Another gold medal for Greenspan

The TV Repairman

August 13, 1993|By Phil Jackman

It didn't bother Bud Greenspan a whole lot when he lost out in the bidding to provide the official film of last year's Barcelona Olympics because there were serious concerns about the producer's maintaining creative control.

Imagine anyone passing up Cecil B. DeMille, John Huston or David Lean in favor of a local outfit to shoot what amounts to a travelogue in Spandex.

"The Olympic Committee in Spain wanted it to be the Barcelona Olympics. I wasn't interested in that. I wanted to shoot an Olympics, period," Greenspan said.

Bud started out with the assignment of doing a two-hour-and-15-minute special for the Disney Channel, which shows Sunday at 9 p.m. But once the IOC took a peek at the effort turned in by the Spanish firm, it's looking to peddle Greenspan's "16 Days of Glory" offering worldwide.

This "16 Days" show has a decidedly different look from previous Cappy Productions shows, Bud explaining that he was prevented from shooting in his favored 35-mm film by the Barcelona Committee. He had 500 hours of world feed television tape at his disposal, but that doesn't work anywhere near as well as film.

The stories he went with are up to his lofty standards, however, Bud explaining that in each story "we score them as if it's a gymnastics meet, hoping each of the stories scores as close to a perfect 10 as possible."

His personal favorite concerns Trent Dimas, an American gymnast who comes out of nowhere to win a gold medal on the high bar. "It's so unexpected," said the producer-writer-director, "when the score was posted it reminded me of that 1951 scene when Bobby Thomson hit the home run. 'The Giants won the pennant. The Giants won the pennant.' "

Don't be discouraged if you don't subscribe to the Disney Channel. It will be shown the night of Aug. 26 as part of the premium service's free preview promotion.

* NBC (Channel 2) has the NFL's Fastest Man competition Sunday at 4 p.m., but once again the thing that would put the show over the top -- pari-mutuel betting -- is missing. The 60-yard final is decided by .01 of a second.

* I saw it on TNT last night, the Kansas City Chiefs swapping head slaps with the Buffalo Bills, and it was still hard to understand how so much could be made of Joe Montana's playing an exhibition game. Sure, the Super Bowl hero has been out of action for a couple of seasons, but he is a football player, isn't he?

* If you're not zonked out on the PGA Championship yet after endless stroke-by-stroke coverage by TBS the past two days, get ready for seven more hours each of the next two days on cable (11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) and CBS (from 1:30 on). Note how the network shows cover nearly every breath Greg Norman takes as it grooms him for a commentator's role in the not-too-distant future.

* If you can haul yourself away from the Jackie Collins epic drama "Lucky Chances" on Channel 2 tomorrow, ABC promises nothing but races and competition from the World Track and Field Championships in Germany beginning at 3 p.m. The net will do an hour the same time Sunday, then double back with longer shows next weekend as the meet wraps up.

* HBO has a boxing show tomorrow (10 p.m.), Roy Jones (22-0) putting his IBF middleweight title out there for Thulane Malinga (35-8) and Oscar De La Hoya (8-0) scheduled in against Renaldo Carter (27-4). Obviously, not a whole lot is expected of Carter because De La Hoya is slated into another bout 13 days hence.

Talk about life imitating art (or is it the other way around): ESPN will be doing the Tommy Morrison (36-1)-Mike Williams (21-3) scrap for the nebulous WBO crown Aug. 30 out of Kansas City. Social note: Williams is the dude Morrison (as Tommy Gunn) disposed of in the cinematic masterpiece "Rocky V."

* Just how seriously do you think ABC's "Monday Night Football" telecasts will be affected by the scuttling of Hank Williams Jr. as the artist providing the musical opening? Of course, MNF has never been the same since the days of Don Meredith's "Turn out the lights, the party's over" in the good old days.

* After signing with the Red Sox as its radio carrier for three more seasons, a spokesman for WRKO bragged, "We're the only professional sports rights owner in Boston radio making money." And that's while paying $4 million per season.

* Onward and upward: Denny McLain, the old pitcher who had his problems both on and off the field, now owns a radio station down south. Don Imus, the morning wise guy on WFAN in New York and WTEM in Washington, says, "He won it from Michael Jordan."

* Raise your hand (or your blood pressure) if you've read enough stories about those four Ivy Leaguers who are attending baseball games in 28 different parks in 28 days . . . and to think, television hasn't even had a chance to overkill this non-story.

* Methinks Jim McKay had strange dreams as a kid if, as he says, becoming a small investor of the Orioles is "a boyhood dream." . . . Al Michaels, a fine tennis player, says he's not much on the golf course, but his game improved 10 strokes recently when Jim Palmer provided him with a quick lesson. Hmmm,might be a good line for Jimbo to get into if he ever chooses to get a job.

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