Can't blame NBC for using football to promote Charles Barkley on SNL, or Fox for using football to promote Homer Simpson.

But can blame Sir Charles for being surprisingly stiff and unnatural as a comic actor. Homer aced his role, as usual.

The worst thing about Fox's rush to get to "The Simpsons" was its failure fully to explore the nuances of the final play in the Packers-Cardinals game.

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The network's studio analysts were too busy yucking it up about Michael Strahan finishing last in the picks standings to discuss matters such as why the officials did not call a face mask penalty on the Cards and why the tuck rule did not apply.

Photo: AP