Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wide World Of Sports

ESPN is doing the 50th anniversary of WWOS. The 1978 anniversary show has more meaning for me, because we got rid of our TV shortly after that, and I seldom saw it again. (For some reason this is labeled a Silver Anniversary show. It isn't.)

There is an odd moment late in the video, where you will do a double-take, until you remember Oh yeah, it's 1978. Weird.

Cliff-diving in Acapulco. Wrist-wrestling in Petaluma. Lots of Track and Field, lots of swimming and diving. Boxing, skating. I loved it. Looking at the partial list of events, it suddenly picks up for me in 1966, when I remember details about half the events as I see them listed. But there is usually only one event per episode, and there were usually 2-3 each week. I'm guessing that 1966 is the year my mother stopped insisting that I go outside and play rather than sit inside and watch TV.

For a lot of these sports, it was enough to have seen them once, or perhaps once a year. But for a reader such as I, it was fascinating to have only read about such things as rugby or sailing, and then get to watch them. That seems almost unbelievable to me now, but there it is. Track meets or tennis only came on when someone at a Big Three network put them on, and that mostly meant ABC. Libraries didn't have them, you couldn't rent them, and only wealthy athletic departments would have films.


Michael said...

Keith Jackson made a comment that it was the 25th anniversary of the network, not the show. Hence, the silver anniversary angle.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Ah. Alert.