DAILY DIRT: Oh, for a return to the days of Big Hair and the world of Abby Ewing


Daily Dirt for Tuesday, May 14, 2024

1. I’ve been alive for six full decades and parts of two others, so I have reference points aplenty. 

When I look back at all of those years in the rear-view mirror, there is always one decade in particular that stands out. The ’80s earned the nickname “Big” for a reason. Everything in the ’80s was done in a “big” or robust fashion. Without a doubt, if there was ever a particular point of punctuation to perfectly capture that decade it would have been the exclamation mark (!).

For me, the most memorable elements from that wacky 10-year period were led by the following:

  • 1. Big Hair: I have no idea how much hair spray is sold over the course of an average year, but I think it’s safe to stay you could have at least quadrupled that figure in the ’80s. And let me say, I was always a big fan of The Big Hair in the Big ’80s. The higher (and “crispier”) the better.
  • 2. Mullets: As attractive as that Big Hair was on the ladies of the ’80s, the same cannot be said for the male mullet heads. Seriously, what were they thinking?
  • 3. Shoulder pads for girls/women: OK, what were they possibly thinking with this fashion statement? I always felt the ladies of the ’80s looked far more attractive in “normal” clothing, rather than trying to imitate Eric Dickerson.
  • 4. “Knots Landing”: Not only the best TV show of the decade, but one of the best ever. More than 40 years later, this guy is still in love with Abby Ewing (Donna Mills) and her Big Hair. If ever a show needed a reboot, it’s this classic.
  • 5. Trivial Pursuit: Arguably the greatest board game of all time, especially the sports offshoots.
  • 6. Hair metal bands: Again, you could not go wrong with The Big Hair. Two words: Bon Jovi. Four more words: “Living On A Prayer”. 
  • 7. VHS vs. Betamax: Remember your friends who opted for Betamax, rather than VH1? They were probably the same people who preferred baseball being played on plastic grass.
  • 8. New Coke: To this day, I’m still not sure if Coca-Cola planned the whole thing, or if some front-office simpleton actually thought that horrendous New Coke was a good idea. Obviously, it wasn’t. All I remember about the 1985 fiasco was when Coca-Cola announced it was bringing back the original I was one happy guy.
  • 9. New wave music: It was awful then, awful now.
  • 10. Cabbage Patch Kids dolls: Sorry, they were also stupid then, and still are.

2. Did you know (Part 14) …

  • That the following songs are an incredible 63 years old this year: “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” by Elvis Presley, “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King” and “Crazy” by Patsy Cline.
  • That the third-longest U.S. road is I-90, stretching 3,020 miles through 13 states, reaching from Boston, Mass., to Seattle, Wash. It’s also the longest U.S. interstate highway.
  • That U.S. Route 6 is the second-longest U.S. road, working its way 3,207 miles from Provincetown, Mass., to Bishop, Calif. Its official name is the Grand Army of the Republic Highway.
  • The longest U.S. road is U.S. 20, extending about 3,365 miles from Boston, Mass., to Newport, Ore. It was originally a Native American trail.
  • That Chuck Norris has never made a left turn, because everything he does is right.

3. I’m not trying to persuade any thought processes, just presenting a case for the player who might be the most overlooked superstar EVER in the NBA: John Havlicek.

I’ll present the information, and you decide if Havlicek should at least be in the conversation for, say, the top 10 or 15 greatest players of all time. Here’s how Havlicek stands up to Michael Jordan, who I think we all agree is the best there has ever been:

John Havlicek

  • Elected to Hall of Fame in 1984
  • 11-time all-NBA selection
  • 13-time all-star
  • 8 NBA titles with the Celtics
  • 8-0 record in the finals
  • 26,000 career points
  • 8,000 rebounds
  • 6,000 assists
  • 31 triple doubles

Michael Jordan

  • Elected to Hall of Fame in 2009
  • 11-time all-NBA selection
  • 14-time all-star
  • 6 NBA titles with the Bulls
  • 6-0 record in the finals
  • 32,000 career points
  • 8,000 rebounds
  • 5,000 assists
  • 28 triple doubles

Steve Thought O’ The Day — One more thing about The Big ’80s. I was one of the few people in the western hemisphere who did not watch “Miami Vice”.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He is looking for the Donna Mills 1985 bootleg sex tape on Betamax. He’ll pay top dollar.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The name of the team Michael Jordan played for was incorrect in a previous version of this story. Also, information about the first and second longest roads in the United States was incorrect.

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