Cousy says Palmer's comeback was success if only for exposure

Phil Jackman

March 29, 1991|By Phil Jackman

The TV repairman:

Former basketball great Bob Cousy, who knows the territory of trying to make a comeback after years away from the game, told the Boston Globe concerning Jim Palmer's effort:

"I don't think I had a similar situation. I'm assuming Palmer was serious. My thing was much more for promotional purposes. The city [Cincinnati] had never supported the team. It was an exercise in futility.

"Now Palmer, he had been away for seven years. That's pure ego. But I'm sure the exposure he's gotten will translate into dollars and cents. He'll probably do better on the lecture circuit and selling dirty underwear or whatever. It will work in his favor."

As it turns out, there will be a comeback in Jim Palmer's future after all. Anything he does announcing Orioles games from now on will be a comeback of mammoth proportions off the work he and Scott Garceau did last weekend. Of course, it was only an exhibition game.

* Chances are you won't agree with this, but it would be patently ridiculous for the NFL to get rid of instant replay now after five years. Slowly, inexorably the system is improving. Last year's reversal rate was about 15 percent, 73 of 504.

* Something to remember while watching the NCAA hoops semifinals tomorrow: CBS said from the start of the tourney its philosophy is "the game is the thing." Hopefully, the directors are aware of this and they'll keep crowd, coach and cheerleader shots within reason.

* Before UNLV's 30-point blowout of Duke last year, the national title game had been decided by one, four, one, three and two points in the five preceding years. Yeah, a skunking was due.

* Just about the time analyst Larry Conley was dispensing the bromide "you can't coach quickness" during ESPN's coverage of the NIT final between Stanford and Oklahoma the other night, on the Learning Channel, Nolan Richardson and Rick Pitino were working on drills to improve quickness at a clinic.

* USA Network cooing about its Helmetcam off Monday's WLAF game experiment is premature. All you saw was defensive linemen taking swipes at the quarterback's head, and the poor guy hitting the ground. TV is Toys-R-Us and will hammer away with its latest gimmick, though.

* Quick, someone please tell Kathleen Sullivan to leave the sweaters home when she hosts the 1992 Summer Olympics on NBC's pay-per-view. What worked in Sarajevo in the middle of February might be slightly out of place in Barcelona's 100-degree temperatures.

* Not that he needs it or anything, but Boomer Esiason would appear to be a shoo-in for a commentator's job after his football-flinging days are over. His debut on USA Network doing the WLAF was excellent.

* Things must really be tough out on 33rd Street. The technicians and cameramen who help bring the Orioles to the masses via Channel 2 and HTS are prohibited from eating in the press lounge prior to games.

* ESPN has the Orioles-Yankees game next Thursday (7:30 p.m.) . . . The cable's Opening Day doubleheader April 8 has Houston vs. Cincinnati at 2 p.m. and Milwaukee and Texas at 8 . . . Unfortunately, "Baseball Tonight" will continue in the 11 p.m. time slot again, shoving "SportsCenter" back to 11:30.

* While thousands, including Wayne Gretzky, are forever screaming there's no place for fighting in hockey, an outfit has come out with 90 videotapes with at least 130 fights on each one. Call 1-800-553-5792.

* The thing that was bothersome about the 900 number set up by CBS for the NCAA tournament is the network was, in effect, telling us they weren't reporting everything it knew during the regular broadcasts.

* ESPN kicks off a weekly soccer magazine show next Wednesday beginning at 3:30 p.m. Kyle Rote Jr. and Chris Marlowe will host the show, which is expected to go in season right up until the 1994 World Cup here.

* While there wasn't much pop in the Academy Awards show last Monday night, we'll see what "Saturday Night Live's" Dennis Miller can do with the Sports Emmy Awards April 3 (9 p.m.) . . . Please, Dennis, no "Bo Knows" references.

* Ex-Orioles announcer Joe Angel is off to a good start doing Yankees games, outspoken critic Phil Mushnick telling New York Post readers, "Angel has a voice and delivery that will remind you a whole lot of Jack Buck." No greater praise can a man render . . .

* Speaking of the Yanks, Phil Rizzuto will be back rooting his favorites on and dispatching birthday wishes during 55 commercial TV contests. Scooter said he "spent many sleepless nights" worrying if he'd be back in the booth.

* Apparently, there's no satisfying the women. So what's new? For years they've been screaming about the lack of coverage of their championship finals in basketball and now CBS will do both the semis and final this weekend. They'll have to play two days in a row, though. Says Tennessee coach Pat Summitt: "It's going to be difficult to get up on an emotional level and have the physical sharpness back in 24 hours." Hey, Pat, we're talking women's hoops here. They jog.

* With the days and games down to a precious few and playoff spots up for grabs in the NHL, Channel 11 didn't have one word about the situation involving the Capitals, Devils and Flyers two nights ago. Straighten those young whippersnappers out, dean!

* The 900 line for WrestleMania VII had Terry Funk as a "surprise guest" all week prior to the big event. Sorry I missed him.

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