Stocks are rising and viewers will get dividends in Brickyard debut

August 05, 1994|By PHIL JACKMAN

The TV Repairman:

Best you don't dismiss the $3.2 million Brickyard 400 on ABC tomorrow (1 p.m.) out of hand, gang, because folks who have been on hand at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway all week say the stocks whipping around the 2 1/2 -mile oval have been a great show.

Adding to the fun of about 90 drivers trying to qualify for 44 spots in the field is the presence of IndyCar drivers Danny Sullivan, Geoff Brabham and A. J. Foyt and guys from Formula One, making this an all-drivers championship, of sorts. As

opposed to 60 hours practice for the Indy 500, the Brickyarders have only six hours yesterday and today.

ESPN does qualifying live at 4 p.m. today, then previews the race at 8 p.m. It'll have pre-race activity tomorrow at noon.

* Dream Team II, which stands for twice as good as Dream Team I according to naive Alonzo Mourning, goes against Brazil Sunday (4 p.m.) on NBC after opening up against Spain on TNT last night. In between, meaning tonight (7 p.m., TNT) the lads oppose China. Three games in four days, what's the players association think of all this?

Listening to Hubie Brown again after his work at the Goodwill Games almost made you wish the World Championships were blacked out within 3,000 miles of Toronto. Which is worse, humidity or Hubie explaining the spacing of the Italian team?

* While the Goodwill Games have had problems gathering up a quorum for its nightly telecasts from St. Petersburg, Russia, and a bunch of internal problems at the site haven't helped, Ted Turner is looking at a town in Siberia as possible host in 2002 after New York City is the host four years hence. The man must have a death wish despite being married to Jane Fonda, as losses since 1986 total about $90 million.

The Games conclude this weekend on TBS and ABC (Sunday, 1 p.m.), Channel 13 checking in for only the last 60 of a 270-minute program. Better than nothing, right?

* A tape of the recent schoolboy all-star game between Maryland and Virginia, the Chesapeake Classic, will be shown on HTS at noon Sunday. And no fair calling the newspaper asking which team won.

* Has anyone ever seen a single or a double on the highlight packages put out daily by Major League Baseball? Have they gone the way of the half-dollar and two-dollar bill? Soon, the home run will be about as eventful as a pitcher's leisurely toss to first base to hold a runner on.

* Obviously, Pernell Whitaker is still in the boxing business, although he hasn't smacked anybody in anger for what, a decade? The welterweight champ says he'll fight Buddy McGirt Oct. 1. Meanwhile McGirt (63-3) is keeping busy, his bout against Pat Coleman (19-2) gets CBS "Eye on Sports" treatment Sunday (2 p.m.).

* The fact NFL exhibition football is in full swing over the next four days should help quell the deluge of tears over the pending baseball strike. Four games tonight are followed by seven tomorrow.

* After checking out the water they were swimming in at the Goodwill Games in Russia (see Patapsco River), it came as no surprise they later had trouble making ice of that gook for the ice skating competition.

* TBS and TNT are combining for 75 NBA games, even tossing in an exhibition game, and the Washington Bullets get a grand total one showing. Which is about right.

* Off just a couple of listens during the Canadian Open on ESPN, Patrick McEnroe comes across as almost the equal of his famous brother when it comes to tennis commentary. One drawback is he sounds exactly the same, which is not unique when it comes to brothers.

* Pssst, the Baltimore Blue and Silver's visit to the gaming tables in Las Vegas (with a side trip to a football field) is on HTS tomorrow night (10:30 p.m.), the Vegas High Rollers providing the opposition. HTS is doing all the games Channel 2 doesn't.

* The LPGA is playing the McCall's Classic, the PGA stop is the Buick Open and the Seniors are in Boston, the lot of these "fine golf shots" being somewhere on your dial beginning at 3:30 p.m. the next two afternoons.

* Longtime Penn State football fans will be treated to a name out of the past when Fran Fisher slides in as the radio play-by-play man this season, replacing Bill Zimpler, who has fled to the Miami Dolphins job. Fisher worked Nittany Lions games between 1970 and 1982. Joe Paterno certainly hasn't changed anything in the interim.

* O. J. Simpson's defense team is nothing if not thorough. It has New York designers working on a suitable courtroom wardrobe for the trial getting under way Sept. 19. Some of the proceedings might be on TV.

* Talk about bad scheduling. Accompanying the Larry Holmes vs. Jesse Ferguson slow or no-punching heavyweights on "Tuesday Night Fights" on USA next week is a NABF flyweight title scrap between Eric Griffin and Ramon Euroza. The human eye can't pick up all the punches and moves of the little guys, which will make the Holmes bout look like a snow-sculpting event.

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