Valvano could do ABC pack of good

PHIL JACKMAN

February 15, 1991|By Phil Jackman

The TV repairman: Jim Valvano is so good doing studio for college hoops on ESPN one wonders when ABC is going to get around to using him in similar fashion. I should charge for these worthwhile tips.

* It's called digital split-screen imaging, the routine wherShowtime had Sugar Ray Leonard interviewing himself prior to Ray getting belted by Terry Norris on the cable last Saturday. Producer David Dinkins Jr. asked the unrehearsed questions first to get the fighter answering spontaneously, then Ray sat down and asked the same questions. Trouble was Leonard has heard the questions so often, just about every response is a pat answer. Nonetheless, it was a good try.

* CBS, taking over first-round coverage of NCAA hoops from ESPN, says the national audience will be better served because it will reach 99 percent of the nation's households as opposed to half that by cable. So, do it as well, gang.

* Why oh why is Billy Packer taking it upon himself to serve as personal publicist for UNLV? Yeah, the Rebels are good, Billy, we know that. Packer forfeited a tad of credibility in the CBS release this week by saying Providence's Eric Murdock plays for Pittsburgh. Tch-tch.

* Outspoken commentator Don Cherry picked a strange place to go off on a tirade against anti-war demonstrators: the CBC's Hockey Night in Canada.

* Monday (12:30 p.m.), ESPN is doing the new women's hoops league live, the Liberty Basketball Association all-stars taking on the Detroit Dazzlers. The LBA will feature lowered hoops (9 feet 2), smaller ball, smaller court and, its only bad move, form-fitting uniforms.

* Home Team Sports will show the MSL All-Star Game Sunday (7:30 p.m.), so don't breathe a word about which team, East or West, wins. Ken Cooper coaches one of the teams, the one that blows a big lead in typical Blast style.

* By picking up the Duke-Wake Forest game tomorrow -- in progress, no less -- Channel 2 is dumping the PGA Tour stop. But, alas, it doubles back Sunday to pick up the final round. Meanwhile, Channel 13 does the reverse, picking up the women's final of the U.S. figure skating championships tomorrow (ABC, 4:30 p.m.), but going with a movie during the men's final.

* Believe it or not, Danny Sheridan of CNN and USA Today has put out odds on the next week's Miss USA pageant. Miss Texas is the favorite at 3-to-1 while Miss Maryland is in the field entry. What's next, the Westminster Dog Show?

* Even a child could decipher that Nike threatening to sue Reebok for the jibes it receives in the latter's ads is strictly a publicity gimmick. Grow up, fellas.

* CBS already has its slate of baseball games mapped out for the summer and it will go 13 Saturdays and three Sundays in addition to the All-Star Game in Toronto July 9. The Orioles get the call twice, once at home.

* Is there no end to exploration (and exploitation) in the sports video market? Dick Vitale and ESPN has one out entitled, "Time Out, Baby!" the Count of Cuckoo reviewing the top collegiate hoopsters since 1950.

Speaking of Dickie Baby, there's been little evidence of his toning down his act as he promised at season's start. The man's no fool.

* This sexual harassment business works both ways, I'm here ttell you. TV Guide reports that at the Super Bowl "Downtown" Julie Brown of MTV fondled a Buffalo player, made suggestive remarks to a New York player and picked the Bills to win "because they have better buns."

* Next time you're talking about a person coming full cycle, throw the name Bill Walton in there. A Greta Garbo when he played at UCLA and for several seasons in the NBA, he's now talking his head off on both college and pro games in Los Angeles. Good, too.

* The winner of the earliest of "on the bubble," the description given to teams dangerously close to not being included in the everybody-makes-it NCAA field, is Andrea Joyce of CBS. She dragged the term out last month when teams had played about a dozen games.

* Hopefully, the carriers of WLAF (What a Laugh) games beginning March 23, ABC and USA Network, are on hand in Orlando working on a documentary detailing the making of the new league. More than 700 invitees are working out, a series of drafts will follow and then the teams will get a month to train before hitting the bright lights.

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