Jackson is covering wrong field goals

Phil Jackman

November 30, 1990|By Phil Jackman

The TV repairman:

DESCRIPTION of one, frustrated sportscaster: Keith ("Fummmbbbbble") Jackson, sitting next to Dick ("Shrill Shill") Vitale, doing Indiana-Louisville hoops tomorrow (ABC, 1:30 p.m.) with neighborhood football rivalries raging across the southlands.

The second part of the Hoosier Dome shootout has Kentucky, fresh off its no-TV ban, taking on Notre Dame at 3:45 p.m. with Brent Musburger and Jim Valvano over-dramatizing things.

It's an awesome array of sports ye olde channel-switcher faces with CBS doing blocks and tackles -- Texas-Texas A&M (noon) and Auburn-Alabama (3) -- ESPN doing Davis Cup tennis (12:30) and Miami clobbering San Diego State (4 p.m.), TBS serving up Georgia-Georgia Tech (12:30), and USA Network slipping in some golf (3 p.m.). It would be even worse if NBC still did sports.

And that's only during the daylight hours. After the amateurish show announcing the Heisman Trophy winner, the best game of the day has Florida-Florida State on ESPN (7:30), the Bullets hosting Detroit (HTS) and the Maryland cagers on tape delay vs. West Virginia (11:30 p.m.).

* Obviously, times have changed dramatically in Australian tennis, and not only in the wins and losses department. While the Aussies had a gripe the way the United States attempted to overstack the deck in its favor for the Davis Cup final beginning at the Suncoast Dome in St. Petersburg, Fla., today, it's time to cool it and just play. That's what Rod Laver, Lew Hoad, Roy Emerson, Ken Rosewall, John Newcombe and the gang would have done.

Instead, the Aussies' top gun, Pat Cash, goes right on moaning. As though Australia didn't grab every advantage against Argentina in their semifinal by designating their beloved grass as the match surface.

The U.S. made the final by beating Austria on clay in Vienna, Michael Chang rallying from two sets down in the fifth and deciding match. No wonder we're sticking with the surface Chang and Andre Agassi play best on and which probably remains as the most dominant surface throughout the world.

Cliff Drysdale, Fred Stolle, Brad Gilbert and Mary Carillo will do commentary for ESPN beginning with two singles matches at 5 p.m. The doubles tomorrow goes at 12:30 p.m., the singles Sunday at 1 p.m.

* It's apparent the Heisman Trophy vote, which is still going on at this very moment since valid ballots were still coming in yesterday, isn't as wide open as last year when Andre Ware won out over Anthony Thompson, Major Harris and Tony Rice.

It's down to Ty Detmer and Rocket Ismail who, ironically, finished in the vote last year, one point separating them. Hopefully, ,, the feature on 1940 winner Tommy Harmon will be enough to carry the half-hour show as it's certain the interviews won't.

Interestingly, ex-QB and ABC analyst Bob Griese told USA Today, "I went for Ismail. If Detmer went down, the backup quarterback at BYU would come in and throw three or four touchdown passes. Ismail missed two second halves and Notre Dame lost both games."

* No, Bullets games on WBAL Radio are not just a rumor. The times I've checked, I've always ended up listening to some bloke with an eastern Massachusetts accent. The games aren't numerous, but include some goodies. For instance, tonight's game in Boston, also on Channel 20, a game in Los Angeles against the Lakers Dec. 9 and another in Cleveland against the Cavs Dec. 22. Take it away, Charlie Slowes.

* Peter Carruthers, the terrific pairs skater with sister Kitty, is one fine TV commentator also. Therefore, don't expect to hear him on the telly again any time soon. Covering Skate Canada recently, Pete justifiably zapped the judging and that just isn't done.

"Sometimes the judges make unbelievable mistakes," was one of the nicer things he said about the officiating as world champion Kurt Browning plowed around the rink like a Zamboni machine but still made it to the top step of the awards stand.

* The long-awaited three-part series commemorating 25 years of NFL Films doing such a spectacular job covering the NFL begins Sunday (noon) on Channel 2.

Leader Steve Sabol's selection for best game, best offensive and defensive players and so on are going to incite many arguments. But, remember, you're going against a man who has looked at more games, live and on film, than any three other people on earth.

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