POSTED: 4:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Sept. 8
To be fair, keep in mind that the majority of these mistakes came during Simmons' rapid-fire exchange with Spin's Chuck Klosterman, which could have had "King James Edition" (not LeBron, heathen) in the title. Also, if you're sending a correction, please stick to a few guidelines:
1.) Avoid sending in simple things like Stephen Jackson (not Steven) or the Vikings going 15-1 in '98 (not '99). Unless, of course, the whole column is based upon a year, and you're pointing out things like "Stand By Me" came out in 1986 or "MASH" really ended in 1983.
2.) For my sake, keep it to current stuff, not the archives. As it is, every time ESPN gives me something new to do, I have to cut something out of my life. This week, it's you, Mom. Sorry.
That's it. Here we go:
How's that for a backhanded compliment?
Here are a dozen more corrections, ESPNews style:
On Simmons' claim about the Pumpkins being a Nirvana knockoff, "Gish" came out before "Nevermind" in 1991, and both albums were produced by the same man, Butch Vig ... Women gymnasts do not compete on the pommel horse or the high bar ... Diane Sawyer hosts "PrimeTime Live," not "20/20" ... ZZ Top's "Legs" was on "Eliminator," not "Fandango" ... Pistol Pete's 68-point game was in New Orleans, not NYC ... The Bernard/Isiah shootout was in Cobo Hall, not the Superdome or Joe Louis Arena ... Mox's dad was not a "star" for Kilmer; he was a "no-talent (expletive)," but at least he listened ... The Summer Olympics couldn't be played during Ramadan, because Ramadan falls between Thanksgiving and Christmas ... You made a reference to a '92 Datsun, but Datsun started using the name Nissan in the mid '80s ... The 129-128 Sonics-Warriors game from 1992 ended in regulation, not OT ... Howard Stern worked at "K-Rock" in NYC, not KROQ, which is in LA ... Rockwell was the son of Motown founder Berry Gordy, thus the Jacko vocals in "Somebody's Watching Me."
Finally, my boss wanted to run some reader additions to his "Why 1984 was the best ESPN25 year" column, besides my own personal one demanding respect for Tom Hulce going from Otto in "Animal House" to Mozart in "Amadeus," which almost renders the entire column, if not the entire site, null and void. Seriously, it was like Macaulay Culkin going from "Home Alone" to "The Good Son," then carrying it to the Oscar. Here's what you guys had to say ...
No mention of "1st and Ten" in your 1984 column? I hope it was an oversight, but how could you forget the series that set the standard for all HBO shows that followed and is perhaps the best sports show of all time? O.J., L.T., a hot Delta Burke (or at least relatively hot compared to the Gerald McRaney years), football, nudity ... this show had it all. And few twosomes since have been able to match the comedic power of Bubba and Jethro.
-- Neil M., San Francisco
You didn't mention another pivotal 1984 MTV moment: Billy Squier completely derailing his career with the classic "Rock Me Tonite" video. The "can't look away from a car wreck" level of watching that has grown over the years, as VH1 Classic will roll it out occasionally. Even the All Music Guide had this line in his bio: "The video for the album's single, 'Rock Me Tonite,' alienated some of Squier's hardcore rock following, as the singer was filmed flamboyantly prancing around his apartment in time to the music (and in a moment of great delight, ripping off his shirt), resulting in the clip often being considered one of the most inadvertently hilarious videos of all time."
-- Dan, Dallas
How could you mention both "Bachelor Party" and Heather Locklear and then leave off Adrian Zmed? Between "B.P" and "T.J. Hooker," 1984 was The Year of Adrian Zmed. Certainly the greatest Z-name actor of the '80s, he was the Jim Zorn of the film world.
-- Christian, New York City
How is it possible that you overlooked Dan Marino's '84 season in your Best Year Ever column? Does that not deserve its own paragraph? Don't 5,000 passing yards and 48 TDs qualify as making The Leap?
-- Ben Tipton, Houston
You need to add a 20a. to your list of '84: McDonald's takes a bath on their Summer Olympics promotion in which they give away a free snack if an American athlete wins a medal in the event marked on your game piece. Bronze wins you a drink, Silver gets you fries, and the Gold has Ray Kroc stuffing a free Big Mac in your mug. Thanks to the Communist boycott, every 13-year-old boy in America ate McDonald's for free for a year. (Thank you, Peter Vidmar!) I know I don't need to tell you that this phenomenon was documented in an episode of "The Simpsons," in which Bart is born and Homer wins a free burger and then he wonders if his day could get any better. The best part of the promotion was the "No Purchase Necessary" clause, so you could take home 10 game pieces and just wait for Team USA to win one of its 174 medals, including 83 golds. You do the math.
-- David Butler, Venice, CA
My daily routine during that contest was for my brother, friends and I to ride our bikes down to our local McD's, scarf down insane amounts of free Big Macs, fries and drinks with no cash outlay, go find something to occupy ourselves during the afternoon, and then repeat the process all over again for dinner. It was one of those great experiences that we still recall to this day. It should also be noted that we all basically did the 'Supersize Me' documentary 20 years before it hit the screen.
-- Brian B., New Fairfield, CT
How could you? "Press Your Luck" (which started in '83) hit its prime in 1984. I still watch re-runs on GSN. And yes, I'm 30. And yes, I'm a CEO. I hate slot machines, but when I'm in Vegas, I'll always donate some money into the "PYL" ones.
-- Gary P.
How could you forgot to mention "Hardbodies," the births of Avril, Scarlett Johannson, and LeBron? Also, if you want to talk about being in your prime, I submit a name for you: "Optimus Prime." He had the biggest year of all time in 1984. A full two years before his death and he was on top of the world.
-- Eddie S., Dallas
How could you neglect to mention that the MPAA introduced the PG-13 rating in 1984? Not sure it's really a great thing, but it certainly warrants a mention. Prompted by the gratuitous violence in "Gremlins" and "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," angry parents everywhere (or at least eight fairly wealthy ones with good connections and nothing better to do) demanded an option for the gaping hole between PG and R. It's a good thing that we apply those ratings so consistently with movies today, look out for the best interests of the kids, and not let money influence those decisions at all. Cough, "Harry Potter," cough, cough. I'm not bitter that my mom wouldn't let me go see "Indiana Jones 2" in the theater. I'm not.
-- R. Franiuk, Stevens Point, WI
How can you mention 1984 as a great year without mentioning that it was the last year of "Happy Days" on TV? The show spun off three series; and, sure, it sputtered to make it to '84 with Ted McGinley being an integral part of the show, but give it some props.
-- Paul Teufer, Northome, MN
Two words: "Knight Rider." Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the powerless, the helpless in a world of criminals who operate above the law. Of course, he was played by David Hasselhoff. (By the way, I visited London recently and they have all these posters in the Underground for the musical "Chicago" starring D.H. And looking at the poster, I realized two things: 1.) He actually thinks he's a serious actor; and 2.) He's got serious Dick Clark staying power. I mean, he sings, he's got the instant recognition, and his face is made out of a futuristic plastic that doesn't deteriorate. And then, there's KITT, voiced by the future Mr. Feeny, Bonnie, Devon, and of course Michael Knight's evil twin Garthe.There's no need for me to convince you about the show's greatness. It was. That is all that's necessary.
-- Vijay, San Francisco
Loved your 1984 column, but you missed the boat on the '84 Winter Olympics, which were much, much more than the only Winter Games in a socialist country. First of all, these were the Olympics where Katarina Witt was smokin' hot. Second, they were the Olympics where real-life American skiers (Christin Cooper, Deb Armstrong, Phil and Steve Mahre, and trash-talking Bill Johnson) stuck it to real-life sneering Euros. (Do you recall Franz Klammer calling Johnson a 'nosepicker'?) Just like in "Hot Dog, The Movie."
-- Chuck Hoss, Belmont, CA
I'm so disappointed. No. 22 of the Top 84 things that made 1984 the best year ever -- the Winter Olympics -- and you can't remember anything? Two words: Katarina Witt, only the sexiest figure skater ever, performing as Carmen, the hottest operatic character ever! (This is my personal miracle on ice). Her subsequent Playboy spread ranks as my favorite of all time. If that's not enough, American wild man Bill Johnson wins the downhill, Debbie Armstrong wins the women's GS, the Mahre brothers medal (at least it rhymes with Sklar). Finally, Torvill and Dean melt the rink with a torrid ice dancing routine (can't believe I've used torrid and ice dancing in the same sentence). Of course the no-fun skating federation then changed the rules to return their event to obscurity. One of the best Winter Games ever.
-- Marc Williams, La Crosse, WI
"Even the Rams had Dickerson." Are you effing kidding me? Eric Dickerson certainly deserved better than that pathetic little blurb in your otherwise outstanding column on 1984. No. 29 certainly entered into his prime in 1984 when he rushed for geez, I don't know, only 2,105 freaking yards! That was on the heels of an unheard-of 1,808 yards as a rookie the year before. Another 1,800-yard season in 1986 and over 1,600 in 1988. I know this was just a small-yet-easily-correctable oversight on your part. Eric Dickerson was one of the three best running backs ever. A freak of nature with the prototypical size and speed never seen since.
-- Boa T., Anaheim, CA
Wasn't Nintendo released in the U.S. in 1984? If so, it would have to be Top 5 if not No. 1 on your list.
-- Adam True, Boston
You forgot to mention two things. 1984 was the year that the "John Facenda Era" ended for NFL Films, as he died in September that year. If there was anyone to narrate the life-altering events of any man's life, it would be Facenda. I remember the morning after losing my virginity, as I strode proudly to my car to go home, the immortal words of Facenda filled my head: "He was a lovable loser ... no more." God bless John Facenda. And one more item missed: the birth of the Sade phenomenon. To this day when people hear Sade, the automatic response is: "Somebody's having sex right now." I was seven at the time, yet when Sade hit the scene, she became the first in a long line of Non-White Chicks I Had a Crush On. She also was indirectly responsible for about half of the slacker teens found across the landscape of this country today.
-- Patrick Minney, Fresno, CA
As much as I appreciate your appreciation for "Just One of the Guys," I am equally mystified never to have seen in your columns any references to "Blame It on Rio." The fact that today's 1984 column fails to include any such recognition renders the column incomplete, but also leads me to the simple conclusion that maybe somehow you never saw the movie. If you had seen it, the burning of Michelle Johnson onto your brain (notwithstanding her being 17 when the movie was filmed, but much hotter than Lindsay Lohan) surely would have manifested itself in today's column and others. (And why-oh-why didn't she go farther in Hollywood?) Not to mention that it also starred Demi Moore (topless, but with long hair strategically placed) in her last pre-"St. Elmo's Fire" breakthrough role; and Michael Caine and Joseph Bologna wrestling in their bikini-brief underwear, which is equal parts hilarious and disturbing. Also, I was surprised not to see any references to "Against All Odds" (and the lovely Rachel Ward), but it's sufficiently related to sports (Jeff Bridges as injured ex-Chargers-quarterback, plus James Woods as a bookie, and Alex Karras to boot), so maybe you're saving it for the list of 72 (albeit perhaps as No. 72).
-- Chris Kensington, Boston
I don't understand how you could possibly write an entire column about the year 1984 and not once mention "Stop Making Sense." I know that the Talking Heads are one of those love-'em-or hate-'em type things, and you might very well be the latter. But I figure you should have at least made mention. The big suit alone is worth at least a paragraph.
-- Tommy, Austin, TX
Unbelievable work, man, but one important omission: In 1984 Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard formed "Green River" with Mark Arm and Steve Turner, the beginning of the Ament-Gossard partnership which would eventually become Pearl Jam.
-- John Mulka, Detroit
How could you forget Kathleen Sullivan as daytime Olympics co-host with Frank Gifford? She wore the tightest, lowest-cut sweaters. Not worth a paragraph but certainly worth a mention.
-- Michael Shriro, Richardson, TX
I noticed a very big omission from your list of reasons 1984 was so great: the beginning of Transformers. How many toy lines -- and comics and animated shows, for that matter -- catch on and sell well enough to last 20 years, spawn a movie (soon to be TWO), attract fans and collectors of all ages, and create the demand for conventions dedicated to them?
-- Jen Kerner, St. Louis
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