Today is a singificant milestone for all Australians.
If anything, it should be a national public holiday.
On February 10th, 1991 Channel 10 premiered a little-known animated series from America called “The Simpsons”.
Airing at 7:30pm on the Sunday night, Feburary 10th 1991, the first episode of The Simpsons to air in Australia was actully “Bart the Genius” not the Christmas special.
The Simpsons would be up against 60 Minutes on Channel 9 as well as some Disney movie on Channel 7.
If you stayed on Channel 10 a Sunday night screening of Alien nation, it made for top nights viewing.
Avid Simpsons fans know that the show first aired in the States back in December 1989 with the Christmas episode “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”, but that wasn’t the case here.
Retrospectively, it’s a bloody outrage Australia had to wait this long and in hindsight, someone should have reported it to their member of parliament and taken it all the way to the Prime Minister.
Throughout the history of the Simpsons, there’s no doubting that Sport is taken very seriously as shown here by Homer:
There’s no doubting that it’s the greatest TV show to ever air in the history of television (Seasons 1- 12 at least) and anyone who’s anyone has had a celebrity cameo on the show.
To Celebrate over 30 years of everyone’s favourite family down under, we’ve compiled as many Simpsons sporting (and punting) references as possible in one compact blog.
The very first proper episode of The Simpsons – “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” involves Homer and Bart heading to Springfield Downs hoping for a miracle on Christmas Eve, backing a dog called “Santa’s Little Helper”.
When Santa’s Little Helper is dumped by his trainer, Homer and Bart make him the family pet.
The Dishlickers would feature again in Season 5 when Santa’s Little Helper falls in love with another Greyhound “She’s The Fastest”
Santa’s Little Helper and She’s the Fastest have 25 little puppies who instead of becoming Mr.Burns’ vest, turn out to be 25 champion million-dollar winning dogs.
TEN PIN BOWLING
Bowling, which is Homer’s favourite sport, has featured prominently throughout the Simpsons history.
From Homer buying Marge a bowling ball for her birthday which leads her to the smooth talking Jacques at the alley, Homer’s social team the Pin-Pal’s which leads to Mr.Burns joining the team, Homer working his dream job as a pin monkey and Homer bowling the perfect game. Bowling has been a prominent part of the show’s history.
Also, did sombody say perfect game?
Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Ken Griffey, Jr., Steve Sax, Ozzie Smith, José Canseco, Don Mattingly, Darryl Strawberry and Mike Scioscia may have had fine Major League Baseball careers, but most remember their efforts for the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant Softball Team.
The iconic episode “Homer at the Bat”, where Mr.Burns bets $1 million that his plant’s softball team can beat Shelbyville’s has Burns hire professional Baseball players at the Plant to play on the team, at the expense of Homer and his wonderbat.
Football of the American variety has featured constantly throughout the show’s history.
We here at Neds have long tried to get Smooth Jimmy Apolo and his “Lock of the week”, the “Shoe-in” of the week, the gamble-tron 2000 and the coaches hotline as tipsters, but we’ll stick with the Profit Prophet.
Homer going to the “Pigskin Classic” with his best friend Flanders.
Homer not approving of Flanders coaching pee-wee Football.
Homer and his friends going to the Superbowl.
And of course, Man getting hit by football.
Baseball has also been prominant with the Simpsons over the past 30 years. From Dancin’ Homer, the struggles of the Springfield Isotopes, Homer leading the campaign to save the Isotopes from relocating to Albuquerque, Lisa becoming a Baseball coach, pretzel day at the Springfield Memorial Stadium; America’s Favourite past time has been a big part of the World’s Favourite Family.
There’s a lot of material to put into one blog but here some more honourable mentions of Simpsons Sporting Moments from over the years…
Sibling rivalry at an all time high when both Bart and Lisa play for different ice hockey teams…
Springfield was at fever pitch when the Continential Soccer Association came to town for the highly anticipated clash between Portugal and Mexico.
The show also did an entire tennis episode.
Basketball has featured plenty of times, like when Marge and Bart shot some hoops.
Bart Cummings wasn’t the only Bart to be a champion Horse Trainer, with the Simpson variety taking the reigns while also serving as the jockey and owner of Furious D.
And who could forget the video game that was all the rage in 1995 – Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge.
Perhaps Springfield could save the day and host this years Olympics?
Will Krusty burger bring back the free burger when America wins a gold medal competition?
We could go on all day about Simpsons references and sport, but this is only a teaser.
If anything, this was a really good excuse for me to watch Simpsons clips while at work.
Happy 30th Australian Birthday to The Simpsons!