? Fox Sports Net's The NFL Show is usually an exercise in lackluster tomfoolery, but last Saturday's installment was a welcome exception, and you can thank a guest appearance by (don't fall out of your chair) Eric Dickerson. During his two seasons as a sideline reporter on ABC's Monday Night Football, Dickerson was lambasted and lampooned for his ineffectual interviewing skills and weakness as a reporter. But as part of FSN's roundtable he offered insight on the often highly effective art of cutback running and took the Cowboys' Troy Hambrick to task for knocking Emmitt Smith. Clearly, Dickerson was the wrong choice to put on the sideline, but if some network gives him a shot as a panelist, he could be a find.
?Unlike his TNT colleague Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson is no recent convert to the Tao of Yao. Here's what Johnson told SI before the season: "I think Yao Ming will make probably the biggest impact of any player ever coming from international basketball. He has the skill level to be a great player in the NBA. I remember everybody kept talking about [Arvydas] Sabonis before he came over and how he would do. It was a shame that by the time he got here, his knee was hurting. Now we have a healthy Yao Ming surrounded by great players in Houston. It's going to be exciting."
? Bill Walton will have offsetting allegiances when he works as the analyst on ESPN's telecast of the Dec. 7 Arizona-San Diego State basketball game. Walton's boy Luke, the third oldest of his four sons, is an All-America forward for the Wildcats. Chris Walton, Bill's youngest, will redshirt this season for San Diego State.