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

1. I watched the local news the other night and couldn't believe what I saw: They covered all the sports in the day in, like, under five minutes.

2. If we're starting rival sports networks, I'll take Al Michaels, Joe Buck and Marv Albert and give you the field.

3. The last time I watched a regular season baseball game from start to finish on TV, the patient in the hospital bed next to me requested a private room.

4. I was about to turn on The Golf Channel the other day and then I realized I was about to turn on The Golf Channel, and, well, reason prevailed.

5. If they ever bring bullfighting back on TV, that'll give Jim Gray another gig.

6. A friend called to tell me that Cody Gifford -- Frank and Kathie Lee's kid -- is a teen sportscaster on some Saturday morning show. Instinctively, I hung up.

7. Q. What's the difference between Tim McCarver and an appendicitis? A. My health care plan covers the appendicitis.

8. If John McEnroe is a prime-time talk show host, then Paris, Texas, is the capital of France.

(Quotable Intermission I: Grazing my cable universe in prime time, I am reminded of what David Frost once said, "Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn't have in your home.")

9. I'm not much on ratings, but I'm told that "I, Max" on Fox Sports Net is beaten consistently by "If Walls Could Talk" on Home & Gardening TV.

10. If the History Channel gave out frequent viewer miles like the airlines gave out frequent flier miles, I'd have priority seating in front of every TV set.

11. The other night I was dreaming in German -- of which I do not understand a word -- so you can imagine my delight when Chris Berman popped up anchoring "SportsCenter."

12. If there were a drive-thru confessional booth, I would've used it just after watching curling on NBC.

13. Waiting for Larry Merchant to complete a thought on HBO is the TV equivalent of trying to pass a kidney stone.

14. If the folks at ABC Sports televised the Last Supper like they do golf, they'd cut away before dessert.

15. Bob Costas should never be standing trackside holding an umbrella and a $2 ticket.

16. Okay, so I was watching darts the other night on Fox Sports Net. Why wouldn't I?

(Quotable Intermission II: Grazing my cable universe in the wee hours, I am reminded of what Travis Bickle said in "Taxi Driver," "Some day a real rain will come and wash all the scum off the streets.")

17. If I'm in a bar and Rowdy Gaines walks in, I'm on the wagon from that moment on.

17a. If I'm in a bar and David Feherty walks in, I'm hoping last call never comes.

18. If they made a TV set with windshield wipers, I wouldn't hesitate to watch "Airline" on A&E while showering.

19. According to the precepts of the Geneva Conventions, "The Best Damn Sports Show Period" cannot be shown to prisoners of war.

20. I threw out my alarm clock and replaced it with Kevin Harlan.

21. When ESPN celebrates its 250th anniversary, man, that's going to be some programming block.

22. I lower the shades when I'm watching billiards on TV -- not because I'm embarrassed, but for better ambiance.

23. Bowling just strikes me right!

Ask the Slouch

Q. How would you explain Bobby Fischer? (David Gross; Wall, N.J.)

A. I don't think he's ever been the same since Reykjavik -- Reykjavik's a tough town. Plus, living as a recluse, I guarantee you he watched too much TV.

Q. Do you need talent for your new Indoor Life Network? I'm well over 200 pounds, with a remote-control trigger finger that the Outlaw Josey Wales or Seth Bullock would envy. (Bill Roland; Pittsburgh)

A. Once financial backing is secured, you're first call.

Q. Does Rolling Rock go best with pasta, beef or fish? (Tim Entenok; Cleveland)

A. I'm no James Beard, but I just had a couple of Rolling Rocks with half a bag of Chips Ahoy.

Q. Why isn't poker an Olympic event? (Tom Bruno; Athens, N.Y.)

A. Smoking and drinking are disallowed at all Olympic venues.

Q. Reading your column, I've come to realize why women divorce you. What I don't really understand is why they marry you. (Julia Saks; Reisterstown, Md.)

A. Pay the lady, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. E-mail asktheslouch@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!