Still, CBS was hoping that a rip-roaring postseason would help make up for some of its bad luck. The first game of the ALCS on the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 8, drew an 11.6 rating, better than an average Tuesday night at CBS, but still disappointing. The next night's National League opener was better, drawing 14.0.
Just when things were looking up for CBS, along came the resumption of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, which, with their lurid flavor, captured the nation's attention. According to A.C. Nielsen's survey of 25 television markets on Friday night, when Judge Thomas was testifying on ABC and NBC and the Twins and Blue Jays were playing Game 3 of the ALCS, the overnight ratings were a blowout: The hearing attracted a combined 26.5 on the two networks, while CBS's baseball coverage drew a 10.1—believed to be the smallest audience ever for a prime-time postseason baseball game.
Ironically, CBS finally got a terrific game on Friday night, with the Twins defeating the Blue Jays 3-2 in 10 innings. The Washington senators, however, beat both of them.
A Familiar Ring
George Foreman's next foe is not that Jimmy Ellis
When it was announced recently that 42-year-old George Foreman had signed for a Dec. 7 fight with Jimmy Ellis, some people immediately assumed that Foreman had finally found a fighter close to his age, namely, the Jimmy Ellis who was the WBA heavyweight champ in 1968. Unfortunately for vintage fight huffs, and perhaps for Big George himself, this Jimmy Ellis is a 27-year-old former ML linebacker from Boise, Idaho, and not the 51-year-old from Louisville.
Did Foreman know which Jimmy Ellis he was getting? "Of course I knew," says Foreman. "I just hope he is not as good a boxer as the first Jimmy Ellis." For-his part, the new Ellis wants to make it clear he is neither a potato farmer, as early reports had it, nor a tomato can. He grew up in Redondo Beach, Calif., where he played high school football and sparred regularly with his older brother, John, a professional heavyweight. Jimmy went to Boise State on a football scholarship even though, he says, "I didn't know where Idaho was." Drafted in 1987 by the Los Angeles Raiders, Ellis saw action during that season's players' strike but was cut when the walkout ended. He returned to Boise to finish his degree and then headed for the gym.
"I figured he was there to work off some aggression, but he stuck with it." says John, who is now his brother's trainer, promoter and. along with Raider Howie Long, co-manager. Unlike his namesake, the 6'3", 225-pound Ellis is not a slick boxer. Since turning pro in February 1989, he has a record of 16-0-1 with 15 knockouts. "I'm used to slamming into guys and knocking them around." he says.
Now Ellis is eager to knock around the venerable Foreman. "I was a kid listening on the radio when he fought Ali," says Ellis. "But when I get in the ring, I can't worry about respect. I want to make sure that when people hear the name Jimmy Ellis, they think of me."