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BCS, ''Mother,'' ''Men''

By RD Heldenfels Published: January 9, 2007

Yesterday at the office, there was a festive feeling. You don't get that a lot at newspapers this day. But, since we're an Ohio newspaper, and Ohio State was in the BCS game last night, people were beginning their celebration of an expected win. Wonderful donuts in Ohio State colors.

The bride and I settled down for the game (and I recorded my two Monday comedies for later viewing). The Buckeyes' lightning strike on the opening kickoff suggested that the game wouldn't be close. And it wasn't, though not the way we expected. The bride, a big OSU fan who had been eagerly awaiting the game, was done before halftime. So was Ohio State.

I  hung in until there were about eight minutes left. Florida had it sewn up at that point, but I kept waiting for more drama -- for some flash of brilliance or authority that said Ohio State was still a team to reckon with. You know, the kind of thing you see in the movies. Only this wasn't a movie. Movies may be written more predictably, but they're also done more entertainingly than real-life sports often is.

In the movies, Ohio State and Florida would have gotten a finish like Boise State's or the Dallas Cowboys' (which had eerie echoes of the ''North Dallas Forty'' movie, by the way). Or, for that matter, last year's Texas-USC championship. Instead, enh. Well, at least enh if you were a Buckeyes fan. Florida rooters can't complain how this ended at all.

Having put aside my comedies, I watched this morning. ''How I Met Your Mother's'' showpiece was, of course, the editing of Barney into ''Dirty Dancing,'' and nicely done. But far more amusing was the dialogue about splashing in the pool, and the Empire State Building riffs. Not bad, except that the actress playing Robin's sister looked scarily thin; maybe Robin should have talked less about sex and more about a balanced diet.

''Two and a Half Men,'' meanwhile, really belonged to the women. While I expected more from Sara Rue as Berta's daughter, the script didn't give her much. But what fun for Berta, and for Conchata Ferrell, a fine actress of long standing who was given more to do than crack wise. (She could handle plenty more. Go and see what she does with a small scene in ''Network,'' for starters.) And then came Holland Taylor, who makes every line -- no matter how outrageous -- sound perfectly in keeping with her character. Very good show.

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