Football excitement may be in the booth

TODAY'S TV

January 08, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Contributing Writer

For two reasons, football playoff games are the best things to watch today. Reason one is that there's nothing else worth watching on TV all day and night, with the possible exception of "Saturday Night Live." Reason two is that, with the emergence of Fox and the disappearance of CBS in the football broadcasting booths next season, all sorts of broadcast-booth teamings are bound to change -- at all the networks. For example, if John Madden goes from CBS to ABC next season, becoming the color commentator on "Monday Night Football," that means today's Pittsburgh Steelers-Kansas City Chiefs wild-card game could be the last time Dan Dierdorf, whom Mr. Madden would replace, is teamed up with longtime cohorts Frank Gifford and Al Michaels. (After today, all playoff games are broadcast by either CBS or NBC.) And with rumors and reports flying fast and furiously about Mr. Madden's having given a verbal acceptance of the ABC offer, there could be drama in the booth today as well as on the field.

* "AFC Wild Card Game" (12:30 p.m.-conclusion, WJZ, Channel 13) -- The drama in the booth I've already mentioned. As for drama on the field: How about Joe Montana, quarterback for the Chiefs, trying to do what Kansas City optimistically hired him to do: win them at least one game in the playoffs. ABC.

* "NFC Wild Card Game" (4 p.m.-conclusion, WJZ, Channel 13) -- The Detroit Lions last made the playoffs in 1991, and beat the Dallas Cowboys in the postseason before losing to the Washington Redskins. The Green Bay Packers, the team entering the Lions' den today, haven't been in the playoffs in 12 years -- but the Pack is back. Announcing this game:

Brent Musberger and Dick Vermeil. ABC.

* "Getting By" (8:30-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Here's a TV reunion it's kind of difficult to get too worked up about. Michael McKean and David Lander, who reunited as Lenny and Squiggy a few months ago on an ABC comedy special, re-reunite, this time with fellow "Laverne & Shirley" co-star Cindy Williams, the star of this series. You can bet, though, that the director behind the camera is not Penny Marshall. ABC.

* "Saturday Night Live" (11:30 p.m.-1 a.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Mike Myers appears on "Saturday Night Live" tonight, but it's got to be a comedown from his live performance last weekend -- when he appeared, in SNL "Coffee Talk" drag, as a guest performer during Barbra Streisand's New Year's Eve concerts. Anyway, tonight's guest host is Jason Patric, and the musical guest is the group Blind Melon. NBC.

Cable

* "Offsides With Steve Sabol" (9-9:30 p.m., COM) -- The grand pooh-bah of NFL Films finds a new home for a new "bloopers" series, beginning tonight on Comedy Central.

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