No surprise: Mike Tyson flopped as a Showtime boxing analyst Saturday night.
Presumably only one buck from the $20 million advance Showtime paid him to box for SET Pay-Per-View applies to his meager verbal services. Sometimes you couldn’t hear his voice; often his commentary echoed what the analysts, Ferdie Pacheco and Bobby Czyz, had said, but primarily he seemed superfluous.
TV is not Tyson’s metier; his performance showed rustiness, an inability to listen to what others said and a lack of preparation. He made some good points on boxing strategy and improved from fight to fight, but he will never work enough to improve measurably. And being Showtime’s fourth announcer means taking air time from Czyz, the crew’s most talented voice.
Four on boxing is absurd. One can be enough.
This inane exchange between Tyson and Steve Albert was priceless.
Albert: “Mike, I inadvertently called you the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. You’re the former champion. Perhaps I was a little premature.”
Tyson: “No, I feel that way.”
Albert (smiling): “Once a champion, always a champion.”
Showtime’s cameras experienced no problems during the bouts, but it needs to return its audio equipment (or producers) to Radio Shack. Between rounds, the announcers were quiet so viewers could hear what was said in the corners - where the sound was barely audible.
From Russia with Love
“The CBS Sports Show,” the renamed “Eye on Sports,” was No. 1 during the weekend with a feature on the Russian “Ballet on Ice” troupe stranded since last year in Oklahoma City when its sponsor pulled out.
Shuttled to 12 different residences, they moved into a YMCA near the A.P. Murrah Federal Building five days before the devastating bombing on April 17. Six of the figure skaters were injured; afterward, all were taken in by an Edmond, Okla., family.
Correspondent Michele Tafoya and producer Draggan Mihailovich ably reported one of the tragedy’s lesserknown tales, which meant more than de rigueur features like the NBC-ESPN dueling Michael Jordan interviews.
The Doctor’s not in
Questionable as a hire, as the weeks go by, has been NBC’s Julius Erving, who sits elegantly beside Bob Costas on “NBA Showtime.” He rarely says anything memorable, although he punctuates each sentence with a smile. Costas, Pete Vecsey and Bill Walton spark the show. Erving makes it fizzle.
What? In noting decreased baseball attendance Sunday on “The Sports Reporters,” host Dick Schaap said the Colorado Rockies’ opening-day gate fell by 25,000. It had to. The new Coors Fields fits 25,000 fewer than Mile High Stadium. … NBC’s five weekend NBA playoff telecasts generated an overnight Nielsen average of a 7.8, up from 6.7 a year ago. The 5:30 p.m. Bulls-Hornets game rated an 11.4, up 52 percent from last year. … A sight we never expected: ABC’s Keith Jackson bellowing “Whoa, Nellie” for a Miller Lite commercial.