Wylie skates into town, happy his amateur days on thin ice are over

December 10, 1993|By Phil Jackman

The TV Repairman:

Some might conclude that months of one-night stands of skating the same routines would get to a performer after a while. But then Paul Wylie, one of the favorites in the Durasoft World Professional Figure Skating Championships at the USAir Arena tomorrow (7 p.m.) remembers his amateur days.

"You're almost a recluse, six months of training, training, training," he says. "And the pressure. After all that, it came down to a competition spread over a few days and, in effect, what you did determined your life and your career."

The last time Wylie went through that ordeal, he came through like gangbusters, earning a silver medal at the Winter Olympics last year. "Because this is only my second year as a pro," he says, "I'm not jaded. But then I don't think I ever will be because there's just so much going on all the time.

"For instance, in just the last couple of months, I've been on a TV special, tours of Mexico, Brazil and the Northeast and competed a pro-am. And now this, which is like a Wimbledon for us. The variety is such that it sometimes might be hard to focus on what's here at the moment."

And as for motivation, flipping between tours, special events and competition, Wylie says, "No problem. I have a heckuva chance of winning this [after finishing second behind Brian Boitano last year], and that's always great incentive."

NBC will be taping the show for presentation in prime time Jan. 28. That, of course, will be just before the Olympics (Feb. 12-27) when figure skating will be at the height of its already impressive popularity.

For folks who can't wait until then, TBS goes prime time with the "Stars on Ice" show for the first time Sunday (7:30 p.m.) with Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton, Brian Orser and Wylie headlining a show staged Nov. 27 in Lake Placid.

* Channel 11 is presenting its weekend sports guy all wrong. This Paul Davis fella is a laugh riot (as they used to say in the movie ads), a highly enjoyable watch and listen because he's so totally out of it. Are sports so foreign to him that he's irretrievably lost, or is it all a put-on.

Davis constantly salts his script with irrelevancies and inanities if not just plain faulty information, and he isn't bad in the mixed metaphor department either.

After an exciting Army-Navy game in the afternoon, Paul's lead item last Saturday evening concerned indoor soccer. When did Navy quarterback Jim Kubiak change his name to Keith?

"The Commander-in-Chief's Trophy will stay in mothballs for one more year," he said in a knowing matter, obviously unaware Air Force would retain the prize as its previous outright winner.

"I don't know much about Gators," Davis revealed, "but do they like sugar?" This was the man's extremely clever way of letting us know that Florida had beaten Alabama for the SEC title, thus earning the right to host the upcoming Sugar Bowl.

On and on he plowed, weaving his magic. Is there a Northwestern State or is it a figment of the Davis imagination? "Swoosh," for a hoop during cage highlights? "You're going to have to pay the fiddler if you make a mistake," he said. His parting shot was that the pro football game on CBS Sunday "should be a yawner but we want you to watch it anyway." Great stuff, guy.

* With the Colts-Giants game Sunday, New Yorkers will have been subjected to a half-dozen telecasts of Indianapolis games this season. . . and they're more than upset about it. Bad enough, the traffic, the crime and everything else, a steady diet of 9-6 games has a way of heightening neurological disorder.

* NBC has the Heisman Trophy Award show tomorrow (3:30 p.m.) and if you don't know who's picking up the hardware, go stand in the corner.

* The Power Index, a highly regarded computerized system to rate the college football teams, wrapped up the regular season with Florida State at the top of the list with its national championship Orange Bowl foe Nebraska a snappy No. 8. Tennessee got No. 2, followed by Texas A&M, Notre Dame and Miami. West Virginia? No. 21.

* Showtime has the championship triple-header pitting Julio Cesar Chavez (88-0-1) and Andy Holligan (21-0), Terry Norris (36-3) vs. Simon Brown (39-2) and Michael Nunn (41-1) vs. Merqui Sosa (22-3) Dec. 19, a Sunday night. Better lay in provisions because it could be an all-nighter since it doesn't even come on from Pueblo, Mexico until 10:30 p.m.

* NBC (Channel 2) is giving two hours to the Ironman Triathlon tomorrow (4-6 p.m.), it being the 15th anniversary of the popular event run on Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. In case you forgot the results from October, Mark Allen is going after his fifth straight men's title.

* Still no word yet on the depth of the devastation Stan ("The Fan") Charles' "No Bombers, No Bud" boycott wrought upon that struggling St. Louis brewery during the "Great Expansion Adventure." Still a mystery is why the WCBM talk-show personality didn't organize a boycott against NFL Properties or the networks that carry league games.

* Despite scads of calls proposing same, WBAL and the "Bottom Line" show say they don't plan on providing a translation of what guest Charlie Eckman was trying to say during an hour-long discussion of the NFL expansion issue last weekend.

* Believe it or not, the tournament golf season finally concludes with the PGA Senior Tour Championship tomorrow and Sunday at 4 p.m. on ABC. Cue the trash putting contests and Skins Game for left-handed non-winners on the tour, someone . . . Ex-Maryland star Walt Williams is featured on a segment on "NBA Inside Stuff" tomorrow (noon, Channels 2, 4), detailing his involvement in the fight against lung cancer and his work with children in the community (Sacramento).

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