit Ball...the awesome Michigan Panthers uniform...the Breakers helmets...a slew of Heisman trophy winners...hard-nosed Marcus Dupree...Herschel...and on and on.

 

 

Kelvin Bryant,Anthony Carter,Trumaine Johnson,Tim Spencer,Gary Anderson,Brian Sipe,Joe Cribbs,Sam Mills,Ricky Sanders,Mel Gray,Gary Barbaro and so many more....The league was stacked with talent!

 

Marcus DuPree shoulve had a monster career had he been in better shape and of course not suffered his horrific injury(it wasnt Theismann level but it was close!) He wouldve been up there with the all-time greats, no dispute.

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10 hours ago, mkg74 said:

 

 

Kelvin Bryant,Anthony Carter,Trumaine Johnson,Tim Spencer,Gary Anderson,Brian Sipe,Joe Cribbs,Sam Mills,Ricky Sanders,Mel Gray,Gary Barbaro and so many more....The league was stacked with talent!

 

Marcus DuPree shoulve had a monster career had he been in better shape and of course not suffered his horrific injury(it wasnt Theismann level but it was close!) He wouldve been up there with the all-time greats, no dispute.

 

Agreed, so many great players in that league. I've been watching some games and highlight videos on YouTube now and then.

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1 hour ago, Skycast said:

 

Agreed, so many great players in that league. I've been watching some games and highlight videos on YouTube now and then.

They had enough big names and talent to survive. The only roadblock; NFL was just a tiny bit better. The NFL back then was incredible. 

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The Yankees won the division in 1980 and won the pennant in 1981 with most of their 1970s team intact, the obvious exception being the late Thurman Munson.  Munson's succesor behind the plate, Rick Cerone, had the season of his life in 1980, earning MVP votes, including a first-place vote, for an 85-RBI year, while having a fabulous mustache, and setting the all-time standard for looking cool in a baseball uniform.

Rick Cerone, Catcher | New york yankees, New york yankees baseball ...

CHILLIN  LIKE  A  BOSS

But, despite that success at the start of the 1980s, the Yankees went on to experience droughts in pennants (15 years from 1981 until the next one in 1996) and World Championships (18 years from 1978 until the next one in 1996) that are the longest in their history.  These periods are even longer than the traumatic "Lean Years" between the World Series titles of 1962 and 1977 and the American League championships of 1964 and 1976.

The crazy thing is that the team was very good for most of the decade.¬† In 1983 they were in first place for one day¬†‚ÄĒ¬†sort of.¬† It was¬†the one day that the Pine Tar Game counted as a win, before the American League pulled a¬†historic boner, undermining its umpires by changing a call that the¬†umpires on the field had gotten perfectly right. Despite that unearned setback (and despite the madness of Billy Martin), the team nevertheless contended up until mid-September, and wound up with more than 90 wins in a year that Guidry reached 21.

In 1984 the Tigers ran away with the AL East on the strength of their devastating 35-5 start.  But, from that point on, the team with the best record in the league was the Yankees, who won 87.  This gave great confidence for the future, as did the exhilarating batting race between Dave Winfield and the eventual batting champ Don Mattingly, who both hit over .340 for the season.

 

That confidence seemed to have paid off in 1985, as the team had the most exciting non-championship season that you could have.  Indeed, both the Yankees and the Mets set the City on fire that year, as thoughts of a Subway Series grew stronger as the season went on.  A good book covers that year; it is called Doc, Donnie, the Kid, and Billy Brawl: How the 1985 Mets and Yankees Fought for New York’s Baseball Soul, by Chris Donnelly.  Guidry had his last great season with 22 wins; Mattingly was MVP with 145 RBIs; Rickey Henderson led the league with a career-high 146 runs scored, and set a then-team record of 80 steals, teaming with Mattingly and Winfield to form a modern-day Murderers' Row.  The season had everything except a title; the team was alive going into the final weekend but fell two games short, as did the Mets in the NL East. The dream of Guidry vs. Gooden in game 1 of the 1985 World Series was not going to happen.

The Mets owned the town in 1986.  But this made people forget that the Yankees were good, too, leading their division for most of the season's first two months, contending all year, and finishing second with 90 wins.  Mattingly set career highs in batting (.352), hits (238), and doubles (53), while Henderson broke his year-old team stolen-base record by swiping 87.

The 1987 season saw 89 wins and 1988 saw 85 wins; but the team had passed its peak (even if Henderson had an astonishing 93 steals in 1988, the fourth and final time he would steal more than 90 bases in a season).  Then came the nadir, featuring an ignominious managerial stint by Bucky Dent, and then Stump Merrill presiding over a last-place finish in 1990 (despite the return of the mighty Cerone), until Buck Showalter brought the team back to respectability a few years later.

While I have always looked back fondly at the 1985 season, and was very pleased to see the publication of a book on that compelling year, I can scarsely believe that the Henderson-Mattingly-Winfield team didn't win any titles.  The 1984-1986 Yankees have to be one of the best teams that didn't finish first, rivalling the Red Sox of the late 1970s.

 

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On 5/6/2020 at 8:46 PM, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

The Mets owned the town in 1986.  But this made people forget that the Yankees were good, too, leading their division for most of the season's first two months, contending all year, and finishing second with 90 wins.  Mattingly set career highs in batting (.352), hits (238), and doubles (53), while Henderson broke his year-old team stolen-base record by swiping 87.

 

I am looking at the Sporting News archives (on Newspaperarchive.com), and there were people that predicted a Subway Series for 86.

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On 5/8/2020 at 7:56 AM, DnBronc said:
On 5/6/2020 at 8:46 PM, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

The Mets owned the town in 1986.  But this made people forget that the Yankees were good, too, leading their division for most of the season's first two months, contending all year, and finishing second with 90 wins.   

 

I am looking at the Sporting News archives (on Newspaperarchive.com), and there were people that predicted a Subway Series for 86.

 

That must have been early in the season, while both teams were in first place, and while the double near-miss of 1985 was still strong in people's minds.

 

But, as the 1986 season went on, the Mets became the only story. That team dominated newspaper coverage, receiving the bulk of the attention for both their play and their personalities, with the Yankees relegated to an afterthought, despite having equally compelling personalities.

 

The following mock back page of the Daily News represents only a minor exaggeration of the media landscape, both in New York and nationally, in 1986.

 

1986-back-page.jpg

 

 

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1983 first grand slam in All Star Game history by Fred Lynn of the California Angels.  Also the American League finally won an All Star game that year after a long long drought.

 

No expansion teams in MLB or the NFL during this decade which is a bit surprising to me.

 

Super Bowl XIX between the Dolphins & 49ers was played on January 20, 1985, the day President Reagan began his 2nd term.

 

Although it began in 1979, ESPN grew by leaps & bounds during the 1980s.

 

The single greatest overall post-season in MLB took place in 1986, IMHO.

 

 

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On 5/8/2020 at 4:56 AM, DnBronc said:

 

I am looking at the Sporting News archives (on Newspaperarchive.com), and there were people that predicted a Subway Series for 86.

Something that wouldn't happen for another 14 years. :D

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3 hours ago, johnnysama said:

Something that wouldn't happen for another 14 years. :D

Now a new 20 year streak has started.

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On 4/29/2020 at 2:44 PM, TrueYankee26 said:

Guess that explains why the Pens weren't that popular in Pittsburgh.. Didn't the White Sox do the same kind of thing in the 70s and 80s while the Cubs put their games on WGN, which means anyone with a working antenna in (and cable outside of) Chicagoland can catch the Cubs??

 

Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn bought the White Sox to provide content for their new pay-TV venture, SportsVision. You look at the current state of sports media revenue and think, hey, they were ahead of their time. Problem was, everyone knew they were ahead of their time at the time. The White Sox moved most of their games to SportsVision in 1982; the city of Chicago didn't start getting wired for cable until 1984. That meant, if you wanted to watch the White Sox (and some Blackhawks, Bulls, and Sting games,) you had to buy a descrambler box, and pay $20 a month (that's $53 a month in today's money) to get one channel. Well, one third of a channel. Because SportsVision aired on Channel 60, which was already shared by two owners: one English-language and one Spanish-language, on some sort of timeshare agreement. So $20 a month got you SportsVision on weeknights and during times on the weekends when they had live games to show. It didn't go very well! At least ON-TV on Channel 44 gave you softcore porn at nights for that price.

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Also, the biggest hockey story of the 1980s: "The Trade".

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On 4/29/2020 at 8:22 AM, BringBackTheVet said:

Yeah TV kinda sucked in the '80s.  Chicago's situation is well documented, but even in Phila, we only got road games unless you paid for PRISM, which was basically a premium RSN that also occasionally showed tittie movies at night.  Oh... it just so happened to be owned by Ed Snider / the Flyers.

 

I didn't have cable until '91, so I didn't get any of the Sports Channel road games - just the OTA... which was still most of them.  Absolutely zero home games though, which is one reason why I loved the one year the NHL wore their white jerseys on the road, because I found the Flyers to be faaaaaar superior... and white should still be the home one today.  F you - fight me IRL.

i think a few stations did that at one point.  this wouldn't fly today.  

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2 hours ago, goalieboy82 said:

i think a few stations did that at one point.  this wouldn't fly today.  

 

I think they could probably get away with full bush today.

 

Anyway, not going back to check, but TWIB was one of my favorite things about the '80s.  It was pretty much the only way I got to see other teams and uniforms since we didn't have cable.

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