Remembering the year of the ‘Triple Crown’

Len Robbins Guest Columnist

November 10, 2013

This week, my community is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the “Triple Crown.”

That year, our local high school, Clinch County High, did something never accomplished in state athletic history, and not accomplished since: Win state titles in football, boys’ basketball, and baseball in the same academic year.

The Panther football team won the state title in 1988, and the basketball and baseball championships were won in 1989, but we’re recognizing all three teams at Homecoming this week.

That year seems like yesterday, but was actually 9,125 yesterdays ago, which is precisely how many pounds I’ve gained, and lost, since then – mostly gained.

For those of you who remember 1988, a brief refresher. For those who don’t, a learning experience. In 1988, 25 years ago:

• Crack was a new drug.

• Ben Johnson of Canada won the gold medal in the 100-meter dash in the Seoul Summer Olympics, then was disqualified for testing positive for steroids.

• The anti-depressant Prozac was introduced to the pharmaceutical market.

• The Los Angeles Dodgers were that year’s World Series Champion. A limping Kirk Gibson hit a dramatic home run to win Game 1 of the series against the Oakland A’s.

• The Washington Redskins won the Super Bowl that year. Doug Williams became the first African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl.

• Notre Dame won the NCAA national football championship. Kansas won the NCAA basketball tournament.

• The top movies of 1988 were “Rain Man,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbitt?,” “Big,” “Die Hard,” and “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad.”

• A gallon of gas was 91 cents.

• A U.S. Postage stamp was 24 cents.

• Microsoft released Windows 2.1.

• The average price for a new car was $10,400.

• Michael Dukakis was the Democratic nominee for president. Crack, apparently, wasn’t new to the Democrats in 1988.

• Wrigley Field held its first night game ever.

• Doppler radar was invented by Christian Andres Doppler.

Today, 25 years later, no one still knows what it is.

• The most popular TV shows of that year were: “The Cosby Show,” “A Different World,” “Cheers,” “The Golden Girls,” “Growing Pains,” “Who’s the Boss?,” “Night Court,” “60 Minutes,” “Murder, She Wrote,” and “Alf.”

A note: “60 Minutes” is still ticking. “Alf” and “Who’s the Boss?” quickly fell out of popularity when the public realized that both “Alf” from “Alf” and Tony Danza from “Who’s the Boss?” were puppets. Another factor in the invention of crack.

• Popular songs from that year included “Got My Mind Set on You” by George Harrison (now dead), “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson (also dead), “Where Do Broken Hearts Go,” by Whitney Houston (dead), “Never Gonna Give You Up,” by Rick Astley (career dead), and “Kokomo,” by the Beach Boys (which caused no deaths, only nausea).

It’s going to take another 25 years to get “Never Gonna Give You Up” out of my head.

Thanks a lot, 1988.

© Len Robbins 2013