Wednesday, January 2, 2008
TV EYE:Macho Slaps and Giggles
Despite the presence of the same cacophony of hearty backslapping and manly tittering that seems to be the essential element of all of the television NFL pre and post game shows, the Fox version, Fox NFL Sunday (Sunday, 12:00 PM), seems to coast above the rest. The cast of characters –Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson, Curt Menefee, Jay Glazier, Jillian Barberie and Frank Caliendo—mixes the mirth and football reportage as well as any of them, and the spirited jocksville repartee appears to be more authentic than the rest, and it’s certainly more palatable. The show thankfully lacks a stiff (like Bill Cowher), a big mouth (like Keyshawn Johnson), a know-it-all (like Chris Collingsworth), or a cheerleader (like jolly Chris Berman), and it does its quick mix of entertainment and info with an easy panache the other shows lack. Bradshaw remains the focal point, a hard-to-dislike combo of self-depreciation, genuine football ardor, and country-boy shtick, pumping along with an air of legitimate spontaneity that behooves the reality that it’s all about a goddamned bigtime sport rather than a matter of national security.