Well, at least CBS sports show coming in April should keep anchors busy

March 11, 1994|By Phil Jackman

The TV Repairman:

The new CBS "Eye on Sports" show beginning April 17 should be a big ratings-puller if it comes through with the events it's talking about covering. Listen to this dynamite lineup: rhythmic gymnastics (bell, book and candle), triathlons, women's pro beach volleyball, track and field.

All big draws on Sunday afternoons in the spring and summer, right?

A spokesman for the network described the effort as a "baseball replacement," perhaps forgetting that CBS never really got into the business of showing daytime ballgames in the summer, particularly on Sundays. Details, details.

In reality, the show sounds suspiciously like ABC's "Wide World of Sports," without the 30 years' experience that show possesses. In any case, the net needed something to plug the weekend afternoon hole and to keep co-hosts Greg Gumbel and Andrea Joyce busy.

"It will survive as long as it gets an audience and makes money," veep Rick Gentile told USA Today. Uh-oh.

* College hoops begin at the stroke of noon tomorrow and carry on with virtually no break until 6:30 p.m. Sunday when the NCAA tournament selection and pairings show puts everybody involved either into or out of their misery. That's after a dozen hours and a dozen games today. You don't need directions, just turn on the TV and follow the bouncing ball.

Tomorrow and Sunday, ESPN has the ACC, CBS is doing the Big East, BET has the MEAC (from the delectable Baltimore Arena) and the AF of L has the CIO.

Meanwhile, discriminating viewers can check out the return of John Daly to the PGA Tour (from his forced vacation) at the Honda Classic on NBC tomorrow (no Channel 2) and Sunday at 3 p.m. (yes Channel 2) . . .or how about the Triple-A squads of the Mets and Astros performing on WOR Sunday at 1 p.m.?

Speaking of baseball, Dem Boids show up on the tube Monday at 7 p.m., taking on the Cincinnati Reds in Home Teams Sports, the first of a dozen exhibition games by HTS. Don't miss it; John Lowenstein has been conjuring up good lines all winter.

* The NCAA women's tourney selection show is on ESPN Sunday at 1 p.m. . . . pass it on.

* There's no denying that on a professional basis, college hoops is the love of Billy Packer's life. This makes it hard to understand how or why the CBS analyst gets caught up extolling the virtues of the undergrads to the heavens.

No sooner does a respected spokesman like Packer describe the likes of underclassmen Glenn Robinson, Jason Kidd and so on as "the next wave of basketball greatness in this country" when dollar signs appear in the kids' eyes, they start thinking pro and it's bye-bye campus life, hello NBA bench.

* The co-featured performer in PKA KarateMania VIII on pay-per-view March 26 is Jean Yvas Theriault, a Canadian who might qualify as a Grade 2 marvel, considering he's 39 years old. Theriault, 68-5 over 18 years, goes against Rick Roufus (44-1). All the other top kick boxers are on the show, too.

* When a guy's making $43.75 million playing baseball, as Barry Bonds is in San Francisco, it seems a bit strange he would be simultaneously launching an acting career. Bonds plays a lawyer, a fairly meaty part, in a made-for-TV flick on NBC April 11, and will the game ever be foremost in his mind again?

* To hold thrill-seekers over until the next Knicks-Bulls game, a production entitled "The Ultimate Fighting Championship II" is on pay-per-view tonight with promoter Campbell McLaren insisting, "No, we don't want a death" in the no-rules, no-holds-barred competition, a concession to attorney general Janet Reno, no doubt.

The experts in all manner of "sport" dealing with kicking someone in the head and bending their elbow the opposite way will battle in an octagonal pit inside a fence. "Heck," insists McLaren, "Arnold Schwartzenegger's 'Terminator II' was more violent than UFC I."

* The boxing beat: the folks running "Tuesday Night Fights" on USA should tell Larry Holmes to act in a serious manner during his fights or get lost. The former heavyweight champ conducted a running commentary with ringsiders while thumping punching bag Garing Lane the other night. Lane's record is 11-11, which begs the question: Why is he still fighting?

Great line from announcer Steve Albert during the Showtime boxing card last week, which saw one of the officials score a bout 118-110 for the obvious loser: "We should send some of these judges to the ice skating venue in Lillehammer."

To his credit, analyst Ferdie Pacheco faced up to victor Orlin Norris (over Art Williams) and informed him, "You have just been the recipient of the biggest Christmas present in years."

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