Friday, September 18, 2009

1982 World Series animated opening... did we just have longer attention spans back then?

I stumbled across this on YouTube.
I love watching some of the cold opens and graphics of baseball telecasts. And ALL baseball fans should download old ballgames on iTunes.

But for the love of Roone Arledge how long is this opening sequence?

It opens well enough with the World Series trophy super imposed over Busch Stadium and Dick Enberg's great pipes introducing the game.

After that, it turns into a nightmare of 1980s graphics and disco music.
Now I first learned how to shoot and cut video in the 1980s and I remember when graphics, titles and images became easily accessible.

And there was the temptation to use graphics and images all the time.
But as Jeff Goldblum warned in Jurassic Park, they spent all the time wondering if they could use the technology but not enough thought if they SHOULD!


The light show around NBC Sports. (10 Seconds.)
Yes, we know it's NBC Sports. We've already tuned in. Start the game already.

The busts of great baseball players molded evidently in Butterscotch. (20 Seconds.)
You've got a random collection with Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb (who never won a World Series), someone who was either Joe DiMaggio or Fred MacMurray, Ted Williams (who flopped in his only World Series), Jackie Robinson, Stan Musial (the lone Cardinal in the montage), Willie Mays and Hank Aaron (who of course starred in Milwaukee and finished with the Brewers.)

Of course none were shown in action... just their heads moving... very... slowly. 

Computer Baseball flies across the screen showing the 1982 World Series logo. (10 Seconds.)
45 seconds into this opening and we've established the event, the network and NONE of the players.

Meanwhile the words "World Series 1982" are evidently radioactive.

The Leagues swoosh across the screen along with the team names. (10 Seconds)
At least we are establishing who is playing... except that all of the info was effectively conveyed 10 seconds into this sequence. 

The credits. THE CREDITS! (13 seconds.)
You know most of the time now they don't even run credits at the end of the show. But NBC Sports decided to have a longer opening credit sequence than Superman the Movie.

And while we are finally treated to clips of past World Series... they are scrunched and distorted into a tiny diamond in the middle of the screen... all to make sure that Harry Coyle and company get their names read.

I'm sure Harry did a great job... I just hope it wasn't Harry's decision to spend more time on the laser light show than showing clips of past World Series!

Finally we get to see the participants of the World Series about 1 minute and 22 seconds into this opening... and we get a bunch of baseball card flying across the stargate from the end of 2001. 

No close ups and I think NBC can pull off some trades because there are some doubles in there!

And not only are the Brewers and Cardinals introduced with baseball cards that are too small to make out who the players are... they are using the 1982 Fleer series, which I have already declared as being one of the worst in baseball card history.

BACK TO THE LOGOS! (10 seconds.)
The ending is kind of appropriate. It is as if the graphics designer said "Yup, I just wasted 1 minute and 35 seconds of network air... and THIS IS THE NETWORK that I basically just F'ed around on."

And NOW a word from our sponsor? 
Really? It never occurred to you while having baseball cards floating, Willie Mays' catch obscured by Len Stucker's credit and flying logos to maybe have the sponsors mentioned THEN???

By 2 minutes and 7 seconds we FINALLY are getting back to the baseball broadcast.

Were we more patient back then?
Or were we all getting chips?

Oh and nice touch by Dick Enberg at the end.
Enberg is a great announcer... but it is Tony KUBEK...not KO-beck.


  1. Mad Dog5:52 PM

    Nice call on the Fleer set. You know the folks at Donruss were furious they didn't get the account.

  2. Chico say, one can never have ENOUGH of the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers. I'm still waiting for the sequel to "The Bob McClure Story". However, Chico also find it interesting that the two sponsors are now bankrupt!