- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 1, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION

So you’ve had it right up to there with Super Bowl XLVI, and you need something else to do Sunday evening. It’ll likely be too cold and dark to venture outside, but here comes cable TV rushing to the rescue with a plethora of choices that almost justify the expense — especially if you like football but don’t care to watch Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin scowling for three-plus hours.

For example …

At 6 p.m., you could watch the “World’s Strongest Man Competition” on ESPN. Thanks to Billy Cundiff’s botched field goal for the Ravens in the AFC championship, Ray Lewis might even be involved.

Meanwhile, ESPN Classic will be showing “Into the Cold,” a preview of what Super Bowl fans will face when they leave Lucas Oil Stadium in Indy. Presumably, many will be cursing the memory of late commissioner Pete Rozelle, who conceived the insane idea of having the Big Game in cold-weather locales.

Meanwhile, Discovery Channel will offer “Two Weeks in Hell,” a tear-jerking documentary on what fans in Baltimore and San Francisco experienced between the conference showdowns and Super Sunday.

Showtime will present “The King’s Speech,” a taped showing of commissioner Roger Goodell’s annual “State of the NFL” message. Early reports indicate that the commish stammers badly while trying to explain why the nation’s most popular league lacks a team in Los Angeles, its second most populous city.

Since Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson will not be part of this year’s halftime extravaganza, you can get your wardrobe malfunction kicks by tuning to Country Music Television for “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.”

Encore will check in (and out) with “The Color Purple,” a heart-rending account of Donovan McNabb’s mini-season with the Vikings. (Reportedly, a version entitled “The Color Burgundy” is in production detailing his earlier misadventures with the Redskins; unfortunately, both programs are expected to be flops.)

Maybe you’d like to get as far away from football as possible. Well, the Food Channel will carry “Cupcake Wars,” while DIY presents “10 Killer Bathrooms.” If there’s a connection between the two, we don’t want to know.

Politics is always good for a few chuckles. In that vein, “Huckabee” on Fox News might feature the former Arkansas governor explaining why this season’s crop of Republican presidential candidates ain’t worth a pitcher of warm spit (with apologies to 1930s vice president John Nance Garner, who sort of described the Veepship that way).

Continuing that theme, there’s sure to be yet another debate among the remaining GOP hopefuls somewhere on the tube. You might think they’d be smart enough to avoid going head-to-head against the Super Bowl, but, hey, these guys are politicians.

So take a stroll through your cable guide and see what else might excite you more than endless replays, commercials and cliches Sunday night on NBC. Believe me, there’s a lot out there.

If you start the game, however, and it turns out to be lousy, there’s a similar but different option on Animal Planet all night long. It’s called “Puppy Bowl VIII,” and everybody in it is a dog.

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