Oh, stop your whining, sports fans. So what if baseball struck out and hockey melted down? So what if you were reduced to reading about the hairstyles of soccer players? For jock watchers who stared long and hard enough at the tube, the newspaper, and the silver screen, there were all kinds of worthy competitions, tests of strength, and displays of speed. All kinds. Not to mention the thrill of vandalism and the agony of deceit.
Olympic trials, indeed: Skater Nancy Kerrigan takes a slap shot on the knee from a metal club. Tonya Harding signs a new coach, attorney Robert Weaver. Battle of the Has-Beens: Danny Bonaduce (a.k.a. Danny Partridge) defeats Donny Osmond in an expletive-filled three-round charity boxing match. Super Bowl titans Naomi and Wynonna Judd reunite at half-time. The public learns that born-again Christian tennis star Andre Agassi has traded Funny Girl Barbra Streisand for Pretty Baby Brooke Shields.
Disney signs Kerrigan to a reported $1 million TV-movie-book- and-video deal. East-West tensions return: CBS sportscasters provide an instant Cold War analysis of Oksana Baiul’s (right) Olympic figure-skating victory, showing that judges from the former Communist bloc gave the Ukrainian skater the gold medal by one-tenth of a point over Kerrigan. CBS’ Connie Chung scores in sweeps month -she interviews Harding on Eye to Eye. Diane Sawyer scores bigger-she signs a new ABC contract reportedly worth $7 million a year. Playing famed rodeo bull rider Lane Frost, Luke Perry gets thrown off the biggest ride of his life and has his crotch stomped in 8 Seconds.
Jennifer Jason Leigh breaks all speed records firing her hard-boiled lines at Tim Robbins in The Hudsucker Proxy. Leslie Nielsen on the inside game in Naked Gun 33 1/3: ”I like my sex the way I like my basketball one-on-one with as little dribbling as possible.”
Tom Arnold gets thrown off the biggest ride of his life and has his crotch stomped when Roseanne files for divorce. She later said, ”I’m not upset about my divorce. I’m only upset that I’m not a widow.” Baseball, for some reason, begins. Football, as always, is more exciting: Saints quarterback Jim Everett shoves aside a table and attacks Jim Rome after the ESPN2 host keeps calling him Chris Evert.
Jack Nicholson retains his amateur status when charges brought against the actor for practicing his golf swing on a Mercedes-Benz windshield are dropped. The Los Angeles motorist whose car he attacked is a little richer for the experience. For a cameo in the miniseries Stephen King’s The Stand, former hoopster Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stands on a street corner shouting, ”Bring out your dead! Monsters are coming!”
Knicks fan Spike Lee and the Pacers’ Reggie Miller trash-talk each other during a play-off game. Then they make up. Rapper Lisa Lopes of TLC is charged with arson after the mansion of her boyfriend, Atlanta Falcon Andre Rison, burns down (she denies the charge). Then they make up. Univision soccer announcer Andres Cantor (above) says, ”Goooooooal!!” Over, and over, and over …