Before running down the latest list of provocative and unusual sports broadcasting behavior, I'd like to get on the record regarding two critical issues.

One, I see absolutely no reason for football announcers to insist on speculating incessantly about the exact nature of penalty flags when the referee is going to tell us what the infraction is within seconds.

Two, I am inalterably and unequivocably opposed to the colorization of old-time NFL title game tapes. Bronko Nagurski looks tougher in black and white, anyway.

Now, on with the show:

Future Civilizations Will Condemn Us for Nuclear Weapons, Nixon and Now This: Instant replay as an officiating tool in the NFL remains a horrific mistake -- an inexact, time-consuming eye in the sky that disrupts the flow of games and creates an air of doubt with every close on-the-field call.

It Pays to Advertise, Especially When It's Free: Tim Brown may or may not be the best college football player in the land, but he was a mortal lock to win the Heisman Trophy after CBS' Brent Musburger spent the entire season hyping him during the network's unending coverage of Notre Dame games.

If You're Worried About TV Coverage, Sometimes You Forget About Your Opponent: Several days before Houston's Nov. 22 NFL game against the Cleveland Browns, Oilers General Manager Ladd Herzeg called NBC to complain that the network was using two Cleveland-based announcers, Jim Donovan and Reggie Rucker, on the game. The Oilers lost, 40-7.

Then Again, It Pays to Worry About the Folks Who Pay the Bills: Sports Marketing News reports that after Syracuse beat Pitt in a nationally televised football game, a commentator followed Syracuse Coach Dick MacPherson off the field and asked him about his strategy. MacPherson's response: "I kept the ball on the ground during the last few minutes because I knew CBS had to end the game by 6 p.m."

An Unmatched Day at the Races: NBC's Breeders' Cup coverage may be attracting fewer and fewer viewers each year, but it remains a first-class production, highlighted by Harvey Pack's wonderful off-Broadway act.

Yeah, Right, and Walter Mondale Would've Won the '84 Election if ABC Hadn't Made So Many Projections Before the Polls Closed: NBC whined and whined and whined that CBS hurt the ratings of NBC's "Skins Game" golf Nov. 29 by reporting the results before the tape-delayed event aired later in the day. (Footnote: These two mud wrestling networks deserve each other -- CBS, although it says otherwise, obviously was trying to sabotage its competitor; NBC, meanwhile, did not use a disclaimer telling viewers that the "Skins Game" was on tape, not live.)

Just Because We Lay on a Couch When We Watch Games Doesn't Mean We Want to Listen to a Shrink: To spice up an otherwise drab Chiefs-Lions NFL matchup on Thanksgiving, NBC used a sports psychologist, Eric Margenau, to analyze state-of-the-mind issues regarding both teams. Other than correctly forecasting Kansas City's victory, Margenau had little to offer.

And You Thought All They Could Do Is Type: "The Sportswriters on TV," a one-hour weekly show, is available to 5 million cable subscribers nationwide. The Chicago-based show, a creation of former columnist Bill Gleason, features four sportswriters in a cigar smoke-filled panel discussion about sports.

If You're Keeping Score, ABC Wins This One by a Shutout: All season long, ABC outdistanced CBS on their college football halftime reports. To wit, Nov. 28 -- while CBS' Jim Nantz was doing an "exclusive" on how Army kidnapped Navy's mascot goat (to hype the Army-Navy game on CBS the next weekend), ABC's Al Trautwig was conducting a fascinating panel discussion on the issue of agents and college athletes.

The Same Thing Happens When You Play the Same Lottery Number for a Month and Then Switch: For what is believed to be the first time in modern recorded history, CBS' Jimmy The Greek picked against the Los Angeles Raiders on Nov. 29. The Raiders beat the Seattle Seahawks the next night, 37-14.

If You're Going to Take the Low Road, You Might as Well Hold Your Head Up High: WUSA-TV-9 sportscaster Glenn Brenner, on a recent 11 p.m. newscast, said: "Some sports departments show {highlights of} gratuitous hockey violence just for the sake of showing gratuitous hockey violence. We at Channel 9 like to think we're above that. But who are we kidding? So here's some gratuitous hockey violence . . ."