THE HEIDI-HEIDI AWARD—To HBO in the aftermath of the Arguello-Pryor fight. Instead of staying at ringside to check on Arguello's condition after he was knocked cold, HBO cut to a regularly scheduled movie about a werewolf that terrorizes plain old folks who mind their own business.
BEST SPECIAL EFFECT—Producer Mike Weisman's black-and-white machine-gun montage of baseball and American history preceding most World Series games ( NBC). Our attention riveted to the set, we picked up more history each night.
WORST COMMENTARY—Tommy Lasorda on the NL playoffs ( ABC). He bombarded us with his repertory of after-dinner jokes. What we wanted was analysis. Clearly the front-runner for next year's George Jessel of the Dugout Award.
BEST INTENSITY—ESPN's 6�-hour coverage of the decisive John McEnroe- Mats Wilander match in the Davis Cup quarterfinals. The main reason tennis adopted the tiebreaker was to satisfy the needs of conventional TV. ESPN proved that the old format, with its cumulative tensions, can pack more wallop.
BIGGEST SLIPPAGE, TV ANNOUNCER—Bill Russell ( CBS). Once refreshing, he mumbles worse than ever during NBA games, tunes out the action and doesn't seem to do much homework. If he doesn't care about the game he's watching, why should we?
HEIDI TRASH-BAG AWARD—To NBC for airing the World Belly Flop and Cannonball Diving Championships before a crowd of female surtbathers. If you've seen a 413-pound man on fire as he dives into a pool, you've seen it all.
MOST HEARTWARMING SHOTS—1) Georgetown Basketball Coach John Thompson hugging the Hoyas' Fred Brown after Brown's game-ending turnover in the NCAA basketball final ( CBS). 2) Bengal QB Ken Anderson carrying his son off the field to the strains of The Winner Takes It All after Cincinnati lost the Super Bowl ( CBS).
MOST CUTTING CANDOR—To Beano Cook, the middle-aged rookie on ABC's college football pregame and halftime shows. He mocked Vanderbilt (which finished the season 8-3), laughed at NCAA "brain power" commercials, derided Big Ten football and was invited back for next year. Good for ABC.
WORST PRIME-TIME PROGRAMMING—ABC's Battle of the Network Stars. This gets a 10 on our yecch scale: a pretentious vehicle that allowed Cosell to call sitcom stars "Baby" and to interview a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader.
Finally, lest you think us needlessly national, we present the first annual Heidi Spittoons for Bone-headedness and/or Bad Taste in Local Sports Coverage. This year we award two spittoons: 1) To Stu Klitenic of WJBK-TV, Detroit. Last April when Jack Dempsey took ill in New York, Klitenic went on the air to report: "Former heavyweight champ Joe Louis has been taken to the hospital in critical condition tonight. We'll keep you up to date on his condition." Louis had died 12 months earlier, but that didn't keep Klitenic from subsequently getting a promotion.