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And on through the weekend

By RD Heldenfels Published: December 26, 2005

We finished that Alan Rickman Christmas double feature on Christmas Eve with a big dose of ''Die Hard'' and successfully fought the urge to watch ''Love Actually'' again. Caught a little of the Browns-Steelers, but it's not easy to stay interested in a game once it's 20-0 and feels much worse than that sounds.

Church service that evening, which turned out a bit differently than I expected. I had agreed to help out a little, but found that I had been enlisted as the balcony usher, and so had my own little flock -- about 15 people -- to tend to. Also unexpected: How protective I felt about them during the service. But it's still a challenge to navigate steps in the dark while carrying a large, lit candle.

Not much TV on Christmas Day. The one big viewing was of ''Tommy Boy.'' Not a Christmas movie, but still a very funny one.

And now it's Monday. Vacation continues, but I am starting to get ready for the rest of the year. Just packed up the Christmas CDs and cassettes, for instance. After relaxing for a couple of days, I feel as if I should be doing something, and I suspect there will be lots of viewing today.

The Motor City Bowl, with the University of Akron playing, is on the list, and I've set the recorder for Monday Night Football. It's the last telecast of the season, and for now ABC's last regular-season game (since that the NBC/ESPN deal kicks in next year). So it is a milestone of sorts.

But how deeply has anyone cared about MNF since the Cosell/Meredith/Gifford era ended? As more than one person has noted, in those days, it didn't matter if the game was good or bad, because you were intriqued by the announcers; for the last many years, the game was paramount.

Besides, I have to think that at some point ABC will try to get back in the game, and not just by having the deal for its corporate sibling, ESPN. CBS lost its old football deal to Fox, then grabbed NBC's share of the pie. NBC made a lot of noise about not wanting football, then grabbed a package of prime-time Sunday games beginning next season. And in doing so, it got the NFL to agree to flexible scheduling, letting NBC have some playoff-significant games late in the season instead of sticking it with whatever the preseason schedule determined; the latter approach was the one ABC had to accept, and it did not accept it happily. Now that flexible scheduling is agreed to for prime time, who's to say ABC won't chase it the next time a football package is available?

And suddenly all that thinking feels too much like work. Let me get back to fun. Go Zips. Fear the Roo.

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