At this very moment, your TV set is probably on. It has to be. This is 1992, and we have just embarked upon the most endlessly maniacal, maniacally endless, hopelessly interminable, interminably hopeless sports year on TV ever. To turn off your television at any instant is to risk missing a stunning piece of sporting history or maybe just a car commercial. Yes, it's a TV jungle out there, and it's hard to tell the tropical berries from the forbidden fruit.
You need help.
I am here to help you.
I would like to make clear at this point that when I say, "I am here to help you," I am not talking about any problems you may be having with your cable bill or your cable reception or your cable pay channels. Just call the phone number you already have, and let that baby ring.
What I am here to do is provide, free of charge, a clip-and-save Discriminating Viewers' Guide to Sports TV in 1992. (Note: The following is a list of scheduled programming and does not account for "technical difficulties" that may interrupt certain telecasts. Like, did you see when NBC had to go to a Japanese feed of the Orange Bowl for 15 minutes on New Year's Day? Can you believe it—it's the national title game on network television in prime time, and we're watching it from a Sony camcorder at a bad angle? So keep in mind that those guys from NBC are always just a lug nut away from getting knocked off the air.)
Super Bowl, Jan. 26 ( CBS): A big, big game". It's always a good idea to have Twister on hand to give you and your guests something to do when the score gets to 42-10.
Winter Olympics, Feb. 8-23 ( CBS, TNT): It's Countdown to McCarver as CBS gears up for 116 hours of programming. More significant, cable intrudes on the Games for the first time: TNT will present 45 hours—all colorized—on weekday afternoons. (At press time it had not yet been determined whether analyst Hubie Brown will be assigned to four-man bobsled or singles luge.)
NFL Draft, April 26 ( ESPN): One Sunday every year, ESPN executives turn over their entire network operation to draft dilettante Mel Kiper Jr., which is equivalent to Politburo leaders turning over the breakup of the Soviet Union to Yakov Smirnoff. Draft day is the scariest non- Dick Vitale six hours on television.
American Kennel Club National Invitational Championship, April 26 ( CBS): Woof, woof. That's right, Bubba, it's a dog show. CBS, of course, is trying to tap into that lucrative 18-34 Saint Bernard market. The network's biggest concern is getting a big-name dog analyst. The telecast will last one hour, or seven hours in dog years.
America's Cup finals, May 9-19 ( ESPN, ABC): Live yachting on TV! Break out the Chardonnay! For those of you who are unable to see this sailing spectacular—almost all of the races will be on cable—you can simulate the viewing experience by simply watching rainwater drip down your kitchen windowpane.