The show's host Jim McKay popularized the phrase "The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat." See more »
Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports... the thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat... the human drama of athletic competition... This is "ABC's Wide World of Sports!"
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PROVING WHAT WAS undoubtedly the greatest of Sports Anthologies in the History of pre-cable television, ABC's WIDE WORLD of SPORTS set the standards and bar high. There is nothing in their chosen title that could be construed as being classified as puffing or braggadocios. They delivered exactly what they said they would.
DURING ITS "GOLDEN AGE", we saw just about everything that one could imagine in the realm of sports and athletics, even "Athletic Sports". Championship Boxing, Track & Field*, Amateur Wrestling (real contests with no beer being sold in the venue), Swimming & Diving, S.C.U.B.A., Bowling, Billiards (or was it Pool?), Fishing, Hunting and our personal favourites, Olympic Style Weightlifting & Competitive Bodybuilding Physique) all had at least a brief mention in the series.
THE POPULARITY OF this weekly 90 minute sports catch-all made household words out of the likes of Howard Cossell and Jim McKay. It also forever burned into our cultural conscientious the phrase about, "......the Agony of Defeat!"
IN ITS ALL-Encompassing and near total domination of the sports World on television, WIDE WORLD served as a sort of "King Maker" of sports commentators. Although not limited to the following, among those who made early career appearances on the series were: Cossell, McKay, Al Michaels, Bill Fleming, Keith Jackson,Bud Palmer, Al Michaels and Chris Schenkel.
ALL OF THIS MUST seem very inconsequential to today's viewers' born too late to savor and appreciate WIDE WORLD. But in the days before seemingly endless channels and 24-7 coverage, it was at once both a ground breaking pioneer and a classic trend sender.
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