April 14, 2003

White Shadow.: Created by the late Bruce Paltrow (Gwyneth's dad!), The White Shadow was a late-70s/early 80s starred Ken Howard (now Jordan's ex-cop dad on medical examiner drama, Crossing Jordan) as a former basketball star turned basketball coach of a racially-diverse (black, Mexican, Jewish, white) high school team. I was trying to make it a Basketball threepeat for today. But this is really about sports-related TV shows. Not sports shows, not sports movies, but TV shows, preferably series. Can you name those shows and give me links to great info or fan sites for them? Can you?

posted by worldcup2002 to culture at 05:35 PM - 19 comments

Whoa. Bill Simmons (the guy who's article is the subject of the post) had an earlier article all about this topic (also linked within the article up there), including the best sports-related TV shows, what it would take to make the next sports-related TV hit, and his favorite sports movies. Nice.

posted by worldcup2002 at 05:40 PM on April 14, 2003

I loved White Shadow as a kid, but every time I've caught a repeat since then on TV Land or ESPN Classic, I couldn't get through an episode. It's way too afterschool special, and the players wear shorts so short the opposing teams should think twice before getting a reaching-in foul, lest they develop some undesired ball-handling skills.

posted by rcade at 06:11 PM on April 14, 2003

My memory was jogged by Simmons's article. These are the ones I've watched: Sports Night: I'm one of the few who watched and loved it when it first came out on network TV (ABC? CBS?). My wife's and my favorite show when it was on. Oh well. Coach: Good fun, whether you liked football or not. That Luther and Dawber (Dauber) were choice. Classic. [lame link -- can anyone do better? please?] Arli$$: Caught this once or twice while I still had cable. Not a likeable show or cast. Maybe that was intentional. I don't know. I can see why Simmons said "Ugh." Cheers: OK, this is a stretch, aside from Sam, Woody and Coach's sports "backgrounds." But, good times, good times.

posted by worldcup2002 at 06:42 PM on April 14, 2003

worldcup2002: This "Coach" link is interesting...

posted by thatweirdguy2 at 10:53 PM on April 14, 2003

I second Sports Night, White Shadow (which I only barely remember though), and Cheers, which was sports themed enough. I have never seen Arli$$, and I never cared for Coach all that much. Wasn't there a Harlem Globetrotters cartoon series as a kid, or am I getting confused about their frequent appearances on Scooby Doo?

posted by vito90 at 08:25 AM on April 15, 2003

does wacky races count?

posted by danostuporstar at 09:32 AM on April 15, 2003

Yeah. Hahahaha. Muttley's laugh was inimitably classic. And Penelope was hot! Hot!

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:48 AM on April 15, 2003

I hated Sports Night. Every character spoke in exactly the same voice -- a navel-gazing 19 year old girl at a pretentious Ivy League school who talked about herself incessantly. I'll never understand how a show like that got produced from the premise, "SportsCenter is funny. A sitcom about life behind the scenes at SportsCenter would be comedy gold!"

posted by rcade at 09:48 AM on April 15, 2003

Hey, I think I used to date Sports night in college. Dano, is that the same as Scooby's Laff-a-Lympics?

posted by Samsonov14 at 11:19 AM on April 15, 2003

I think you reach the end of the line here pretty quickly, although I would say the Laff-a-Lympics (a misnomer if there ever was one) would count. How about characters in non-sports shows who had a sports background? I can think of one Tony Danza in "Who's the Boss?" He was a former shortstop in the Cardinals' organization. Any others?

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:35 PM on April 15, 2003

Haha - Tony Danza gets a two-fer then, because he was a boxer in Taxi.

posted by vito90 at 02:51 PM on April 15, 2003

Of course, you'll never have heard of Jossy's Giants. It was quite good, in a kids tv kinda way.

posted by squealy at 02:57 PM on April 15, 2003

Don't forget The Jersey or A League of Their Own (because most people have).

posted by Bag Man at 03:00 PM on April 15, 2003

How could I forget Sky TV's Dream Team or ITV's Footballer's Wives? To be honest I've not seen either, but I do know that in a strange, fact is stranger than fiction manner, one of the bints of one of these series is married to Birmingham City midfielder Steven Clemence.

posted by squealy at 03:11 PM on April 15, 2003

What about that Saturday Morning show that was kinda like Saved by the Bell, oh yeah, Hang Time? Or how about the Harlem Globetrotter cartoon?

posted by jacknose at 03:49 PM on April 15, 2003

squealy: Thanks for the links. Heard of those, but don't get them here in the US. Looks like a live version (or even a cartoon version) of Roy of the Rovers would've been better than those two. jacknose: Hang Time. Yeah. Caught a couple of those briefly. Sooooo Saved by the Bell and teenybopperish. Whew.

posted by worldcup2002 at 04:02 PM on April 15, 2003

Sports Night was a good show, but (like NewsRadio, which has nothing else to do with this thread) I didn't really watch it until it was in syndication. Coach, however, was a steaming pile of goat-shit not worthy of being broadcast on PAX at 4 in the morning.

posted by Ufez Jones at 04:15 PM on April 15, 2003

Didn't they make a series version of Bad News Bears that lasted like two months or less?

posted by billsaysthis at 05:52 PM on April 15, 2003

Yes. Actually it looks like it got a couple of seasons in before it was canned.

posted by jennyb at 10:11 AM on April 18, 2003

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