Classic TV Cheese: 1st & Ten

1stWhat do O.J. Simpson, skinny Delta Burke, the USFL, Ogre from “Revenge of the Nerds” and gratuitous nudity have in common?

Back when HBO was merely a blip on the burgeoning cable scene, it commissioned “1st & Ten,” a raucous sitcom set in the world of professional football. The cable folks figured that without the constraints of the networks, a show filled with sports, cursing and boobs would be a hit, and they were right.

Airing from 1984 to 1991, the show was one of HBO’s first major successes, although once it became known as a prestige network, virtually all traces of the show were scrubbed from the history books.

The show revolved around the on-field exploits and off-field antics of California Bulls, a team in the NAFL, which was filled with the kind of colorful characters that yes, do exist in the NFL, but here are presented in an exaggerated sense.

Typical of an 80s TV show, “1st & Ten” had an incredibly catchy theme song, one that I still fondly remember to this day.

O.J. showed up in season two as a player turned coach, and eventually Burke would leave, starting a rotating cast of hot females as the team’s owner until Shannon Tweed settled into the role (before she would find her true calling as the star of classic Skinemax productions like “Illicit Dreams”).

The football was taken care of thanks to stock footage from the USFL’s Los Angeles Express, carefully replayed from high above to ensure that the disparity in logos couldn’t really be seen.

Basically, though, the show seemed like an excuse to get as many boobs in as possible. This, of course, was a great thing for a pre-teen boy, which explained why this was one of my favorite late-night shows. I’d show you some more clips, but every one I found on the net featured nudity, and WWVD do is a family site.

“1st & Ten” went quietly into the great TV goodnight in 1991, but it’s imprint could be seen in several productions afterward, including “The Game,” a football comedy that ran on the CW for several years. I was shocked to discover the entire series is on DVD, but I believe they are the edited versions that ran in syndication back when O.J. was in the news.

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~ by Elliott on August 4, 2009.

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