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Fandom marks 25 years of 'The Simpsons'

German cyclist Fabian Wegmann shows the influence of "The Simpsons" on the sports world. AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski

In a span of less than two minutes on April 19, 1987, pop culture was changed forever when “Good Night,” the first Simpsons cartoon ever, aired on Fox’s “The Tracey Ullman Show.”

No, we’re not here to rehash a “Greatest Simpsons Sports Moments.”

There have been so many “Greatest Simpsons Sports Moments” lists that it would be possible to compile a list of the 25 greatest “Greatest Simpsons Sports Moments.”

But to highlight how "The Simpsons" writers are still on their game, we’re compiling a few examples of plots from recent years that perfectly capture sports in the 21st century -- but would have seemed completely alien to the TV viewer of 1987:

  • “The Great Wife Hope,” aired Oct. 11, 2009. Chuck Liddell guest stars as the citizens of Springfield embrace the mixed martial arts spectacle of the "Ultimate Punch Kick and Choke Championships." Reaction to this plot in 1987: “What’s mixed martial arts?”

  • “The Burns and the Bees,” Dec. 7, 2008. Mr. Burns wins a pro basketball team and goes all-out building a state-of-the-art arena. Guest starring Mark Cuban. Reaction in 1987: “Sports owners could never be that greedy when it comes to gouging the public in building these ego-inflating edifices.”

  • "Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass," Feb. 6, 2005: A Homer Simpson victory dance is uploaded on the Internet, and sports stars such as Tom Brady, LeBron James, Michelle Kwan, Yao Ming and Warren Sapp guest star looking for inspiration for new winning moves. Reaction in 1987: “What’s the Internet?! The precursor of Skynet?”

  • “Boy Meets Curl,” Feb. 14, 2010: Homer and Marge form a curling team at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Reaction in 1987: “Vancouver has the Olympics in 2010? Did Canada invade America in 1999? To arms!”