From the Sandbox
By Sanders Lightfoot
9/29/2004 10:25AM EST
Courtesy of

You know how every once in a while you catch a glimpse of nostalgia on television that is so Zen, so transcendental that it just blows your mind. I am talking about something you may have seen ten or twenty years ago. Maybe it was the “Mean” Joe Greene Coke commercial, or the first time you saw the run and shoot offense, or that “very special episode” of Diff’rent Strokes where Gordon Jump plays a child toucher.

When you experience these events the first time you enjoy them for what they are; however, you lack the capacity and wisdom to truly appreciate them for what they mean. If you have no idea what I am talking about (and I assume you are not alone) try checking out Michael Jackson’s 1992 “Remember the Time” video.

If you do not remember this video, which came during MJ’s black to white, urrr, I mean Black or White era, it’s the Egyptian-themed opus where Michael Jackson plays a court jester making inappropriate advances towards a Pharaoh’s wife. The video co-stars Eddie Murphy, Iman and inexplicably casts an HIV-sensitive Magic Johnson as the Pharaoh’s security guard. The absurdity of the video was apparent even a decade ago. But its deeper meaning did not reveal itself until I took in the reprise last night.

It was here that it occurred to me that all four of these former Hollywood power brokers stand a better chance of sharing a reality TV-themed dwelling with Corey Feldman and Emmanuel Lewis than making an impact on pop culture in the near future. In fact, I have not seen such an implosion of “has beens” since, well…since Tampa Bay and Oakland met up on Sunday night.

I realize that in this day and age of economic parity, there is little reason for NFL teams to break down their rosters and build from scratch, but something tells me the alternative to rebuilding should never include hiring Norv Turner as your head coach and parading Tyrone Wheatley out as your starting tailback.

Speaking of rebuilding, how bad are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Hey Chuckie, here’s a hint: You have to realize where your strengths lie. For example, my bread and butter should be thirty something divorcees at the gym. Your bread and butter should be a stifling defense and a potent ground attack. I promise to lay off the sorority functions and all-night techno raves, if you promise to execute a simple ball control game plan. Deal?

On a related note, didn’t the NFL promise to do something about these clunker games in primetime? Wait a minute. That’s a question. I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

Do to a pending government lean, this virtual real estate is for sale, but in the meantime the folks at Sports Insights have allowed me to pose some of life’s more interesting inquiries here, in this week’s addition of….freaklently asked questions:

They’re changing the nickel? Really? We’ve got nothing better to do? Isn’t this akin to releasing the entire Eight is Enough series on DVD? Other than a few collectors, who cares?

Doesn’t anyone else feel like the Yankees are starting to look a lot like….like, the Yankees?

Hillary Duff is only 17? Years old?

How many guys from Alabama just said “Huh?” (Editor’s note: How many Sports Insight staffers just said “Huh?”)

If the NHL has a labor dispute and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a noise?

Just because I am 2-0 in my featured plays, do not feel obligated to check out this week’s picks, pans and props:

Pick of the Week: Miami (+6) at home against the Jets. Yeah, the Dolphins really are that bad, but don’t you just feel that the first Herman Edwards “gosh darn it” infused tirade of the season is on its way?

Pan: ESPN’s Hustle. Seriously, no joke here. That sucked.

Props: Will the Indianapolis Colts will be the first team in NFL history to score 100 points in a single game? Yes (-500)

Props to T.B. for not buying any points on this week’s BYU game.

OK guys, see you next Tuesday.

Sanders Lightfoot, author and columnist, appears courtesy of 100 Proof Publishing and Sports Insights. Email your questions, comments and concerns to