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Oprah Winfrey Show Finale Reveals Football Players As First Guests

The final episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show aired on Wednesday, and I learned a little bit of sports trivia while watching. (Would you believe me if I told you I only watched to make sure the DVR was recording it properly for my wife?)

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“On my first day at A.M. Chicago on WLS I had no publicist, no stylist, there was no hair and makeup team, just a Jheri curl and a bad fur coat,” Winfrey said on Wednesday’s final episode. “My first guests were a few Chicago football players. New Year’s Day, 1984.”

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With that, Oprah showed a clip of herself and a couple of football players cooking chili together. The set looked cheesy, and Oprah did, in fact, have a Jheri curl.

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Oprah didn’t identify the players by name, and I didn’t recognize them in the clip. I’m not even sure if they were on the Bears — maybe they were college players from Chicago or something. Suffice to say, Oprah wasn’t big enough back then to get Bears stars like Jim McMahon or Walter Payton.

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Times have changed, and Oprah is bigger now than any NFL player, so big that her final episode didn’t have a guest at all — no one deserves to share a stage with Oprah on her last day.

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But it all started with a couple of anonymous football players sharing the stage with Oprah, and cooking some chili.