Bring Back ProStars!
When I was growing up, we got to watch Wayne Gretzky, who was the best hockey player of all time, and Michael Jordan, who was the best basketball player of all time. Way back in 1991, they teamed up with perhaps the greatest athlete of all time, Bo Jackson, to form the ProStars.
By the way, how hilarious is it that those athletes were played by voice actors, but Marv Albert played himself. I imagine the negotiation went like this. “Now Marv, we can get someone to play you. It’ll be less money, but it will also be less time for you, especially with you traveling around with the Knicks. Are you sure you want to do this?” Marv: “YES!”
Anyway, if you remember the cartoon, the superstars, sorry ProStars, would fight crime, help kids, and answer questions. You would also see live action clips of the athletes dominating their respective sports. In summation, this was amazing. Sadly, it was also short lived. There were only seven episodes in total. I’m sure this doesn’t measure up with the Honeymooners Classic 39, but they were fun. Sadly, there is a hole today in children’s programming on Saturday mornings.
On Saturday, NBC is airing the Today Show because that hasn’t been saturated enough to the point of falling ratings, has it? Obviously, ABC is airing Good Morning America to keep pace with NBC, or rather stay ahead. Let’s not forget CBS trying to enter this two man battle. They certainly aren’t because they are airing CBS This Morning: Saturday. Fox, to their credit, has children’s programming, but unfortunately, it isn’t cartoons. Sadly, the death of the Saturday Morning Cartoon is something to bemoan. I used to love getting up and having my breakfast in front of the television with my Dad watching cartoons like Looney Toons. Sadly, I won’t be able to recreate this experience with my son.
It’s too bad because I also think it’s a lost opportunity for networks. You could easily recreate ProStars today. There are already rumors that SpaceJam is going to be recreated, and many want LeBron James in it. I’d say they should make the new ProStars around him. I think the natural choice to join him would be Mike Trout, who right now, is the best player in baseball. Finally, I would have Peyton Manning for the NFL player. I know he’s not the best player right now, but he’s in everything anyway. Go ahead, try to watch an NFL game without a Peyton Manning commercial. It just can’t be done. Sadly, I do not think there is room for a hockey player right now as the NHL is not very popular now.
I’d love to do a New York version. Since they are already good buddies, you can have Henrik Lundqvist and Matt Harvey star in the New York version of ProStars. I think for the third person, you would have to go with Eli Manning. I envision him as a master of disguises to help Henrik and Harvey. Note, I didn’t have a Knicks player because the Knicks are not relevant in New York right now. Once they turn things around maybe Carmelo Anthony can join the fray.
Anyway, I can long for the days of watching Saturday morning cartoons with my son. Instead, I guess the two of us will just go outside and work on his swing:
Enjoy your Saturday.