Friday, December 18, 2015

Automotion 3, Part 5 - Mechatronics & the Bay of Pigs

Song - Mechatronics
Artist(s) - Jeff Newmann
Released - 1988
Primetime Usage - 1989-90
Contained on - SON 292 (Automotion 3), Sonoton SCD 16 (Automotion 3)
Featured Highlight - Packers @ Buccaneers, 1989

In the early years of NFL Primetime, the late Pete Axthelm aptly used the phrase "Bay of Pigs" to describe any contest between the then-lousy "Bay" franchises:  Green Bay & Tampa Bay (citation).  The Buccaneers in this period had a habit of starting strong & fading (especially with head coach Ray Perkins and his infamously draining "three-a-day" practices), while the Packers were nearing two full decades of dormancy.  In 1989, though, Lindy Infante and his Green Bay Packers put together one of the most entertaining teams in NFL history.  The "Cardiac Pack"—the second of the three "Cardiac" squads after the 1980 "Cardiac Browns" and before the 1998 "Cardiac Cards"—gutted out a 10-6 record largely thanks to their knack for pulling out crazy, last-second, wins.  Don "The Majik Man" Majkowski, mostly known today for being the guy Brett Favre replaced, stayed healthy and had his most productive season as an NFL quarterback (4318 yards, more than double his next best year) in '89.  Unfortunately, a 10-6 record and a win over the eventual champion 49ers wasn't enough for Green Bay's first non-strike playoff berth since 1972 because they lost the division tiebreaker to the Vikings and both wild cards were 11-5.

The fifth and final NFL Primetime song from Automotion 3 is called "Mechatronics."  It's more subtle and complex than the other songs profiled this week.  Mechatronics may seem overly neutral on the surface, but a few listens will reveal its subtle intensity & building energy.  It's actually become one of my favorite highlight tracks from the show.  The featured highlight below is the second Bay of Pigs contest from Week 13 of 1989 (the same episode as all the highlights I've posted from this album, in fact… it was an unusually entertaining week).  The Bucs did everything they could, but they still couldn't stop the "Majik" in the end.

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