Gabe Kaplan dusts Robert Conrad in epic ABC dash
As another eventful month draws to a close in WatchDog Nation, we say farewell with this classic "Battle of the Network Stars" clip from the heart of the gloriously tacky 1970s, featuring politically incorrect humor that would be inconceivable on network TV in this millennium, an incomprehensibly young Howard Katz (now an NFL TV executive), Ron Howard with hair, Bruce Jenner with his original face, very short shorts and finally one of the most satisfying moments in the history of TV athletics: Gabe Kaplan blowing by Robert Conrad in a match race.
Said Kaplan to ESPN's Bill Simmons, looking back: "I'm sure it looked like I couldn't possibly win. I looked like a guy who should be hanging around a deli, and he was, like, the macho man of his generation."
Thank you, Fang's Bites for the link to this Simmons column in ESPN The Mag.(Speaking of Jewish-American achievements in corny reality shows, a couple of readers were offended by my recent reference to Brooke Burke being the first Jewish winner of "Dancing With the Stars." The problem? It came off as a harmless aside in the context of the blog, but when we printed my "best of" blog roundup in the actual Sunday newspaper, it didn't seem to belong. I'm still trying to figure all this print vs. blog stuff, people. Bear with me. I'm sorry to anyone who found the thing about Ms. Burke to be weird or inappropriate.)