Cherry victory a bomb for CBC?

ROB BRODIE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:04 AM ET

A few quirky items that grabbed the attention of this viewer in the television week that was:

- So Don Cherry is among the frontrunners in CBC's much-ballyhooed series, The Greatest Canadian? While the fact the bombastic one rates among the 10 finalists -- as determined by a network audience poll -- is open to great debate, it's much more fun to consider what might transpire before this process is done.

More to the point ... what happens if Cherry wins?

How, then, can the tall foreheads at the CBC who'd like to send the Coach's Corner star and his loud suits packing ever get their wish?

Talk about a nightmare waiting to happen.

I can see the headlines now: "CBC axes Greatest Canadian."

Let's see the public relations spin doctors work their way out of that one.

- Among TV types, Fox's Pam Oliver does some of the best reporting work in and around the NFL. But I've gotta admit I like her just a little bit more this week.

Perhaps you've heard the story. Cowboys receiver Keyshawn Johnson, upset at an Oliver sideline report during an Oct. 24 game in Green Bay, told a radio show audience he'd "like to sit her down and spank her with a ruler."

Yeah, real classy.

Oliver's response?

"I will punch him in the face (if he tries it)," she said.

Sounds fair to me.

CHASING THE CHALICE: The CFL playoffs get an early start with a prime-time game in Toronto tonight (thank you, Wiggles). But it could be a viewership bonanza for the CBC, which is on a bit of a ratings roll heading into the post-season. The network recorded a 7% audience gain over 2003 (to 438,000) for its CFL games this season. Since Labour Day, the average has been 481,000 (up 14%). No thanks to the Renegades, we might add -- three of CBC's four lowest-rated games this season involved Ottawa ... TSN's season average (311,000) slipped 3% from last year (322,000). The network begins its CFL Countdown playoff preview shows Sunday at 10 a.m.

APOCALYPSE NOW: Let me get this straight. Hockey is so messed up these days that we're now reduced to watching preview shows for NHL Players' Association meetings. No offence, TSN, but ... let's say Sports Illustrated might have a candidate here for its "this week's sign of the apocalypse" feature.

AROUND THE DIAL: Now here's a nice touch. Sportsnet News has a four-part series starting Monday called Lest We Forget: Hockey's True Heroes, during which Chris Simpson examines the two world wars' impact on the NHL ... TV for a cause: It's Special Olympics Day tomorrow on TSN. Gino Reda hosts a 21/2-hour special at 3:30 p.m. ... Raptors guard Jalen Rose will be an occasional contributor to TSN's SportsCentre.

WEEKEND PICKS

TV:

1) Roughriders at Eskimos, Sunday, 4 p.m., CBC

2) Patriots at Rams, Sunday, 4 p.m., CBS, CH

Radio:

1) Eagles at Steelers, 12:45 p.m., Texans at Broncos, 4 p.m., Browns at Ravens, 8:30 p.m., Team 1200

2) Spitfires at 67's, Tonight, 7:30 p.m., Team 1200


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