top of page
  • Writer's pictureTony G.

Sunday Nite SpotLITE – America Truly Peaked In The 90’s

As you get older, you start to reminisce about your youth. The “good old days” and “a simpler time”. We all have triggers. Sometimes it’s a picture. Sometimes it’s a smell. For me, it has always been a song. I can almost always pinpoint a moment in time when I know a specific song was on the radio. Lately, these songs have all led me to one decade of my life. The 90’s. As I go back to these moments, I realized that almost nothing in life compares to things during that time, and that is a hill that I am more than willing to die on.

Musically, you had some of the greatest artists to grace their genres. Country charts were ruled by Garth Brooks. Tupac and Biggie were Hip-Hop kings. R&B music was everyone’s go to when it came time to set the mood for you and that special someone. Rock music still existed. Blink182 released “Dammit”, which ended up being the anthem of my high school years.

Going to the movies was actually popular and we had some of the biggest hits. Titanic, Good Will Hunting, Schindler’s List, Happy Gilmore, Austin Powers, Dumb and Dumber, The Sandlot, Ace Ventura (I feel like this list could go on forever). Everything you watched still felt new. Not like the retreads we continue to get today.

But this is a sports website and, in my opinion, the 90’s was the pinnacle of the 4 major sports.

·         Baseball was all about the long ball as the steroid era reigned supreme. The sport was falling off until Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa stepped in late in the decade and captivated the country in a race for the Home Run Crown. Bonds ultimately broke their records in 2001 but the table was set in the summer of 1998.

·         Hockey saw the decade begin and end with dynasty level teams. The Lemieux and Jagr led Penguins took the Cup in ’91 and ’92. The Rangers won for the first time since the 40’s. The Nordiques were relocated to Colorado and immediately won the Cup in ’96. The Red Wings built a team around the greatest Russian players and bullied teams throughout the late 90’s, winning Cups in ’97 and ’98. All of these things happened when you could still throw a body check and, ironically, the entire decade went without a Wayne Gretzky Stanley Cup.

·         Basketball players played defense. Michael Jordan won 6 NBA championships. NBA Jam was released in 1993 and is arguably one of the greatest sports games in history. Malone, Stockton, Kemp, Pippen, Payton, Hardaway (both of them), Reggie Miller, Barkley, Robinson, Ewing… my god. What plumbers did Jordan play against again?

·         Football was not the machine it is today but the game was still loaded with stars. Dallas birthed a dynasty and Bills fans are still crying about four straight Super Bowl losses. ESPN launched its platform for Fantasy Football in 1996 and it has led to drinking problems and divorces ever since. Aikman to Irvin, Young to Rice, Favre to Sharpe, Kelly to Reed. One of the best running back eras of all time featuring Barry Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Emmitt Smith and Thurman Thomas leading the way. In 1993, EA Sports gained the licensing to use NFL players in their video games and Madden NFL games changed the landscape of sports gaming.

I know its really just going back to childhood memories, but I cannot be convinced that anything has gotten better since the 90’s. The internet has grown but has created an entire generation of keyboard warriors and introverted basement dwellers. Cars were amazing and went to shit. Malls were the best place to hang out and they have all but died. It truly was an easier and better time. I know we haven’t figured out how to time travel, so until then I will occasionally just sit back, throw on some Tevin Campbell, and reminisce about a time when there seemed to be so many less evils in the world.

3 views0 comments


bottom of page