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All Offbeat, All the Time
Steve Rushin
November 09, 1998
Put them all together, and the eccentric tidbits of sports TV add up to a heavenly lineup
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November 09, 1998

All Offbeat, All The Time

Put them all together, and the eccentric tidbits of sports TV add up to a heavenly lineup

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We know God has a broad sense of humor, and basic cable, which is how theologians explain Beano Cook. Surely, then, a day of programming in the afterlife would be filled with buried treasures, guilty pleasures and Best-Of specials—in short, our favorite things on Earth TV, on one convenient station. The TV listings in Heaven, for the week of All Eternity:

8 a.m.: When Bad Names Happen to Good Abs
Squat-thrust your cares away with Kiana, Deprise, Shawnae and the other oddly monikered exercise exhibitionists of ESPN2's workout programs. To those who say these shows are little more than hair, oil and the elevation of dumbbells, we say, So's Barry Melrose. (Brief Nudity.)

Noon: When Coaches Attack VI
Highlights of the week's most riveting NFL postgame press conferences. See Jim Mora stalk off the dais, leaving cameras to linger, Bergman-like, on his sweating water glass. Watch Marty Schottenheimer rant delusionally, like a Roman emperor in need of Ritalin. Recoil in horror as misanthrope Bill Parcells treats his fellow man with the contempt and condescension of your average French waiter. Guest star: Mike Ditka. (Language, Violence.)

Commercial break: Reebok advertises its popular sneaker—Allen Iverson's The Answer—allowing couch potatoes everywhere to respond, "And The Question is, 'What's wrong with the NBA?' "

2 p.m.: The World's Strongest Man Competition ESPN's
wildly entertaining series of contests—which were either taped serially in 1978 or feature the least fashionable fans in all of sport; honestly, it is difficult to tell which—is invariably won by Icelandic behemoth Magnus ver Magnusson. Magnus[2] especially excels at that event in which one stands inside an automobile frame, hoists the car up to one's elbows and then sprints with it for a couple miles—a Flintstonian ballet of strength and agility. (May Contain Scenes of Caber Tossing.)

4 p.m.: NFL Films Festival
Our four-hour marathon begins with The Placekickers, 30 minutes of slow-motion squib-kicking set to swelling orchestral arrangements. A Steadicam follows the breath of George Blanda as it curls, steaming, from his mouth. (And it's not even cold outside. George, babe, pop a Velamint!) Watch for as little as five minutes and you would happily lay down your life for Jan Stenerud, proving once again that as effective propagandists go, Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl had nothing on the Sabol family. (Explicit Halitosis.)

8 p.m.: Gaelic Hurling
The sport, not the St. Patrick's Day activity. (Extreme Violence. May Not Be Appropriate for Younger Viewers. Or Older Viewers. Or Middle-Aged Viewers.)

10 p.m.: The Best of Bobby Murcer's "Seinfeld" Promos
In this regional favorite, originally aired on New York's WPIX, the Yankees broadcaster expresses exasperation to partner Tommy John whenever he is forced to read teasers for the Seinfeld reruns that follow Bombers night games. Example: "Tonight on Seinfeld, Jerry and the gang try to be...'masters of their domain.' What the heck is that supposed to mean, T.J.?" (Closed Captioned for the Mentally Lucid.)

Midnight: Infomercials for George Foreman's Grilling Machine and Greg Norman's Secret
George Foreman's Grilling Machine is a nutritional way to cook chicken. On Earth, Greg Norman's Secret is a golf gadget. In Heaven, it's what really happened to Bill Clinton that night he blew out his knee at the Shark estate in Florida. (Strong Sexual Content.)

5 a.m.: Sign-off
Footage of Marvin Gaye's lascivious three-hour R&B version of The Star-Spangled Banner, as performed at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles. (Adult Themes, Strong Sexual Content, Brief Nudity.)

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