(our Katie tells a penniless Gallagher lookalike where to get off)
Never let it be said the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman is afraid to tackle the biggest names in the world of infotainment, even if it means he runs the risk of morphing into Phil Mushnick before our very eyes.
The Super Bowl is a cross between a promotional weapon and a flea market, albeit an electronic one. The inescapable fact is that reality really has no place in Miami for the rest of the week.
Especially when it comes to television.
Take CBS’ pregame show. According to the network, “Evening News” anchor Katie Couric will be doing a pregame feature. I have no idea what this feature will be about. Still, I can pretty much guarantee what it won’t be about: Any topic, no matter how reality-based, casting aspersions on the National Football League and its Happy Fizzies Party.
CBS already has proven it is more than willing to go in the tank for the league. Who can forget that Twinkie Munch CBS’ “The NFL Today” crew did with the NFL’s marquee steroid abuser Shawne Merriman? Neither James Brown, Dan Marino, Shannon Sharpe nor Boomer Esiason asked Merriman about his four-game steroid suspension.
It’s doubtful the subject of Couric’s highly anticipated feature will be Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson. In order to travel to Miami, Johnson had to get permission from Cook County Judge John Moran. In case you forgot, Johnson is awaiting trial on gun possession charges.
Perhaps Couric also will steer clear of doing her feature on Bears cornerback Ricky Manning Jr. Last April 23, according to a police report, Manning and a couple of his former UCLA teamates went into a Denny’s restaurant in L.A. and exchanged words with a student, Soroush Sabzi.
Manning allegedly called Sabzi “an ugly — Jew” and used a homosexual slur. Sabzi asked Manning and his pals to leave him alone. Instead, they pummeled him, basically leaving Sabzi unconscious.
Here are some other things that Couric, and CBS, won’t touch.
* – A look at former players now facing severe playing-related disabilities who cannot get help from either the league or the NFL Players Association, because of severe problems with the league’s pension and disability program. An interview with a former Super Bowl participant strung out on Vicodin ain’t a sight TV wants to serve up with your beer, pizza and box pools.
* – A look at Super Bowl gambling. Couric could find some poor schnook whose life was ruined because of an addiction to football gambling. Gee, you think someone like that actually exists?
See, for CBS and Couric, who has dealt with many serious topics during her career, Sunday is more about giving the star anchor a huge viewer platform that might entice a few more eyeballs to watch her daily newscast, which trails both NBC and ABC in the ratings race.
What better place than the Super Bowl for Couric to give her sales pitch?
Though I think Raissman is mostly correct about the fluffy nature of the networks’ pregame shows, there’s something a tad hysterical about attacking CBS for an SB XLI preview none of us have actually seen.