SPORTSCASTER OF THE YEAR—Bob Costas of NBC for his play-by-play on baseball, his nose for news in the studio and his ability to inform and entertain while not drawing attention to himself.
THE MALE CHAUVINIST PIG RIBBON—To Billy Packer of CBS for his questionable choice of words during the Pan Am Games. After commenting on U.S. basketball center Jennifer Gillom's "pleasant face," Packer, though he is a longtime supporter of women's athletics, opined that she'll probably "raise a big family" and make someone a "good cook" one day.
BEST-EDITED SPECIAL—1) Run To Glory ( NBC). A sometimes lyrical, sometimes riveting one-hour documentary on the '86 Breeders' Cup by NFL Films and SMTI. 2) The Tour de France ( CBS), a one-hour overview with original music composed by Entertainment Tonight cohost John Tesh. 3) The tape-delay of the Hagler-Leonard fight ( HBO). More than just a tape rerun, it lent perspective to a historic moment.
WORST STUDIO COHOSTS—A tie between Becky Dixon of ABC's Wide World Of Sports and Jim Hill of ABC's College Football Scoreboard. Dixon doesn't seem to know sports, and Hill can't handle breaking news.
OUR FIRST DUMB-DUMB SHOTS—Jack Nicholson, shown again and again by CBS rooting for the Lakers during the NBA playoffs. (Yes, SI did a piece on him, too.)
BEST INTERVIEW—Brent Musburger's skeptical, persistent, yet fair questioning of Isiah Thomas on the Larry Bird tempest during the NBA playoffs ( CBS). Thomas insisted he had been joking when he said Bird would be "just another good" player if he were black.
WORST INTERVIEW—Frank Gifford's spacy chitchat with union head Gene Upshaw the first week of the players' strike ( ABC). Upshaw revealed he had been in touch with a "mystery" figure who might aid in ending the walkout, but Gifford never asked who the mystery man was. (It later turned out to be Pete Rozelle.)
THE MOST SHAMELESS PROMO—Brent Musburger's CBS-ordered 65-second cutaway during halftime of the NFC championship game to Mariette Hartley and Roland Smith, on the set of CBS's short-lived Morning Program. "Hi, Roland!" "Hi, Mariette!" "Hi, Brent!" Then Roland showed us his new refrigerator. Yeccch!
BEST JOURNALISM—1) NFL Lives pointed, comprehensive coverage of the players' strike ( NBC). 2) ESPN reporter Jim Gray's newsbreaking interview with Eric Dickerson about his trade to Indianapolis.
WORST JOURNALISM—The CBS two-hour Super Bowl pregame show. A contrived mix of personalities, network promos and puff pieces about the super hoopla. Not a single mention of the deep animosity between Giants owners Wellington and Tim Mara.