The game was dubbed Super Bowl 41 1/2, and it drew an audience almost worthy of
the annual February TV-palooza. CBS had a 22.5 Nielsen rating (33.8 million
viewers) for the Patriots-Colts game on Nov. 4, the highest-rated
regular-season Sunday-afternoon NFL telecast on any network.
ILL-ADVISED ATTEMPT TO DISCUSS BRITNEY SPEARS
In a bizarre moment ESPN announcer Mike Patrick interrupted edge-of-the seat
overtime action between Georgia and Alabama on Sept. 22 to ask partner Todd
Blackledge an important question: "What is Britney doing with her
life?" Blackledge's incredulous response ("Britney who?... Why do we
care?") gave voice to every viewer, and the 54-second clip has since been
viewed on YouTube more than 400,000 times. Later explaining his Spears
daydreaming, Patrick told USA Today, "I have a weird sense of humor and
thought this was funny." Only to Kevin Federline, Mike.
The protruding prosthetic numbers worn by actor John Turturro (right) during
his finely tuned and chillingly realistic portrayal of Yankees manager Billy
Martin in ESPN's otherwise flat miniseries The Bronx Is Burning.
UNUSUAL TALK-SHOW APPEARANCE
Knicks guard Stephon Marbury's July 1 sit-down on New York's WNBC-TV devolved
into absurdist theater. During a live, rambling interview with anchor Bruce
Beck, Marbury took a cellphone call ("That's my better half, my better ho,
my wife," he stumbled), tried to teach Beck how to dance while Beck read
highlights, and generally appeared to be a three-point shot away from the funny
DISSATISFYING MOMENT FOR HOCKEY FANS
At 4:40 p.m. EDT, on May 19, NBC left its overtime coverage of Game 5 of the
Sabres-Senators Eastern Conference finals to switch to the Preakness. That
meant puck lovers who didn't have the cable network Versus (it was then in
about 72 million homes) were shut out when Daniel Alfredsson scored to send
Ottawa to the Stanley Cup finals.
UNPRODUCTIVE DEPLOYMENT OF TV EQUIPMENT
ESPN dedicated 19 cameras—one in the sky, two on the goalposts—to following
David Beckham (below) during his July 21 MLS debut, a friendly against Chelsea.
Beckham spent all but 12 minutes on the Galaxy bench nursing a swollen