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Need-to-Know Wednesday Assesses the Damage of Athletes on Television

I don’t know if you’re watching this television stuff, but I’m beginning to think it’s not just a fad. My grandchildren recently gave me my first television set for Father’s Day, and after showing me how to work all the dials and knobs, I’m off into the land of 100 channels. It’s been amazing! I had no idea that people read you the news. It gives me a lot of extra time in my day to work in my garden.

You may have also noticed a massive influx, these days, of athletes as television stars. There was a time, you may remember, when athletes all wanted to be rappers. But then that got dangerous. So now they just take meetings with television execs, and we reap the rewards. In addition to seeing Hank Basket on Kendra, announcer Joe Buck trying to be Mr. Comedy on HBO, and Michael Strahan with his man-slave Jay Glazer pretty much everywhere that will offer them a meal, the new hotness for professional athletes is truly your local cable provider. Today, we here at Need-to-Know Wednesday take a look at some current and upcoming programming based around athletes. Please enjoy, then, Need-to-Know Wednesday takes a look at some current and upcoming programming based around athletes.


Fast Cars & Superstars (ABC): John Elway, Serena Williams, Bill Cowher and Gabrielle Reese are among the athletes appearing on ABC’s summer replacement, which features the crew competing in a NASCAR-sponsored stock car race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Early reports indicate that Cowher with driving the Massengill car.

The Superstars (ABC): Athletes will team with stars in a reality program which will feature a series of sporting events like “swimming,” “kayaking,” “biking,” “Hitting on Ali Landry,” Watching Robert Horry cry,” “Taunting Dan Cortese for past failures,” and “Laughing at Julio Iglesias Jr. as he tries to throw a football.”

The Terrell Owens Project (VH1): Ironically, this was the name of my science fair entry at Mason County Middle School in 1989 (I came in fourth in the “Running Backs/Publicity Hounds” category, not high enough to progress to regionals). The VH1 program will feature, seriously, friends trying to hook Owens up with potential mates. Because, you know, it’s hard to meet people when you’re spitting into their faces.

Firearm Instruction with Plaxico Burress (TLC): The upcoming TLC program will feature former Giants wide receiver as he demonstrates the proper use and respect of a “conceal & carry” permit for a four-week run, the estimated time of his community service.

Extreme Makeover: Jeff Bagwell Edition (ABC): A team of cosmetologists learn to work together in an effort to turn former Astros first-baseman Bagwell from a hideous man-beast into a stunning runway model.

Cooking with C.C. Sabathia (Food Network): Watch and learn as portly Yankee hurler Sabathia designs specialized dishes for your family’s dinner hour, from pot roast garnished in gummi bears to glazed turkey covered in chocolate sauce and Funyons.

The Moustache Club! (FOX): Join Keith Hernandez, Craig Stadler, Richard Petty and Mike Holmgren for weekly advice on keeping your moustache silky and smooth. Tips include brushing and combing, waxing, and proper shampoo techniques.


I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t wait for this new crop of television to hit the air. Sounds exciting! While you wait, however, enjoy below a clip from one of my favorite ESPN2 late night programs of all time, Hunting with Will Clark, and I’ll see you next week.

Article written by C.M. Tomlin