You'd better strap yourselves into the ole breakfast nooks for this one, TV Column fans . . .
Sunday night . . . up in New York . . . Jimmy the Greek Snyder threw a punch at CBS' "NFL Today" anchor Brent Musburger in an East Side bar named Peartrees . . . culminating a long afternoon of wrangling on the show over how much air time Jimmy had been getting on the sports show . . .
"Fortunately for my jaw," Musburger said yesterday from Los Angeles, "the Greek's punch is as accurate as his handicapping has been lately . . . wide to the left" . . .
Musburger, who obviously didn't want to talk about it, would add only that he and Jimmy quickly went outside to the sidewalk on First Avenue, made up, and will be together again on Sunday . . . (our source tells us the parting wasn't all THAT friendly) . . .
"We're all good friends on the show," Musburger insisted yesterday . . ." but sometimes the pressures kind of build up over the afternoon . . . it happens" . . .
Snyder yesterday also downplayed the incident . . .
"We're good friends," he said in New York (after a quick trip to Texas to find out who's leading in the presidential race) . . . "After five years together, there's nothing to it . . . it was just a long day" . . .
But friends of both men said yesterday there was a little more to it than frazzled nerves after an afternoon under some hot lights . . .
One CBS Sports insider told us yesterday that on "NFL Today," Musburger has the unhappy task of quarterbacking the team of Phyllis George, Jimmy the Greek and Irv Cross . . .
"Irv never complains," said this source, "he just does his job and gets on with it . . . but Phyllis and Jimmy are always scrapping over how many minutes they get on the air, and because it's up to Brent to bring them into the conversation, they tend to blame him" . . .
Moreover, other sources in New York suggest that Jimmy the Greek has been grumbling about his treatment at the hands of Musburger on the show for "more than a year" . . .
The return of Phyllis George to "The NFL Today" this season has greatly aggravated the situation because she apparently demanded . . . and got . . . assurances she would have considerable air time on the Sunday program if she resumed her career . . .
Each Sunday afternoon . . . "The NFL Today" airs three live versions of the pre-game, half-hour show . . . one at 12:30 p.m. for the East, another at 1:30 for Midwest stations and again at 3:30 for the Pacific Coast . . . in addition to brief half-time breaks during the long afternoon . . .
Each of the half-hour versions includes about 21 minutes of unrehearsed chatter and apparently last Sunday's trouble began on the 12:30 program . . . the one TV Column fans saw before the Redskins-Saints game . . . when a taped Snyder piece (on the possibility of an Ohio high school football coach being named head coach at Notre Dame) didn't lead into a longer conversation on the topic with Musburger after it ended . . .
"From what I heard, Phyllis was putting pressure on Brent all day for more air time," one source at CBS Sports told us yesterday "and that made both Brent and Jimmy sore . . . but Jimmy got even more mad because to him it looked as though Brent decided in her favor" . . .
Although last Sunday was no means the first occasion Jimmy has groused about his air time on the show . . . on this occasion, shortly after 7 p.m., when the day's work was done, the Greek and Musburger repaired to Peartrees . . . where Snyder continued to complain that Brent had leaned too much in George's favor all day . . .
Only one punch was thrown by the bulky Snyder before cooler heads prevailed, however . . .
Another aftermath of the Stormy Sunday: Before leaving for his home base in L.A. . . . Musburger saw to it that flowers were waiting for George when she dropped by CBS Sports on Monday . . .
One would-be peacemaker told us yesterday: "All the people on the show want that air time . . . that's one reason it's a good program . . . they've all done their homework and are fighting to get on" . . .
Incidentally, Snyder thinks Reagan currently has the edge in Texas . . .