Back in the mid-to-late 1970’s, all three (3) major networks….ABC, CBS and NBC…. all had weekend sports specials that brought a variety of different sports from all over the world….as ABC had it’s highly acclaimed Wide World of Sports hosted by the inimitable Jim McKay…..CBS had Sports Saturday / Sunday hosted by Pat O’Brien and/or Tim Ryan….and NBC had its Sportsworld hosted by Dick Enberg and/or Bob Costas….as each program was run in competition with the others in the same afternoon time slots on Saturdays and Sundays….when the networks did not have major NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and NCAA events going on….for these special sports programs were basically fillers in their down seasons.
Whether these programs were used to fill in on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon time slots when these major networks did not have a major live game of the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, PGA, etc to televise….they still covered major events in what we call our Other Sports section at Ima Sportsphile…..major events in other sports like horseracing, gymnastics, track and field, alpine sports, pre-Olympic sports like wrestling and weightlifting and much much more.
This video covers two such events on NBC’s Sportworld….the 1977 Muhammad Ali Indoor Track Championship and the 1977 World Womens Gymnastic Championship. The Ali Indoor Track Meet features such top track and field athletes like sprinters Houston McTear, Harvey Glance, Steve Riddick, Evelyn Ashford, Andrea Lynch, DeAndra Carnay and Chandra Cheesborough….pole vaulter Mike Tulley…. hurdlers Renaldo Nehemiah and Greg Foster, high jumper Dwight Stones….800m runners Mark Belcher, Mike Boit and David Omwansa….with a great deal of footage of The Greatest Muhammad Ali and NBC Sportsworld host Dick Enberg. The 1977 Womens Gymnastics World Championships with hosts Charlie Jones and Nancy Thies features Maria Filatova and Elena Mukhina of the USSR, Marta Efervari of Hungary, Christina Kramer of East Germany along with Lisa Carhron and Denise Cheshire of the USA in all four disciplines in womens gymnastics….the uneven bars, balance beam, floor exercise and vault.
Also, this Sportsworld program gives the viewer two (2) really good short film productions….one on the quest of man’s desire to fly like a bird….as it covers “those magnificent men and their flying machines” …..which provides some wonderful comic relief….while the 2nd short is an insightful look at violence in sports.
This video provides significant evidence that these weekend afternoon filler programs of Sportsworld, Sports Saturday/Sunday and Wide World of Sports are definitely well worth the watch.