Twenty years ago today, the Mets won us a World Series. Today, on the heels of the promised year of Fridays in which we commemorated that victory, I want you to win two.
We have another copy of The New York Mets Vintage World Series Films DVD from A&E Home Video to make yours. It is a restored, digital rendering of the official MLB 1969 and 1986 Fall Classic retrospectives. You probably saw them on Channel 9 or SportsChannel a long time ago. And you probably haven't seen anything better since approximately the top of the sixth inning of last Thursday night.
I have prepared yet another 20-question quiz for you to prove your worthiness for this excellent prize. Last time, I asked you to dig deep into the Flashback Friday archives and find me the answers in the essays. This time, in what amounts to our '86 retrospective coda, you need only stop at the top. Every question relates to the headline of an FBF. Below I describe a musical artist. You need to a) identify that artist and b) tell me which Flashback Friday headline/song title that artist had a hit with in 1986.
Of course, loyal reader, you'll remember it was a mere two weeks ago that I explained that every Flashback headline was a song title from that golden year. And because you pay Met-iculous attention to every word we write here, I'm going to sweeten the deal. In addition to the DVD, I am throwing in two souvenirs from the postseason just past. You get a beautiful collector's pin from the National League Championship Series (I find myself with a surfeit; cherish the Mets logo, defile that of the Cardinals) and a true piece of Faith and Fear history: the ACTUAL sheet of paper on which it was calculated how many times the Mets won two games in a row in 2006. That's the genuine source material for our October 18 post urging us all to keep the Faith in Flushing. The content proved half-right but the comment thread was completely inspirational.
You can't find it in stores. You can only win it here.
The piece of paper, I mean. You can actually find the DVD in stores or online. But cut out the middleman, answer some questions and save yourself a few bucks.
As was the case in our first quiz, the first to submit all the correct answers (artist and song title) by e-mail (email@example.com) wins the prize package. If nobody comes up with all 20, the most correct answers received soonest will be declared the winner. A tiebreaker bonus question is included to either break ties or create new ones. If we're deadlocked after all that…ah, I'll think of something.
It's a challenging quiz, but it's not like we have anything better to do with our baseball lives between now and the middle of February.
All headlines are accessible by clicking on the Flashback Friday link at the top of each FBF post (starting with the last one in the series and flashing back to the previous week's and so on). They are also conveniently listed on our sidebar under Greatest Hits of 1986.
All entries must be received by 12:01 AM, Friday November 3 (unless a winner is declared prior, in which case put down your pencils). One set of entries accepted per contestant. Our previous winner, though he seems like a really nice guy, is ineligible to win again. All judge's decisions are final. All contestants really should have been listening to the radio and watching MTV a lot in 1986.
Remember: Artist and corresponding Flashback Friday title are required for each correct answer.
As Billy Ocean said, when the going gets tough, the get going. So get going and go get 'em.
1. This group was featured in the movie Stop Making Sense, a sentiment that's been largely unnecessary in the New York sports conversation since the debut of irrational WFAN in 1987.
2. As long as we're picking on the dopey underbelly of all-sports radio, you could say there are two of these in the 1:00-6:30 PM time slot, Monday through Friday at 660 AM. (In other words, I don't consider them complex thinkers.)
3. One of the most successful duos of the '80s, it was really more like a solo act plus one…not unlike how Ray Knight and Howard Johnson formed a third base platoon that was mostly Knight when it counted.
4. Hey, hey, they were gone for a long time before 1986 but an unforeseen revival culminated in a comeback hit that pretty much described their sudden, 75%-strength reappearance on the pop scene, previously versus presently.
5. One of my favorite lyrics from my sappy, lovelorn phase of two decades ago was “if you would just be sensible, you'd find me indispensable.” The sentiment didn't work for me, but it booked this group its only Top 40 hit in Billboard.
6. Two of the three guys in this band prowled about in another far more successful band before. The guy they left behind went on to swing for the fences. The trio that was formed without him struck out on the charts the way the Mets did against Mike Scott.
7. In '86, this group's name could have been used to identify the Phillies, the Cardinals, the Expos, the Cubs and the Pirates. After all, the Mets were our division's only contenders.
8. This solo artist was once involved with a future Met, but she was done with him by '86 (and the Mets were done with him pretty quickly themselves when they got him on the professional rebound in 1990).
9. These fellows formed the next generation of a long-running family act whose classic party hit is more identified with another team that called Mario Cuomo its governor in the mid-'80s and early-'90s (when said team really had something to shout about).
10. The Mets were National. The Red Sox were American. But all of us, theoretically, belong to this circuit.
11. Mookie left. Lenny left. Roger left. Keith left. Gary left. But this five-man outfit wheeled into Shea in 1989, the year all those '86 legends made their exits.
12. She began to be adopted as a worldwide favorite at almost the same time the K Korner took in Doc Gooden as its own. When it comes to remaining in the public eye, she thanks her lucky stars that she still has her fastball.
13. His 1986 hit didn't do so good (so good) on the charts, but his voice, via a 1969 smash, became a staple at Shea in October 2006. Most sang along with him, but some snorted he didn't sound so good (so good) outside a certain other ballpark. Hint: Don't be headed for his 1969 hit here — it's not the answer we're looking for.
14. Pete Rose and Eric Davis were two who would have easily blended right in with this chart-topping group in 1986.
15. If you watched television enough last summer, you probably saw this Hall of Famer excitedly shill a bit of insurance. Didn't say he was a baseball Hall of Famer, however.
16. One of rock's most elegant solo acts, he became best known for being surrounded by a bevy of backup musicians and singers who didn't appear to have much to say in his videos and, later, cola commercial.
17. He went by a very clever nickname, one that poured beautifully off his first name. Thanks to Jose Canseco, the word he used for his nickname now carries an entirely different meaning in baseball.
18. She could take the Babylon line from where she grew up, change at Woodside and take her best shot at being at Shea in probably an hour-and-a-half. Whether she ever did is another matter.
19. This singer didn't quit his day job so much as take a different one in early 2006. He had a hard act to follow and didn't follow it very well at all, ironic in that in 1986 he was a hard act to follow but was followed successfully. Anyway, in '06 his day job (specifically, a morning shift) quit on him.
20. Many of the artists whose songs graced Flashback Friday were artists who had been absent from the charts for quite a while prior to 1986. This group was one of those, and the video for their big comeback hit reflected the band's 1960s roots with, yup, a flashback.
TIEBREAKER: What song, not necessarily a previous Flashback Friday headline, was No. 1 on Billboard 20 years ago today when the Mets won what is still their most recent world championship? I just wanna have the title that topped the page.