sizzling & fizzling
Who Was Hot and Who Was Not
?Rare is the NFL analyst who forcefully questions a coaching decision, as Fox's John Madden did when he said the Patriots were making a mistake by not playing for overtime instead of attempting to drive from deep in their own territory for a game-winning field goal. Rarer still is the analyst who admits on the air that he was mistaken, as Madden did on Sunday.
?Amid a sea of similar Super Bowl storylines, ESPN's Outside the Lines distinguished itself with a terrific feature on: the Wilson Football factory in Aida, Ohio, which made the game balls.
?Of all of Fox's patriotic pregame features, none was better than a moving reading of the Declaration of Independence by past and present NFL stars.
?We know Fox had five hours of pregame programming to fill, but the segment featuring a half-dressed Jillian Barbarie canoodling at French Quarter hot spots with celebrity flotsam such as Tara Reid was nauseating--even by the usually low pregame standards.
?He may have been a Beatle, but what on earth was Paul McCartney doing on Fox's on-field set during halftime? We would much rather have seen more of U2's mesmerizing performance.
?It was weird that Fox chose to follow a classy postgame tribute to the retiring Pat Summerall with NASCAR analyst Darrell Waltrip's and star driver Jeff Gordon's hawking of the network's upcoming coverage of the Subway 400.
NBC 5 PM
NBA All-Star Game
Air got the better of Heir the last time Michael and Kobe hooked up in an All-Star Game. In 1998 Jordan scored 23—Bryant had 18—to win MVP honors.
Saturday 2/9—Friday 2/15
NBC, CNBC, MSNBC
Winter Olympics: Week I
There's no business like snow business—at least for NBC. Among the opening week must-see-TV highlights: the men's downhill (coverage starts at 8 p.m.) on Sunday and the women's downhill (8 p.m.) on Monday. NBC's prime-time coverage kicks off at 8 p.m. during the week while CNBC morphs into the Hockey Channel every night at 6 p.m. For those who can't get enough curling, MSNBC (1 p.m. to 6 p.m.) is the place to be.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]