There Was a GREAT Ron Hextall Reference on an ABC Sitcom Last Night

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Last night on The Goldbergs – which is absolutely a sequence of words I never thought I’d write – a show set in the 80s and apparently in Philadelphia, one of the storylines centered on the dad (the guy from Curb Your Enthusiasm) taking his son to a Flyers game at the Spectrum, on December 8, 1987– the day Ron Hextall scored his first goal. Problem for the fictional pair: they left early to beat traffic and missed the goal completely, only to learn about it once they walked in the door at home.*

It’s one of the most random Philly sports references on a TV show maybe ever, made even stranger by the fact that we just posted about Hextall’s goals yesterday.

TV shows are notoriously bad at nailing the details of sporting events. So how did The Goldbergs do? Off the top of my head, what they got right:

Red Spectrum seats

Old-style Spectrum scoreboard

Gulf ad on the dasher (an actual sponsor at Flyers games, at least in recent years)

Brian Propp

Hextall’s mask!


Back then, professional hockey teams (rightfully) wore white at home… they were wearing orange in the show, a miscue made worse by the fact that they showed the actual goal in the episode

There were no ads behind the goal when Hextall scored

Let’s Go Flyers! chant

Anyway, good stuff. Great reference. Probably a terrible show. But great reference. Video after the jump.

*Love this storyline. I had a similar moment in 1992 when my Dad made us leave a Phillies game early because I had a spelling test the next day – a spllenig tset! – and we wound up missing a Juan Bell inside-the-park home run and a bench clearing brawl. I had never seen either at a baseball game, and I held it over my Dad’s head for years. Still do, actually. But some of my ire was dialed back when we were there for Chasey’s inside-the-parker a few years ago. Still haven’t seen a brawl.

H/T to Hall of Fame CB reader (@PhillyPartTwo)


40 Responses

  1. Oh man that is one of the best shows on TV. The creator of the show grew up in Philly and it is based on his life and his videos he made as a kid. They reference a lot of sports stuff on that show. The dad is always watching some sporting event a lot of Phillies and Eagles references last year.

  2. To summarize:


    goldbergs. flyers.


    thank you.

  3. That show is funny. The family is from Jenkingtown. They are loaded with local references. The real family and the Hollywood actors have been in the local press many times. They called WIP about the Flyers references a few times.

    1. What is it with you Philadelphia morons adding Gs? My name is Collinsworth not Collingsworth and it’s Jenkintown not Jenkingtown. Are Collingswood and Collingdale such a center of everyone’s life that they can’t get that straight?

  4. For those who don’t know the show, it’s based off of Adam Goldberg’s childhood in the 80’s growing up in Jenkintown. The older brother is seen in almost every episode wearing Flyers gear or watching a game. The father most likely had season tickets at the Spectrum. It’s actually a pretty funny show if you give it a shot.

    1. The older brother is hilarious. He wears the same Flyers shirt all the time, and every season it looks more beat up.

  5. FYI, our show is hilarious. Way funnier than anything we’ve ever read on this site.

    The Goldbergs

  6. Goldbergs and Modern Family back to back on Wednesday nights is money. Best two shows on tv. Fucking hilarious.

  7. Kyle, please close the comments on the previous post, those pics were unauthorized!!! More importantly though, the comments are now at 27 total. Thank you.

  8. I’ve got to check this Goldberg’s show out. I’ve never seen people on this board be so universally positive about something.

    1. It’s a really fun, nostalgic show, especially for anyone who grew up in this area in the 80s. Constant sports references, a great Wawa moment….loads of good stuff. The older brother is hilarious, and anyone with an overbearing mom will relate to the smother on the show.

  9. Kyle, you must have ridden the short bus to school. What kid needs to go home early because of a spelling test?

    And The Goldbergs is a pretty good show.

  10. The clip doesn’t show Barry running away! The Barry run alone should get you to watch that show. Also season one where Barry gets his Reebok pumps and hits the court as Dr. J? Great stuff! “Swish Baby!”

  11. Hey guys. It’s me Sarcasm. I have some work to do this morning. But can one of you let me know when Kyle needs me?

    I figure at some point this morning, he will just be all like, “Hey guys, I love The GooldBirgs. None of you guys can read the Sarcasm in this post.”

  12. The Goldbergs is an awesome show, so don’t knock it ’til you try it. Since it’s based off of Adam Goldberg’s real life, each show’s theme usually depicts a significant event in his or his family’s life. The entire cast is fantastic. So maybe in between writing about Desean Jackson tweets and Jeff Carter’s latest conquest (because what the hell else do you do all day?), maybe you could watch a few episodes from OnDemand.

    1. He doesn’t have the time,he’s too busy stealing material from deadspin and bleeding green nation.

  13. I am going to check this show out. I can’t picture Jeff Garlin as anyone other than Susie’s poor husband on Curb, but I’ve never seen so many people positive in these comments.

    As far as right/wrong details, that’s pretty good for a sitcom accuracy wise.

  14. There’s no better city for an 80’s sitcom setting than Philadelphia…where everyone’s still living in the past.

  15. Kyle shut up. You know as much about sports as you do about TV. Please stop trying to do anything but make dick jokes and slobber all over Carter and Richards.

    The Goldbergs is hilarious, and set in WillowGrove. They even make a trip to the “mall”. How can you be from Philly and not love this show?

    1. He’s not from Philly.

      If Kyle grew up in Philly he would be the kid coming home from school every day with random black eyes and busted lips,hungry because he let the neighborhood kids take his lunch money.

  16. Terrible show? Incorrect. One of the funniest shows on network TV and they have referenced Philadelphia sports multiple times. Definitely a show that a blog covering Philly sports (or Philly in general) should be aware of.

  17. i agree it is the best show mainly because of all the philly name drops…..also could the let’s go flyers chant be patented/copyrighted? that’s what i was thinking when they did it wrong…i know they have to pay like a zillion dollars to sing happy birthday on sitcoms so it’s possible…p.s. kyle is a dick

  18. It’s possible your father wanted to leave the game early because he fucking hates you, like everyone else.

  19. We didn’t leave early…kyle was in the ladies room squatting….she missed it. Don’t let her Bs you guys with the spelling test version….

  20. Kyle, give the show a few episodes and you’ll love it I’m sure. it is funny…
    now that could be the fact that its set near/around philly so they reference people, places and things I know about (except last week when the older brother tried to buy beer at wawa – loved they had the old wawa name tag but we know they’ve never sold beer)
    or the fact that I was between the ages of 8 and 18 during the 80’s so it hits home for me about growing up in the 80’s….

  21. Kyle –
    The orange jerseys at home in the clip clearly appear to be the awful highlighter-colored jerseys sold by the once-great Mitchell & Ness. Propp & Hextall are the only 80’s era players available, and they are not offered in white.

  22. Love the Hextall reference but the wrong colored jerseys bothered me too. Not to mention during the rest of the episodes (and even this one) they constantly wear current era hockey helmets and other gear. GAH!

  23. It is a great show! I was actually surprised that the Wawa reference wasn’t addressed in a post last week.

    1. shocked? the author of this site is to busy watching dancing with the stars on a loop to care about any other tv shows.

  24. Some more wrongs … the street hockey goal, no goal judge box behind the goalie, and fan’s usually get uptight when you stand blocking the view of play for more than 3 seconds.

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