Larry Stewart

A consumer’s guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, heard, observed, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it’s in play here. One exception: No products will be endorsed.

What: “Beg, Borrow & Deal”

Where: ESPN, today, 5 p.m.

Don’t know why, but this reality show, sort of a sports game show version of “Survivor,” is addictive. The premise is so dumb that somehow it works.


Two teams of four members each--two males, two females--are trying to cross the country with no money, no credit cards, no cell phones, and no change of clothes. They have to beg, borrow and deal their way across the country.

Today’s show is the fourth of eight shown Tuesdays at 5 p.m. on ESPN and repeated throughout the week.

To make things a little more difficult--actually a lot more difficult--each team has to complete 10 sports tasks from a list of 40. For example, catch a 35-yard pass from an NFL quarterback. Both teams have already done that.

In today’s show, one of the teams, which moves out to a considerable lead, achieves its fifth task when each member scores against an NHL goalie.


The contestants, picked from some 1,500 who were interviewed, can’t tell people exactly what they are doing--only that they are on an adventure and the TV cameraman is there to document it.

The show is produced by a Hollywood company, Neil and Michael Mandt’s Broken Twig Productions.

Four of the eight contestants are Southern Californians. Our favorite is Juliet Rogulewski, a USC graduate and a likable brat.

On today’s show, Juliet’s team ends up at her parents’ house in Chicago. Actually, it’s a mansion. Meanwhile, the other team sleeps on the ground at a trailer park in Richmond, Va.