"It's possible to watch old Siskel and Ebert clips on YouTube and find they remain as entertaining as ever. Vintage editions of the [John] Roach-produced 'The Sportswriters on TV' probably would hold up for much the same reason today if rerun on Comcast SportsNet."
When Phil Rosenthal wrote those words in the Chicago Tribune on Aug. 11, he may or may not have been psychic. But seven days later, Comcast Sports Chicago announced that it would indeed be rerunning tapes of "The Sportswriters on TV" at 11 p.m. Fridays and Sundays, starting Sept. 10.
For more than a dozen years -- before they ran out of hot air and cigar smoke in 1998 -- Chicago treasures Bill Gleason, Bill Jauss, Rick Telander and Ben Bentley defined sports talk on television with their spirited weekly roundtable. Although it owed its origins to radio and eventually achieved national distribution on cable, "The Sportswriters on TV" was, in its purest form, a genuine classic of local television.‚ (Where are they now? Gleason died earlier this year, Jauss is retired from the Tribune, Telander is the top sports columnist‚ at the Sun-Times, and Bentley died in 2001.)
In hailing the return of what he called "The Fab Four of Sports Talk," Comcast SportsNet president Jim Corno said: "Gleason, Jauss, Telander and Bentley were rock stars in their own right back in the day, and their timeless wisdom on so many sports topics that still hold major relevance to this day will once again be shared with our viewers."
If there's a market for a sports talk show from 25 years ago, why stop there? I think this could start a trend in bringing back "classic episodes" of old shows to local television:
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