Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sports reality TV show wish list

ShowTime will be tracking the 2012 Miami Marlins in the upcoming cable network's baseball reality show, "The Franchise," to which I saw, where's a time machine when you need one?

Going behind the scenes with the Marlins might be interesting. It might not. The beauty of such an idea is predicting what's interesting and what team makes for must-see TV.

Here's one man's wish list (in no particular order) of past teams that would have made for great reality TV:

1980 U.S. Olympic men's hockey team: We saw what this could have been like in the 2004 movie, "Miracle," starring Kurt Russell as Coach Herb Brooks. Considering the tough love Brooks showed his players and how engaging most hockey players are in general, this would have been a ratings home run.

1980 Browns: The Kardiac Kids, Brian Sipe, Sam Rutigliano, Thom Darden, Clay Matthews, Lyle Alzado, even Bill Cowher was a linebacker on that team. Yeah, that would work.

1980 Kansas City Royals: George Brett is my favorite baseball player of the all-time, and in '80 he was making his famous push to hit .400. He finished at .390, but the attention that season, especially the final two months, had to be off the hook, even in the pre-Internet/social media age.

1976 Oakland Raiders: Serve up Al Davis and John Madden and you've got TV gold. Throw the rest of the Silver and Black misfits in the mix and you've got Emmy written all over that trainwreck.

1986 Miami Hurricanes football: Two games would have been enough tape for a season worth of episodes. The regular-season win over Oklahoma, a 1 vs. 2 matchup, featured knucklehead Sooners linebacker Brian Bosworth, the modern era's version of, say, James Harrison, and the stunning loss to Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl. The '86 season was the year the U's "outlaw" image really began to grow. With the likes of Michael Irvin and Jerome Brown we're talking TV hysterics at its best.

1995 Indians: Who in this town wouldn't revel in the behind-the-scene antics of Mike Hargrove managing the egos of Albert Belle, Omar Vizquel, Manny Ramirez and Co? It probably would have been right up there with watching the team putting up a 100-44 mark during that strike-shortened season.

1996-96 Chicago Bulls: Michael Jordan and the Bulls were 72-10 and won the NBA title that year, but who cares? All I want to know is what exactly were "The Jordan Rules?"

1995 Browns: On Nov. 6, then-owner Art Modell announced the team was moving the Baltimore. Yikes.

1974 Oakland A's: That season, the A's won the last of their three straight World Series. The better story was many of the players reportedly did not get along and there was plenty of clubhouse fighting. Perfect.

Any Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl team from the 90s: Google "Dallas Cowboys White House."

- Mark Podolski | @mpodo


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