Wake up, it's time to go to the game


The TV repairman: COMMONERS WHO enjoy watching the rich, powerful and arrogant squirm have their own NFL trifecta working this weekend. They want to see San Francisco, Miami and the Los Angeles Raiders win to see what the league will do with two conference championships on the Left Coast Sunday a week.

Of course, most of the folks in L.A. are up at dawn riding bikes, jogging and tossing frisbee anyway, so they probably wouldn't mind a 9:30 start (local) to hit the East Coast audience at the accustomed hour.

Bears at Giants Sunday (12:30 p.m.), Pat Summerall returning to play-by-play after a bout with a bleeding ulcer, undoubtedly will lead to rehash of an incident six years ago. The Giants were given a good chance to beat the Awesome Bears, but gave up a freebie score when Sean Landeta whiffed on a punt attempt. The former Towson State kicker's sick about being asked to review the play, but is going to have to as long as big games are played. "It was irrelevant," says Sean. Apparently not to his coach, Bill Parcells, who says, "I hope he never forgets what happened."

Like they say in the booth, perhaps the most telling matchup in the Redskins-49ers debacle tomorrow (4 p.m.) will involve Darrell Green going against Jerry Rice mano-a-mano. During the season, Rice had six catches for 74 yards and a TD. Not bad.

The Bengals-Raiders game Sunday (4 p.m.) won't sell out, so tough-luck NBC will lose the third largest market in its ratings.

Buffalo best not leave its game against Miami tomorrow (12:30 p.m.) up for grabs late as Chiefs did last week. Dan Marino has pulled out 15 games for the Dolphins during his career.

* With the same enthusiasm he carried into his first paid visit to the alleys back in the '50s, Chris Schenkel leads ABC into its 30th year of coverage of the Pro Bowlers tour tomorrow at 3.

There's really only one question concerning this phenomenon and this is, how or why has the show been able to maintain its popularity, always beating the competition in the time slot?

"Simple," maintains Schenkel. "It's live, it's always been in the same time slot, there are 70 million bowlers in the country and they're very loyal and we've worked hard over the years to maintain the great acceptance we have with our sponsors."

* If Ken Levine, newest radio voice of the Orioles, has nothing to do between now and the time the ballgames start on WBAL, perhaps the Emmy Award-winning writer could help out with "Good Sports," the latest CBS sitcom.

Its initial installment last night showed little imagination, borrowing liberally from numerous other shows, and female lead Farrah Fawcett could best be described as being ill at ease doing comedy.

* The "Night of the Heavyweights" pay-per-view card from Atlantic City tonight is going to bomb badly, financially, which probably means Mercer-Damiani, Morrison-Tillis and Seldon-Ribalta will turn into Pier 6 brawls.

* Jon Miller and Jim Palmer are up for Ace Awards (cable TV's Emmy) this weekend for their work doing ESPN baseball last season. The show airs Sunday (9 p.m.) on a half-dozen cable stations.

* An outfit called Early Entertainment has started a Dream Comes to Life Series, and if subsequent efforts are as good as the autobiographical videos on Mickey Mantle and John Madden it will be a smash. The subjects tell their own stories to terrific film and tape and the tapes are available ($20) by calling 1-800- 843-6425.

* Speaking of videos, the Washington Bullets will debut their music video "Bully Bullets" on the Telscreen of the game against the Boston Celtics tomorrow night at the Cap Centre. It doesn't figure to make up for the absence of Larry Bird in the Boston lineup.

* No sooner did ABC sports head Dennis Swanson admit, "Sports television isn't a very good business right now" when he predicted the network's springtime WLAF package will be a success due to the "wisdom and experience of the NFL behind it." March-April-May football, rejoice!

* The next pay-per-view on local cables is the WWF Royal Rumble Jan. 19 (8 p.m.) . . . Ben Johnson tonight answers the gun for the first time since his 1988 Olympic suspension and his 50-yard -- effort in Hamilton, Ontario, will becoveredthisquickly on "NFL Live" tomorrow (noon) . . . Oh, joy, a half-hour weekly program on sports card collecting is just a couple of months away.

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