These are 23 (more) facts, tried and true, about the widening world of sports television:
1. Watching the TV talking heads during presidential campaign coverage, I now realize I have been way too hard on Shannon Sharpe.
2. One day, I believe, ESPN will colonize Antarctica.
3. I used to have six or eight channels and couldn't wait to turn the TV on; I now have 60 or 80 channels and can't wait to turn the TV off.
4. Sadly, my health insurance does not cover emotional damage from gazing upon "Lou Dobbs Tonight" or "Worst Week."
5. Is it my imagination, or is Wednesday the only night of the week there's no college football on?
6. I saw myself recently on HDTV. I don't have a face for radio, I have a face for ham radio.
7. They say that marijuana is a gateway drug to more serious substance abuse. Sporting-wise, I view baseball's newfangled replay review as a similar threat.
8. China has so many TV sets, right now somebody in Beijing is watching Milton Berle.
(Column Intermission I: I have found an antidote to mindlessly watching sports TV every weekend. According to the New York Times, a Buddhist temple in Thailand offers, for a small fee, the chance to climb into a coffin while monks chant a dirge, then climb out again cleansed and reborn. I'm going to do this during March Madness, and I am also recommending this to everyone at ESPN.)
9. If the marketplace drives America, how is there not a women's beach volleyball network?
10. With Chris Russo now beamed worldwide on satellite radio, I sure hope Martians don't have weapons of mass destruction.
11. I wonder what Jim Lampley does in the six weeks off he gets between Olympic Games.
12. Barack Obama wants everyone to be able to afford a college education; I believe this runs afoul of NCAA bylaws.
13. If I could make a citizen's arrest on TV, Nancy Grace would be in a police lineup tomorrow.
14. I watch the NFL Network more than I should, particularly on Mondays. It beats "Ellen."
15. Eventually, there will be a Little League World Series of Poker and, inevitably, spoilsports will complain that 12-year-olds shouldn't be gambling.
16. Do you know of anyone who has ever bought a radio at Radio Shack?
(Column Intermission II: The Cleveland Browns must go at least 9-7 or I lose a bet to ESPN Radio's too talkative Colin Cowherd. I'm begging of you, Romeo Crennel: Change quarterbacks. Now, I don't want to come to Cleveland on my day off, BUT I WILL IF I HAVE TO. So, Romeo, please put in Brady Quinn or Ken Dorsey or the third person you see in line at Jamba Juice -- or I'll just stay in that Buddhist coffin.)
17. Folks will scoff at me, but Brent Musburger sounds better on my black-and-white TV.
18. When I'm dead, I assume I'll finally be free of instant replay.
18a. Then again, I might throw the challenge flag when they point me toward purgatory.
19. IHOP and Applebee's are now under the same corporate umbrella. This would be like "The Boomer Esiason Show" and "The Tim McCarver Show" being televised in the same cable hour.
20. A friend of mine who is in prison will work a double shift of laundry detail before he'll watch "The Best Damn Sports Show Period."
21. Sarah Palin is a "hockey mom." That locks up the Versus vote.
22. By the end of a day with ESPNews' unceasing, unparalleled "College Football Overdrive," it is entirely possible you will have seen every play of every college football game.
23. I've got to stop putting the WNBA playoffs before my family.
Q. Every time I watch ESPNews, all the anchors seem to have a pen in hand but they never write anything. What's up with that? (Nick Wineriter; Gaithersburg)
A. The pen is a prop, intended to ascribe a degree of intellectual gravitas to the anchor, much as President Bush often wears a suit.
Q. Will karma exact retribution on the guys who shout "In the hole!" the second after every putt is hit, or should we be taking vengeance into our own hands? (Mark Ferrel; Frederick)
A. If you take vengeance into your own hands, you have my blessing.
Q. Have arrogance, greed, selfishness, provincialism, indifference, advertising, TV, pop culture and big-money sports ruined America? (Jorge Suarez; Cleveland)
A. Is this a trick question?
Q. Since O.J. Simpson has been convicted of a felony, does he lose his Heisman voting privileges? (Jon Turk; Solon, Ohio)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
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