These are 23 (more) facts, tried and true, about the widening world of sports television:
• 1. I can't afford to follow baseball anymore -- every time I watch a game on TV, my wife schedules a four-hour spa session.
• 2. Do you have any idea how much electricity GE saves on NBC alone in any non-Olympic year?
• 3. I love "Outside the Lines: First Report," but when exactly are their second and third reports?
• 4. It's not beyond the realm of possibility, I guess, that one day there could be a Pole Vaulting Channel.
• 5. I have no doubt -- no doubt -- that a professional kickball league would attract more viewers than Major League Soccer.
• 6. Fox's Jay Glazer knows MMA. Couch Slouch knows KFC.
• 7. What do a wedding groomsman and a boxing broadcaster have in common? They both wear tuxedos while watching a good man go down.
• 8. Why don't sofas have cup holders?
(Column Intermission I: Every so often, I think about something I heard Fox's Daryl Johnston say a couple of seasons back when Bubba Franks tried to get a first down during a Packers-Seahawks playoff game: "He's initiating the extension of the football before the knee is on the ground.")
• 9. The good news is I scoped clean during my recent colonoscopy. The bad news is my doctor was watching DirecTV's Sports Mix during the procedure.
• 10. ESPN officially changes its call letters to EFPN (Entertainment & Favre Programming Network) on Sept. 1.
• 11. With "The Best Damn Sports Show Period" now history, I am terrified that Fox Sports Net is developing "The Second-Best Damn Sports Show Period."
• 12. I wasn't a big fan of the 20th century, but the 21st century hasn't exactly rolled out the welcome mat for me.
• 13. I don't know if people rate golf announcers, but if they do, they underrate ABC's Paul Azinger.
• 14. I once was an organ grinder, but gave it up because the monkey wanted a bigger cut of the take.
• 15. If Versus' "Sports Soup" ever shows up on a dinner menu, I'd suggest you go with the salad.
• 16. How is it that Usain Bolt can run 200 meters in less time than it takes Tiger Woods to line up a putt?
(Column Intermission II: I spend a lot of time in Las Vegas, which reminds me of what George Bernard Shaw once said: "Gambling promises the poor what property performs for the rich -- something for nothing.")
• 17. If USA Today were around in Year One, it would've polled Adam and Eve on their favorite days of the week.
• 18. BobCostas carries around a 1958 Mickey Mantle baseball card. Couch Slouch carries around a 1973 TV Guide crossword puzzle.
• 19. Sometimes I sit on my front porch, sip from a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon and see America the way it used to be.
• 19a. P.S. I don't have a front porch.
• 20. Phil Liggett is so good announcing the Tour de France, I'm thinking of replacing my beanbag chair with a stationary bike.
• 21. ESPN's World Series of Poker telecasts are now in high-definition; I apologize to all viewers who are subjected to my made-for-low-definition mug.
• 22. If that's "Joe Buck Live," maybe I only want him on tape.
• 23. With my luck, when I die and I'm buried with my remote, they'll forget to change the batteries.
Q. If a "quality start" is awarded for 6 innings pitched, allowing no more than 3 earned runs, does this mean that a starting pitcher with a 4.50 ERA is a quality pitcher? (Leigh Hammond; Oliver, B.C.)
A. I believe the Baltimore Orioles consider anyone who allows less than 4.5 runs an inning to be a quality pitcher.
Q. Wouldn't it have been a good idea for the panel that identified the Dos Equis pitchman as "the most interesting man in the world" to meet and exchange bons mots with you before they made their final decision? (Joel Miller; Pittsburgh)
A. Not to brag, but right now I am planning Sunday family picnics around the PBA's fall TV schedule.
Q. Do you think East Dillon has a shot at beating Arnett Mead this fall? (Michael Roulier; Towaco, N.J.
A. Gonna be tough -- the showers don't even work yet in the locker room at East Dillon.
Q. My father used to say that cheering for the New York Yankees was like cheering for General Motors. Nowadays, is cheering for the Washington Nationals like cheering for General Motors? (Steve Clark; Richmond, Va.)
A. You are a wise, wise soul and, at the moment, $1.25 wiser.
Q. If Brett Favre played poker, how could you tell he was really folding? (Ed Zdeb; Milwaukee)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
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