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Picks and Pans Main: Tube

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ABC sportscaster Al Michaels recently quipped that NBC is “running a halfway house” for former coaches. Good call, Al. Terry O’Neil, executive producer of NBC Sports, hired basketball’s Pat Riley and football’s Bill Walsh and Bill Parcells as novice broadcasters after each had guided his team to multiple championship seasons. The fact that none of O’Neil’s human trophies has distinguished himself on the air doesn’t matter. They are there to provide profile, not performance. In fact, their primary role seems to have become denying weekly press speculation about which team is trying to lure them back to the gam-e. (Riley did, of course, return to coaching this season with the New York Knicks). The whole thing has become tiresome. With the Super Bowl between Buffalo and Washington on CBS this week (Sun., Jan. 26, 6 P.M. ET), maybe we can finally turn our attention to football instead of the latest rumored job offer to an NBC announcer.