Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Upon Further Review - Week 2 in the NFL (Part 2)

"Hey buddy, you missed a qb on your "qbs who are killing their team" how bout the talentless McCown? Oh, I guess I should be specific since there is seemingly one on every other team in NFL. The hated Josh McCown of my beloved Raiders...who was 8/16 for 73 yds 1 td and...3...not 2...not 1...but 3 INTS!!!! Who knows what would have happened if they had had a servicable QB, perhaps a certain ex-Viking QB? Heck a one legged ex-Viking QB would be better than this guy...heck I caught myself hoping for Jeff George to come out of retirement for the 17th time.

Oh and yes you did see James 'taking out the trash' Thrash last nite...fantastic, it brought a smile to my face.

I thought the Monday Night Game was fantastic, cause I hate the Eagles and everyone on the ESPN pregame show picked them except the only one I can stand, Tom Jackson. Here is a question for ya, how long before TJ can't stand the panel any longer and quits in the middle of a show? I hope he punches one of them in the face before he goes...maybe Emmitt (although I might feel bad cause he would never really know what had happened) or Keyshawn (who is seemingly the biggest jerk on the planet).


See, this is what happens when people make me leave my house on Sunday mornings for non-football related activities - the work suffers. I can't believe I forgot to talk about the unravelling of ESPN's Countdown - but we'll get to that in a second.

I had McCown in my mind when I was doing up the list of QB's that are killing their teams - but he actually played pretty well in the Raiders first game, so I left him off. However, if he has another sub-100 yard game he's on the list in a big way. The Raiders really must not think much of Daunte Culpepper for McCown to be starting ahead of him. I would hope that McCown's leash this Sunday will be shorter than O.J Simpson's temper and Culpepper will finally see some action.

Now to the Sunday Morning Countdown situation, which I think is one of the big stories of the early season - only you don't hear about it anywhere because people rarely speak out about ESPN - except for Steve Czaban.

The situation is this: ESPN is the biggest sports broadcaster in the United States (and possibly the world, as they are the self-appointed "Worldwide Leader") and it has one of the most popular pre-game shows for the most popular sport in North America, the NFL. Now that pre-game show, NFL Sunday Countdown, is bogged down with chemistry so bad that it actually might bring the show down. It's definitely making it hard to watch.

TH's comment about an on-air punch being thrown is not that far off.

This year saw the addition of Keyshawn Johnson and Emmitt Smith and the subtraction of Steve Young and Michael Irvin from the Countdown panel. The whole panel now consists of Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, a certain Coach Ditka, Keyshawn and Emmitt. The chemistry is so bad between this group it unbelievable.

Berman and Jackson have been together forever, so they're used to working with one another. Ditka doesn't really say much and seems content to let everyone else do the talking most of the time - but that's fine, it's not like he brings the show down. Keyshawn and Emmitt are a whole different story altogether though.

Keyshawn comes off as a genuinely unlikeable person, intent on turning everybody on the show against him - you can read what I wrote about him in last Tuesday's column. This Monday, on the MNF preview show he said something ( I can't remember what) that made Chris Berman stare open-mouthed for a few seconds, shake his head and then move on.

Emmitt on the other hand seems like a really nice person but he also seems very, very uncomfortable being on television - which seems ridiculous for someone who was on Dancing With the Stars.

The two things that stood out to me between Week 1 and Week 2 of Countdown were: A) the seating arrangement on the show had changed, which I thought was very strange and B) in the hour and a bit I watched Countdown on Sunday, there were only 2 occasions when they did group discussions with all 5 guys at the desk - everything else was either out of studio stuff or pieces away from the desk. This really struck me as strange because why would you have 5 panelists if you're never going to let them all talk together?

Obviously what happens on a pre-game show is nowhere near as important as the games themselves, but watching this all unfold is very interesting to see. Keep an eye on all of this as the season progresses.

If things don't get better with the current Countdown lineup in the near future, I would expect big changes to come soon.

And I'm really hoping at least one punch is thrown.

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