"The Way" by Fastball was inspired by the story of an elderly couple from Texas who drove to a nearby family reunion and kept going. Fastball's bass player imagined them taking off and having fun like they were young. The story didn't end well: the couple was later found dead after they crashed in a canyon.
The line in John Mellencamp's "Cherry Bomb" that sounds like "that's when a smoke was a smoke" is actually "that's when a sport was a sport," according to the published lyric. In that sense, "sport" is an endearment for someone of good nature.