Wouldn't It Be Nice...

By Leonard Shapiro
Special to washingtonpost.com
Tuesday, July 24, 2007 5:18 PM

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland -- Away from American television (praise be) for nearly two weeks, your British Open correspondent and web site broadcasting critic will celebrate Christmas in July with our usual "wouldn't-it-be-nice" holiday column, with the usual apologies to The Beach Boys.

Wouldn't it be nice if Nick Faldo had some time to work on his golf game? By my count, this year he's done golf analysis for The Golf Channel, CBS Sports, ABC Sports, TNT and even the BBC, where he's appeared all this week at the British Open, while also handling ABC's telecasts. Talk about a guy who learned how to say hello when it was time to say goodbye.

Wouldn't it be nice to give a nod to Nats radio guy Charlie Slowes and television voice Bob Carpenter for solid, professional efforts all season and offering plenty of enthusiasm for the plucky home side, without sounding like over-the-top homers?

Wouldn't it be nice if Daniel Snyder's newly purchased high-watt radio station will finally allow Redskins fans a chance to listen to games without constantly having to adjust the dial, particularly while riding around the beltway?

Wouldn't it be nice to hear Frank Herzog, now a regular newscaster on WTOP Radio, say "Touchdown, Washington Redskins" one or many more times?

Wouldn't it be nice if The Tony Kornheiser Show on Washington Post Radio actually featured Mr. Tony a few times a week? If not, change the name until he comes back after Monday Night Football.

Wouldn't it be nice if all the people doing Mr. Tony's show would stop the constant laughing/cackling/giggling/guffawing? It's just not that funny.

Wouldn't it be nice to give it up for the people now producing the best local sports round-up every night on Comcast SportsNet? For hard core fans of all things Washington and Baltimore, they're making local sports news on the regular network affiliates at Channels 4, 5, 7 and 9 almost irrelevant.

Wouldn't it be nice if Bryant Gumbel stopped taking cheap shots at NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw on HBO's Real Sports, or at least gave him the opportunity to offer his side of the story?

Wouldn't if be nice if Gumbel, a man who hosts a generally terrific show that constantly does pieces on various injustices around the sports world, dropped his membership at Burning Tree Country Club, which allows no women members?

Wouldn't it be nice if NBC Sports changed its mind and offered Bud Collins a two-year contract that would allow him to say goodbye to Wimbledon at the age of 80? If not, how about CBS letting Mr. Crazy Pants Tennis work the U.S. Open for as long as he get those trousers on one leg at a time?

Wouldn't it be nice for me to somehow fathom the appeal of watching a NASCAR race on television? How many times can you get excited about nice guys in fast cars making left turns for three hours?

Wouldn't it be nice to give Channel 5's Dave Feldman and Comcast's Carol Maloney credit for hosting a smart, entertaining two-hour sports talk show on WTEM, and also mention in the spirit of full disclosure that I occasionally go on with them to talk golf, though the check is definitely not in the mail?

Wouldn't it be nice to cut The Washington Post Live show on Comcast SportsNet (where the check occasionally does come in the mail) down to about an hour instead of 90 minutes and have more guests flat out disagree with each other, rather than the current daily love fest?

Wouldn't it be nice to forever ban Ultimate Fighting from the airwaves, not to mention the pages of my favorite Washington newspaper? It's gratuitous street fighting violence, pure and simple, and spare me the mixed martial arts garbage or readership surveys that say it appeals to potential 18- to 34-year-old readers. You watch this stuff, you don't read.

Wouldn't it be nice to admire Johnny Holliday's long tenure as the still entertaining, informative and energetic voice of Maryland football and basketball, and the only man in America who can do play-by-play in the afternoon and belt out show tunes in dinner theaters by night?

Wouldn't it be nice if Tony Roberts, treated so shabbily by Notre Dame last year, would be allowed to go back and do college football on the radio, preferably near the Golden Dome?

Wouldn't it be nice to say that Dan Hellie and Lindsay Czarniak, with a very tough act to follow, have held their own on Channel 4, despite being given half the time George Michael used to get on the local news?

Wouldn't it be nice if Washington Post radio put a smart, two-hour sports talk show on the air at least once a week, and preferably daily?

Wouldn't it be nice if ESPN covered Barry Bonds minimally when he sort of breaks Hank Aaron's home run record some time in the next few weeks?

Wouldn't it be nice to salute Ernie Baur, now with Comcast SportsNet, for nearly 40 years as one of the most talented sports producers and directors in the Washington television market?

Wouldn't it be nice if somehow Marv Albert could be teamed with Charles Barkley to handle every significant NBA game telecast in perpetuity?

Wouldn't it be nice if Mr. Tony actually clicks with Jaws on Monday Night Football?

Wouldn't it be nice if Joe Theismann gets a chance to talk, and talk, and talk some more about the NFL on a major over-the-air or cable network this season?

Wouldn't it be nice to say congratulations to Brett Haber for winning the Emmy as best local sports anchor for 2006? Though it might have been nicer to give it to George Michael to cap off his memorable anchoring career at Channel 4.

Wouldn't it be nice if Daniel Snyder made himself available for interviews on a regular basis once the Redskins go to training camp instead of hiding behind meaningless press release statements?

Wouldn't it be nice to leave a rainy, windy, chilly Scotland summer behind for 90-degree heat and 100 percent humidity back home in Washington?

And hold the haggis, laddie, it's time to head home for a burger on the Barbie and cold brewskies on the deck.

Leonard Shapiro can be reached at badgerlen@hotmail.com or badgerlen@aol.com.

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