Daly could coach others in television booth, too

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Move over, Doug Collins, Mike Fratello, Hubie Brown and the rest of you guys stating the obvious while analyzing pro hoops on NBC and TNT. Chuck Daly has arrived. The ex-Detroit Pistons coach was exceptional in his debut at the network mike doing the Celtics-Cavaliers scrimmage last Sunday.

The game was in Boston Garden, which was built by the Vikings in the year 1000, and talk got around to Garden II, due to open in a couple of years.

"The new place is going to have hot and cold running water and air conditioning, I understand. I can assure you they don't have those things here," said Daly. Then there was his "a pessimist is an optimist who has been around" line . . . and the suggestion, "first team to a hundred wins." Good stuff.

* NBC obviously thought the naming of abrasive Bob Trumpy to take Bill Walsh's place in the booth next to Dick Enberg on its lead NFL announcing team was no big deal. Instead of the pomp and ceremony of calling a media conference, they simply leaked the news to a USA Today guy hanging out in the lobby.

Meanwhile, N(D)BC will be vastly improved calling Notre Dame home games with Cris Collinsworth doing the commentary. The former Bengals wide receiver will present a much lighter approach to the college game than Walsh, who made the whole thing sound like one of those boring experiments in physics lab.

* ESPN sends along both the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes and the Dixie Handicap on its pre-Preakness coverage this evening (6-7 p.m.) after the America's Cup. Tomorrow, the cable is at Pimlico from 1-2 p.m. before ABC checks in with its usual 90-minute show beginning at 4:30 p.m.

The network figures to make up for the fact it barely mentioned Lil E. Tee until he had won the Kentucky Derby during the pre-race hubbub, probably overlooking a few of the horses that will shove the toast of Louisville back to fifth or sixth place. Hey, you just can't win.

* Good thing ol' Doc Naismith isn't around to see what the NBA has done to his game. He would issue a disclaimer or sue. The 153-151 win by Portland over Phoenix in two overtimes the other night sounds as if it must have been a heckuva game, but it was mostly slapstick. Meanwhile, anyone venturing out on the floor in the Knicks-Bulls series should at least be outfitted with the protection lacrosse players have.

* Memo to Pimlico track announcer Dave Rodman, who called the Pimlico Special over WBAL Radio last Saturday: What happened? You left listeners in total darkness, your call of the stretch run being a jumble of words that hardly qualified as a description.

* The daily reports on the Tour Du Pont on ESPN have been terrific. Here's hoping that when CBS moves in for the final race and wrapup show Sunday (4:30-6 p.m.), it does half as well. Unfortunately, it figures to go artsy-schmartsy, throwing out the meat and potatoes of 11 days and 1,000 miles of tough racing.

* Wrassling fans get a freebie Sunday noon when several stars of the Wrestling Independent Network put on a show in front of the Grande Theater on Conkling Street in Highlandtown as part of the Preakness Fun Festival. No TV coverage is planned.

* Remember the Poulan/Weed Eater Independence Bowl, the extravaganza in Shreveport, La., that cost Maryland big bucks to compete in a while back? Obviously, it's back on firm ground, having just signed a multi-year deal with ESPN. The cable now has the Copper, Holiday, Weed, Liberty, Hall of Fame and Peach bowls lined up for "Bowl Week" Dec. 29-Jan. 2.

* Heckuva idea by The Nashville Network, covering "One Hot Night: The Winston," first auto races run at night on a superspeedway, tomorrow (6:30 p.m.). Besides a camera, they'll have a commentator in one of the cars, Buddy Baker telling viewers what's going on as he buzzes around the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval. Now watch that language when someone kisses your back bumper, Buddy.

* Charlie Neal's guests on the Budweiser Sports Report on BET tomorrow (10 p.m.) are hoop Hall of Fame inductees Connie Hawkins and Bob Lanier. Please, no questions about Lanier's sneaker size (22), Charlie.

* A news release from the NFL says "60 Minutes," the highest-rated show on TV, and CBS "use NFL games on many Sundays from Labor Day weekend through the Super Bowl as a strong lead-in for the popular news magazine show." How else could the popularity of Mike, Ed, Morley and the gang possibly be explained?

* The new mostly-sports talk radio station in Washington, WTEM, which represents a faulty spelling of team, has a local cast of characters lined up as hosts beginning May 24: DC morning drivers Paul Harris and Dave Murray, 6-10 a.m.; Tony Kornheiser, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Kevin Kiley and Rich Gilgallen, afternoons; Jean Fugett, 7-12 p.m. The weekend mix will include Tom Davis, Charlie Slowes, Phil Wood and a few more.

* This is the month when those monuments of tedium, the time trials (alias rain delays) leading up to the Indianapolis 500 and the America's Cup semifinals and final, are all over the tube . . . and one of the networks can't slip in even one playoff hockey game?

New Yorker Bill Brown of Home Team Sports had a sneaking suspicion that if the market monsters in New York (Rangers) and Chicago (Blackhawks) ended up in the Stanley Cup, one of the nets might have jumped in to do a game or two. "The NHL will certainly do anything a network wants, including changing the schedule or starting times," he points out convincingly.

* NBC has the last two rounds of the Mazda LPGA Championship from Bethesda Country Club tomorrow and Sunday (1-3 p.m.), and it better not do as poorly as the Centel Classic's 1.5 rating on CBS last weekend. Otherwise, the women's already-skimpy schedule might get even skimpier.

* The TVKO pay-per-view boxing match tonight (9) pits Michael Moorer (28-0, 26 KOs) against Bert Cooper (27-8, 24 KOs). Moorer's the gent who got sick of pummeling light-heavyweights and cruiserweights, put on about 40 pounds and immediately started dispatching heavyweights just as easily.

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