The TV Repairman: Most pray for good weather, a fast track and a decent game. Some want to see exciting plays and couldn't care less which team wins. Others bet, which means what happens on the field doesn't matter, just so long as they collect. Is there any inherent enjoyment in cheering for a $10 bill?
Me, each year when late January and the Super Bowl rolls around, I pray for laryngitis. Not an epidemic, understand, just a case or two. Strategically placed. Like in the announcing booth where once again we have the pleasure of ABC's three-man aberration.
Described in some circles as "the perfect complement" t play-by-play man Al Michaels and lovable old Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf is this year's nominee to temporarily lose use of his vocal chords.
To be sure, a lot of what DD says is interesting, although not always too close to the mark. After all, he was a lineman. But the Hall of Fame tackle is making a serious run at Joe Theismann for most words expended during a broadcast.
Of the crew's rumored success, Dierdorf says, "We've learned how not to step on each other." Dan's answer? He talks all the time.
The Super Bowl kickoff is slated for 6:18 p.m. Sunday. Th network goes on line at 4 o'clock with Brent Musburger hosting the marathon pre-game show.
House party hosts are advised to lay in TV sets in lieu of snac food. While ABC is hammering us with another "Skins Game" (this one for caddies) at 1:30 p.m., CBS has college hoops -- Georgetown vs. Pitt and Georgia Tech vs. North Carolina -- followed by PGA golf. NBC will counter with the Lakers and Celtics in pro hoops (noon), then something for the ladies, figure skating. A nice smorgasbord.
All the ad time has been sold for the biggie, meaning ABC recoups about $45 million while we socialize over the commercials.
* Unnerving thought: A consumer test commissioned by Prime Network divulged fans would be willing to pay up to $18 per game for NFL action. Hello, pay-per-view.
* CBS has been giving exceptional play to the All-Madden Team show, to include placing it in prime time (9 p.m.) tomorrow. Yet the hour-long special was turned out by sports producer extraordinaire TWI, a fact not even mentioned in network releases.
* ESPN's 16-hour Super Sunday starts at 1 a.m. with half-hour shows of all previous Super Bowl games, a 90-minute PTC "GameDay" at noon, the computerized Dream Bowl II (Steelers vs. 49ers) and various other bric-a-brac until 5 p.m.
* Channel 13 latched onto "Road to the Super Bowl" and will run it tomorrow from 7 to 8 p.m. The station could have hosted it with its own talent but thought better of it and decided to go with the show's producer/director, Steve Sabol of NFL Films.
* ESPN has the Australian Open women's final tonight (9) and the men's tomorrow (10 p.m.). The latter should be a blast with No. 2 Boris Becker taking on No. 3 Ivan Lendl.
* "WBAL's own" resident football genius, Stan White, should maybe take a refresher course after insisting all season "the Buffalo Bills cannot win with Marv Levy as coach and Ted Marchibroda as offensive coordinator."
* Considering its college hoops schedule, Notre Dame (7-10) playing Virginia (tomorrow, 2 p.m.), Duke and Temple and Oklahoma taking on Kansas over the next month, NBC shouldn't have bothered. As analyst Al McGuire, who was denied a shot to do NBA commentary, puts it, "I'm getting paid not to work."
* Pssst, Baltimore City cable, the ad for a pay-per-view show that went two weeks ago is still airing. Don't you care?
* The debut of "Good Sports," Farrah Fawcett and her roomie as sportscasters, was terrible. The second one went it one better and plumbed the depths of awfulness. Maybe the only way to spruce it up would be to slip John Buren in Ryan O'Neal's spot.