Two strong interviews last week plumbed the pitfalls of celebrity. On ESPN's Outside the Lines, Jeremy Schaap talked to a vulnerable, contrite Joe Namath about the former Jet's drinking problems. Namath, for the first time, acknowledged he'd been drinking before he told sideline reporter Suzy Kolber on the Dec. 20 Jets-patriots telecast that he "couldn't care less about the team struggling" and wanted to kiss her. Namath also told Schaap he's entered rehab. "He knew the issues that had to be addressed," Schaap told SI. "He was very accommodating. He saw this as an opportunity to clear the air." On HBO's Real Sports, Armen Keteyian elicited a chilling view of the Jayson Williams manslaughter case from Dean Bumbaco, an acquaintance of Williams's who was at the former NBA star's mansion the night limousine driver Costas Christofi was killed. According to Bumbaco, Williams spent the moments after the shooting wiping his
fingerprints from the gun and planting it in Christofi's hands. Then, Bumbaco said, Williams stripped and showered to get the gunshot residue off his body. (On the show a spokesperson for Williams's lawyers read a statement denying Bumbaco's version of the events.) In a morbidly fascinating moment Bumbaco recalled Williams earlier in the evening declaring, "I'm the king of New Jersey. My money is as long as train smoke."
The Panthers' win over the Eagles put the U.S.'s 27th-largest market into the Super Bowl, instead of its fourth largest, but CBS isn't concerned. "A 40-plus rating (more than 42 million homes) is the magic line, and that's achievable no matter who's in," says CBS Sports president Sean McManus, noting that every Super Bowl since '91 has hit that mark. "The game is bulletproof, with one caveat: You don't want a game out of hand by the third quarter. People will switch off."