Feeling defenseless on ice? NHL has a game for you

January 21, 1994|By Phil Jackman

The TV Repairman:

The NHL is promising action more closely resembling hockey tomorrow when NBC sends along the All-Star Game at 3 p.m. from New York. But if the immediate past is any indication . . .

Last year, the tally was 16-6 (in favor of the team in the white jerseys), there was no checking or even stern looks, and just one penalty was called: it was for loitering. Rumor has it that some of the guys didn't even remove their dentures.

* The Chiefs visiting the Bills starts the NFL conference championship Sunday at 12:30 p.m. with the 49ers at the Cowboys following at 4 o'clock.

As everyone in the football-speaking world knows by now, the Frisco-Dallas bash will be the last CBS telecast for four seasons after the Eye being on hand since 1956. Of course, that means our favorite uncles, John Madden and Pat Summerall, will be breaking up as an announcing team, and they will be missed massively.

One of the amazing things about Madden is that after starting with the network in 1979 after coaching, his broadcast partner the second year was Gary Bender, and he made it through. The Pat & John Show commenced in 1981 and never really wore out.

Madden is being wooed by nearly everyone involved in the coverage of pro football and, believe it or not, one of the things he might be sold on is involvement on the production end of things.

Understandably, CBS will not allow its top announcers to moonlight doing NFL football for Fox Network when it takes over as carrier of NFC games next season. Summerall, Jim Nantz, James Brown and Verne Lundquist all work sundry other sports with CBS and would carry a huge presence into the Fox booth.

Meantime, The Eye, which carried Big Ten and Pacific-10 games few years ago, is attempting to get back into the college football business with a handsome offer to the Southeastern and Big East Conferences: five seasons, $100 million.

As analyst Randy Cross put it, "I don't think anybody has to worry about guys like Summerall, Nantz and Lundquist not having work."

* Look at it this way, gang, the last several days of trying to maneuver your motor vehicle on city streets have qualified you to drive a Zamboni machine.

* The National Cycle League has 14 teams in three conferences, and Roller Hockey International contains 20 teams in four divisions, and Baltimore doesn't have a franchise in either. Is the Maryland Stadium Authority asleep at the switch?

* ESPN proudly announces it will provide NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue's Super Bowl news conference Jan. 28 live beginning at 11:30 in the morning. What better reason to skip work?

* Dana Rosenblatt, the unbeaten middleweight from Boston who has racked up most of his wins on Stu Satosky's shows at Martin's West, has the co-featured 10-rounder on the Top Rank Boxing card on ESPN Sunday (9 p.m.). Kevin Pompey (29-5) takes on Harold Brazier (88-14) in the main go.

* Don't look now, troops, but another Skins Game is sneaking up on us, this one being the Seniors. Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Ray Floyd hook up Super Bowl weekend on ABC.

* The question before the house is, with realignment now set in baseball, will the human mind and heart be able to handle all the excitement that no doubt will result from no less than six down-to-the-last-weekend division races late in September?

* NFL commentator Bob Trumpy's strangest statement during NBC's coverage of the Chiefs-Oilers game last weekend was, "Joe Montana's a lot tougher than people have given him credit for throughout his career."

Quick, can anyone recall even the slightest hint of Montana being a gun-shy wimp? That would be like saying John Unitas wanted out when he had a head cold.

* Channel 2 has the Spirit (15-3) taking on Wichita (9-9) in mile-a-minute NPSL action in living color from the Glass Menagerie (Baltimore Arena) tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.

* Amid the 16 basketball games on tomorrow -- 14 college, one high school and one NBA -- is the Maryland-North Carolina State clash at 3:30 p.m. on Channels 45 and 7.

* Pssst, the Northern Telecom Open on ESPN the next three afternoons (4, 5 and 4 p.m.) is the old Tucson Open. You gotta love the cactuses in the background out there.

* If NBC is going to continue using Cris Collinsworth on the sidelines along with masterful reporter and interviewer O. J. Simpson, it might be a good idea if they had him de-giggled.

* Draftnik Mel Kiper's favorite football games, the Senior and Hula bowls, are on ESPN tomorrow at 2 and 8 p.m.

* Just a couple more days of ice, gale-force winds and single-digit temperatures before the second week of the Australian Open shows up on the telly at 2 p.m. daily starting Monday. Temps haven't even been in the 90s yet in Melbourne.

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