These are 23 (more) facts, tried and true, about the widening world of sports television:
1. Here’s my problem with Ultimate Fighting – if nobody dies, how ultimate is it?
2. Can you imagine the sound effects Fox Sports would’ve used if it covered Apollo 11’s mission to the moon in 1969?
3. I think Gary Bettman made a bold move taking the NHL off national TV.
4. You have to hand it to the NFL network – even in the offseason, it’s live every day reporting nothing.
5. I want more cricket on TV and I’m hoping John Kerry agrees with me.
6. You know, when Sergio Garcia spit into the 13th hole a while back, it’s possible he was aiming for NBC’s Johnny Miller.
7. I programmed my TiVo to record all poker shows and my TiVo hired a workplace attorney.
8. Somehow, Mel Kiper Jr.’s gone from Punxsutawney Phil to Ryan Seacrest.
(Column intermission I: For the first time in nearly 20 years, Couch Slouch passed on the NFL draft. I realized I had gone too far last year when I watched the NFL draft and the NFL scouting combine. So I had a self-intervention and spent this year’s NFL draft rereading Dr. Seuss’ “A Cat in the Hat” and Dostoyevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov.”)
9. I spoke with Jim Gray the other day on the phone. Well, at least I think I did.
10. I sent my kid to CSTV because he didn’t have the grades to get into ESPNU.
11. Tim McCarver and Boomer Esiason each has his own weekly TV talk show. This is what gaming theorists would call a “statistical improbability.”
12. If Don Imus is a victim, I sure hope there’s an 800 helpline he can call for support.
13. I’ll take Vin Scully and an Orange Crush every day of the week and twice on Sundays.
14. When you turn on MTV, you hardly ever get music videos – maybe that’s a programming model the Golf Channel should consider.
15. Tragically, Ahmad Rashad’s broadcasting body of work now spans two different centuries.
16. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” Keats once wrote. I assume he was talking about bowling on TV.
(Column intermission II: “Beckham Fever” continues to grip America – last week 14,087 gathered in Dallas, 13,572 in Columbus and 7,438 in Kansas City for MLS games, with each stadium abuzz over the almost impending arrival of the soccer messiah. David Beckham, meanwhile, was sighted in England wearing – no lie – a Cincinnati Reds cap, perhaps a belated tribute to Pete Rose for his chronic betting support of Manchester United.)
17. We are now putting DVD players into minivans for rear-seat passengers. What’s next, satellite dishes in CAT scanners?
18. I’m not above watching a “Walker, Texas Ranger” rerun on Hallmark.
19. As it turns out, George Washington might’ve cut down that cherry tree because it was blocking the signal from his DirecTV receiver and he desperately wanted MLB’s Extra Innings package so he could watch as many Red Sox games as possible.
20. I’ve got a hunch that ocean lifeguards thumb their noses at swimming-pool lifeguards.
21. In a previous life, I assume Gus Johnson was the town crier.
21a. Ibid., Kevin Harlan.
22. If ESPN were around back in 1919, you’ve got to figure the veins in Skip Bayless’ neck would’ve burst during the Black Sox scandal.
23. I get paid to watch television every week. I wish someone would pay me more not to watch it.
Ask The Slouch
Q. As an American who has ridden on a bicycle, do I need to worry about being accused by French newspapers of doping? (Joel Block; Arlington, Va.)
A. If you’re still on that bike, I’d be more worried about American motorists than French sportswriters.
Q. If Barry Bonds ran in the Kentucky Derby, would he win by a head? (Scott Regan; Laurel, Md.)
A. Actually, if Bonds were to cut off his head, his remaining body weight would be six pounds under that of the average jockey.
Q. How many bodyguards do you have? (Joe Scarpelli; Spokane)
A. I go alone, my friend, I go alone.
Q. Now that you have been divorced twice, what do you look for in a first-round matrimonial selection – the ability to come in and contribute immediately, measurables or a huge upside? (Don Frese; Towson, Md.)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
Q. Since NFL teams are always drafting for their biggest needs, why didn’t the Bengals select a criminal law attorney? (Jim and Connor Harmann; Hartland, Wis.)
A. Ring these fellas up, too.