How awkward was it when CBS—picking up a wild Chargers-Bengals game after Jets-Pats yesterday–had to cut away from Cincinnati with some nine minutes left. I believe the score was 41-38 San Diego, and the game had just gotten a whole lot more compelling after Charger defensive back Marlon McCree floored Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh with a helmet-to-helmet cheap shot. (The team doctor asked Houshmandzadeh to spell his name afterwards, and he failed, but could he spell Houshmandzadeh with a clear head? Could you?*)
Suddenly the broadcast shot back to the studio, where Boomer Esiason, Greg Gumbel and the gang apologized that they could show no more of the game, as the witching hour of 4:15 had arrived, and it was time for viewers to jump to the game over at Fox.
To their credit, the CBS guys had numerous updates and replays from the game, until the Chargers iced it with a late touchdown. It wasn’t exactly the infamous Heidi game (a Jets vs. Raiders game from 1968, which was won by a little German girl). But it was still an ugly fumble at the worst possible time.
By Michael Malone