TelevisionWeek is teaming up with TV industry veteran Marianne Paskowski. The blog will give Marianne a forum to convey her deep knowledge of the industry and pass along some of the juicy morsels she's hearing on the grapevine. Marianne has covered the TV industry from the inside out and top to bottom, and TVWeek's readers are bound to benefit from her sharp eyes, ears and wit. TVWeek.com invites readers to jump online, chime in and pick Marianne's brain on the latest industry news.


Marianne Paskowski

Why Viewers Love TV Sports

January 22, 2007 11:58 PM

Yikes, you would think “24” counter-terrorism agent Jack Bauer was just knocked off, given the stunned reaction of anyone today who lives in area codes 617 or 508, the stomping grounds of the Boston Patriots, who played against the Indianapolis Colts in what was the highest-rated TV show of the season. The Pats lost in a white-knuckler and every newspaper and TV outlet here showed the dejected face of Pats’ QB Tom Brady on page one. Well, true, he is a hunk.

Carried on CBS, the game drew a 28.1 overnight household rating and a 40 share, according to Nielsen. Newscasts reported today that at halftime, Boston fans left early to secure their airline reservations for the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 in Miami. Hope they got refundable tickets.

I, for one, don’t get the allure of televised sports events. Guess it’s an escape valve for many. I find football, in particular, tedious: Three yards forward, three yards back, flags on the field, blah, blah, blah.

But tomorrow we all can all watch President Bush hem and haw his way through his State of the Union Address. Can’t wait to see the TV camera angles, especially on the Republicans, who are starting to break ranks with their commander- in -chief. That, to me, will be far more engaging TV than last night’s Pats upset. But I don’t think the TV ratings will be as high as last night’s game. Will you be watching with me?


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Comments (10)


If the Democrats would quit their griping and let President Bush continue to manage the economy and the War on Terroras masterfully as he has, you left-wing Bush bashers wouldn't continue to jeopardize the safety of Americans. I say, send Hillary the way of Tom Brady -- lose! I'll be watching tonight's State of Union speech with GOP pennants waving, my copy of Mein Kamph close at hand.

Cruisin, not Bruisin

Jeff Mulligan:


The sad truth is probably that fewer Americans will watch Bush tonight than watched the Pats/Colts game, much less both the AFC and NFC chapionship games. If Americans paid more attention to what was going on in the country, we'd have better election choices, more intelligent debates, and less bashing of the media. But, in a democracy, we get the government we deserve, so we've had Bush for six years with two to go. Imperial Roman emperors knew what Brady and Bush both teach us --- put a spectacle in the Coliseum and the people won't care that their government is incompetent or worse.


Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Cruiser,

You sound like a delight to live with. Your heros might be Bush and Hitler. Mine is Tom Brady.


Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Jeff,

Well we'll have another Spectacle in the Coliseum tonight, starting at 9 p.m. (EST). And he might need knee pads and a helmet to pull this one off. Hear he's gonna talk about domestic issues. That should take all of 10 minutes.

Thanks for chiming in,


Well let's see, Cruiser's spelling and grammar were correct but he did miss the spacebar between "Terror" and "as" and he did misspell "Mein Kampf" but that's German so we won't count that. All in all I'd have to say Cruiser was pulling your leg Marianne. Sarcasm is sometimes hard to perceive in print but I do believe that is what Cruiser wrote. A true GWB fan would think "Mein Kampf" was something on a Chinese menu and he would never be able to keep a verb form consistent so I think Cruiser is a liberal in Brown Shirt. Just a suspicion.

Anyway, I will one of those countless millions thankful that they have a cable platinum package when GWB hits the air waves tonight. The man's voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. He is the epitome of the "to the manor born" preppie slug that has never had to struggle or worry about anything in his life. This man has been "handled" his whole life and the fact that Dick Cheney is the most powerful V.P. in our history only confims that. I don't need to sit through another production of the GWB Show to know what will be said by its "star": We will "stay the course"; "there are tough times ahead"; "there will be casualties like in any "war"; "we cannot abandon the Iraqi people"; "we can't let the lives of those who have died be in vain". The list of his cliches will be endless but the patience and understanding of the electorate is not. GWB's place in history as our most incompetent president is assured and watching him speak is more painful than any citizen should have to endure.

Marianne Paskowski:

So Shady,
Guess you're not watching tonight. Feel the same way you do, but it's history in the making. And how long can it possibly last, 10 minutes?

Thanks for your comment,

P.S. Guess you can all tell by now I'm not a football fan. I called the Pats in my blog the Boston Patriots. They are the New England Patriots. Mea Culpa.


Wow, where to begin? I'm a Hoosier so I am a true "BLUE" Colts fan. But I was also a fan of the Baltimore Colts. I have never been a Boston/New England Pats fan, but that's why rivalries exist. I will say Tom Brady is practically a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame, if for nothing else than his ability to hook-up with Bridgette and Gisele.

I understand that many of youse guys hate the President, but why this incessant need to compare all Republicians/Conservatives as nazis? Is it because all nazis are the personification of evil? Do you, Marianne, really think I want to see all Jews, homosexuals, Catholics, etc dead? Are you a Communist? Would you want to constantly be compared to Stalin? Can we please raise the level of discourse above name-calling?

Also, what' this stuff about Bush never having to struggle. I don't remember seeing any pictures of Teddy Kennedy plowing fields behind his trailer home. Why is it that the richest members of Congress always slam conservative Americans who only want to succeed in their chosen business. John Kerry is a billionaire only because he married the widow of a billionaire, who inherited it just like Kennedy and Kohl inherited their fortunes. But they are seen as champions of the poor only because they promise to punish the "rich" who Richard Gephardt once said was anyone who made over $75,000 a year!

Let's not dwell on our differences for the next two weeks but rather chose sides in the Super Bowl. This is a contest between two midwestern cities. My roommate in college is from Chicago and bleeds orange and blue and I have relatives who live in Chicago. I know who they will be pulling for, who will you chose Marianne?

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi John,
Welcome back. Those comments about nazis, didn't come from me for starters, but other commentors. On this blog. And while they have strong opinions, their comments are their's and not mine.

You know me, "Little Miss Sunshine." Now to the Super Bowl. I never forgave the Colts for leaving Baltimore. I loved Johnny Unitas and I think Kyle Rote. This go round, I'm rooting for the Bears. I grew up in Chicago and actually once met Headband McMahon (sp) the QB and Refrigerator Perry in New Orleans, while attending a convention during the Super Bowl time frame. The Bears won.

So John, are you impressed with my knowledge of football? You just read all I know! OK viewers, let's take John's advice and choose sides for the Super Bowl. The Bears for me.



Hi John,

Well where do I start? First I am a Chicagoan. Second, I'm a Democrat but, coming from Chicago that's a given isn't it. Third, I'm politically middle-of-the-road but retired from a profession that would cast me as a liberal in the eyes of most. I think of liberals as rich people that are guilty about being rich and don't hesitate to use the taxpayer's' money to assuage their guilt. Needless to say then I am no more a fan of the Kennedys or the Kerrys than I am of the Bushes. What I am is an American who seems to recall a war that the people of this country fought to rid themselves of political nobility and to establish a political system where government wasn't considered a family owned business. Here in Illinois we seem to have forgotten that war and what being an American is all about. Government as a family owned and operated business is an established principle here and we in the "peasant class" are given about as much electoral choice in the matter as the voters of Russsian Communism. I voted for John Kerry but I didn't want to. I voted for Nixon, twice, but I didn't want to. I voted for Jon Anderson and Ross Perot but probably shoudn't have. And I voted for Clinton, twice, and have been embarrassed by him. It's about choices and I think we are all mad about the quality of choices we are given. We are too big a country for it to be possible to think that only 2 candidates for anything can satisfy the interests and concerns of the majority. Consequently, we usually end up voting for the lesser of 2 evils and taking our frustrations out on the other party and their candidate. You are right. Name calling has no place in a rational discussion of the issues but that is what happens when people act out of greed and selfish interest. Politics is a game of greed and and self interest and it's about "our side"winning. Neither side is interested in what is right for the country or the people all they want is to win, to stay in power, and to deliver the booty for their supporters while depriving the "enemy" of any meaningful opportunity to respond. GWB is the posterboy for everything wrong with inherited and unearned opportunity and entitlements. He acts, thinks, and speaks like the inbred son of an 18th century European monarch. Yes, I know, name calling. But I am human and frustrated and ashamed and afraid. He is the president as the result of a political process not envisioned by its creators and who would be ashamed of what has become of that process. He has delivered mightily for his supporters at the expense of thousands of innocent lives by a means that would be sufficient to convict him of murder in every state in this union if he had employed those means at home. Blaming him is easy and solves nothing. We put him there. It was our choices because we are greedy and selfish and care about our interests, our issues, and not what is best for all of us. But I have been rambling and avoiding the real issue; Bears or Colts. Greed and self interest says I should go with the Bears and that is what I want. Fairness asks me do I think that the Bears have the heart shown by the Colts to come back, as a team, from a 15 point deficit to win? My answer is, no. The Bears defensive squad might be able to do that but that isn't the whole team and that's where the Bears will fail. I think the Colts have the heart.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Shady,
What I most liked about your comments was your bipartison aproach to the Super Bowl. if only our leaders could follow that strategy.

Thanks for flying your colors,

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