Bring Back the B.O.N.S.


Our society is being robbed…robbed of the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat…and the euphoria that comes from watching a favorite television star run through an obstacle course while wearing a cheesy sweat suit.

Yeah…that’s right…I’m talking about the Battle of the Network Stars.

From 1976 to 1985, the show was aired approximately every six months…returning in 1988 for a final show. These battles pitted stars from ABC, CBS, and NBC networks against each other in physical challenges while sports broadcasting legend, Howard Cosell, hosted the event.

These were great moments in television for me. Though too young to truly appreciate the campiness and, at times, intense competition (see You Tube clip of Robert Conrad below), I did manage to have full appreciation for Scott Baio and Gary Sandy in shorts that rode a little too high on the thigh. I also enjoyed learning that, as beautiful as stars like Catherine Bach and Farah Fawcett were…no one could manage to look cool while paddling a kayak around a swimming pool.

Why does this show not exist anymore? Why…when it provided such fun…fun like Richard Dean Anderson wearing a Canadian headband while playing Tug-O-War (pictured at left, top)…Charlene Tilton taking her turn as the dunking booth victim (pictured at left, center)…and Parker Stevenson wearing…what on God’s green earth was he wearing? (pictured at left, bottom) Oh, wait…it doesn’t matter because he’s Parker Friggin’ Stevenson…and he looked good and “hardy.” (By the way…am I the only one who now feels silly for thinking Shaun Cassidy was hotter than Parker then? Because I’ve gone back and looked at their pictures again…Parker was like ten gazillion times hotter than Shaun…what was I thinking?)

I would think, in this day where stars are seen shopping with no make-up on and padding around town in flip-flops and crumpled clothing, they wouldn’t care if they looked like boobs in front of the camera.

So, I say…bring back the Battle of the Network Stars.

I’m not talking about some lame movie about the B.O.N.S. like the project currently in production by Paramount.

And I’m not talking about some lame collection of reality television stars in a mock tribute to the original B.O.N.S. like the Battle of the Network Reality Stars on Bravo! Network. I mean, who wants to see Constantine Maroulis run an obstacle course before donning a pair of Speedos and jumping in a kayak to cross the pool at the L.A. Sheraton.

Nor am I talking about a ridiculous production like Circus of the Stars. I don’t need to see Brad Pitt ride his motorcycle in the Circle of Doom while Angelina Jolie walks on top…with Maddox, Zahara, and Shiloh strapped to her back.

I want campy discussions between events. I want in-your-face competition that sparks joy and cameraderie and anger…like Robert Conrad in this classic clip with Bruce Jenner, Gabe Kaplan, and Telly Savalas.

I want to see the stars sweating and straining to win a stupid loving cup or to raise some random amount of money for a charity. I want Addidas footwear…sweatbands on the forehead and the wrists…piped jogging shorts…tank tops…and Speedos. I want it all back…I deserve it…and so does every dedicated television viewer in America, dammit.

I’ve already given a little thought to the team members I’d chose for the major networks.

From Grey’s Anatomy, I want Patrick Dempsey to participate in any water sport…as long as a Speedo is involved…and I want Sandra Oh (whom I’m a little skeered of…but whom I love) to kick some ass in the Tug-O-War.

From Desperate HousewivesMarcia Cross kayaking would be one of the greatest things in the world to behold…and Nicollette Sheridan could do anything she damn well pleases…which is what she probably did during the 1988 competition.

From The OfficeSteve Carell would be awesome at any event against any competitor…and, for those who have seen the basketball episode…you know that John Krasinski should definitely play a game of horse for the championship…hawty hawtness.

Late night hosts Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno could have to spin plates…and I would pay to see Scrubs star Zack Braff play some volley ball.

Okay…I don’t watch a lot of CBS shows…but I think a geared up David Letterman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, and David Caruso…would make quite a team.

Okay…please tell me I’m not alone in my desire here. I’m sure there are those of you out there who would kill to see some of your favorite television stars compete in the new B.O.N.S.

Who would your player choices be?

Who do you think could possibly replace Howard Cosell?

What new competitions should they add?

Would Speedos be required attire for all studs? (Note: If you don’t say yes…you’re not allowed to comment.)

What past stars would you bring back to judge or comment on the competition…Kristy McNichol, Linda Carter, Adrienne Barbeau…who?

I pass the baton on to you…


15 Responses to “Bring Back the B.O.N.S.”

  1. Shrewspeaks Says:

    We would HAVE to have the Happy Days/Lavern and Shirley teams!!!! If only to have Scott Baio freaking out. Oh and the Suzanne Summers, Joyce DeWitt singing tribute to John Ritter would be touching? No

  2. TALK! Says:

    Okay…a tribute to John Ritter would HAVE to be done…but only by Joyce. I think Suzanne is a little bit of a prima donna! Ha!

  3. bamaborntxbred Says:

    “Who would your player choices be?”

    *For sure I would want Wentworth Miller from Prison Break in Speedos doing anything. Matthew Fox and Josh Holloway from Lost too. Oh, and the boys from Smallville. Yeah, that sounds good. Real good.

    “Who do you think could possibly replace Howard Cosell?”

    *Troy Aikmen…in a Speedo.

    “What new competitions should they add?”

    *Speedo pagent.

    “Would Speedos be required attire for all studs? (Note: If you don’t say yes…you’re not allowed to comment.)”

    *Please see previous comments.

    “What past stars would you bring back to judge or comment on the competition…Kristy McNichol, Linda Carter, Adrienne Barbeau…who?”

    *Awww…LOVE Kristy McNichol (The Pirate Movie…one of my faves). Umm….How ’bout Tom Selleck in a Speedo?

  4. TALK! Says:

    Tom Selleck in a Speedo?

    I officially cannot do any work today.

    Thank you for that, bama.

    I am a very happy girl.

    P.S. It took every ounce of restraint I had to NOT reference the Pirate Movie in this post…i LOVE the pirate movie.

    And I can’t make mention of the Pirate Movie without a shout out to Christopher Atkins.

    Christopher Atkins’s Blue Lagoon loin cloth = first Speedos

  5. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Is Christopher Atkins still alive? (Ha!) He can be a judge.

    (I promise to stay on topic…but I just KNEW you would love the PM too!)

  6. TALK! Says:

    Okay…we will stay on topic..but just out of curiosity…did you ever see Ice Pirates?

  7. bamaborntxbred Says:

    I do remember that movie from when I was a kid….I don’t think it was a fave though…not like SPACE BALLS!

    (Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet, John Candy as Barf…what could be better?)

  8. TALK! Says:

    Okay…we’ve hit our first roadblock, bama…I couldn’t stand Space Balls (please note…I’m a HUGE Star Wars fan…the original trilogy).

    As a matter of fact…there was very little produced by the SCTV crew that I liked (save Moranis in “Little Shop of Horrors” and Candy in select parts of “Uncle Buck” and “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.”

  9. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Well, Space Balls is not in my Top 10, 20 or even 50 fave movies, so it’s all good grrrrl. (That would be a fun topic, huh?)

    RIP- John Candy.

  10. suzi-q Says:

    I love the whole idea of BOTNS. I would like for Sean Connery to do the commentary in his wonderful voice!! I think folks like Sandra Bullock, Matrix Man, Vitto LOTR! and the princess from LOTR that whipped up on everyone in the battle (shell you know me when it comes to names) would beat everyone!!! Plus they would have to have Captain James Kirk (William Shatner as their coach) Talk about wild and winning.

  11. TALK! Says:

    Suzi-Q…love the idea of Connery for commentary…brilliant.

    And, yes, William Shatner would be a MUST for any competition!


  12. suzi-q Says:

    Well Talk:) our fifteen year old (Coopdawg) helped me out, for those who may, like me, need help, that would be Viggo Mortenson?sp and Keanu Reeves. Of course, you savvy folks of Talk land knew that :)Samatha something on the lady, right Talk?

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Given that Star Jones is no doubt looking for ANY gig that will revive her already-a-meaningless-footnote-in-pop-culture career, I’m sure she will be the first to have her agent begging for a spot in the new BOTNS. So I nominate her for tag-team mud wrestling with Joan Collins, Doris Roberts, and, of course, Rosie.

    Nice blog! (Who’s your friend when things get rough?)
    HR Pufnstuf

  14. TALK! Says:

    Right on, Suzi-Q!


    Puffy…how’ve you been?! Thanks for the comment…hope you come back…oh, and tell Sugar I send my love.

  15. Quossum Says:

    Yay for Pufnstuf! Now *that’s* a show I remember with vague fondness! That and the Banana Splits!


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