Are you old enough to remember that classic ABC television series Fantasy Island from the 1970s?
It used to air every Saturday night, right after The Love Boat.
The premise behind Fantasy Island was simple.
For a hefty price, you could fly to Fantasy Island, a beautiful, remote place somewhere in the South Pacific. The overseer was the mysterious white-suited Mr. Rourke (no doubt Ricardo Montalban’s best role). Rourke’s sidekick was the vertically challenged Tattoo, played by the late great Herve Villechaize. Once on the island, you could essentially live out the fantasy of your own choosing (along with the subsequent unintended consequences).
Maybe you always wanted to date that hot cheerleader from your high school days. Or perhaps your dream is to win a beauty contest. Or maybe you wish to be king for a day. No matter your fantasy, Fantasy Island could be the perfect vacation.
Reality, however, usually trumps fantasy on Fantasy Island. The fantasies hardly ever turn out exactly how people want them to. That was what made the series so intriguing.
In one episode, a man (played by Gary Burghoff of M*A*S*H fame) wants to become a professional baseball player.
While watching this on YouTube recently, it got me thinking: What is my own Detroit sports fantasy?
What if, for example, I could choose one of four scenarios to live out on Fantasy Island:
1. Hit a walk-off home run for the Tigers in the seventh game of the World Series.
2. Score the winning goal for the Red Wings in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals.
3. Throw the winning touchdown for the Lions in the Super Bowl.
4. Shoot the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer for the Pistons in Game Seven of the NBA Finals.
For many Detroiters, this is a difficult choice. For me, it is easy, really.
I would want to hit the walk-off home run for the Tigers in the seventh game of the World Series.
The thought of driving a hanging curveball far beyond the outfield wall, and circling the bases to the roar of the crowd…well, that is a fantasy that I could relive over and over in my mind for the rest of my life. People would remember you forever for that.
You would never have to pay for a drink at a bar, or for a meal at a restaurant. They would talk about you forever, and you would be on everyone’s short list of the greatest sports moments ever.
There may be potential for a dark underbelly to such a grand feat, as there always is in Fantasy Island (That is what they pay scriptwriters for, right?).
But I can worry about that later.
For you, it may be different. Maybe you always wanted to drop back, find a receiver in traffic, throw deep down the field, and complete the pass to put the Lions on the winning end of the Super Bowl with no time left on the clock.
For some of you, the perfect fantasy is a hot shot past the goalie, good for a Stanley Cup championship for the Wings.
Or are you more of a gym rat who always wanted to find nothing but net as time expires, giving the Pistons an NBA title?
The Tigers were unable to make the playoffs this year. But if the enigmatic Mr. Rourke were still around, and Tattoo could still climb that bell tower, they would somehow work out a way for me to blast the big home run. I would be willing to pay however much it would take.
What about you? What is your Detroit sports fantasy? Share it with me and Detroit Athletic Co. on our Facebook page.