Back in the day, when CNN was the only news channel and ESPN had yet to become a multinational giant, the two used to go head-to-head with late-night sports shows. ESPN’s was, of course, SportsCenter, while CNN had Sports Tonight. Frankly, I always preferred CNN, primarily because it gave you the scores and highlights and weren’t as enamored of the up-close-and-personal profiles that ESPN loves to do. (This was before they turned their anchor position into open-mic night at the Improv.) Although it was a better show, it was ultimately no match for the Worldwide Leader, and the timeslot now belongs to Anderson Cooper. (You call that an upgrade?)
The lead team on Sports Tonight was Nick Charles and Fred Hickman. Fred’s problems over the years have, unfortunately, been well-documented, but I’ve wondered what happened to Nick. This USA Today piece brings me up to speed, and while the news is bad (cancer), I’m still glad to hear about him, and to have the chance to wish him well.
Here’s a clip of Nick and Fred from a “Best of Play of the Day” video that was released during the show's heyday. ◙