The one thing I’ve failed to do in my blogging career (besides “be good at it”) is that I don’t discuss my fondness for Heck of a Year often enough.
Now if you have to ask what that is, you’ve got a big homework assignment this weekend, big boy. Heck of a Year is a video recap of one of the best seasons of Cardinal baseball of all time: 1985. It tells a story of triumph and tribulation. It makes you laugh. It makes you cry. It makes you want to replace your living room carpet with astroturf. It makes you want to call Great Clips to see if anyone there still knows how to give you “the Herzog.” And it especially makes you want to snort piles and piles of coke.
Heck of a Year has everything you could want out of an 80’s baseball VHS: Buck, Shannon, and Ken Wilson play-by-play highlights; songs like “The Heat is On” and “I Need a Hero” play a key role throughout the video; a young Mike Claiborne; a less-old Rick Hummel; expert analysis from a lady with poofy hair and shoulder pads; and of course, Dan Thompson, Cardinals Fan. That said, if you get this video and watch it a hundred times over the next hundred hours, you’ll still be slacking way behind me.
But little did I know – the Royals have their own version. I came across it on YouTube earlier this week, stopped everything I was doing, and realized how lucky we are to have The Godfather of season recap videos. Heck of a Year kicks so much ass, in general, but it’s a cinematic masterpiece compared to the suckfest called The Thrill of it All.
Imagine a second movie debuting in 1994 about the life of Forrest Gump – let’s call it ‘The Thrill of Alabama.’ And imagine it starring Jim Varney, the Wayans Brothers, Kathy Griffin…and then Rob Schneider as Lt. Dan. This is exactly what “The Thrill of it All” is like.
So after discovering this video, I immediately knew I had to consult with Josh from JoeSportsFan to see if he knew of its existence. I’m sure we both assumed it existed, but why would anyone want the torture of trying to track down a shitty Royals highlight reel of a World Series they didn’t deserve? If there’s anyone who appreciates Heck of a Year as much as I do, it’s Josh. It would be a blogger code violation to proceed without including him in this post, so here’s some analysis from Mr. Bacott:
It doesn’t take long to appreciate a cheesy 80’s highlight tape. Nothing beats the first musical interlude on the Royals’ shaky start to the season – clips of Bud Black wild pitches, Willie Wilson getting hosed at home and Steve Balboni and Steve Balboni’s mustache striking out all set to a Bruce Springsteen jam. Pure emotion.
Two things I want to point out: 1) The George Brett montage at the six minute mark to the tune of “You’re The Best Around”? Absolutely fucking brilliant. I applauded that one. But 2) I had a teeny tiny problem with the description of the 9th inning of Game 6. Let’s check the transcript:
“Jorge Orta led the inning off with this roller. Worrell covers. And Orta’s safe at first. On that play the momentum shifts…”
You IGNORED the fact that Denkinger blew the call? Was Fox Sports Midwest working on the other side of the state in ’85? No mention? Really guys?
I know you all are used to being unfulfilled by us, but we actually came through and have the video for you below. Take out 20 minutes of your time to appreciate we’re not in the 80’s anymore, and enjoy this Cards Diaspora YouTube exclusive: