According to Jorge Luis Borges, there are only four stories to tell: a love story between two people, a love story between three people, a struggle for power and a voyage. These same stories are rewritten ad infinitum. With all due respect to the Argentinian literary master, his list is incomplete in its blatant exclusion of the classic narrative revolving around three crime-fighting superstar athletes working together to help children and protect the environment. Of course, I’m referring to Pro Stars, the Saturday morning cartoon that aired on NBC from September 14 to December 7, 1991.
The cartoon, featuring animated versions of Wayne Gretzky, Bo Jackson and Michael Jordan, was the zenith of athletes misrepresented as heroes. It lasted for 13 episodes, including a finale clip show. Yes, a clip show recapping the adventures of an animated series. Consider the poor man’s version of Alphabits breakfast cereal that was created as a synergistic commercial tie-in, and the cartoon becomes a time capsule for everything that was wrong with the early nineties, minus the Parker Lewis Can’t Lose button downs.