Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Wayback Machine

We're about to do a little time-traveling, so prepare yourself...

First a quick peek at the present with an eye on the future:

Team-by-team football previews started today on with the Presbyterian College Blue Hose...a new piece will follow each day leading into the season.

The first video streaming game of the season is set for Friday the 22nd, a women's soccer game for High Point (hosting Old Dominion). Visit The EDGE, Big South Online Video Source, for more on available packages, game schedules, etc.

Now let's step into the Wayback Machine (itself a dated reference requiring a certain age or pop culture know-how, not to be confused with the internet archive tool that now wears the same name) see, the Big South is marking its 25th Anniversary--certainly you haven't missed that, right? The Conference has taken great pains to review its first quarter-century of success and will continue to provide an array of retrospectives in words and video presentations throughout the 2008-09 season. That being said, I thought perhaps SHOUT could take a moment and bring you all back to the world of 1983...

(pause for dreamy time travel transition here) we are. First confession: I'm old enough to properly remember the world of 1983. I was 13 at the time (and there's nothing like a good retrospective to make you feel your age, no matter what it is...or was), so it's a little awkward being here again. On the other hand, our students and student-athletes at Big South schools, generally speaking, have not yet been born.

Hey, if you brought your cell-phone with you, forget about getting a signal--there won't be any "bars" on your phone for a good many years yet (I won't try to explain the advent of car phones, bag phones, brick phones, and the array of antennae and accessories involved in the process, it's just not worth it).

Same goes for the internet, I'm afraid. That's pretty much limited to a narrow band of computer experts exchanging simple and limited data--the public has no idea what it is yet. Heck, Apple Computers just released its "Lisa" model (seen here), precursor to the Macintosh...and a bit of a bust. Lisa has a 5 megabyte hard drive (external), a pair of 5.25 floppy drives, a monochrome monitor, and a $10,000 price tag...and this is the cutting edge. On the other side of the computer wars, Microsoft has debuted the first version of Word, while IBM PCs now have some important new software in the form of Lotus 1-2-3 (think primitive Excel, kids). At this point, Windows are pretty much just things that let air into stuffy rooms. Oh, and Nintendo just released the first NES in Japan (Wii? Noo.)

Look at all the BRAND NEW STUFF for 1983, though: Chicken McNuggets, Hooters Restaurants, and Wheel of Fortune in syndication...surely none of that stuff will last, right? Maybe we could go catch a movie--if the line for Return of the Jedi is too long, we can try Flashdance, Scarface, Trading Places, Risky Business, or National Lampoon's Vacation...meanwhile, the radio is really playing an odd mix of Men at Work (Grammy's New Artist of the Year), Pat Benetar, Survivor, Toto, and John Cougar (before adding the Mellencamp)--and that's between all the songs from Michael Jackson's Thriller, of course.

A review of the news tells us NASA is breaking barriers--the first woman and the first African-American astronauts in the same year, both on the Challenger (a shame that the orbiter is three years from its destruction). The U.S. Embassy in Beirut has been bombed, American forces have secured the island nation of Grenada (flag at right), and President Reagan has signed the bill creating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

1983 saw the loss of icons like George Halas and Bear Bryant in sports and Tennessee Williams and Ira Gershwin in entertainment...time will only tell how significant the arrival of future sports personalities like Matt Leinart and Vince Young or musicians like Carrie Underwood and Amy Winehouse may be seen down the road.

Lastly, the sports world...looking over the year, we see that Hagler beat Duran (when boxing was still relevant to a good number of fans), the Orioles won the Series (honest), the Sixers took the NBA, the NFL had a quirky would-be competitor called the USFL, the tennis slams were won by names like Wilander, Noah, McEnroe, Connors, Evert, and Navratilova, and Wayne Gretzky was the Hart Trophy winner as NHL MVP. Meanwhile in college sports, everyone's still talking about NC State's upset win at the basketball tournament...and another Southern upstart is finding its place in the world: the Big South Conference is born.

Whoops--time's up (so to speak), gotta go back!

(repeat dreamy time loop thing)

Wow, and we did all that with no flux capacitor...

Okay, it's finally 2008 again--gimme my iPod and my cell...thanks.

Now I have to check my e-mail and post something on the blog before updating our website and the video streaming data and--say, can I try that Wayback Machine again?!?

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