It has reached the point where Kenny Albert now expects and even relishes the questions about his famous father, Marv. The tendency to compare dad and his chip-off-the-old-block son is natural, but Kenny hopes you'll be fair.
"What I always say is if those people who think I'm here because of my name will just listen to my work, they can then form their own opinion. Hopefully, they'll turn on the game and draw their own conclusions," said Kenny, 26, who will call Sunday's Washington Redskins-Arizona Cardinals game (Channel 45, 4 p.m.).
Any comparison between Marv, the voice of the New York Knicks and Rangers and the NBA on NBC, and Kenny, who has done events as varied as lacrosse, college soccer, women's basketball and wrestling for Home Team Sports, is tilted heavily in favor of the elder Albert, for no other reason than experience.
But Kenny, who called the two years of Baltimore Skipjacks hockey radio broadcasts the "greatest years" of his life, was smart enough early on to get out of New York and ply his trade in the Baltimore/Washington corridor to keep the comparisons to a minimum.
"What has helped me in establishing my own identity was that I wasn't in New York," Kenny said. "By being down here and being able to be myself, I think I've been able to carve out my own niche. I really don't hear too much at all in Baltimore or Washington about the comparisons.
Kenny also was smart enough to copy and carry his father's work ethic to his first big network job.
"The preparation is the key," Kenny said. "You don't want to force too much [information] on the audience. One thing I may have done earlier on is try to get too many things in a small space, but you always want to prove how much work you've done. I know in my own mind and heart how much work I put into it."
Tomorrow marks the first of three weeks of Saturday NFL games, with Detroit and the New York Jets kicking off at 12:30 on Fox (Channel 45), and Cleveland and Dallas squaring off at 4 p.m. on NBC (Channel 2).
On Sunday, Jerry Glanville will have the color on the Philadelphia-Pittsburgh contest at 1 p.m on Channel 45. Channel 2 brings Indianapolis vs. New England into your homes at 1 p.m.
Channel 13 will have the best college basketball viewing of the weekend, with tomorrow afternoon's Maryland-Massachusetts game from the Baltimore Arena at 2, then the Duke-Michigan nationally televised affair tomorrow night 9.
Let's not forget ESPN's coverage of the Heisman Trophy presentation from New York tomorrow night at 7:30. The network's college football intelligentsia of Lee Corso, Craig James and Chris Fowler all say Colorado's Rashaan Salaam is a lock.
After football Sunday, Channel 2 will air the Ironman Triathlon, taped Oct. 15, at 4 p.m. You'll ask yourself why an otherwise sane human would swim a mile in the ocean, ride a bike for more than 100 miles, then run a marathon, even if it is in Hawaii.
Crunching the numbers
Last weekend's ratings lesson, as provided by Channel 13's Andre DeVerneil, the official "On the Air" ratings provider, is that good college football will usually beat good college basketball.
Channel 13 scored nicely with last Saturday's doubleheader of Army-Navy, which got a 5.5 rating and a 16 share, and the Alabama-Florida Southeastern Conference title game (8.8/19), beating back a quartet of college basketball games on channels 2 and 11.
The Kansas-Massachusetts game on Channel 2 drew a 2.9/8, and the second game of the John Wooden Classic, the UCLA-Kentucky thriller, did only a 2.0/5. Meanwhile, over on Channel 11, Duke-Illinois got a 2.8/8, with the second game, Arkansas-Missouri, getting a 2.3/6.
On Sunday, the Redskins-Tampa Bay game posted an impressive 9.1/22 at 1 p.m. for Channel 45, and the second game of the Fox doubleheader, New York Giants-Cleveland, garnered a 6.7/12, losing to Channel 2's Denver-Kansas City game, which got a 10.5/19.