Under Review

February 02, 2004

STRAIGHT TALK Two strong interviews last week plumbed the
pitfalls of celebrity. On ESPN's Outside the Lines, Jeremy Schaap
talked to a vulnerable, contrite Joe Namath about the former
Jet's drinking problems. Namath, for the first time, acknowledged
he'd been drinking before he told sideline reporter Suzy Kolber
on the Dec. 20 Jets-Patriots telecast that he "couldn't care less
about the team struggling" and wanted to kiss her. Namath also
told Schaap he's entered rehab. "He knew the issues that had to
be addressed," Schaap told SI. "He was very accommodating. He saw
this as an opportunity to clear the air." On HBO's Real Sports,
Armen Keteyian elicited a chilling view of the Jayson Williams
manslaughter case from Dean Bumbaco, an acquaintance of
Williams's who was at the former NBA star's mansion the night
limousine driver Costas Christofi was killed. According to
Bumbaco, Williams spent the moments after the shooting wiping his
fingerprints from the gun and planting it in Christofi's hands.
Then, Bumbaco said, Williams stripped and showered to get the
gunshot residue off his body. (On the show a spokesperson for
Williams's lawyers read a statement denying Bumbaco's version of
the events.) In a morbidly fascinating moment Bumbaco recalled
Williams earlier in the evening declaring, "I'm the king of New
Jersey. My money is as long as train smoke."

SUPER POWER The Panthers' win over the Eagles put the U.S.'s
27th-largest market into the Super Bowl, instead of its fourth
largest, but CBS isn't concerned. "A 40-plus rating (more than 42
million homes) is the magic line, and that's achievable no matter
who's in," says CBS Sports president Sean McManus, noting that
every Super Bowl since '91 has hit that mark. "The game is
bulletproof, with one caveat: You don't want a game out of hand
by the third quarter. People will switch off."


Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)