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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Couch Slouch looks closely at sports on TV

 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)

These are 23 (more) facts, tried and true, about the widening world of sports television:

1. One day – and something tells me this won’t happen in my lifetime – the breakup of ESPN will rival the breakup of the Soviet Union.

2. T-Mobile has a new cell-phone promotion: “Couples Talk Free.” To be honest, this doesn’t sound like such a good idea.

3. Even though it’s a medical improbability, I get a canker sore every time I watch “I, Max.”

4. You know that look Tony Soprano has when he emerges from bed after a night of bad dreams? I wake up that way every week after “Big Monday.”

5. The moment someone starts The Bowling Network, I’m a 24-7 shut-in.

6. If he gets any more irritating, Dr. Phil is going to wind up on “Crossfire” or “Around the Horn.”

7. I recently stumbled across the wedding video from my first marriage and had completely forgotten that Charlie Jones did the play-by-play.

8. Who knew that the ‘P’ in ESPN stood for poker?

(Radio Days I: Nothing’s better than when you’re on Interstate 70 driving through Pennsylvania or Ohio and the truckers are bearing down on you and there’s an SUV posse every which way and you’re, oh, maybe, one bad lane change away from road rage and, suddenly, a basketball or baseball game comes across your AM dial, and, static and all, soothes the soul for the next hour or so.)

9. I will jump into Lake Michigan with a DVD player on my back before I watch a single nanosecond of “The Amazing Race” or Aaron Brown.

10. Today: “Nanny 911” on Fox. Tomorrow: “Vitale 911” on ESPN.

11. Whenever he retires from sportscasting, you’ve got to figure Craig Sager can parcel off his wardrobe on eBay.

12. Lately, I fancy Red Vines and Slim Jims, aka “The Dark Side of Atkins Diet.”

13. I saw Vince Cellini on The Golf Channel the other day. I thought he had left the country.

14. One of the times I was married, I had to put an “Authorized Personnel Only” sign on the remote.

15. Tony Siragusa always looks like he’s about to say something interesting. And then he opens his mouth.

16. Sooner or later, I wouldn’t be surprised if ESPN buys the rights to the sunset.

(Radio Days II: I hate it when a friend borrows your car for a day and changes the presets on the radio. That’s like coming into someone’s home and rearranging their furniture.)

17. I have never smoked marijuana, which, I believe, impairs my ability to appreciate Bill Walton.

18. Sometimes, at 2 or 3 in the morning, I’ll stop on an infomercial if it looks like it has a good story line.

19. I crunched some numbers and it wasn’t pretty: Since 1970, I have spent 1,750 hours watching “Monday Night Football” and 17 1/2 hours reading great literature.

19a. I crunched some other numbers and it also wasn’t pretty: Ahmad Rashad has spent more time in my living room than all of my spouses combined.

20. Oddly enough, sometimes I miss NBC Sports.

21. Camera phones are nice, but I’d prefer a microwave oven with TiVo.

22. The late Don Drysdale had a rule: “You hit one of ours, I hit two of yours.” I wish that applied to watching sports on television.

23. If there’s an afterlife, I’m assuming everything will be pay-per-view.

Ask The Slouch

Q. I watched “Celebrity Blackjack” on GSN the other night – with not one, but three Baldwin brothers – and actually liked it. My question is simply: Why? (Jerry Nassan; Lincoln Park, N.J.)

A. Is there a more dashing figure in American culture today than a Baldwin brother at a blackjack table? I think not.

Q. Is Dan Snyder cursed to become Al Davis East, albeit with a better taste in clothing? (Tim Charters; Springfield, Va.)

A. To become Al Davis East, Dan Snyder would actually have to win something first. But, indeed, I’ll say this for the Redskins owner – he’s got a sharp eye for a nice suit.

Q. I see Illinois hired Ron Zook as its head football coach. Is the Website running again? (Brendan Walsh; Chicago)

A. I love it when readers do my job for me.

Q. My wife is buying me a “Yahtzee: Texas Hold ‘Em Version” for Christmas. I have two couches. What are you doing over the holidays? (Mike Herold; Milwaukee)

A. I’ve got to check my e-mail more often.

Q. Will Vinny Testaverde’s Social Security count against the Cowboys’ salary cap next season? (Roger Fierst; Cleveland)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. Did you make a New Year’s resolution? (Larry Lass; Houston)

A. The same one I make every year – no TV on weekends.

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