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Ch. 29 exec vows HDTV glitch-free

This is what I'm thinking:

*WUTV General Manager Nick Magnini has a guarantee for football fans with HDTV that would make Joe Namath proud.

"This weekend [for Fox's coverage of the NFC playoffs] I'm 100 percent it will be OK," Magnini said.

The assurance came in response to a technical problem during Monday's BCS title game that prevented local viewers who get the Fox station over-the-air rather than on cable from seeing Florida's victory over Ohio State in HD until the Gators held a 34-14 halftime lead. Magnini blamed a technical problem that required the station's chief engineer to come to the station to fix.

"My engineer will be here personally [this weekend]," Magnini said.

*Joe DeLamielleure's season-long take on the Buffalo Bills during his appearances on WGR-AM with Mike Schopp and Chris Parker was refreshing. The former all-pro lineman was opinionated, insightful, funny and irreverent. It wasn't surprising to anyone who covered him during his playing days.

In one of Joe D's final appearances, he said some nice things about veteran linebacker London Fletcher but added that many of his tackles were well past the line of scrimmage and he was part of the Bills' biggest defensive problem this season -- stopping the run.

*NBC's Al Michaels and John Madden weren't on top of their games at the end of Seattle's 21-20 playoff victory over Dallas. Michaels didn't seem to realize immediately that Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo almost made a first down in a scramble after trying to score a touchdown after fumbling a field goal snap. Michaels also didn't quickly note that the Cowboys still had a decent chance for a winning field goal if they had stopped Seattle from getting a first down after Romo's miscue. But Michaels recovered to mention the possibility before the long first down run by Shaun Alexander made the point moot.

And while Romo's snap fiasco was blamed by national broadcasters for the Cowboys' loss, Michaels noted before the fumble that a successful Cowboys kick wouldn't have guaranteed anything because the Seahawks would have had about a minute to get into position for a field goal.

*It wouldn't have had much impact on Florida's 41-14 victory over Ohio State, but it was bizarre to see the instant replay decision that awarded the Gators a touchdown even though the guy scoring it appeared to have had his knee down about 2 yards short of the goal line.

Throughout the game, the Gators appeared to get generous spots of the ball.

We learned in the Cowboys' loss that NFL officials aren't immune to bad spots, either. The replay reversal of the spot on a Jason Witten reception cost the Cowboys a first down and a chance at a touchdown before Romo's fumble. Some people have questioned the evidence that led to the reversal but it clearly looked as if Witten was short of the first down.

*With all the cameras at postseason games, it is still amazing how often instant replay can't be conclusive. During Indianapolis' victory over Kansas City, it was impossible to tell if the second interception by the Chiefs' Ty Law was legit or if the ball hit the ground first.

*The Bills' new radio analyst, Mark Kelso, had a strong rookie season and certainly got the attention of Bills fans because of all the TV blackouts. But he remained too technical and too wordy and would be wise to simplify things next season.

Kelso isn't the only announcer who can get too technical. During the one Fox BCS game that Howie Long worked with Terry Bradshaw, Long began talking about players hitting the A and B gaps. It wasn't long before the other announcers were joking with Long and making him explain himself.

*The first-string Fox announcing team of play-by-play man Thom Brennaman, Barry Alvarez and Charles Davis wasn't too enlightening when discussing Florida's domination of Ohio State. The most notable comment made by Davis during the bowl season came when he accurately predicted that Boise State would go for its winning two-point conversion in the overtime against Oklahoma.


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