Weekend's worst: A tie between Jabbering Joes and CBC's fight promoter
So what, exactly, was the worst thing on sports television last weekend? Okay, not counting Jared pushing submarine sandwiches on CBS, which went from embarrassing to abominable when the panel started asking him about his thoughts on the NFL playoffs. (Well, Dan, I think the Cardinals' chances of going to the Super Bowl are thinner than this new low-cal turkey sub.)
Okay, he didn't say that, but he was thinking it.
At first glance, the worst had to be the pairing of Joe Theismann and Joe Gibbs on NBC's broadcast of the Jets-Bengals game. Whoever dreamed up this pairing should be forced to watch this broadcast about 10 times with his hands tied behind his back. (That's a necessary precaution to prevent the malefactor from tearing out his own eyeballs or piercing his own eardrums with darning needles.)
The Joes talked over officials' announcements, talked over each other and talked over play-by-play man Tom Hammond, whose career no doubt flashed before his eyes as he witnessed the verbal carnage. They probably even talked over the commercials.
But as bad as the Jabbering Joes were, you can always count on Don Cherry to set the bar a little lower every week. Following Saturday's early games on Hockey Fight In Canada, which contained some pretty good goals and plays, Cherry led off with the usual: fisticuffs.
After prolonged video of two guys duking it out, Cherry was so moved you could almost hear a catch in his throat: ``They can really throw `em," he gushed. ``Two good guys, two Canadian guys going at it." Makes you proud to be a Canadian, doesn't it?
After a second fight highlight, Cherry actually found time to show a goal by Zach Parise that made every highlight reel. But because Parise didn't throw a punch while scoring, it wasn't good enough for hockey's Don King.
On the ratings front, it was a great weekend for the National Football League on both sides of the border, even though only one of the wild-card games was a thriller. In fact, that thriller was the most-watched sports event on Canadian TV, even managing to top Hockey Night In Canada.
The Green Bay-Arizona corker drew an average of 1.8 million viewers, slightly more than CBC's early Saturday night game. That doesn't happen very often, to say the least.
Wild-card games took four of the top six spots on the weekend, with none drawing fewer than 1.1 million viewers. Compare that with the Canadian Football League equivalent, the divisional semifinals, which drew 1.55 and 1.36 million viewers.
As always, here are the most-watched sports events in English Canada, according to BBM Canada overnight ratings:
1. NFL, Packers at Cardinals, Sunday, CTV: 1,800,000
2. NHL, Pens-Leafs/Habs-Devils/Panthers-Sens, Saturday, CBC: 1,755,000
3. NHL, Flames at Canucks, Saturday, CBC: 1,607,000
4. NFL, Ravens at Patriots, Sunday, CTV: 1,260,000
5. NFL, Jets at Bengals, Saturday, CTV: 1,140,000
6. NFL, Eagles at Cowboys, Saturday, CTV: 1,130,000
7. NHL, Hockey Night In Canada pre-game, Saturday, CBC: 619,000
8. NHL, Leafs at Sabres, Friday, Sportsnet Ontario: 592,000*
9. Curling, Grand Slam final, Sunday, CBC: 522,000
10. Curling, Grand Slam quarterfinal, Saturday, CBC: 492,000
11. NBA, Raptors at 76ers, Friday, TSN: 448,000
12. NFL, Pre-game show, Saturday, TSN: 300,000**
13. NBA, Celtics at Raptors, Sunday, TSN: 246,000
* Ontario channel only
** NBC viewers not calculated