The threat of Hurricane Wilma already has affected both the NFL and Fox Sports' coverage of the World Series.
The Chiefs-Dolphins game, scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday in Miami, was moved to tonight at 7. CBS will televise the game only to the Kansas City and Miami markets. The game won't air on DirecTV, either. That package is restricted to 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday telecasts.
However, the NFL Network will air a replay Sunday night (time TBA). There's no ESPN Sunday night game scheduled this week with Game 2 of the World Series on Fox at 7:30 p.m.
This is the third time in little more than a season that a Dolphins game has been shifted because of a hurricane threat. Last year's home opener vs. the Titans was played a day early (Hurricane Ivan) and the Week 3 game with the Steelers was delayed 7 1/2 hours (Hurricane Jeanne).
As for the Series, Lou Piniella had to ask out of his agreement to be the third man in Fox's broadcasting booth when it opens tomorrow night (Channel 25, first pitch approximately 8 p.m.). Piniella, the former Tampa Bay manager, is home preparing to evacuate his family.
''The door is open for him to join us, even in mid-Series," said Fox Sports president Ed Goren yesterday. ''You never know with hurricanes. They can take a hard right or left." Joe Buck (play-by-play) and Tim McCarver will work the broadcasts as a two-man booth.
''Lou told us, 'I wish I had done this [broadcasting] before I managed,' " said Buck. ''He saw that managers play it too close to the vest during the postseason when they could open the game up as they would in the regular season.
''I know he enjoyed himself, but I don't think it's something he wants to do the rest of his life."
For McCarver, the Series will be his record 16th as a broadcaster, added to the two World Series rings he won with the Cardinals in 1964 and '67.
And what can Fox expect for ratings? ''We got a bonanza [15.8 rating] with the Red Sox last year," said Goren. ''I think we'll do quite well this year if we get the volume." Translation: Volume equals a seven-game series. ''Get us to Game 7 and we'll be in the ballpark. The last two Octobers, Fox has been the No. 1 network and we did it on the back of baseball."
Both sides of storyThe Tedy Bruschi story would seem to show the two ways the team measures publicity. The public relations department and front office were thrilled to have it on the front page of the region's papers. You have to think Patriots coach Bill Belichick was less than thrilled to have another distraction story. It was at the top of last Sunday's pregame NFL Shows: CBS's ''The NFL Today," ''Fox NFL Sunday," and ESPN's ''Sunday NFL Countdown." . . . The Patriots' Stacey James, on the massive coverage: ''I hope people remember to celebrate the story that the doctors have declared this a full recovery, something a lot of us never realized was possible. This may be the most coverage of any player resuming practice after having been on the PUP [physically unable to perform] list in NFL history." . . . The Globe's Jerome Solomon and former Patriot Tim Fox will join Bob Neumeier to talk football -- and, of course, Bruschi -- tonight on ''Sportsplus" (NESN, 6 and 11).
Summer breezeThe radio industry doesn't consider the summer ratings book all that important. But let the record show that WEEI continues its tour de force in the male 25-54 demographic. It was No. 1 in every part of the day except morning drive where ''Dennis and Callahan" was No. 2 behind Howard Stern on WBCN (9.5 share). WEEI was No. 1 among males at night, on weekends, and overall. In afternoon drive, Glenn Ordway's ''The Big Show" was a dominating winner, not only among men, but all adults. Overall, WEEI was No. 1 in the all-adult demo with a 6.6 share, with Magic 106.7 second at 6.1 . . . ESPN Boston radio (890) will have every game of the World Series, beginning tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. . . . ''Baseball Tonight" has a Series preview tonight at 8 on ESPN2 with Karl Ravech and panelist/analysts John Kruk, Peter Gammons, and Harold Reynolds followed by its annual ''Web Gems" Awards at 9 . . . Interesting TV night in St. Louis Monday with the Cardinals facing elimination in Game 5 of the NLCS and the Rams meeting the Colts on ''Monday Night Football." The market went for baseball (39.9 rating) over football (14.0). Nationally, football beat baseball, 10.6-9.1. Boston must still be in a postseason letdown. Here the football game did a 6.4 to a 5.9 for the NLCS . . . Yankees manager Joe Torre, who decided Tuesday to return for next season, will be a guest with Bob Costas on ''Costas Now" tonight at 9 for an interview about the job he loves even though ''it comes with a price tag."
Seen, not heardTonight's Celtics at Toronto exhibition game will be on TV (FSN, 7), but not on WRKO radio. It's the first time in Celtic PR chief Jeff Twiss's memory that games have been on TV but not radio. When the decision was made, the assumption was that the Sox would have been playing at least into this week . . . A McDonough-Castiglione pairing will be working tomorrow's Penn State-Illinois football game (ESPN2, 7 p.m.). Sean McDonough and Mike Gottfried work the booth with Duke Castiglione on sideline duty . . . Erstwhile college analyst Bob Norton is doing a rare football-hockey doubleheader tomorrow, working the Northeastern at New Hampshire football game with Ed Berliner and Phil Burton in the afternoon for
Bill Griffith's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.