Hall of FameSports

A tribute to Kris Kross and the wonderfulness of 1992

By May 2, 2013 No Comments
kris-kross

kris-krossI was 12 years old when Kris Kross’ “Jump” came out, which puts me in Middle School. The ripe old age when you are just discovering that your junk can be used for other things than just taking a whiz. Kris Kross ushered in wearing your clothes backwards, a fad that seems as crazy as asking me if I want tap or sparkling water when I’m at a restaurant.

I came from a conservative family so the odds of me being allowed to wear my clothes backwards to school were about the same as Pete Rose’s were of getting into the baseball Hall of Fame. At that age the amount of hood and street cred that I had in me was around zero. I didn’t wear Cross Colours or JNCO jeans and I listened to my parents as diligently as I currently listen to Mel Kiper Jr when he releases his latest mock draft. To me being rebellious was taking a purple freeze pop out of the freezer without asking for permission. Despite me being a total square “Jump” was the coolest thing not named Michael Jordan. It was a rap song by kids in my age range with swagger that Gary Payton would be proud of.

Since this song holds a special place in my heart it only felt right to pay tribute to the passing of Chris Kelly by doing it right and dropping an article about the wonderfulness of 1992 (which is the year that “Jump” became popular).

First things first. Remember how I said that I wasn’t allowed to wear my clothes backwards? Well sometimes life gives you seconds chances and I’m not about to pass this one up. I’ve continued to take my vitamins like the Hulkster said and headed off to the gym this morning honoring Chris Kelly the only way I knew how. By wearing my clothes backwards. Check it (and yes, my shorts are on backwards too).

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Sadly the college girl behind the counter that took this picture for me had only vaguely heard of Kris Kross but didn’t know anything about them or that they wore their clothes backwards. Lame.

Back in 1992 things were poppin’. It may have been 21 years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday. Here’s some of what was going on.

The Indianapolis Colts held both the first and second pick of the NFL draft and selected Steve Emtman and Qurentin Coryatt. The Cincinnati Bengals drafted David Klingler number 6. Clearly NFL executives were on top of their game.

The Dream team smoked everyone like a delicious Easter Ham. Because of this team I never expect the United States to ever lose a single basketball game in the Olympics. Ever.

Mike Tyson was in prison for rape (which has lead to a career as a singer), Riddick Bowe was the champ, and boxing was actually relevant.

Gino Torretta won the Heisman. Dude could throw.

Barry Bonds won the NL MVP with the Pittsburgh Pirates. If I could talk to Barry Bonds right now I’d talk to him like this.

Manny Ramirez looked like he was 11 years old in this 1992 Upper Deck card.

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Christian Laettner was the Naismith College Player of the Year. Insert whatever *I hate Christian Laettner or I hate Duke* joke that you’d like. You know that the majority of you non-Duke fans were thinking something like that.

Larry Johnson was the NBA Rookie of the Year. Little did I know that I’d have his Grandmama poster hanging in my room only a few years later

Kristi Yamaguchi was a name that you knew. I have no clue how female figure skating got in here but she was slightly relevant. In a Kerri Strug sort of way.

Freddy Couples won the Masters and was the leading money winner on the PGA tour. This literally feels like 50 years ago.

The NHL had their first strike (which only lasted 10 days). No one had the foresight to know that this itty bitty 10 day strike would seem like a walk in the park compared to the crap we were going to endure in future years.

The Pittsburgh Penguins won their second consecutive Stanley Cup Finals beating the Blackhawks 4-0. Precursor to this year? I hope so.

These were the shoes that Andre Agassi was rocking.

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These were the dope Air Jordan’s (the 7’s).

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Super Mario 2 and Super Mario Kart was released on Super Nintendo. These both had a significantly longer shelf life than Pauly Shore’s movie career. Mario Kart is one of the few games that I’ve seen girls get pretty good at and/or get obsessed like guys can get. Nothing like spitting some game and talking about the places to jump in order to get a short cut at Mario Kart.

The hit songs were End of the Road (I had that Cooleyhighharmony tape. Yes, tape), Baby Got Back (stop reading now if you don’t know who this is by), November Rain, Smells like Teen Spirit, Rump Shaker, Jump Around (one of the longest staying power songs of my generation. Like “California Love” this song will never stop being great), Tennessee (a little Arrested Development for ya), How do you talk to an Angel (the Heights. Bet you haven’t heard the name Jamie Walters in a while), 2 legit 2 quit, Humpin Around (the only Bobby Brown song that I know off the top of my head), Life is a Highway (Tom Cochran. Very underrated song. Many non-music people think this is Tom Petty. That usually makes me laugh when someone doesn’t know who sings this and that’s what they guess).

The two best sports movies to come out were The Mighty Ducks and A League of Their Own. Quack! Quack! Quack!

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was still rocking the original Aunt Viv and Saved by the Bell had not yet got to the below average College Years.

Hanging with Mr. Cooper, California Dreams (the cheap SBTB yet still entertaining), ESPN National Hockey Night (what, hockey on ESPN?), Melrose Place (parents wouldn’t let me watch), Martin (DAMN GINA!), and MTV’s The Grind all debuted.

Ya, 1992 kicked ass.

So here’s to you Chris Kelly. You my friend got people to wear their clothes backwards, made millions of dollars off of it, and entertained kids like me. “Jump” will be played in my house to my kids one day and that’s because of you. Believe dat.

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Rob Cressy

Rob Cressy

Sports loving free throw specialist and yinzer living in Chicago who is awesome most of the time, has run with the bulls in Spain, and is a graduate of Second City's Improv program.