Tuesday, July 16, 2019

YouTube Spotlight: Back to Thicke

We're running an extra YouTube Spotlight because we want to ensure as many people as possible see THIS:

This number was performed on the 1988 Crystal Light National Aerobic Championship, which alone might merit an investigation if I weren't so fixated on Thicke;s song. Here's a closer look at the tune and analysis of the lyrics if you are interested in doing your own investigation.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Happy birthday, Alex Karras!

The late Webster star and NFL great was born on this date in 1935. Karras' TV career had more variety than you might think; in addition to his family sitcom fame in the 1980s, he was a Tonight Show regular, a member of the Monday Night Football booth for several seasons, and the star of efforts like this:

The 1977 TV movie is an interesting look at the world of pro grappling that I never see discussed in conversations about wrestling movies. It's a worthwhile watch, though, co-starring Nicholas Colasanto, Susan Anspach, Elisha Cook Jr., and Tracey Walter. At first glance it's a movie about a lug of a rassler who wonders if he is right for the woman he falls for, but, hey, he's also being stalked by a homicidal loner!

Read more about the movie here.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

BOTNS Top Ten #24

1) Bob Uecker: Mr. Baseball steals the show in our Greatest Sports Legends episode this week, as we talk as much about Mr. Belvedere as we do sports and legends. I think we should all thank Ueck for the excuse to watch a ton of old Miller Lite commercials.

Come to think of it, all things considered, was the "Tastes great, less filling," campaign the best in TV history? It should be in the conversation.

2) Terry Bradshaw: I hope Bradshaw is secure enough in his skin these days to not be offended at being runner up to Bob. He still has the 4 Super Bowl rings and his legacy as a surprisingly effective pitchman:

3) Jim Bouton: While we're on a sports theme this week, R.I.P. to Jim Bouton, who (with co-author Leonard Shecter) turned a diary of his season with the expansion Seattle Pilots into one of the most outstanding and influential sports books of all time, Ball Four. Longtime BOTNS listeners will remember we discussed Ball Four the TV series as a "What We'd Like to See" feature back in this episode AND a  "What We Saw" episode here!

4) Love Boat: You know what I would be doing this weekend if I had Decades channel? Figuring out how I inadvertently paid for a streaming package that included it. But THEN I would settle in and watch the Love Boat marathon, coming out of it on Monday in a Stubing stupor.

5) Charlotte Rae: Watching some early Facts of Life on Roku Channel makes me think that if anything, we undersold what a "force of nature" Rae was. I mean, it takes guts and gusto to sell every_single_line with a wink, a wiggle, and a lilt

6) Rip Torn: His greatest TV role came after our time period on The Larry Sanders Show, but I can't imagine seeing him in anything and not being entertaining. Me-TV pays tribute to him, highlighting his appearance on Columbo, here.

7) Quincy: Hey, all this furor over Friends and The Office leaving Netflix MONTHS from now makes me wonder where the heck everyone was when Quincy M.E. just left with little warning? I was fighting the fight back then, folks. Now y'all want to jump on the bandwagon and talk about beloved series switching streaming services? Well, at least Friends and The Office are going somewhere, unlike Quincy, still in limbo.

8) Lynda Carter: Speaking of Me-TV, this article on TV stars who made disco albums in the 1970s would be great even without the picture of her, but with it...

9) Eric Laneuville: Happy birthday to the former St. Elsewhere regular. Hey, would anyone like to hear us cover that one on the pod?

10) Eddie Mekka: Because we can't emphasize too strongly how great that Me-TV disco article is. Did you know Mekka cut a record called Big Boss Man in 1979?

Saturday, July 13, 2019

YouTube Spotlight: Pac-Man Meets the Pittsburgh Pirates

This week's Spotlight focuses on one of the more intriguing items from our Greatest Sports Legends playlist: A 1982 Atari Pac-Man ad featuring the Pittsburgh Pirates:

Now, the info at the end indicates this was a local campaign targeting the Western PA area, but I am intrigued. In how many markets did they do this? keep in mind that though they had won the World Series in 1979, the Pirates had a bad year in the strike-torn 1981 season, finishing well below .500, so they weren't exactly a hot marquee team.

It's funny to see manager Chuck Tanner trying to track down his starting middle infield of 2B Johnny Ray, who was one of my favorites as a kid for his "J-Ray" nickname; and SS Dale Berra, who was one of my favorites as a kid for his massive cocaine habit (just kidding!). Berra would become a notorious figure in baseball circles as the Pittsburgh drug trials blew up, but for now, the guy just wants to Hoover up those Pac-pellets.

As for the game, I was never an Atari man--we had like every other system except that one--but this version of Pac-Man was reviled even though it was a huge seller. it was a big hit in the Bucco clubhouse, though!

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Greatest Sports Legends YouTube playlist is now live!

If you are a fan of sports in general, hilarity, Pittsburgh sports, or Mr. Belvedere, you will want to check out this week's massive YouTube playlist. Click below to see Terry Bradshaw sing! Bob Uecker on The Tonight Show! The Immaculate Reception! Iron City beer! And speaking of beer, plenty of Miller Lite commercials with Mr. Baseball himself!

Enjoy, and remember to visit our official YouTube channel for past podcast episodes and playlists like this one!

Show Notes: Episode 6-6: Greatest Sports Legends

*Greatest Sports Legends aired in first-run syndication from 1972-, producing 207 episodes. In this week's podcast, we discuss the profiles of Terry Bradshaw (May 1987) and Bob Uecker (July 1985).

*The series featured multiple hosts over the years, including Jayne Kennedy (who hosts the Uecker episode) and George Plimpton, but also jocks (ex- and current) like Tom Seaver and Reggie Jackson.

*Despite what Rick says on the podcast, the New England Patriots have won 6 Super Bowls, with quarterback Tom Brady winning all of them.

*Here's a cool pic from Pinterest of the old Sears catalog NFL merch:

*Terry Bradshaw played QB for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1970-1983, then entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1989. he started his broadcasting career in 1984 as a color commentator on CBS' NFL game coverage, then moved to FOX and became a studio analyst.

*Check out Franco Harris' Immaculate Reception in our YouTube playlist this week!

*Willie Stargell, the "guest host" for the Bradshaw episode, is himself a Hall of Famer, entering the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988 after a 21-year career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in which he hit 475 home runs.

*Bob "Mr. Baseball" Uecker was a career .200 hitter.

*Mr. Belvedere aired 1985-1990 on ABC. Let us know if you want us to cover it on the podcast!

*There are no plans for a Belvedere revival...none that we know of, anyway.

*Ahmad Rashad is a former NFL Pro Bowl Wide Receiver and sportscaster who was NBC's main sideline reporter during the Michael Jordan years.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

6-6: Greatest Sports Legends Terry Bradshaw and Bob Uecker

This week, we look back at an unofficial TV genre, weekend dad TV, the kind of show that might fill the gap between the early game and the late game. Greatest Sports Legends combines interviews and documentary footage to cover the great athletes of the day. In a typical episode, Willie Stargell interviews Terry Bradshaw. Then an atypical episode parodies the show buy focusing on legendary bad player, raconteur, announcer, and actor Bob Uecker.

Check out this episode!