Wednesday, Dec. 10, 1997 | 1:03 a.m.
It's a shame, really.
I'm sure Ben Stepman and Fred from GMF Motors had some real humdingers all queued up and ready to go.
Sorry, boys. The Super Bowl's commercial slots are all sewed up. Have been for over a month.
And according to industry insiders, NBC will rake in a record $1.3 million for each 30-second spot during the most coveted advertising event of the year.
That leaves Ben with his palms out, but not to utter his trademark "In Henderson, of course," rather "What's up with that?" It makes Fred mutter to himself "Maybe I can't and won't finance my breakout performance."
We will be denied Happy Harry's new Quality Liquidators series and the latest promo for master impressionist Danny Gans. Rumor has it the Rio plans to overhaul the entire Gans commercial by splicing in his Pee Wee Herman laugh before his Tom Jones rendition.
NBC's half-minute rate rose $100,000 from last season's NFL championship game, leaving our local favorites looking through the showroom window, while the Anheuser-Busches and Pepsi Colas get to wow the world with their dazzling new ads, some of which will cost more to produce than they will to air.
NBC stands to make around $75 million on the Jan. 25 event, and that's not counting the $5 million shelled out by Royal Caribbean International cruise lines to sponsor the halftime show.
Here we have all this talent, and that corporate juggernaut known as the Super Bowl priced us out.
Brick in the cause
Overnight sports radio maven J.T. the Brick (a.k.a. John Tournour) spent his last five nights taking part in what he called "an historic event."
The Brick, whose show emanates from SportsFan Radio Network's Las Vegas studios and is heard locally on KSFN 1140-AM from 10 p.m.-3 a.m., was in San Antonio to complete a charitable quartet of sports-talk heavyweights.
Jim Rome, Peter Brown, the Fabulous Sports Babe and the Brick -- all employed by different syndicates -- were brought together by a local station to assist Elf Louise, an organization geared toward helping children have happy Christmases.
"It was an awesome time," said the Brick. "It was a real deep experience. Everyone put their egos aside and worked for one cause."
On the homefront, however, the Brick's personal cause remains his contract. He has been working without one since his three-year deal expired earlier this fall.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason is being considered as a possible replacement for Frank Gifford on ABC's "Monday Night Football" next year. ... With No. 1 Michigan in the Rose Bowl, CBS receives a $5 million rebate from the Bowl Alliance for not getting the top-ranked team in the Orange Bowl. Instead, the Jan. 2 game pays $19 million for No. 2 Nebraska and No. 3 Tennessee. ... ESPN airs the Heisman Trophy presentation Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ... NASCAR ratings rose on ESPN for the sixth straight year. The all-sport station averaged a 4.3 rating (nearly 3.1 million homes) for 14 races in 1997. ... HBO replays the Oscar De La Hoya-Wilfredo Rivera fight Thursday at 9:30 p.m.