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January 6, 1998

The point of a paragraph in last Friday's column was a little hazy because of a typographical error which omitted an entire sentence. Just so you won't be left wondering what I was trying to say, here's the complete paragraph:

...Another survey showed the musical preferences of Americans as determined by a nationally distributed trade magazine. Their findings were based on the number of radio stations with various kinds of program formats. In all, the U.S. has 10,351 commercial stations, which in itself is a kind of staggering fact. Of that total, 2,491 are country music stations. Next in line were 1,508 stations which play adult contemporary music. The survey noted that "adult contemporary" is becoming an increasingly nebulous term. (I think of it as bland background music.) Third in popularity was the news/talk/sports/business format, with 1,331 stations choosing that for their programming. Religious stations, with a total of 1,063, came in fourth. Fifth place went to stations playing oldies and classic hits, and I guess that included my favorite, the big band sounds of the 1930s and 1940s. Some 927 stations offer that format....

What you missed because of the oversight was the sentence that identifies country music as the apparent national favorite. Not exactly an overwhelming revelation, but at least you have now been exposed to the whole text.

Please do not ask me which teams won and which lost in the marathon of football games that filled most of the TV screens all of last week, including the pro playoffs on Saturday and Sunday. I shared the general fandom anticipation of great games until about halfway through the agenda, when I began to realize that they were becoming a great blur in the memory tapes of my mind. From that point onward they ran together like the unedited tape you often see on "late breaking" TV newscasts. By the time Nebraska had disposed of Tennessee in the Orange Bowl Friday night, I was ready to toss in the towel, even though some of my favorite AFC and NFC teams were still getting pumped up for their collisions on Saturday and Sunday. Yes, I know the college season has been officially wrapped up and the pros lack only the Super Bowl and a meaningless all-star game, and consequently there will be no real football on TV until next summer. Nevertheless I feel as I did when the last piece of fudge and the last of the zestful Christmas mix was popped into my mouth. Enough, already! I am now ready for the spring break, with maybe just a little baseball, basketball, wrestling and the winter Olympics thrown in to satisfy that craving for athletic conquests.