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Sound bites

By JOHN C. COTEY, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 14, 2002

After four weeks of Fox, the Bucs moved to CBS this week, and the change was welcome.

After four weeks of Fox, the Bucs moved to CBS this week, and the change was welcome.

Fox does a good enough job, but often, its announcing teams are indistinguishable. Once past the first team of Joe Buck and Co., or Dick Stockton or Pat Summerall's recognizable voices, it's hard to tell a Tim Green from a Bill Maas from a Brian Baldinger. Close your eyes, and they sound the same.

They weren't perfect Sunday, but you knew you had something with Dick Enberg and Dan Dierdorf, like a pair of old friends who showed up to watch the game in your living room.

That doesn't excuse Dierdorf's penchant for overreacting -- "These are the times that try men's souls" to describe the Browns trying to stop a Bucs drive in the stifling heat?; Thomas Paine he ain't -- but CBS gets a passing grade.

Other observations:

TOP LINE: "I've seen some leaps before, and that's not one of the best," said Dierdorf, laughing loudly after Alstott came up a few yards short (but reached to put the ball over the goal line for a score).

IN THE FRONT ROW: Kind of wondered where CBS was going with shots of Cleveland lineman Melvin Fowler's parents ... until the cameras panned to reveal they were in the cheap seats. Funny.

BUTTER FINGERS: Michael Pittman breaks off a long catch-and-run on the Bucs' third play thanks to poor tackling, and Dierdorf jumps all over the Browns for a season-long weakness.

"A 1-yard pass from Brad Johnson to Michael Pittman almost goes the distance. ... They say missed tackles are killing us, well, they are exactly right."

Cleveland tackled poorly the rest of the game.

ANNOTATED DIERDORF: Who does Dierdorf think he is, Dennis Miller?

After a shot of Warren Sapp shaking his groove thing, he said, "It looks like everyone has shown up for an episode of the taping of Dance Fever."

For those younger than 25, Dance Fever was a weekly television series from 1978-87.

In each episode, four couples showed off their best dancing and were judged by a celebrity guest panel (and we use the term celebrity loosely). The best teams could go on to win as much as $50,000 if they reached the Grand Prix final.

Deney Terrio was the original host, and he also performed each week with two women called "Motion." In 1985, Terrio was replaced by Adrian Zmed.

There you go.

TICK, TICK, TICK: After Ronde Barber's interception, CBS barely made it back from a commercial break for the next play then squeezed in a replay of the play before Barber's interception.

Timely instant replays was a weakness all day.

DICK'S FRIEND: Cleveland running back Jamel White was described by Enberg early as "delightful." Later, he called him "charming."

Sounds like a great guy.

BEST SHOT: Sapp as a tight end knocking the top overall pick of 2000, Courtney Brown, off the line of scrimmage on a fourth-quarter running play.

B SQUARED: Sideline reporter Bonnie Bernstein did the best job of any sideline reporter Bucs viewers have seen this year, whether Andy Rooney agrees or not.

THE ALSTOTT SHOW: It was the Mike Alstott show in the second half. Dierdorf described his second touchdown run as "beautiful ... just beautiful," and Enberg gave him an "Oh my." Both announcers gushed over him and for good reason. They did fail to broach the subject of a possible running back controversy.

SHOUT OUT: After former South Florida star Anthony Henry tackled Ken Dilger, Enberg mentioned he was a former Bull and his alma mater defeated Southern Miss the night before on the same field.

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