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Published: Saturday, 1/25/2003

No end to hype for Super Bowl

What is typically bigger than the Super Bowl itself during Super Bowl weekend?

Super Bowl hype on TV.

This year is no different.

By the time Super Bowl XXXVII starts tomorrow shortly after 6 on ABC (WTVG-TV, Channel 13), we'll know everything there is to know about the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. What some may consider overkill others may find fascinating and quite informative.

Anyway, here's a simple Super Bowl viewer's guide for today and tomorrow.

A NFL Films production, The Road to the Super Bowl, will air at 1 today on Channel 13. The hour-long piece chronicles how the Raiders and Buccaneers made their way through the regular season and playoffs to reach Super Bowl XXXVII.

Monday Night Football analyst John Madden will look back on his first season during a one-hour broadcast of Season on the Bus: John Madden's Monday Night Football Experience, which airs today at 2.

The ConAgra Foods Champions Skins Game will air on ABC from 3 to 6. Hale Irwin, two-time defending champion, goes for a fourth skins-game title. He faces golf legends Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino. The competition resumes tomorrow from noon to 2.

The hype will be highlighted by ABC's Super Bowl XXXVII Pre-Game Show that will run tomorrow from 2 to 6. Stories about past and present NFL players, including members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, will be featured. Live performances by the Dixie Chicks, Bonnie Rait, the Goo-Goo Dolls and Celine Dion are on the schedule.

The four-hour pre-game show is actually an hour longer than last year's pre-game show by Fox, which handled the Super Bowl XXXVI broadcast.

ABC/ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman will be working on the pre-game broadcast. He thinks four hours is the right time frame for the event.

Who cares if the game will take less time to complete?

“I think four hours is perfect,'' Berman said. “Nobody expects everybody will be riveted for four hours. But it's also not window dressing. We're going to be upbeat, with a mixture of football and entertainment.

“And this year we have the anticipation of what appears to be a great game in Oakland versus Tampa Bay.”

ABC isn't the only network intending to feed off the fact it's Super Bowl weekend.

Programs tomorrow on Fox affiliates include College Football Skills Challenge at 12:30, followed by Howie Long's Tough Guy Awards show at 1:30.

Channel changing:

Ohio State plays at Iowa in college basketball today at 2:30 on Buckeye TV5. Michigan takes on Michigan State tomorrow at 1 on Channel 11.

College football's Gridiron Classic takes place today at 2 on ESPN2.

The Australian Open men's final airs tonight at 10 on ESPN.

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