Who will collapse last, Red Sox or Blue Jays?

Phil Jackman

September 28, 1990|By Phil Jackman

The TV repairman:

ESPN BEGINS coverage of the weekend showdown between the Boston Fade Sox and the Toronto Blow Jays tonight at 7:30. Then CBS moves in for Game 2 tomorrow (3 p.m.), followed by ESPN doubling back for Sunday's offering at 1 p.m.

While the Bosox have a reputation of dumping "the big game" dating back 72 years, the Jays, despite their brief history (1977), have shown a consistent propensity to choke.

* What delicious irony it is that Bob "Harrumph" Wade, who took great pride in his ability to be uncooperative with the media, is moving into city cable's announcing booth to expert a series of high school games, beginning with this afternoon's Gilman-Poly game. It will be shown tonight at 10 p.m. on Cable 44, then four more times through Tuesday.

* Tell you what makes NFL coverage by ABC so good: no pre-game show.

* Must have seemed like old times on the "NFL Today" set for Terry Bradshaw last Sunday. Just before going on, he got belted in the head by a camera and felt nauseous with ringing in his ears. He audibled his way through the CBS pre-game show anyway.

* Says Dennis Swanson of ABC: "Yes, we're excited about the prospect of broadcasting a portion of the Goodwill Games and having an event of its caliber as part of our 1994 programming lineup." Yeah, right. Ted Turner's baby is not only going ahead with the Games in Leningrad-Moscow in '94, but is scouting around for a U.S. site for 1998.

* CBS pro football analyst Randy Cross says, "Today, when you see a high school kid who's 6-7 and 275 pounds, you're not looking at a big, clumsy goof, you're looking at a potential millionaire."

* ABC is off to a good start in its use of Brent Musburger. College football is his bag and he should do a pretty good job of getting the best out of analyst and partner Dick Vermeil.

* The biggie this week on the network shows before NFL football figures to be the seemingly endless story about the sub-human behavior of New England Patriot players toward a woman sportswriter and the ultra-stupid remarks by owner Victor Kiam which followed. Borrrrrrrrrring!

* Here's hoping when the U.S. and Australia get together for possession of the Davis Cup down under in December, ESPN schedules coverage of the fifth and final match. Strangely, it never planned on doing last week's showdown struggle that saw Michael Chang win dramatically in five sets live, "because Cup matches often are settled before the fifth match," according to a spokesman. "Yeah, we didn't make arrangements for a seven-game Series because in 1980 and '81 it only went six."

* Here's a great idea from WKYW-TV in Philadelphia I'd like to see instituted here. During the week, viewers are asked to vote (via a 900 number) on what game they'd like to see on the NBC affiliate that weekend.

* Dino Mangione ended up doing a professional and highly listenable job on the Maryland Bays-Frisco Bay outdoor soccer title game on WCBM last weekend.

* There's at least a slim chance the lousy rating the Bills and Jets got on Monday Night Football (13.9) will give ABC pause to always include the perennially woebegone Jets in the series.

* Reason No. 347 to reach for the mute button: Ray Knight (ESPN), discussing a hitter's slump, saying, "He's trying to do too much."

* Watching the ESPN feature on Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' having a weekly TV show out of Dallas last weekend reminded that when Bob Irsay was in Baltimore, he wanted to have a show of his own in the worst way. Imagine it.

* Look-alikes: Jefferson Davis and Ray Perkins.

* Home Team Sports has the pleasure of Notre Dame's company tomorrow, the Irish taking on Purdue at 1 p.m. . . . At noon, Channel 13 is picking up the Navy-Boston College game from Annapolis.

* Mets cable TV makes a bad mistake when it uses the centerfield camera with Sid Fernandez pitching. The portly portsider blocks out at least two of the three people around home plate.

* Phil Rizzuto, who might have done his last Yankee broadcast as the club's TV rights move to cable, says, "I got behind the microphone because I couldn't change a light bulb and I can't open the hood of a car, so there was nothing left to do but broadcast. And cheer."

Scooter on N.Y. baseball: "Did you see the papers today? Full of Mets crybaby stuff. They ought to be ashamed of themselves, griping and complaining. They've got the talent to be in front by 20 games."

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