With all this recent talk of Image Comics, Universal Soldier, Tim Allen and the sort, it's just been a 1992 tinged June here at Dammaged Goods. Let's take it back to that glorious year with some random ass popular culture nuggets starting with a subject that doesn't get much love here: sports! Remember Dan VS Dave? Sure you do, Rebook ran ads for 8 months hyping up the rivalry between decathletes Dan O'Brien and Dave Johnson as they prepped for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. From Greek with deka meaning ten and athlon meaning feat, decathletes compete in a traditionally 2 day event that sees them run, jump and throw in the 100 metres, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400 metres, 110 metre hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500 metre. With such a variety of athletic prowess, strength, agility and quickness involved, Reebok dubbed the campaign the search to find the world's greatest athlete.
Dan and Dave were both top ranked decathletes and expected to medal at the Olympics. With Reebook losing ground to Nike, the sports apparel giant embarked on a $25 million dollar ad campaign to break their way into the growing track and field demographic. However things didn't quite pan out as Dan O'Brien failed to qualify for the Olympic games after being unable to clear the pole vault opener. The ads were then modified to show Dan cheering Dave on. Then Dave Johnson suffered a stress fracture in his foot and against doctor's advisement, went on to compete and win the bronze medal. In 1996, Dan would win the gold medal in Atlanta but nobody made commercials about that did they? Drafting off of Reebok's massive campaign, Ryder Trucks would employ the duo for a parody of their rivalry to hock rental trucks.
Now let's talk about sports, MTV style. Remember Rock n' Jock? Where celebrities, entertainers, actors and musicians played modified versions of basketball and softball? Where else could you see MC Hammer, Tone Loc, Keanu Reeves, George Clooney, Daryl Strawberry, Mark McGuire, Jose Canseco, Dean Cain, Pamela Anderson, Derek Jeter, Kevin Costner, the casts of Baywatch, Melrose Place and Beverly Hills, 90210 etc being coached by the likes of Sammy Hagar and Dan Cortese?! Cortese was a college athlete with a Broadcasting degree and was an MTV staple in the 90's with his extremmeeeeeeeeee personality and homeless athlete chic with his long hair usually being held in place by a beanie or bandana. MTV Sports traveled the globe to bring audiences the best in extreme sports of the time like mountain biking, sky diving, skateboarding and snowboarding for 5 seasons. Cortese segued into acting starting off with a small part in Stallone's 1993 futuristic actioner Demolition Man as a singing piano player at a high end Taco Bell. Yup. And he's fantastic.