There are no words, even in Latin, to do the game of all games justice

ON MEDIA

February 04, 2005|By RAY FRAGER

HOW TO TAG the Super Bowl?

The ultimate game? Duane Thomas cured us of that. An unofficial American holiday? Sure, we all agree.

How big is it? It's intergalactic, planetary (note pathetic attempt to be cool by quoting a 7-year-old Beastie Boys song). It's a pageant (note pathetic attempt at indie cred with Wag the Dog movie reference).

The NFL gives it those mock heroic Roman numerals - thankfully not being used in The Sun - usually reserved only for Rocky movies and old-money heirs with homes in the Hamptons. So perhaps a Latin phrase is appropriate.

Perhaps Cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am). MaybeVeni vidi vici (I came, I saw, I conquered). Or more fittingly, Est guacamole totus absentis? (Is the guacamole all gone?)

Can such a grand event be contained to just a few hours? To even just a four-hour pre-game show?

Fox (WBFF/Channel 45 and WTTG/Channel 5) begins tomorrow with three programs running 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. - Road to the Super Bowl (an NFL Films production), Howie Long's Tough Guys and the College All-Star Skills Challenge.

Sunday's coverage will begin at 10 a.m. with another NFL Films program, Buck, Aikman & Collinsworth - All Access, in which ... ah, just let the news release tell it: "An enlightening and entertaining look at the diligent attention to detail these three celebrated broadcasters employ en route to their first Super Bowl broadcast." Guess there are no waiters at this Fox breakfast, just self-serving.

Next up, Untold Stories of the Super Bowl - as if there could be any at this point - then Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Presents Boom Boom Huckjam, a "choreographed extravaganza" of "action sports" (can't get enough of those Fox news releases) and the Best Darn Super Bowl Road Show Period.

OK, we've made it to 2 p.m. Now, time for the pre-game show.

The Fox crew of James Brown, Terry Bradshaw, et al (hey, more Latin!), will dissect the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. The pre-game also will feature a hole-in-one contest from the 17th - featuring an island green -at nearby TPC at Sawgrass. Competitors come from the NFL, NASCAR and baseball, Fox properties all.

At 6 p.m., game time. Well, the true game time is about 20 minutes later, but you know what I mean. That's when play-by-play man Joe Buck and analysts Troy Aikman and Cris Collinsworth take over, joined by sideline reporters Chris Myers and Pam Oliver. I'm hoping the weather in Jacksonville, Fla., stays cool enough for Oliver to wear her fabulous fur hat.

Is the announcing team nervous?

Asked that during a conference call Tuesday, Aikman joked: "I think this television stuff is overrated."

Buck sounded similarly loose: "You want to keep it moving and keep it light, change the pace of it. You can't be scared to try to have fun."

"Do you broadcast to the 40 million who watched the [conference] championship game with you," Collinsworth asked, "or with the extra 120 million [watching Sunday]? The answer is you do both."

Collinsworth has heard the talk about his supposed biases against certain teams. His response: "I don't think I've ever done a game and the next time they don't think I'm biased against that team. Then I go to the other city, and they think I'm biased against them."

It's a week of arrivals and departures on the local sports talk scene.

Nestor Aparicio has announced today will be his final broadcast as a regular host on WNST (1570 AM). In a letter posted on the WNST Web site, Aparicio said he would be devoting his time to building the business of the radio station. Rob Long, who has followed Aparicio's show, will take over his 2 p.m.-6 p.m. time slot.

Meanwhile, Channel 13 sports anchor Mark Viviano on Monday debuted a daily show on WJFK (1300 AM). He replaced ESPN's Colin Cowherd, running 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays. It wouldn't be fair to pass judgment on a show that just started, but the contrived dubbing of opinionated sidekick Damon Yaffe as "Bulldog" isn't a good sign.

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