Right or Wrong, Bradshaw Is Mr. Candid

Whatever the word is that means the opposite of phony--real, blunt, candid, open--it describes Terry Bradshaw.

The candor is part of his charm, although it can also get him in trouble. People still remember him ripping John Elway in 1990.

You sit down with Bradshaw and, as the conversation turns to his new noon-1 p.m. sports-talk show on KXTA (1150), you expect him to tell you how much he enjoys doing it.

Not Bradshaw.

"It ruins my day, cuts right into the middle of it," he says. "Can't even play golf. Maybe it sounds like I'm winging it, but it takes a lot of preparation.

"And who listens to talk radio at noon? Couldn't be a worse time to do a radio show!

"I don't even like talk radio. Just a bunch of guys who never played but think they know everything. I never listen to talk radio."

So why is he doing talk radio? Can't be for the money, although Bradshaw said the money isn't bad.

"I've turned down other radio offers, but after my divorce [it became final in May] I had some time on my hands," he says.

Bradshaw, 51, has a home not far from the Fox studios in Century City and still has a 61-acre ranch near Dallas.

"My ex-wife moved out and lives around the corner," he says, adding that she's getting remarried.

When asked about his daughters, 12 and 10, Bradshaw turns serious. No, he says, he doesn't get to see much of them.

So there is the radio show to fill the hours. But how long does he want to do it?

"I'm committed through the football season," he says.

It's pointed out to Bradshaw that one reason Roy Laughlin, the general manager of KXTA and sister station KIIS-FM (102.7), hired him was to get some good publicity, something KXTA could use.

"Oh, then scratch all that stuff about me ripping my radio job."

He laughs. Bradshaw laughs a lot.

Again turning serious, he says, "The good thing about doing the radio show is, it makes doing the TV show easier. It forces me to keep up with everything."

The TV show, of course, is "Fox NFL Sunday," with James Brown, Howie Long and Cris Collinsworth. The show is the most-watched of the NFL pregame shows. And Bradshaw is a big reason for that, even though his critics think he is a goofball.

"Someone called me insufferable and loquacious," he says. "Loquacious? I had to look that up."

It means very talkative, and Bradshaw certainly is that. And, no question, his act can rub you the wrong way at times.

"Sure, I know there are people who don't like it," he says. "I don't read the clippings, but my friends, and I use that term loosely, will always let me know when I get ripped.

"No way I can change now. If I got real serious everyone would say, 'What has happened to Terry?' "

Self-effacing humor is what turned this Hall of Fame quarterback into a television star.

"I'm not Bob Costas," he said. "I'm going to stumble over words, I'm going to mess up. That's me. But I'm also going to give the viewer something a little different. I'm going to have fun and make sure everyone around me is having fun.

"I love working with J.B., Howie and Cris. They can rip me and I'll rip them, and we'll all have a lot of fun.

"Another problem with the radio show is, I'm by myself. I don't have Howie or Cris there to feed off."

Spend much time around Bradshaw and it's easy to see he is well-liked by his co-workers. They know the goofball side is an act, that the real Terry Bradshaw is a sensitive, caring guy looking to have a good time and making sure the people around him--as well as those watching him--are having a good time too.

FIGHT OF THE MILLENNIUM

What else can be said about Saturday night's $49.95 pay-per-view fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad that hasn't already been said?

The basics are that the undercard begins at 6, with the main event scheduled to begin sometime after 8.

It's a TVKO fight, so the announcers will be Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant and George Foreman, with Fox's James Brown, light heavyweight champion Roy Jones Jr. and CNN's Nick Charles also part of the crew.

For radio coverage, KNX (1070) will have Rory Markas on hand for round-by-round reports.

SHORT WAVES

"NFL This Morning," the baby brother of Fox's NFL pregame show, got off to a roaring start on the Fox Sports Net regional cable networks last Sunday at 8 a.m. Chris Myers was adept as the host, analyst Marv Levy came on strong, saying the Jets were overrated and would finish third in the AFC East, Jackie Slater was solid as usual and guest analyst Chris Spielman was so impressive that this week he was signed as a permanent analyst. . . . ESPN, which features Ty Cobb as athlete No. 20 tonight at 7:30, offers another two-hour "SportsCenter of the Decade" special, this one on the 1980s, at 4 p.m. The cover stories include the Al Campanis controversy of 1987, and Wayne Gretzky's coming to the Kings in 1988.

Recommended viewing: NFL Films honors Jim Brown as the player of the millennium in two parts on "NFL Films Presents." The shows air on ESPN and ESPN2, with first airings on Sundays at 10:15 p.m. on ESPN. You'll see a Brown different from the one in the news in recent weeks. He even breaks down and cries when talking about his best friend, former Washington Redskin receiver George Hughley, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in February. . . . . Good move: The critically acclaimed syndicated show "More Than a Game," which focuses on the positive side of sports, has moved from Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. on Channel 9 to Saturdays at 11 a.m. on Channel 2.

IN CLOSING

Shame, shame: Elway does Coors commercials, but he was drinking another brand when ABC showed him in Denver Bronco owner Pat Bowlen's suite Monday night.

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What Los Angeles Is Watching

A sampling of L.A. Nielsen ratings for Sept. 11-12, including sports on cable networks:

SATURDAY

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Over-the-air Channel Rating Share Tennis: U.S. Open, Serena Williams-Martina Hingis 2 8.7 21 Tennis: U.S. Open, men's semifinals 2 6.0 17 College football: UCLA at Ohio State 7 7.2 15 College football: California at Nebraska 7 4.7 12 Baseball: New York Mets at Dodgers 5 3.2 6 Horse racing: Man O' War Stakes; Gazelle 'Cap 4 2.5 6 Baseball: Atlanta at San Francisco 11 1.3 3 Cycling: National Mountain Bike Championships 4 1.3 3

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Cable Network Rating Share Boxing: Floyd Mayweather vs. Carlos Gerena HBO 2.5 5 College football: Pittsburgh at Penn State ESPN 1.9 5 Auto racing: NASCAR Winston Cup Exide 400 ESPN 1.4 3 College football: South Carolina at Georgia ESPN2 0.6 1 College football: Washington State at Stanford FSW 0.5 1 College football: Iowa at Iowa State FSW 0.5 1 College football: Rice at Michigan ESPN2 0.4 1 Hockey: Phoenix vs. Kings at Las Vegas FSW2 0.4 1 Baseball: New York Mets at Dodgers FX 0.3 1 Golf: Bell Canadian Open ESPN 0.3 1 College football: Wake Forest at Army FSW 0.2 1 Golf: Senior Comfort Classic ESPN2 0.1 0

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SUNDAY

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Over-the-air Channel Rating Share Pro football: San Francisco at Jacksonville 11 9.9 22 Pro football: Oakland at Green Bay 2 9.7 26 Tennis: U.S. Open, Andre Agassi-Todd Martin 2 8.1 18 Pro football: Dallas at Washington 11 7.0 18 Golf: Senior Comfort Classic 7 1.2 3 Baseball: Angels at Minnesota 9 1.1 3

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Cable Network Rating Share Pro football: Pittsburgh at Cleveland ESPN 5.6 10 Tennis: U.S. Open, women's doubles final USA 1.8 5 Boxing: Randie Carver vs. Kavary Salem FSW 0.9 1 Baseball: New York Mets at Dodgers FSW2 0.8 1 Auto racing: CART Grand Prix of Monterey ESPN 0.5 1 Golf: Bell Canadian Open ESPN 0.3 1 Auto racing: Formula One Italian Grand Prix FSW 0.2 1

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WEEKDAY RATINGS: MONDAY--Pro football, Ch. 7, Miami-Denver, Ch. 7, 16.8/27.

Note: Each rating point represents 51,350 L.A. households. Cable ratings reflect the entire market, even though cable is in only 63% of L.A. households.

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