Picks and Pans Review: Monday Sportsnite

updated 08/31/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/31/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

ABC (Mondays, midnight E.T.)


Maybe I'm not the best judge. I hate sports. I dreaded getting haircuts when I was a kid not just because it was the hippie '60s but also because I was deathly afraid the barber would talk about baseball. But here's a sports show I almost like. Sportsnite doesn't bother with scores and game highlights. Instead, the show tries to be a Nightline for jocks with news, interviews and features that are slickly and even intelligently done. In one recent program, host Al Trautwig tried to find out whether riots in Korea would jeopardize the Olympics there, then had a feature on a former football player turned painter, then interviewed the Chicago Bears' Walter Payton. Sportsnite only gets into trouble when it tries to act as if sports are a metaphor for all society. A macho reporter says being chased by bulls in Spain is "a chance to tune into primitive instincts." Commentator Jack Whittaker inexplicably sees the same poignant message in golf's U.S. Open. It's only a game, guys.

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