American Gladiators > Other Sports

Posted: April 10, 2009 by Michael Leess in POP - pop culture
Tags: , , , , , ,

Are you ready to face the ELIMINATOR!?!?

Are you ready to face the ELIMINATOR!?!?

The major U.S. sports seem  just a little dry of late.  Sure, the MLB had Opening Day…but no big news there.  Tiger Woods is back to original Tiger-esque form, but who wants to hear another one of my rants about Tiger Woods?  Oh, and there’s a new women’s soccer league in the United States, but……yeahhhhh.  No, this week I had to dig deep. Sitting at my desk daydreaming about potential stories, I thought back to all the crazy “sports” shows I used to love to watch on TV – and they became a worthy topic, in themselves.

You remember American Gladiators, don’t you?  I can’t count how many weekend afternoons I wasted watching athletes fight through “The Eliminator” at the end of each episode, only to get slammed in the face with a glorified pillow by huge, perhaps partially brain-damaged muscleheads with nicknames like “Laser” and “Malibu.”  I loved every second.  And who was that crazy announcer?  I wonder how he ended up calling episodes of AG, because he sounded like he had the chops for bigger and better things.  I smell an episode of “Where Are They Now?” in the making.

And then there was full-contact roller derby.  I forget the name of the league, but I think it aired on TNN, the precursor to Spike TV.  If you missed the boat on that one, I am truly and deeply sorry.  I mean, once those elbow and kneepaded babes hit that oval circuit, I felt like I’d be doing myself an extreme disservice by changing the channel.  The sport’s elegance was in its simplicity: You take women doing an everyday aerobic activity (rollerblading), and combine that with God’s greatest gift to mankind (professional wrestling).  Ta-da!  Roller derby!  I have a bone to pick with the TV producer who decided to pull this one from the airwaves.

Words of cosmic wisdom from Malibu:

And who could forget SlamBall?  Don’t remember?  …You make me sad.  Well, it DID have a very short-lived TV lifespan, but let me refresh your memory.  Instead of the normal center/forward/guard positions on the basketball court, they had “handlers,” “gunners,” and “stoppers.”  And instead of a normal basketball hardwood, there were super-bounce trampolines.  Throw in a slew of college basketball has-beens, and you got yourself the SlamBall league.  Genius.  Pure genius.  Apparently the league still exists.  Anybody know where I can find season tickets?

Competitor fakes out Turbo, gets decked in face:

~ Michael Leess

  1. Katie says:

    I’ll admit, I was not thrilled by the idea of Jerk doing sports coverage, but this is perfect. Godspeed!

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