? SI's Under Review-ers Choice Awards recall highs and lows of sports broadcasting in 2002:
Personality of the Year
Charles Barkley. Only TV spiritualist John Edward crossed over better than Barkley did in 2002. TNT's lightning-rod studio host branched out beyond basketball with his own talk show (Listen Up!), a weekly spot on CNN's TalkBack Live and his straight-talkin' book I May Be Wrong But I Doubt It. Whether discussing cross burning ("If someone burns a cross in your yard, please shoot them) or homosexuals ("I have a lot of gay friends—I don't wanna kiss 'em, but I love them!"), Barkley creates controversy.
Bad Timing Award
NBC's Saturday Night Live, which showed a rerun featuring host Derek Jeter smacking baseballs into the crowd and audience members doubling over in faux injury. The show aired March 30, two weeks after Brittanie Cecil, 13, died from being hit by a puck at a Blue Jackets game.
HBO's :03 Seconds from Gold The one-hour show, which examines the final moments of the U.S.- Soviet Union gold medal basketball game at the 1972 Olympics, features rare practice footage and revealing interviews with the Soviet athletes.
Fight of the Year
CBS hoops analyst Billy Packer and ESPN's Dick Vitale mixed it up on Outside the Lines as Packer blasted Vitale for breathlessly hyping players ( LeBron James in particular) and described himself and Vitale as "unsavory characters." Vitale called Packer's criticism "ludicrous" and "absurd."
Poseidon Adventure Award
Three-way tie among ESPN's Mohr Sports, ESPN's Around the Horn and ESPN basketball analyst Tim Hardaway. Mohr, an unwatchable collision of comedy and sports, was canceled, but the other disasters—Hardaway stumbles and mumbles on air; Horn's game-show format is headache-inducing—grind on.