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Original Issue

All Offbeat, All The Time Put them all together, and the eccentric tidbits of sports TV add up to a heavenly lineup

We know God has a broad sense of humor, and basic cable, which
is how theologians explain Beano Cook. Surely, then, a day of
programming in the afterlife would be filled with buried
treasures, guilty pleasures and Best-Of specials--in short, our
favorite things on Earth TV, on one convenient station. The TV
listings in Heaven, for the week of All Eternity:

8 a.m.: When Bad Names Happen to Good Abs Squat-thrust your
cares away with Kiana, Deprise, Shawnae and the other oddly
monikered exercise exhibitionists of ESPN2's workout programs.
To those who say these shows are little more than hair, oil and
the elevation of dumbbells, we say, So's Barry Melrose. (Brief

Noon: When Coaches Attack VI Highlights of the week's most
riveting NFL postgame press conferences. See Jim Mora stalk off
the dais, leaving cameras to linger, Bergman-like, on his
sweating water glass. Watch Marty Schottenheimer rant
delusionally, like a Roman emperor in need of Ritalin. Recoil in
horror as misanthrope Bill Parcells treats his fellow man with
the contempt and condescension of your average French waiter.
Guest star: Mike Ditka. (Language, Violence.)

Commercial break: Reebok advertises its popular sneaker--Allen
Iverson's The Answer--allowing couch potatoes everywhere to
respond, "And The Question is, 'What's wrong with the NBA?'"

2 p.m.: The World's Strongest Man Competition ESPN's wildly
entertaining series of contests--which were either taped
serially in 1978 or feature the least fashionable fans in all of
sport; honestly, it is difficult to tell which--is invariably
won by Icelandic behemoth Magnus ver Magnusson. Magnus2
especially excels at that event in which one stands inside an
automobile frame, hoists the car up to one's elbows and then
sprints with it for a couple miles--a Flintstonian ballet of
strength and agility. (May Contain Scenes of Caber Tossing.)

4 p.m.: NFL Films Festival Our four-hour marathon begins with
The Placekickers, 30 minutes of slow-motion squib-kicking set to
swelling orchestral arrangements. A Steadicam follows the breath
of George Blanda as it curls, steaming, from his mouth. (And
it's not even cold outside. George, babe, pop a Velamint!) Watch
for as little as five minutes and you would happily lay down
your life for Jan Stenerud, proving once again that as effective
propagandists go, Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl had nothing on
the Sabol family. (Explicit Halitosis.)

8 p.m.: Gaelic Hurling The sport, not the St. Patrick's Day
activity. (Extreme Violence. May Not Be Appropriate for Younger
Viewers. Or Older Viewers. Or Middle-Aged Viewers.)

10 p.m.: The Best of Bobby Murcer's "Seinfeld" Promos In this
regional favorite, originally aired on New York's WPIX, the
Yankees broadcaster expresses exasperation to partner Tommy John
whenever he is forced to read teasers for the Seinfeld reruns
that follow Bombers night games. Example: "Tonight on Seinfeld,
Jerry and the gang try to be...'masters of their domain.' What
the heck is that supposed to mean, T.J.?" (Closed Captioned for
the Mentally Lucid.)

Midnight: Infomercials for George Foreman's Grilling Machine and
Greg Norman's Secret George Foreman's Grilling Machine is a
nutritional way to cook chicken. On Earth, Greg Norman's Secret
is a golf gadget. In Heaven, it's what really happened to Bill
Clinton that night he blew out his knee at the Shark estate in
Florida. (Strong Sexual Content.)

5 a.m.: Sign-off Footage of Marvin Gaye's lascivious three-hour
R&B version of The Star-Spangled Banner, as performed at the 1983
NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles. (Adult Themes, Strong Sexual
Content, Brief Nudity.)

This concludes our broadcast day. Return to top of page.

COLOR ILLUSTRATION: DAN PICASSO [Drawing of weight lifter partitioned off into television monitors plugged into wall]