February 18, 1984: The Horror

Kevin Hatcher and Rod Langway on the Capitals in 1984

The last time the Washington Capitals won 10 games in a row was nearly 26 years ago: February 18, 1984. In order to help us better appreciate the significance of this achievement in context, the RMNB staff has compiled this list of cool ’84 stuff.

  • Van Halen's Album 1984

    Van Halen's Album 1984

    Van Halen‘s album, conveniently titled 1984, dominated rock radio. Songs like “Jump”, “Panama”, and “Hot for Teacher” would provide the soundtrack for nearly all adolescent misbehavior for the next few months. 1984 would be Van Halen’s last album with David Lee Roth, who would be replaced by the original “Red Rocker” Sammy Hagar. Let’s not even talk about Gary Cherone.
  • Saturday night was the final night of the Winter Olympics held in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. East Germany edged out the U.S.S.R. to win the medal count. The Soviets did coast to a gold medal in men’s hockey though. Russian Machine and all that, even back then. None of the countries in this bullet point exist anymore.
  • The advertising world was still recovering from the famous “1984” Macintosh commercial aired during the Super Bowl. The 60-second spot adopted the precepts and tone of George Orwell’s novel and was directed by Ridley freaking Scott, who had already directed Blade Runner (Deckard is NOT a replicant!) and would go on to create Gladiator.
  • Molly Ringwald, of Sixteen Candles fame, actually turned sixteen on this day. In case you’re under 25 years old, Ringwald was director John Hughes’ muse during a series of seminal teen movies that made it okay for red-headed people to go out in public without fear of angry mobs.
  • The Republican primary elections were only two days away. On his radio address, incumbent President Ronald Reagan gave a speech conflating crime and the “war on drugs”. Reagan’s draconian drug policy would become the status quo for the next two decades and make possible a million “soft on crime” campaign attacks. Reagan would go on to win 99% of all
    Kurt Russell doing his best Rod Langway impression

    Kurt Russell doing his best Rod Langway impression

    primary votes and win the white house in a landslide victory. Reagan also hated Russians, and we could find no record that he ever visited the Caps Centre for a hockey game.
  • In music, The Fixx played “One Thing Leads to Another” on Saturday Night Live. Even from a detached, anthropological perspective, they sucked.
  • Who didn’t suck was Boy George’s Culture Club, whose “Karma Chameleon” was #1 on the charts at the time.
  • Rod Langway, the Mike Green of his time, was well on his way to grabbing the Norris trophy. It is worthy of note that Langway’s moustache was not yet considered creepy in 1984. Less than one decade later, Kurt Russell would wear a prosthetic “Rodstache” to much success in the film Tombstone.
  • The lady who broke up the Beatles, Yoko Ono, celebrated her fifty-first birthday in seclusion, still mourning the death of her husband three years prior.
  • In early 1984, The Cap Centre was still two and a half years away from the stark, existential horror of Heavy Metal Parking Lot. If you’re not familiar with this historical document and its importance to our hockey team, watch it right now.

If you can think of more splendid cultural happenings from February 18, 1984, please share them in the comments below.

Photo used at top via the Washington Capitals Website.