Did Nancy Kerrigan get a raw deal during and after February's Winter Olympics from judges and the media?
That's the crux of a feature airing during the intermission of tomorrow night's conclusion of "Ice Wars: The U.S.A vs. the World" at 9 p.m. on CBS (Channel 11).
Kerrigan lost the gold medal in Lillehammer, Norway, to Oksana Baiul of Ukraine by one-tenth of one point, the closest margin in Olympic skating history.
The nine-minute feature includes a heretofore unseen super slo-mo replay of Baiul double-footing a triple toe loop landing, which should have counted for a deduction. CBS announcer Verne Lundquist and producer Draggan Milhailovich convene a tribunal of skating experts to examine both performances and determine if the result was fair.
The feature also examines if Kerrigan was treated fairly by CBS and other media. She was roundly criticized in the two days after the Olympics, first for offhand remarks made about Baiul while she waited for the medal presentation ceremonies, then for skipping the closing ceremonies and finally for saying to Mickey Mouse, no less, that a Disney World parade she attended in her honor was "corny."
"We offered Nancy a chance, hopefully, to put in some context what happened and what was going on. That may have been the one error we [CBS] made during the [Olympic] coverage," said Lundquist.
As the "Ice Wars" competition moves to the Providence (R.I.) Civic Center for tomorrow night's long program, the United States' four-member team holds a slight lead over its international competition.
Each member of the winning team is guaranteed at least $100,000 in prize money.
CBS announced yesterday that Wednesday's program did a 10.8 rating and 16 share in national overnight ratings, slightly below the 12/20 the network predicted.
For all the marbles
Fox's John Madden and Terry Bradshaw, who were on opposite sides of many Pittsburgh-Oakland clashes in the 1970s, disagree over who will win Sunday's Dallas-San Francisco NFL showdown.
Madden, who will call the 4 p.m. game (Channel 45) with Pat Summerall, says the Cowboys have the edge because they've won the past three meetings with the 49ers, and Bradshaw favors San Francisco because of the recent rash of Dallas injuries.
Both men agree, however, that the game carries significantly more importance to San Francisco than to the Cowboys.
"They [the 49ers] have to win this game. They have to win at Candlestick Park," said Bradshaw.
"They can talk about the quarterback and Jerry Rice and all that, but that's just talk. They've got to beat the Cowboys at home. That's where you want to be in January [for the playoffs]."
The Miami-Chicago game will precede the Brawl For It All at 1 p.m. on Channel 45. Channel 2, left without its seemingly weekly Dolphins offering, will present the San Diego-Kansas City matchup at 1 p.m. ESPN has the Detroit Lions-Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 8 p.m.
Meanwhile, from the college campuses tomorrow, Channel 13 carries an ABC doubleheader, with Notre Dame meeting Florida State in Orlando, Fla., at noon and Penn State taking on Illinois at 3:30 p.m. ESPN counters with Ohio State-Indiana at 12:30 p.m., Georgia-Auburn at 7 p.m. and UCLA-Arizona State at about 10 p.m.
Channel 11's Mark Viviano and a camera crew ventured to Venezuela early last week to get a peek at the style of new Orioles manager Phil Regan, who has managed winter baseball teams for the past 10 years. Their results begin airing tomorrow night at 11, and continue at the same time Sunday and Monday.
The reports are of network-quality, as Viviano and crew walk with Regan through the streets of Caracas, peer in as the manager guides the Caracas Lions through their paces and take a look at an Orioles-sponsored baseball school in the mountains of Venezuela.
In other news from Television Hill, Gerry Sandusky, Channel 11's weeknight sports anchor and analyst for Maryland radio football broadcasts, will remain with the station, having agreed to a multi-year contract.