Super Bowl and Less-Than-Super TV Alternatives

There’s only one yearly event that’s more disappointing than the Super Bowl, and that’s New Year’s Eve. But at least on New Year’s Eve, you have a day off work to recover from your massive hangover.

Actually, by my count five of the last eight Super Bowls have been very entertaining games, but the problem comes with the anticipation and excitement that football fans bring to the last game of the year. Blame the NFL for making us wait an extra week and me and you for being more interested in Joey Porter’s rants than the President’s State of the Union address.

Hey, I don’t mean to be a drag. I love the Super Bowl and I’m going to sit through every minute of it even if it means handing my son a bucket of Dum-Dum suckers to keep him quiet so that I can hear every word of Al Michaels and John Madden’s swansong as an NFL broadcast team. But these days I approach the game like I approach the new Woody Allen movies or new Rolling Stones discs — with reduced expectations. But hey, both the Woodman and the Stones pleasantly surprised me this year, so maybe the Super Bowl will as well.

But in case the game stinks, is there some intelligent television counter-programming out there? Let’s see what you can flip to should the game measure down to your lowest expectations:

A) E! has a 10-hour marathon counting down the 101 Sexiest Celebrity Bodies. Personally, I rather see 10 hours of the least sexy celebrity bodies. When I’m drinking beer and eating Taco Doritos by the fistful, I don’t need my wife distracted by footage of Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom. Give me Vic Tayback and Wilford Brimley. Besides, I can’t support E! now that they’ve given a reality series to Lisa Loeb. Who’s Lisa Loeb, you ask? Exactly my point.

B) USA is televising a seven-hour viewer’s choice marathon of Monk. I’ve never seen Monk, but any show that brings together former stars of Wings and Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place can’t be worth seven hours of my time.

C) TBS is for some reason airing sixteen straight episodes of the truly awful sitcom Yes, Dear. Creator Greg Garcia has since redeemed himself for coming up with the great My Name Is Earl, so that leaves the show’s cast, directors, writers, accountants, hair stylists, stunt doubles, and boom operators as people who should never be allowed to work again in any job that doesn’t involve some form of bathroom sanitation.

D) The Hallmark Channel will run a ten-episode marathon of Little House on the Prairie. Michael Landon’s hair rules over Troy Polamalu’s anyday of the week.

E) The History Channel is running something called Sex in the Bible, with the still-alive Dr. Ruth Westheimer discussing the “passion and sexual deviancy” found in the Bible. I’ve got some advice for the FCC: Now that you don’t need to monitor Howard Stern anymore, perhaps you should take a gander at what they are getting away with at The History Channel. I haven’t heard of anything so offensive since FOX announced Skating with Celebrities.

Well, there you go. Looks like you are better off sticking with the game on Sunday, no matter how dull it gets. Oh, and for those of you who waded through this long column, here’s a prediction: Seahawks 30, Steelers 21. Why the Seahawks? I was impressed at how thoroughly they disposed of Carolina. Why not the Steelers? Too many “must win” games in a row. Bound to catch up with them. Bottom line: I like Holmgren, Hasselbeck, and Alexander more than Cowher, Big Ben, and Bettis.

Enjoy the game. It’s a long wait until next season.

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