The TV Repairman:
HALFWAY THROUGH the interview NBC's "NFL Live" had with Al Davis last Sunday, I noticed my television set leaking oil badly. Imagine the guy saying, "The Raiders have built a great tradition in Los Angeles."
* If it isn't already, baseball should be in a deep sweat about the next generation of fans. Kids are gaga over MTV, video games, the business of collecting cards and autographs and perceive the game as a quickie highlight package on the telly. Yes, attendance is up at the ballpark, but the giveaways, concessions, souvenir stands and the message boards appear to be the biggest attractions, not what's going on on the field. In a lot of cases, that's probably fortunate.
* A recent survey of a thousand adults disclosed that 33 percent used watching television as a method of falling asleep. Seems woefully low, especially if we're talking anything but Thursday night.
* As college football scores shows go, ABC has it all over rival CBS because of Roger Twibell and Beth Ruyak. There's something about Mike Francesa and all that supposed inside information he dispenses on CBS that just doesn't register.
* The Blast is launching an admirable endeavor, enlisting the communications departments and students at several community colleges to handle game telecasts for area cable consumption. "Got the idea while over at Essex giving the commencement speech," says team owner Ed Hale, "and everyone we've contacted has been enthusiastic about it."
* The Redskins' three-year pact with WMAL Radio in Washington calls for rights fees of $8 million. No wonder the Orioles are looking for $3 million per season. Obviously, asking and receiving are two different matters, because the ballclub expected to have a deal some time back.
* Mizlou's around-the-clock Sports News Network reports it will be in 10 million households by the end of the year and paints a rosy picture for the future. It commissioned a survey that revealed that males between 21 and 54 years of age spend 97 minutes a day gathering sports information from all media. No wonder our offspring log more than seven hours a day in front of the tube.
* Combined, Home Team Sports and Washington's Channel 20 will be showing about 75 percent of the Bullets' 82-game schedule . . . leaving almost nothing to the imagination.
* Everyone's in a quandary wondering what aspect of the life and times of Atlanta coach Jerry Glanville will the battling network pre-game shows dabble in this week? How about something on what young Jer and his fellow hellions did for excitement on Halloween?
* And then, of course, there's the compulsory let's check in with Eric Dickerson segment. Larry King, if he's recovered from the embarrassment of his talk with Deion Sanders on TNT's "Stadium Show" last week, will interview Eric the Ingrate on this Sunday night's show.
* You have to wonder how large the 900 number audience will be for tomorrow's broadcast of the Michigan State-Notre Dame game with ABC-TV doing the game beginning at 3:30 p.m.
* Turns out the WrestleMania extravaganza last spring did a 35 share (percentage of sets in use at the time) in Japan. So much for the inscrutableness of the Oriental; they're obviously as unsophisticated entertainment-wise as we are.
* Oh joy, five more years of Tony Trabert saying, "Watch the terrific racket preparation of John McEnroe," as CBS continues doing the U.S. Open. With a majority of the plane noise from nearby LaGuardia taken care of, perhaps something can be done about Pat Summerall's snoring.
* The Mercedes Fifth Avenue Mile is on ESPN tomorrow (4 p.m.), and isn't it well past the time that the OTB parlors became involved and parimutuel betting was introduced to this event?
* ESPN severely tested the stomachs of viewers at 6 a.m. today with Andre Agassi in those perfectly awful duds he wears playing in the U.S.-Austria Davis Cup semifinal. The doubles go tomorrow at 4:30 p.m., the final singles Sunday beginning at 6 a.m. again.
* It doesn't seem possible, but Fred Edelstein of ESPN actually appears to know less about what's going on than Jimmy the Greek did. And as for Pete Axthelm, he serves the same function as a doorstop on "GameDay."