You want entertainment? Check out ‘I Love Hideki,’ ‘Reality Island’
February 13, 2003
Well folks, I was going to write about the 49ers’ coaching situation this week, what with Dennis Erickson coming on board and the whole world claiming that the San Francisco franchise is in disarray. But darn it, I couldn’t find my notes, and no one in the office is sure how to spell Bob Stupes.
I don’t want you to get the idea that it’s a madhouse around here — we’re nowhere near that organized. In fact, the sportswriting profession would be perfect for a reality TV show. Tune in every week to see how we make the Vancouver Canucks’ 2-1 win over Chicago interesting.
OK, maybe not. But I do have a few leads on sports-based reality TV shows that the networks are currently developing. With the success of The Osbournes and Joe Millionaire, soon every prime time show will be reality based*. So it’s only natural that sports themes will be in the mix.
First, of course, is “The Tysons:” Many of you may have seen news reports that Mike Tyson is feuding with his 13-year-old daughter, Mikel, who recently moved into his home in Las Vegas. According to the New York Daily News, Mike is opening her mail and yelling at her for being penpals with rapper “50 Cent.” Also living in the home are Tyson’s 16-year-old niece and 9 month-old son, plus assorted friends and posse members.
Plus there’s his divorce from second wife Monica, which cost the boxer $6 million. The only question is which network will win the bidding war for this reality show bonanza. We hear that Evander Holyfield may move in next door for sweeps week.
“The Lebron James Show:” Getting a new Hummer as a gift from his mother and being suspended for accepting illegal gifts is only the beginning. Lebron will become a multi-millionaire in March, when his high school career officially ends and he is allowed to sign a lucrative shoe contract. Then there’s the NBA Draft in April. The kid is talented, but is he ready for all the money, fame and attendant pressure? Let’s follow him with a TV camera and find out! Mondays on the WB.
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“The Mariuccis:” Oh sure, the Detroit Lions got a great deal, on paper. Everything’s sunshine and roses in Michigan, as the former 49ers head coach returns to his old stomping grounds. But what happens when Steve starts the 2003 season 0-10? We’ve seen the Lions’ schedule, and this is a very real possibility. Could be replaced at midseason by reruns of the “Wayne Fontes Variety Hour.”
“The Bachelorette:” Sure, Annika Sorenstam said last week that she wants to join the men’s PGA Tour. But she isn’t in it for the money or the competition — she wants to meet a husband. Can a good-looking female athlete find true love while hitting off the longer tees? Tune in on FOX, Thursday nights at 8 to find out.
“Reality Island:” Bob Costas, Marv Albert, Al Michaels, Greg Gumbel and Jack Buck are all stranded on a deserted island for two months, and must marshal all of their life skills in order to survive. Odds are they will all be dead within 48 hours, so don’t miss the first two episodes.
“I Love Hideki:” Everyone is smitten with Hideki Matsui, the New York Yankees’ new outfielder from Japan. But what happens when his regular interpreter is deported and NBC replaces him with someone who intentionally gets everything wrong? The sparks will fly as Hideki says in Japanese, “How much for the umbrella?” and his interpreter repeats in English, “May I grope your wife?”
“Reality House:” Latrell Sprewell, Ron Artest, Dennis Rodman and, oh, what the heck, a newly-exiled Saddam Huessein, must share a house for three months, never going outside. No voting — contestants will be eliminated by attrition. Fridays at 9 on the WB, after “Gilmore Girls.”
“Win Ben Stein’s Spleen:” The dour comedian must play running back in a full regulation game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who must give up their Super Bowl rings if they fail to disable him. Monday at 8 (one show only).
* = Forget military threats — send Iraq a few of these and they will tearfully surrender.
— Rick Chandler’s interatctive sports column, Capacity Crowd, can be found at NBCSports.com. Contact him at RickChand@earthlink.net.
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