Hard to believe Survivor premiered 20 years ago

On May 31st, 2000, a new reality show called Survivor premiered on CBS. I member watching as I had read a small blurb on the website slashdot about the show and though it sounded really cool

Slashdot – Survivor to premiere

Which is harder to believe – that Survivor has now been on for 20 years, or that I have never missed a single episode.

Survivor – Wikipedia

I starting watching on my old 27 inch tube TV in standard definition.   If I had things to do when Survivor was on (, I would need to manually record the show onto VHS Tapes (Yes – Survivor started before DVRs were a thing).  For the first 10 years,  Survivor was on Thursdays, and I remember being upset when it would be pre-empted for 2 weeks for the NCCA Basketball Tournament.   Eventually we got a DVR and I was able to set up automatically recording to make sue I never missed an episode (Although originally I needed to set things up each year as the title would change and early DVRs were not as smart as the ones today).  

Also I remember when Survivor finally went to High Definition for Season 17 in 2008.

While it did take me a few more years before getting a HDTV my self,  seeing Survivor in widescreen format (with black bars along the top and bottom of the screen) madeit that much more fun to watch 

Survivor switches to HD for Season 17

Having been a fan since the beginning,  the show has continued to fascinate me on lots of levels.   I really love the way the players have changed strategies over the years to try and keep up with the producers as they continue to tweak the game.

Over the years, there have been players that stand out for one reason or another.  While there are far to many of my personal favorites to name, there are a few that I remember for specific reasons.   Like Sue Hawk for here tribal council speech, to Johnny Fairplay lying about his Grandmother.   From being a jerk like Russell Hantz, to just being an interesting person like Rupert Boneham or Benjamin (Coach) Wade

Which brings me to what got me started on this post in the 1st place.   Saw a post from Dalton Ross who has been covering Survivor from the beginning about Sonja Christopher, the 1st person ever voted off of Survivor.  

Sonja Christopher – 1st person voted off Survivor

Glad to see that she is still alive and well and fondly remembers here time on Survivor and embraces her place in Survivor and Reality TV History

One of  main reasons I remember her is that as a non-sports card collector, I have always wished a company would put out a set of Survivor Cards.   While there was a set of cards put out by Upper Deck for Season 2, it was  more of a Collector Card Game then a true card set. 

So a few years ago, I decided to try and create a set of my own for Season 1.   There are still photos of the contestants on some webs sites, so I designed and created  a custom set for myself.   And the 1st card I created was not of Season 1 winner Richard Hatch, but of Sonja Christopher, the 1st person ever voted off Survivor.    Bellow is a gallery of the cards I created.   Let me know if I did a good job


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That’s it for now.   Going to try and write more soon



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“Hey c’mon, let the kids play!”

Sad to see that former MLB Player and All Star Bob Watson passed away.   I do remember him as a player, but will always remember him for his line in The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training – One of the underrated and best baseball movies of all-time

Bob Watson – Hey c’mon, Let the kids play!

Watching this clip always makes me happy.   Bad New Bears in Breaking Training is one of my all time favorite movies and this is one of my favorite scenes.

Bad News Bears in Breaking Training – IMDB

The movie also has two of my favorite characters (Jackie Earle Haley as Kelly Leak, and Chris Barnes as Tanner Boyle).

Note – If anybody has any contact information (or really any information) on Chris Barnes, please leave a comment or reach out to me –  I would love to contact him and let him know how much the character of Tanner Boyle has meant to me over the past 40 years

Average Andy


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Survivor, Social Distancing, and More

Its been a long time since I have had the motivation to write here on AverageAndy.  Have been hunkered down at home due to the ongoing Covid 19 Pandemic, doing the social distancing thing.   I have been keeping busy during the days (I am lucky to have a job that allows me to work at home) and at nights have tried to get out for a walk.   Been doing take out now and then to help the local businesses, and usually take a trip to the bagel shop on Saturdays to stock up for the week.   Been doing some weekly Zoom meetings with Family and Friends which have been really nice.   Also been trying to reach out and keep in touch with family and friends (text, e-mail) to see how everybody else has been handling these strange times.

I want to take some time to thank all the radio stations that have stayed on the air during this crisis and kept me entertained and lifted my spirits day after day

Terrestrial:  105.5 WDHA,  99.9 The Hawk,  Sports Radio WFAN
SiriusXM – Nik Carter and Lori Majewski in the mornings,  Eddie Trunk midday,  and Alan Light and Mark Goodman in the afternoon

This leads me to Survivor

The current season Survivor (Winners at War) premiered on Wednesday, February 12th and brought back 20 past winners to compete against each other for the title Sole Survivor and a 2 Million Dollar grand prize.   It was great to see some of my all time favorite players returning to try to become the 2nd Two Time Survivor Winner (Or in the case of Sandra Diaz-Twine, a 3 time winner and the undisputed greatest Survivor Champion)

Despite the problems with Extinction Island in the past, and the fact that is was a necessity to get some of the contestants to come back, I enjoyed it for the most part this season.   I still don’t like the fact that you get rewarded for the longer you are on Extinction Island.  While the living is tough, you have lots of time to bond with others before getting the chance to get back in the game,  all while you never having to worry about being voted out.

As far as the contestants, being a fan since Season 1, I was rooting for the older players, and it was tough to see all the players I was rooting for get voted out early – Amber, Ethan (who is a friend of my cousins),  Boston Rob, Parvati, and Yul  were all voted off before the merge.   (For a while I was more interested in what was happening at Extinction Island then the real game).   As for the players who made it farther, some I liked (Tony, Sophie, Michele) while others I did not really care for (Adam, Ben, Kim).

As the season wound down, I will admit I was rooting for Tony to win, and thought he was playing the best game.   He was good at all aspects (Physical, Mental and Strategic and managed not to get a single vote cast against him the entire time.

Once Natalie won the chance to come back to the game, I became very nervous as I did not think it was fair for her to possibly win the game despite not being part of the real game for 33 days.  The more I thought about it,  the more of a disaster it seemed it would be if she won.   I held out hope that the this jury would not reward somebody who spent the entire time away from the main game with the 2 Million Dollars.

Once Tony won the fire challenge and made the final 3, I thought there was no way he was not going to win, and was relieved when the jury voted him the winner by a 12 – 4 count.  I think they got it right as he played one of the best games anybody had played.  He now joins  Sandra as the only 2 time winners.

Also want to give a shout out to New Jersey (Where I live).  We have been well represented in Survivor and were again last night with all 3 finalists from the Garden State.  Way to Go and makes me proud.

I want to thank everybody involved with Survivor (The contestants, Jeff Probst, the Producers and all the crews) for another great season.   It continues to be the best Reality Show on TV, and especially during these tough and crazy times, it has been something to look forward to each Wednesday night which kept my spirits high.

Felt good to write some stuff after such a long time, and I will try to find some time to write some more about my thoughts about the world during these crazy times.

Stay Inside if you can, Self Distance and Stay Safe


Posted in 105.5 WDHA FM, 99.9 The Hawk, Jeff Probst, Radio, Reality Shows, SiriusXM, Survivor, TV, Volume 106 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clive Cussler / Dirk Pitt

Very sad to see that author Clive Cussler passed away at the age of 88.  He wrote the Dirk Pitt novels which are some of my favorite books and have been part of my life for the past 30+ years.    I remember reading “Deep Six” when I was in high school and was hooked ever since.  Since then I have read every Dirk Pitt Adventure, as well as some of his other books and enjoyed every one of them.   His books were my companions on vacations, buisness trips and lazy afternoons.  Nothing was better that starting a new Dirk Pitt novel and getting swept away in another adventure.

I thank Mr. Cussler for creating the character of  Dirk Pitt, along with Admiral James Sandecker, Al Giordino, Rudi Gunn, Hiram Yaeger and St. Julien Perlmutter.    He also created the character Foss Gly, who appears in a few of the Dirk Pitt books.  I don’t know why, but I always remember this character and he has become a cult favorite of mine.

Here are a few photos of his books that I have read over the years

RIP Clive Cussler – You and your books will be missed


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David Rupprecht

I am sad to report that my uncle David Rupprecht (my dads brother) passed away on Sunday, February 16th at the age of 78.  Dave was a true gentleman and although I didn’t get to see him much (he lived in North Carolina, and I’m in New Jersey), I did enjoy talking to him on the phone from time to time.  He was a loving wife to my Aunt Connie and loving father to his sons Jeff and Alexander.   My sister told me she asked my dad about my uncle, and he said they never had an argument or ever had anything bad to say about each other.   He was a very nice man and will be missed  RIP

Dave Rupprecht (1942 – 2020)


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Survivor is back for Season 40

Last night was the premier of Survivor: Winners at War.  Crazy to think that this is the 40th season, and even crazier to think that I have never missed an episode.  That comes to around 583 hours (or around 25 straight days).   I used to be able to remember all the players and winners but as the seasons went on, its been harder and harder to remember everybody that played and won.

Season 40: Winners at War brings back 20 past winners (10 men and 10 women).  As they showed up on the beach, it brought back great memories of all the seasons I watched and reminded me of why I am such a fan of the show.  As the show went on, the one thing that stood out to me was that all these players are millionaires, but none seemed any different then when they played in the past.  They were all willing to submit themselves to the game of Survivor (eating rice / sleeping on bamboo / physical challenges) to play the game again.   I found it interesting how some of the players from the earlier seasons felt the game (and players) was moving super fast while the newer players felt like it was the same as when they played.

I really like the dynamic of  having all past players (winners) playing against each other.  I have read and heard that past Survivor Players have formed a kind of bond outside of the game and a lot of become good friends.   This makes things really interesting as everybody has a lot of external information on everybody else.

Its to early for me to try and pick who will win.   I have some of my favorites (Boston Rob and Amber, Parvati, Ethan and Yul) as well as some I am not a big fan of (Adam, Ben).  A lot of the others I am on the fence on,  so will need to wait and see how the season progresses before I make any judgments.

As far as the game play, I was not a big fan of Redemption Island, and hope they make some changes (like bringing back the voted off-players much earlier than before).  It should not be an advantage to be outside of the game as an non participant observer for most of the time while the players in the game have to stigmatize and make moves against other players)

As for Fire Tokens, I like the idea and it will be interesting to see how it plays out

The season is off to a good start and I am looking forward to watching and seeing if somebody can become the 2nd two time winner, or if somehow Sandra can Outwit, Outlast, and Outplay everybody again and become a 3 time winner.


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Quick Update

Just a quick update to remember a a few people who have recently left us

All left their mark  in different ways, touching millions of people with music, sports and movies.   Due to them, the world is a better place.  They all will be missed.

Neil Peart, the drummer from the band RUSH died on January 10th, 2020

Neil Peart

Kobe Bryant (any 8 others) died in a helicopter crash on January 26th, 2020

Kobe Bryant and 8 Others

Kirk Douglas – Actor who lived to be 103 Years old – died February 5th, 2020

Kirk Douglas

New Season of Survivor starts next week (Survivor: Winners at War).  20 past winners are back to battle for the title of ultimate Survivor.   Rely looking forward to this season.  Should be a lot of fun to watch.

Haven’t been felling well for a bit – been dealing with I believe is Lyme disease.  I’m on the mend and feeling much better, so will be back writing about my thoughts and observations about Survivor, Card Collecting, as well as Music, Sports, TV and Movies


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