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‘Grease,’ Sony Walkman and more trends since last time Indiana State was ranked

The Indiana State Sycamores are slotted in at No. 23 in Monday’s AP poll — the program’s first appearance in the Top 25 since Larry Bird’s final season with the Sycamores.

Indiana State went 817 AP polls without appearing in it, the fifth-largest gap between rankings in the poll’s history, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Its last inclusion came at the end of the 1978-79 season when Indiana State topped the final AP poll at No. 1 before the tournament.

The Sycamores are on a nine-game winning streak — one game shy of their season-long 10-game win streak. With a 22-3 overall record heading into its next game Tuesday, Indiana State is one win shy of matching its win total for the 2022-23 season.

Here’s a look back at what the world looked like the last time Indiana State was ranked in the AP poll.

‘Grease’ less than a year old

The iconic musical starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John dominated the box office, earning the top spot in 1978.

“Grease” grossed $159.9 million worldwide and $8.9 million domestically in its opening weekend, just behind “Jaws 2.” At the time, “Grease” was the highest-grossing musical ever. The movie’s soundtrack finished at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in 1978.

The film ended up being nominated for one Academy Award — Best Original Song for “Hopelessly Devoted to You.”

The 1970s Steelers dynasty took hold after Pittsburgh defeated the Cowboys 35-31 in Super Bowl XIII, deemed the “Battle of the Champions” because Dallas had won in 1978. Pittsburgh’s third Super Bowl since 1974 marked the first of another set of back-to-back victories. The Steelers had won consecutive Super Bowls in 1975 and 1976 before defeating the Los Angeles Rams in 1980 for another streak.

Terry Bradshaw threw for 318 yards and four touchdowns, while Franco Harris ran for 68 yards and a score. Roger Staubach threw for 228 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. Tony Dorsett led the game in rushing yards with 96 and Lynn Swann led in receiving with 124 yards.

‘I Will Survive’ jumps to No. 1

In the week heading into the NCAA tournament, Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” slotted in at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The track spent two consecutive weeks at No. 1 before being overtaken by the Bee Gees’ “Tragedy.” Gaynor’s hit won a Grammy in 1980 for Best Disco Recording and has sold more than 14 million copies since its release.

In 2016, “I Will Survive” was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.

‘Dallas’ in the middle of Season 2

The legendary TV drama show “Dallas” was in the midst of its second season in March 1979. “Royal Marriage,” the show’s 22nd episode of Season 2, aired days before Bird and Indiana State headlined the AP poll.

“Dallas” originally aired on Saturdays before being moved to Sundays midway through Season 2. It then moved to Friday nights, where it was permanently slated until the series ended. The show became known for its cliffhangers — most famously the “Who Shot J.R.?” storyline in 1980.

Sony’s Walkman nearing debut

One of the most influential technological products — Sony’s Walkman — debuted July 1, 1979, in Tokyo.

It struggled initially as only 3,000 were sold that month, but by the end of August, the Walkman was sold out — 50,000 gone within two months. At the end of 2008, Sony had sold approximately 385 million units.

The device marked the first personal and portable stereo cassette player. The high sound quality served as a key distinction from the transistor radio. It became a part of 1980s culture and by 1986, “Walkman” entered the Oxford English Dictionary.

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