Oh my! Bubbly Enberg overflows his morningsMaybe...


Oh my! Bubbly Enberg overflows his mornings

Maybe he was intimidated when he saw that women's magazine with Katie Couric on the cover, trumpeting that "Cute is back."

Maybe he thinks that a wake-up audience needs another Captain Kangaroo.

Well, tie me kangaroo down, sport, but Dick Enberg hasn't seemed to be himself as co-host of NBC's morning Olympic show (7-10).

Enberg, teamed with Couric of "The Today Show," looks all too eager to please, acts just a bit too cute.

This is a curious performance from Enberg, one of television's best sportscasters, someone who ranks among the first choices to announce any big event.

Couric, meanwhile, has been her usual, steady self, like the solid infielder to whom you want the grounder hit in the ninth inning.

Net gain

It was great to see volleyball get an extended look during last night's telecast, with the U.S. men's upset of Italy.

Maybe a steady diet of volleyball would get boring, but, played at this level, with Olympic medals at stake, the game is terrific -- balls and players fly all over the place.

But I guess my volleyball knowledge has some gaps. NBC eavesdropped on a U.S. huddle last night, and I had no clue what all the strategy talk was about. Neither announcer Chris Marlowe nor partner Paul Sunderland filled me in.

On track

Here are two reasons to watch NBC's track and field coverage: sound and Todd Christensen. NBC's crisp audio was in evidence during the 110-meter hurdles. Every nick of a hurdle rang clear. Christensen has asked intelligent questions during post-competition interviews.

That's the spirit

After Derek Redmond had crossed the finish line in the 400, completing the race despite hurting his leg, getting help from a man we later would learn was his father, announcer Tom Hammond informed us that this was the Olympic spirit.

That it was, but soon it was gone.

There are many such moments in the Olympics, but it helps to have the TripleCast if you want to see them. On Saturday, TripleCast viewers saw the spirit in a struggling woman marathoner and in another woman finishing the 10,000 long after her competitors.

Spirit is where you find it, but sometimes it's hard to find.

Looking ahead

Men's basketball is into the medal round, but that doesn't necessarily mean closer games for the U.S. team. Still, NBC will give us a big dose of the Dream Team during tonight's telecast (channels 2, 4, 7:30-midnight).

Several Americans, including Tim Austin, Larry Donald, Raul Marquez and Montell Griffin, are likely to pop up in boxing coverage, but count the punches for yourself -- the judges apparently need some help.

Numbers game

On Sunday, NBC telecast 15 1/2 hours of the Olympics. That is the most an American network has carried on a single Olympic day (14 by ABC in 1984 from Los Angeles was the record). Sunday's total also was 1 1/2 hours more than NBC carried from the entire Games in Tokyo in 1964.

Sunday's prime-time program drew a 19.1 rating and 36 share, 3 and 6 percent higher, respectively, than the 17.6/32 on the corresponding night of the Seoul Games four years ago. NBC's eight-night average of 19.1/36 is 6 and 9 percent higher than the 18.0/33 after eight nights from Seoul.

NBC has sworn on Mike Fratello's telestrator that it will deliver a 15.3 average rating for the Games.

Ratings measure the percentage of all television households watching a program. Shares measure the percentage among homes where television is in use. Those two sentences also make an excellent mantra.

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