This is SportsCenter ... pass the Ritalin

ERIN NICKS -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:43 PM ET

Glenn Healy, I owe you an apology. You can add Dan O'Toole to that list, as well as Jay Onrait.

In fact, it needs to include any TSN sportscasting personality that I may have slagged publicly (bad) or privately (worse -- I've said things that would make Sarah Sliverman blush).

So what brought on this sudden change of heart? It probably had something to do with me being exposed to the American version of SportsCenter for nearly a week.

To be fair, I don't have a problem with the majority of ESPN -- if I don't get at least three hits of Pardon the Interruption per week, I tend to go a little squirrelly. But seeing as TSN's SportsCentre is modeled after the American version, I figured I'd do a bit of comparison.

You may have thought a prescription for Ritalin was required to deal with TSN's format for the show, but the U.S. broadcast calls for an increase in dosage.

The out-of-sequence highlights are choppy and unrelenting. I liken it to being repeatedly punched in the dark -- you're unaware, then suddenly something hits you. And before you have a chance to process what has occurred, you are clobbered once more.

Here's an example: The highlights from the Boston-Ottawa game last week included a split-second shot of the Brian McGrattan-Colton Orr fight during the intro, eventually followed by quick reviews of the Martin Havlat and Dany Heatley goals, respectively. I couldn't get a feel for the game (the poor first-period play of the Sens in particular), and approximately 1/10th of the relevant stats were made available on the ticker.

The same could be said for Coyotes-Wild game on Tuesday -- a game I was physically present at -- it boiled down to stock footage of a mercurial Wayne Gretzky, combined with the freakishly soft goal from the opposing blue line that Curtis Joseph let in.

Okay, so their hockey coverage leaves something to be desired. But what happens when a story breaks that they have legitimate interest in -- like a Terrell Owens/Drew Rosenhaus tandem news conference?

Do you need a transcript?

I could produce one for you in about 10 minutes, because after hearing it at least 50 times, it is permanently locked within my cerebral cortex.

"I am a football player and this is what I do ... it really hurts me not to be part of the team anymore ..."

Sorry about that.

Slipped right back into it.

SportsCenter was all T.O., all the time. From what I saw, Stuart Scott's makeup artist was the only one who has yet to comment on the story. And as for Rosenhaus -- he's horrific enough in miniscule amounts. A repeated listening of his blatant stupidity has an incredibly negative impact on intelligent mental function.

Terrell Owens to Broncos?

Bad. Me no like.

See? I told you.

SPORTSCENTER OF ATTENTION: After the first day of SportsCenter exposure, I thought I had lost all sanity. And that's when they decided to drop the simulated MLB press conferences on me. Picture ESPN baseball analyst Steve Phillips pretending to be Astros GM Tim Purpura, or Cubs GM Jim Hendry, complete with questions from a faux media gallery. Cold fusion is easier to comprehend than this. Can you imagine the uproar if Bob McKenzie were to stand in for John Muckler? (Although he would have come in handy during the Marshall Johnston era).

QUICK HITS: I'll admit it: I'm hard on TSN. I hate Michael Landsberg's wardrobe and am convinced that Sherry Bassin declares Off The Record as a source of income on his tax return. However, it only takes a few days away from Canadian broadcasting to be reminded how lucky we really are ... Healy's coming down from the dartboard -- the latest victim is Scott Van Pelt. Someone needs to put his catchphrases on ice ... Here's the first vote for McGrattan to take a page out of Chad Johnson's book, and begin his own list of enforcers that could possibly top him. Tie Domi, Eric Godard and Orr should all be displayed with a checkmark in the 'no' box ... Mike Tice took part in a radio broadcast from a Minneapolis bar last week. A fan approached and requested a photo with Tice, which surely must've pleased the beleaguered Vikings coach. But at the last second, the fan unbuttoned his coat to reveal a T-shirt that read, "Mike Tice is an idiot."

erinnicks@yahoo.ca


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