DAILY DIRT: ‘See the tree how big it’s grown, but friend it hasn’t been too long it wasn’t big …’

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Daily Dirt for Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022

The first thought is going to be like fingernails on a blackboard for some of you … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 409 of The Daily Dirt.

1. I think it’s fair to say there are songs that drive each of us a bit crazy, especially when we hear them over and over and over.

That’s when you start asking yourself, “There can’t be THAT many people buying that record. No way. Right?”

Here are some cases in point, some of which actually reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. And if any of these songs offend you with their inclusion, well … that’s too bad. They were, and still are terrible, terrible songs.

  • “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” by Bobby McFerrin: I once stopped the car I was driving when this number came on the radio. I single-handedly ripped the radio from the dashboard and threw it out the window. Not really, but I wanted to.
  • “Macarena,” by Los Del Rio: This spent 14 consecutive weeks at No. 1 in the 1990s. By about the 10th week, I was considering therapy.
  • Any song by Donny Osmond or his brothers: Need a headache? Just play “One Bad Apple.”
  • “Sugar Shack,” by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs: If the Osmonds had actually had a previous life, it would have been as these guys.
  • “Cat’s in the Cradle,” by Harry Chapin: If for no other reason, this maudlin effort is way-y-y-y too long. It’s kind of like an anti-“Don’t Worry Be Happy,” but even worse. So much, much worse.
  • “Billy Don’t be a Hero,” by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods: If somehow you have never heard it, I’ll save you the trouble. Billy dies. 
  • “Honey,” by Bobby Goldsboro: Play this and “Cat’s in the Cradle” back-to-back and I guarantee someone in the same room as you will go berserk. All together now, “See the tree how big it’s grown, but friend it hasn’t been too long it wasn’t big …”
  • “Afternoon Delight,” by Starland Vocal Band: It’s like the Osmonds singing about doing the nasty.
  • “In the Year 2525,” by Zager and Evans: Talk about a song that would never end …
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Steve writing “doing the nasty” made my spit coffee on my keyboard. JRG

2. When you say “1982” out loud it doesn’t seem like that long ago, but it was 40 years. F-o-r-t-y!

That’s like an entire generation, depending on which definition you subscribe to.

So let’s look back at 1982 and get a glimpse of how much the world has changed:

  • For starters, gas was 91 cents a gallon.
  • A loaf of bread was 50 cents.
  • The average monthly rent was $320.
  • USA Today was in its first year. Remember what a great paper that used to be?
  • “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” was boffo box office. To this day, that is one of my all-time favorite flicks. Ahh … remember Spicoli, Mr. Hand, Damone and Brad Hamilton?
  • Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was released, and the world of pop music was never the same.
  • One of the top video games that year was “Donkey Kong.”
  • Among the TV shows that debuted in 1982 were “Cheers,” “Newhart” and “Late Night with David Letterman.”
  • The highest-rated TV shows of the 1982-83 viewing season were “60 Minutes,” “Dallas,” “MASH,” “Magnum P.I.” and “Dynasty.”
  • Craig Stadler was the leading money winner on the PGA Tour with $440,000. That was what fifth place paid at this year’s Masters tournament.
  • The Cardinals won the World Series.

We’ll be doing this again real soon. Our next target year will likely be in the 1990s.

3. This is the second half of our look at just how good of a chance the MLB team you may be following will have in the upcoming postseason?

Today we embrace the senior circuit:

National League

Los Angeles Dodgers: Yes, I know how many games the Dodgers have won, but that starting rotation is bristle at best. I love Clayton Kershaw, but his next pitch might his last. The Dodgers have one reliable arm going into the postseason — Jose Urias. And the bullpen? That will likely be their ultimate undoing. There’s no chance the Dodgers get to the World Series.

New York Mets: New York or Atlanta will represent the National League against Houston. And I kind of lean toward the Mets because they have Edwin Diaz closing for the likes of Max Scherzer, Jacob de Grom and Chris Bassitt.

St. Louis Cardinals: Congrats to the Birds on the Bat for winning the Central Division, but that rotation of Nos. 3 and 4 starters (sorry, “Waino” fans) is not what is needed for a lengthy October run.

Atlanta Braves: The Braves and Mets are basically clones of one another. If we were wagering a Classic Coke on who comes out of the National League, I’ll take whichever one of those two teams you don’t want.

Philadelphia Phillies: Why waste either of our times. The Phillies have no chance. But they do have slugger Kyle Schwarber, and he’s pretty cool to watch.

San Diego Padres: There is some intangible missing with the Padres, and even though I watch them just about every night I can’t put my flinger on it. The second-half slump of starter Joe Musgrove has been puzzling, and so has the inability of slugger Juan Soto to mash like he did in Washington. It’s likely to be a short postseason run for the boys in brown.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — Would it be fair to say that Sean Penn’s movie career could be summed up “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” … and everything else? (PUBLISHER’S NOTE: No, Steve. It wouldn’t be fair. The man has won TWO Oscars! Mystic River and Milk. JRG)

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. Today was one of Steve’s “Bad Take” days.

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