It was Deion Sanders' day on CBS. The Atlanta Falcons cornerback/Atlanta Braves outfielder played the ultimate doubleheader Sunday, shuttling between Pittsburgh and Miami so he could play a pro football game and a National League playoff game within a span of several hours.
CBS made the most of the moment. The network televised the Falcons-Dolphins game at 1 p.m. and Game 5 of the Braves-Pirates series at 8:30 p.m. As part of the NFL Today pregame show, CBS reporter Pat O'Brien followed Sanders from Allegheny County Airport, outside Pittsburgh, to a small jetport near Miami. During the plane ride, Sanders talked about his most unusual day.
O'Brien, appearing live a few minutes before the kickoff, reported on Sanders' arrival at Joe Robbie Stadium. In the studio, hosts Greg Gumbel and Terry Bradshaw chatted with guest analyst Bo Jackson, who was also a two-sport athlete.
Jackson, attempting a comeback with the Chicago White Sox after suffering a hip injury in a football game, may be the only person who truly can offer an insightful opinion on Sanders' two-sport dilemma. He warned that any mistakes Sanders made in either game would be criticized. Sanders returned to Pittsburgh after the football game.
"They'll say he didn't get any rest," Jackson said.
Local beat: ESPN will televise the finals of the $85,000 Pinellas Suncoast Pinwheel Senior PBA Open at Seminole Lanes Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. This is one of two senior bowling events on ESPN, which is covering the PBA fall tour for the first time since 1981. "I think they have some great fans in that area, particularly for the senior events," said ESPN bowling analyst Denny Schreiner, who will cover Wednesday's event. "Many folks who have moved down there have been following the bowlers their entire lives. Now, they get to see them live at an event like this." Bucs Extra Point, featuring cornerback Ricky Reynolds, airs today and is available every Monday from 6-7 p.m. on Vision Cable's Ch. 9. WTTA-Ch. 38 also carries the show Wednesdays on tape delay from 7-8 p.m.
Around the dial: CBS baseball analyst Jim Kaat, who lost his voice during Thursday's broadcast of the American League Championship Series, was replaced in the top of the ninth inning by Johnny Bench, the network's radio analyst. Kaat recovered in time to resume his duties for Game 4 on Saturday. NBC finally got around to replacing Bob Ferry on the Insiders segment of the NBA studio show. Bill Walton, who starred for the Portland Trail Blazers and UCLA, gets the nod. Walton has done broadcast work for several NBA clubs and has covered college basketball for CBS. Walton is opinionated and informative, while Ferry, former general manager of the Washington Bullets, simply had no clue. The first three baseball playoff games telecast on CBS in prime time produced an average rating of 11.62, down from last year's 11.84 rating after three games. Each rating point represents 921,000 homes. ABC's Monday Night Football has a 17.8 rating after the first five weeks of the season, up from last year's 17.4 rating after five weeks. NFL ratings on CBS are down 3 percent from last year after the first five weeks (11.2 from 11.6), while NFL games on NBC are up 9 percent from last year (9.4 to 10.2).