HARK! What's that far-off rumbling sound? Why it's the hype and build-up to Superbowl XXIX, American Football's annual extravaganza. And you can see it on Wharf/ESPN on Monday, January 30 at 7 am. Quite a civilised hour for home viewing. By now, of course, you will know who the contestants will be. A special mention is due for Wharf Sports who abandoned their usual local overnight programming in order to carry the AFC Championship game between Pittsburgh and San Diego at 1.30 am today. They followed that up with the biggie - San Francisco v Dallas for the NFC title - the game many were calling the REAL Superbowl. If you didn't stay up for those late-nighters ESPN on Wharf are repeating both games in full - the AFC from noon today and the NFC from 3 pm. And if you're unable to see any of those then the place to be after office hours is Jimmy's Sports Bar at So Kon Po where they have allotted 12 hours to the games with kick-off times at 1 pm, 4 pm, 7 pm and 10 pm - but not specifying which games at which times. If you're keen you could see both games three times today. NOW take a deep breath. HaveyouseenNFL PrimetimeorSportcentreonWharf/ESPN? That's how fast they talk on the sports news shows with a difference - the difference being the presenters never pause to draw breath and they're on a quota of 20 puns or tenuous metaphors each per programme. King of the motormouth rapid rappers is bullet-headed Chris Berman whose delivery sounds like Hong Kong's own race caller Robert Geller on speed. Last week, summing up the 49ers' play-off win in heavy rainfall over the Bears, he blasted: 'When it rains it pours, pours [Ricky] Watters and that leads to a [William] Floyd and could leave the Bears out in the rain.' That's two atrocious wet-theme puns based on players' names in one sentence. From the Browns v Steelers highlights he breathlessly ranted: 'Neil O'Donnell completes it to one of the Mills brothers and says 'what the hell, we're singing with the Mills brothers, let's find Ernie again', there's a great catch from Ernie who takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'.' My favourite of the season so far, though, was on Sportcentre a few weeks back when the Cowboys were going through their quarterback injury crisis. Third-string QB Jason Garrett did a hero's job in leading the Cowboys to 42-31 victory over Green Bay after surviving an early sack, prompting these quickfire gems by Keith Olbermann: 'The most popular Garrett in Texas since the lawman Pat . . .' and 'Jason, like his hockey-mask-wearing namesake in the Halloween films, came back from the dead . . .' OK. Breathe out. IF too much tennis gives you tennis elbow does watching too much give you tennis eyeball? It's your chance to find out this week as the Australian Open cuts a great swathe through Prime Sports' scheduling. The opening Grand Slam of the year gets the grand treatment with up to 121/2 hours each day. ENGLAND, on paper, are a far superior rugby team to Ireland but the past two years it's the Irish who have stolen the honours in the countries' clashes on grass. This year the Five Nations Championship kicks off in Lansdowne Road, Dublin, with England intent on reducing their hosts to pre-World Cup confidence-boosting fodder. That's where the smart money is anyway. Catch the red-blooded action on Prime on Saturday. That game is a delayed broadcast preceded on Prime by reigning Five Nations champions Wales taking on France at the Parc des Princes. Wales have been hit by defections to the league code since last year's triumph and France have beaten the All Blacks twice so it doesn't look good for the visitors. FULL marks to TVB Jade for showing the Newcastle v Manchester United clash live from English soccer's Premier League last night. For a while this season it seemed the Chinese language terrestrial channel had abandoned their policy of occasionally showing live games from England or Italy. But in the past few weeks they have resumed. Pity TVB Pearl can't do the same for those without Nicam. CREEPIEST moment of last week had to be O. J. Simpson's behaviour in court on Thursday. CNN news and sports news bulletins on ESPN showed prosecutors offering evidence to Judge Ito to allow him to decide if it's admissible. Simpson, a former NFL running back, is now America's most famous double murder suspect. While one lawyer put the view that Simpson could not let go of his former wife - one of the two victims - Simpson rolled his eyes to the ceiling, puffed out his mouth as if humming a tune and then shook his head, smiling. Simpson, innocent until proven guilty, isn't doing himself any favours with childish body language like that. SO the NHL lockout ended in a dramatic 11th-hour deal between players and owners! 'Big deal', said disgruntled fans. Disillusioned ice hockey supporters in North America are, reportedly, less than ecstatic after being ignored for so long by both sides during the dispute. But the thaw in labour relations must have come as an unequivocal breath of welcome cold air to the ESPN bods who can now show at least some of the games they'd signed up for before the great freeze out. And that should bring the TV schedules back into kilter again. Ever since the lockout started the top English language listings magazine, the English-language newspapers and even Wharf Cable's own programme guide have stubbornly featured NHL International Weekly at 2.30 pm every Wednesday. The aforementioned magazine has even optimistically listed the NHL All-Star shenanigans coming up this weekend (January 21-22).