Pre-game show packs in the talent

Another day, another face on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown'' show. Heck, before you know it, they could field a football team of its own.

Which doesn't make it a bad show, only a crowded one.

Thursday the all-sports network announced the hiring of ex-NFL coach Bill Parcells to join its two-hour pre-game show.

Let's see, he'll be joining Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, Steve Young, Sterling Sharpe, Chris Mortensen and Stuart Scott. They won't have any trouble filling the two-hour time block.

"I didn't consider anything else," said Parcells, spiking rumors that he was headed to Fox, which has an opening on its pre-game show. "This keeps me on the East Coast on a weekly basis and with minimal travel. More, it's an opportunity to do a show with more appeal to the football fan, with greater detail to where my expertise is in. I'm not in show business."


Fox may or my not fill the space on its pre-game show, which was vacated by Cris Collinsworth, who's moving to the booth along with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.

Around the tube

Hospitalized. Fox NFL play-by-play announcer Pat Summerall has been hospitalized since Tuesday in Los Angeles, where he was attending the network's annual seminar to prepare for the upcoming season.

Summerall suffered from minor internal bleeding, which has since been controlled. He is resting comfortably and is expected to be released by the weekend.

Summerall will team with a new partner this year -- Brian; Baldinger -- and will call the majority of Dallas Cowboys game which are televised on Fox. The Summerall-Baldinger team, however, opens at the Sept. 8 game with Arizona playing at Washington.

Were you watching? The World Cup was seen on television by 1.5 billion viewers in 18 countries, as measured by Nielsen Media Research. Thailand had a total of 269 million viewers, the most among the 18 countries included by Nielsen, followed by co-host South Korea (266 million) and China (263 million). The United States was sixth at 85 million, but that figure included only English-language viewers on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2. An additional 80 million people watched on Spanish-language channels Univision and Telefutura.

Catch this. Former Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter will appear on "Best Damned Sports Show Period'' at 8 p.m. Monday on Fox Sports Net.

In the booth. Cal Ripken Jr. will be in the Twins' FSN telecast booth on Aug. 7, when the Twins are in Baltimore.


Thanks, Tiger. TV ratings for the PGA Tour are up 20 percent since 1996, more than any other sport. NASCAR is up 5.8 percent over the same period of time.

He said it: Former pitcher and current U.S. Senator Jim Bunning appeared on The Last Word with Jim Rome last week and had this to say about baseball commissioner Bud Selig: "He should have resigned before he was ever hired. He has done nothing and is the wrong image for baseball. He is a handwringer who says 'Oh my gosh, what do I do now.'''

Paul Christian is a Post-Bulletin sports writer. He writes a weekly Friday column devoted to TV and radio sports. He can be reached at

A variety of sources was used to compile this column.

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