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Television in tight coverage of football

ESPN's 'College GameDay' could have some emotional moments concerning Lee Corso.

September 04, 2009|DIANE PUCIN | ON SPORTS MEDIA

Here we go.

It's football season.

So let's just say this. It's full football overload on television.

On Saturday there are 19 college games available on various networks. And then the NFL begins Thursday.

We trust that you'll be able to find the games you really want to watch, both college and pro. What about all the extras, though? The studio shows, the documentaries. What ex-NFL player is competing on "Dancing With the Stars" and being a show analyst? (Not Warren Sapp this year, but Michael Irvin).

There are highlights, moments that should be worth watching or recording and most emotional will be ESPN's "College GameDay" that on Saturday will be from Atlanta in advance of the ABC Saturday night game between Alabama and Virginia Tech.

"GameDay" is the traveling show that appears at the biggest of college games each weekend, with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso.

It will be worth cheering for Corso, who suffered a stroke in May and has undergone extensive speech and physical therapy so that he could be ready for this season, the 23rd for the popular show. Corso has been around for all 23.

It should be worth checking out "The Tony Barnhart Show" (6 p.m. Tuesday) on the CBS College Sports Network, if you get the channel.

Barnhart, who was a well-respected college sports reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has as his first guests Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to talk about possible Bowl Championship Series antitrust violations, and USC Coach Pete Carroll and Ohio State counterpart Jim Tressel in advance of next weekend's big game.

And Monday at 5 p.m. on the NFL Network, fans of both the Super Bowl and Bruce Springsteen are in luck.

"Working on a Dream: A Super Bowl Journal" will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the 2009 Super Bowl halftime show that was headlined by Springsteen. He narrates the hourlong show.

And then the game begins at 5 p.m. Thursday on Channel 4, Tennessee at Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh. Cris Collinsworth will be doing his first regular-season game as John Madden's replacement and he can't wait.

"There is a level of excitement," Collinsworth said, "there is a buzz about it. . . . It's fun to feel like a kid again."

Can television ever be perfect?

As DirecTV and Versus continue to negotiate so that Versus can get itself kicked back onto DirecTV after being kicked off (contract dispute), there has been angst among DirecTV subscribers who like seeing the various Versus sports offerings.

It's not easy being a television consumer. If you love the NFL, you'll want DirecTV for its Sunday package that offers every game, interactive items and the addictive Red Zone.

But what if you love Olympic sports, many of which are shown on Universal Sports? World swimming or national gymnastics championships -- you had to watch those on Universal. DirecTV doesn't carry Universal.

And what about the NFL Network, NHL Network, NBA Network? Tennis Channel, Golf Channel? What channels do you want in high definition? Do you want to see every second of every game (remember Time Warner's infamous 54-second "glitch" that cost viewers a chance to see Manny Ramirez's grand slam)?

It takes research. Who has what? It probably also takes compromise. And there will come a particular day when you'll be unhappy. Something great will be on and you won't get it. It was sure easier when we had only three or four channels and one or two sporting events a week to watch.

Or maybe not.

Good today

Dallas at Minnesota at 5 p.m. on the NFL Network. Brett Favre might not be scheduled to play but want to bet he'll be talked about? And there will be lots of tennis from the U.S. Open, beginning at 8 a.m. on the Tennis Channel and continuing at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on ESPN2.

Good on Saturday

Some readers have complained that too often the Channel 11 national baseball game of the week has been the Dodgers or Angels. Since we see every Dodgers and Angels game anyway, a few have expressed the desire to see other teams. At 1 p.m., wish granted. The Channel 11 game will be San Francisco at Milwaukee.

Good on Sunday

U.S. Open tennis is on Channel 2 at 8 a.m. and the Tennis Channel at 4 p.m., and the PGA Deutsche Bank Championship is on at noon on Channel 4. Plus the Dodgers-Padres game gets national television on ESPN2 at 5 p.m.


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