In the early Nineties the video, “The Agony of Defeat” swept through the video store I worked at like a hurricane. People could not get enough of these insane, life threatening sports bloopers and no matter how many copies we had, especially around the holidays, we couldn’t keep them in stock. It seemed that every boyfriend, husband and son was getting a copy that year and we gleefully accepted money hand over fist. The owners of the store were very happy. Me, not so much.
As soon as we realized that by just putting this video on our series of TVs, we could sell out, this video went into regular rotation and I had to watch this video again and again and again and again. Maybe I have a weak stomach, but I do not enjoy watching people get hurt, so the challenge became to try to sell out of the tape as quickly as possible so that we wouldn’t have to play it. This became a self-perpetuating system. The more we sold, the more the boss ordered, the more we had to sell.
Eventually the market must have gotten saturated enough and sales slowed. We would still sell copies from time to time, but nothing like the original rush.
With the birth of the internet, videos of people getting hurt are available at the touch of a button, so programs like this no longer get made. But because of that same technology, the original video is now available online (from a VHS rip), in all of its Craig T. Nelson narrated glory.
Was this shot on the set of “Coach”?
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