CALGARY -- We're about halfway through the XV Winter Olympics, and yet, it's still hard to tell all the ABC Sports announcers apart. The problem is, they share so much in common -- almost all of them, for instance, wear ABC Sports jackets, and most of them have a working knowledge of English.
They also usually follow the ABC Sports manual on announcing. Section II, Rule 3A: "When in doubt, talk." Section II, Rule 3B: "When not in doubt, shout."
To help sort out the mess, it's time to play that quadrennial TV game: Carnac the Magnificent's ABC Olympics Jeopardy! This will tell you Who's Who and Who's Not on the screen. And the person getting the most questions correct wins a Swanson's Salisbury Steak TV dinner entree (microwavable); just go to your local grocer's express-lane checkout and tell the cashier it's on me.
(Contest deadline: When the torch goes out. Void where prohibited by law. All employees of The Washington Post and their families and ABC and its affiliates are not eligible. Art Fleming, Alex Trebek and Ed McMahon also are not eligible. Offer may expire before any prizes are awarded.) A: Jim McKay.
Q: Who is ABC Sports, the Olympic movement, Maryland thoroughbred racing and down-to-earth goodness rolled into one?
A: Al Michaels.
Q: Who is ABC Sports' best broadcaster?
A: Gary Bender.
Q: Who is ABC Sports' worst broadcaster?
A: Sam Posey and Mike Adamle.
Q: Who are ABC Sports' worst broadcasters on Gary Bender's days off?
A: Curt Gowdy.
Q: Who is the only broadcaster here with a son (Curt Gowdy Jr.) also working here as a producer?
A: Jim Palmer.
Q: Who is the only one of Al Michaels' "Monday Night Football" and "Monday Night Baseball" broadcasting partners not here?
A: Nelson Burton Jr.
Q: Who is the only ABC Sports commentator other than Jim Palmer not at the Olympics?
A: Dick Button.
Q: How do you clear a crowded elevator in 30 seconds?
A: Bob Beattie.
Q: Who's the only person who would be left in the elevator with Dick Button after 30 seconds?
A: Keith Jackson.
Q: Is college football a demonstration sport at these Games?
A: Frank Gifford.
Q: Who did late-night co-host Kathie Lee Gifford recently marry?
A: Kathie Lee Gifford.
Q: Who did late-night co-host Frank Gifford recently marry?
A: Frank and Kathie Lee Gifford.
Q: Who should be honeymooning instead of hosting the late-night wrap-up show?
A: Frank Gifford, Cheryl Miller and Lynn Swann.
Q: Which ABC Sports announcers went to Southern Cal?
A: Southern Cal.
Q: Which Pac-10 Conference school might re-evaluate the quality of its broadcasting curriculum?
A: Jiggs McDonald.
A: Becky Dixon, Jim Hill, Cheryl Miller and Lynn Swann.
Q: Why? Why? Why? And why?