Couch Slouch: A voyage through the world of sports television


Joe Theismann is doing a TV commercial for a prostate supplement; if his prostate is enlarged, I would’ve figured he could just talk it down to size. (Scott A. Miller/AP)
April 22, 2012

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

1. Is it possible for Subway’s Jared and the Progressive Insurance woman to elope and move abroad?

2. As a precautionary measure, I do not operate any heavy machinery for 24 hours after listening to Hubie Brown on an NBA telecast.

3. First “American Idol,” then “America’s Got Talent,” then “The Voice.” Isn’t CBS due for “Survivor: Juilliard”?

4. The biggest problem with installing a flat screen in my shower: The sound of Kevin Harlan’s voice activates the smoke alarm.

5. President Obama’s favorite analyst, CBS’s Clark Kellogg, is big on players’ ability to “score the basketball.” They’re playing basketball; what else would they be scoring?

6. Jack Whitaker will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sports Emmys this month; I guess they were waiting for him to establish some serious credentials.

7. As I have followed “Boardwalk Empire” and “Luck” on HBO — with equal parts fascination and frustration — I am reminded of how “The Sopranos” was so good for so long.

8. When I showed up at an ESPN talent meeting, Digger Phelps handed me his valet parking ticket.

(Column Intermission I: I was watching “The Shawshank Redemption” on TNT for maybe the 17th time the other night when it finally struck me that Red, in describing Andy’s escape that culminated in slithering through sewage pipe, said, “Andy crawled to freedom through 500 yards of . . . foulness I can’t even imagine. 500 yards — that’s . . . just shy of half-a-mile.” Uh, no it’s not — man, prison math ain’t what it used to be.)

9. Here’s the thing about social media: I don’t think it’s “social” and I don’t think it’s “media.”

10. Which reminds me: When’s the last time anyone bought a radio at Radio Shack?

11. ABC NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy might be this nation’s most valuable natural resource since Mark Twain.

12. I’m thinking it’s a missed opportunity for everyone that Jim Gray never has worked the sideline at a bullfight.

13. To further reduce production costs, NBC has nixed the Goodyear blimp in favor of Al Roker in a hot-air balloon with a camcorder.

14. When Tiger Woods withdrew from the WGC-Cadillac Championship last month, I still can’t believe the helicopter didn’t follow him all the way to Perkins restaurant.

15. For every hour I watch CNN, I watch at least 10 hours of NBA TV; to be honest, this should disqualify me from voting.

16. From the Outdoor Life Network to OLN to Versus to, now, the NBC Sports Network. I would’ve gone with The Network Formerly Known As Versus.

(Column Intermission II: My wiser-than-her-years stepdaughter Mia, 13, often asks me what it is I do for a living. I usually change the subject and offer her ice cream. Smartly, she’ll take the ice cream and then ask me again what it is I do. Frankly, I’m ashamed to tell her, so she keeps getting a lot of ice cream.)

17. I would bowl with two hands like the fabulous Jason Belmonte, but then how do you hold your beer?

18. Sure, I wouldn’t mind broadcasting poker on radio, except you can’t see the hole cards.

19. Reader Don Walker of Pittsburgh has vowed to send the first contribution if I start a Do Away With Sideline Reporters Fund.

20. Joe Theismann is doing a TV commercial for a prostate supplement; if his prostate is enlarged, I would’ve figured he could just talk it down to size.

21. When I’m watching “Mad Men” on TiVo, there is perverse joy in fast-forwarding through the commercials on a show about an ad agency.

22. Had an apocalyptic nightmare last week that I was standing in front of Skip Bayless and behind Stephen A. Smith in a DMV line.

23. If everyone is using cell service now, can’t we replace all the telephone poles with maple trees?

Ask The Slouch

Q. Your alma mater, the University of Maryland, named its basketball court after Gary Williams. In addition to many couches, the campus boasts a bowling alley and a couples counseling center — what’s your preference when I offer your name for similar recognition? (Sean Smith; Bethesda)

A. I’d have to go with Parking Lot 3, where I received the majority of my tickets.

Q. This week Maryland is hosting a sports journalism panel: “Maryland alumni thriving in the world of sports journalism return to share their experiences and how their time on campus prepared them for their careers.” Any particular reason you are not on the panel? (Don Pollins; Takoma Park)

A. They wouldn’t guarantee me a parking space.

Q. I’m going to take your advice from last week and have decided to stop reading your column. Is that worth $1.25? (Todd Walker; Cleveland)

A. I can’t blame you. I wrote a couple of really stupid things last week; heck, I’m so mad at myself, I even stopped reading my column.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just e-mail asktheslouch@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash! For previous columns by Norman Chad, see washingtonpost.com/chad.

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