It's a day before the Grand Experiment, and Terry Bradshaw is still fitful.
In case you hadn't heard, Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson, his "Fox NFL Sunday" pre-game show colleague, are getting out of the studio tomorrow to call the Arizona-San Diego contest (Channel 45, 4 p.m.) for the network.
It will just be Johnson and Bradshaw there chatting up the game with no play-by-play man to set the tone, and the prospect still has the former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback deeply frightened just a few days after he declared that he wasn't sleeping regularly.
"I think about it every waking moment. I think I'm stressed out. I'm sleepy all the time, which is a sign of stress," said Bradshaw.
The idea of getting Bradshaw and Johnson into a booth was kicked around in July. And Bradshaw, who was teamed successfully with Verne Lundquist back at CBS, was quite happy to get out of the Los Angeles studio.
"I want to get out. I'm a football guy," Bradshaw said the other day. "You can get stale in the studio when you're in a big room every week with cameras. You need to get out and face the people that you've been talking about."
Johnson, who never has done game analysis, agreed to the idea, though he admitted that he didn't know if he would like it. From there, network officials had to find a game that the two men could do that wouldn't cause them to miss their Sunday duties. The Cardinals-Chargers tilt fit the bill.
Fox officials plan to use extra graphics to make up for whatever descriptive shortcomings Bradshaw and Johnson may have. While the network will benefit from the notoriety the assignment will bring, it's also going to some lengths to lower the expectations.
"When it's all over, will it be the smoothest broadcast ever? No," said Ed Goren, Fox Sports' executive producer. "But are you going to learn things? I think so."
Left Coast hoops
The second game of tomorrow's Wooden Classic double header, pitting Maryland against UCLA (Channel 11, approximately 3:45 p.m.), would have been much better if both teams hadn't lost so much talent to the NBA.
But NBC analyst Bill Walton, whose 1973-74 Bruins team opened the season with a 65-64 win over Maryland, says that even without Joe Smith, Ed O'Bannon and Tyus Edney, the Bruins-Terps battle should be a good one.
"This year's Bruins team should be better than last year. The first half against Kansas last week was an example of what they're capable of. When they learn to put two halves together, they'll be a fine team," said Walton, who won two national championships at UCLA.
"Maryland's a very athletic team that combines athletics with an inner sense of basketball. UCLA has been victimized by quality guard play. That's a good indication for Maryland and for Johnny Rhodes, who's a terrific player."
In an interesting turn, the first game of the Wooden Classic, with Purdue meeting Villanova, will be telecast by ABC, marking one of the few times two networks will carry games from the same site. Baltimoreans, however, will see the DePaul-Florida State game (Channel 2, 1 p.m.).
Tomorrow's Browns-Vikings game gets television (Channel 11) and radio (WBAL, 1090 AM) treatment at 12:30 p.m. . . . On the Sunday pre-game shows, Fox's Pam Oliver will get to the bottom of just how the Cowboys could lose to the Redskins at noon, and NBC will devote its 12:30 program to a discussion of whether the game can survive free agency, with a live, in-studio visit from the commish, Paul Tagliabue. . . . With Mark Viviano out running a marathon in Dallas, WBAL Radio's Pam Ward gets a turn at Channel 11's sports desk tomorrow and Sunday for the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. shows.