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SHOW OF THE WEEK

January 26, 1986|HOWARD ROSENBERG

SUPER BOWL XX, Sunday (4) (36) (39)--Super Bowl or super-bull, take your choice.

Here's the scoop on Sunday's championship clash between the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots on NBC. You can count on as much pregame and postgame as game-game. And that doesn't include the already aired pre-pregame: Saturday night's hourlong Super Bowl salute hosted by NBC's big-yardage man, Bob Hope, plus several other pre-pregame programs.

NBC's crack NFL announcing team of Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen will be in New Orleans to describe the action on the field as the underdog Patriots try to crack the Bears' vaunted defense, which enters the Super Bowl following consecutive shutouts of the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams.

So much for the game, whose kickoff is set for 2 p.m.

The pregame mystery is how NBC will fill its two-hour Bob Costas-hosted pregame show (noon-2 p.m.) while keeping its promise to refrain from the usual interviews of bar patrons and opposing coaches and players. It's already committed to a mid-pregame show "potty break," during which the screen will go dark for a minute, preceded by a 30-second intro. You can't have a Super Bowl "potty break" without an intro.

Even more exciting: At about 1:30 p.m. (that's after the you-know-what break), the pregame show will present "NBC Nightly News" anchorman Tom Brokaw's "exclusive" live five-to-seven-minute interview with President Reagan from the White House. The "exclusive" must mean that Brokaw will be the only anchorman to interview Reagan during the Super Bowl.

What will Brokaw and the Gipper gab about? Celebrated Bear lineman William (The Refrigerator) Perry? Reagan's days as a sportscaster in Illinois? (Oh, please, anything but that again.) No one knows for sure what will happen, except that Brokaw will get the kind of mass-audience exposure NBC feels he must have to gain Nielsen ratings on Dan Rather and "The CBS EveningNews." And Reagan will get the kind of free exposure he doesn't need, but will be happy to accept in the spirit of self-promotion.

If this means that Reagan will now forgo his usual stilted obligatory call to the winner's locker room after the game, then you have to stand up and applaud, even if Brokaw and the President put each other and the nation to sleep for seven minutes.

Meanwhile, NBC has been just as mysterious about its scheduled half-hour postgame show, except to say that Larry King has requested assignment to the loser's locker room. Failing that, he could interview Nancy.

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