Archive for November, 2006

10 Thoughts For The Weekend
November 17, 2006

It’s been a busy week here at Television Wisconsin, but I had some thoughts to share with you, my dear readers, before I close up shop here and head to my weekend job working the drive thru at Fazoli’s:

1. That countdown clock on ESPN that counts down the hours or even days to a game that ESPN or ABC is televising is ESPN’s stupidest idea since hiring Rush “Michael J. Fox Is Acting” Limbaugh for their Sunday morning football show. But even Rush Limbaugh would improve NBC’s Sunday evening football show.

2. Anybody that tells you that Michigan is going to beat Ohio State is guilty of overthinking. The Buckeyes win and it won’t be that close.

3. For anyone annoyed about the two Badgers games that were only on ESPNU this year and who are thinking about picking up ESPNU, remember that the Big Ten Channel is coming next year. ESPNU will then only be good for rowing, wrestling, and rodeo. Wait, do colleges have rodeo teams? They should.

4. Wisconsin plays Buffalo tomorrow. It’s gonna be cold. The spread is 38. 38! I’ll take Buffalo. No way Wisconsin wins by more than 30. Wait, Akron rolled Buffalo for 31 points last week? Forget it. I’ll take the points.

5. Joe Namath will be on 60 Minutes this weekend to talk about the infamous sideline interview with Suzy Kolber. Apparently Joe is going to claim that he thought he was talking to famed sideline reporter Armen Keteyian. It all makes sense now. I’m sweet on Armen too.

6. Packers will beat the Patriots this weekend. After the loss, Bill Belichick will walk onto the field to shake hands with Mike McCarthy but at the last minute Belichick will give the surprised McCarthy a very painful purple nurple and a vicious Indian burn.

All right, I only have six thoughts this weekend. But I’ll make it up to you. Free breadsticks for everyone. Come on down!

Spears, K-Fed, and John Stocco
November 8, 2006

Is this week over yet? I swear there’s been enough going on already by Wednesday to fill up most fortnights. Obviously, you’ve got the election. That’s sort of a big deal. Then Donald Rumsfeld “steps down.” Then there’s that whole Faith Hill thing. Then Kirstie Alley does Oprah in a bikini. (Or words to that effect.) Plus, both first seasons of Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place came out on DVD this Tuesday!

But maybe the biggest news is the Britney Spears divorce. Not since “The Wait Out” episode of Seinfeld have I seen people happier about a couple splitting up. You’d think that K-Fed was following the customs of Kazakhstan as depicted in Borat and keeping Britney in a cage, only letting her out to plow the fields. Come on, people, have a little sympathy for K-Fed. Not only is he losing his meal ticket, but he’s now on a faster track to complete obscurity than even the NHL. And what if he, as people seem to think, somehow brainwashed Britney into putting her career on hold for the benefit of his? Is that such a bad thing? Have people really missed getting new music from an “artist” better known for cavorting with a snake at the VMA Awards then for any of her songs? Or maybe it’s Britney Spears the serious actress people have missed. But that can’t be it — the only people to notice Crossroads were the Golden Raspberry Awards folks, who gave Spears that year’s “Worst Actress” trophy.

Me, I’ll take K-Fed’s “Lose Control” over Britney’s “Toxic” any day. At least K-Fed is good for a few laughs. But, as Spears showed in her surprise Late Show appearance this week, she seems like a pleasant enough person. And she now has two very young children to raise. So I wish her well. And I wish K-Fed well too. But I do have a feeling that he’s going to wind up as an adult movie “star.” Too bad about that pre nup.

Too bad too about John Stocco’s shoulder injury and broken ribs suffered in last week’s victory over Penn State. While I’ve heard some people gloss over Stocco’s condition with the attitude that P.J. Hill and the Badgers’ stout defense will be enough to persevere in Saturday’s game against Iowa, I’m not so sure. Yes, Hill and the D are major, major reasons the Badgers are 9-1 and in the hunt for a January 1 bowl berth. But Stocco’s contributions as QB should not be so easily taken for granted. He leads the Big Ten in pass efficiency, completion percentage, and has proven to be a steady, tough, and intelligent signal-caller, particularly in the two-minute drill at the end of the first half, where the Badgers have scored in seven of ten games this year. And he has an obvious, palpable chemistry with Paul Hubbard and Luke Swan that Tyler Donovan hasn’t had the opportunity to replicate.

You know Stocco wants badly to play this weekend, particularly as it will be his last chance to beat Iowa, a team that has beaten the Badgers four straight years. And though Iowa is slumping to the tune of three straight conference losses coming into Saturday’s game, no doubt the Hawkeyes will be very motivated on Saturday to keep their streak against the Badgers alive. Can the Badgers win with Tyler Donovan at the helm? No doubt. Will the Badgers win with Tyler Donovan at the helm? Definite doubt.

I Was Told There Would Be No Math
November 3, 2006

You know that NBC’s in trouble when one of their most-hyped primetime broadcasts of the November sweeps period is a Law and Order (is that show still on?) episode featuring Chevy Chase (is that guy still alive?) making his so-called “dramatic” debut. If “dramatic” can be defined as “not funny or able to induce laughter,” then hasn’t Chevy been acting dramatically for about twenty years? I know I laughed more during Schlinder’s List than Nothing But Trouble.

Anyway, something that is working out for NBC is this sport called the NFL. Games in November don’t get any better than the Sunday night tilt between New England and Indianapolis. Me, I like the Patriots. Better defense. It’s that simple. Should be a good game though. And starting November 12, flex scheduling kicks in, meaning that NBC should have one of the best — if not the best — games of the week. Now if they could only do something about that horrible pregame they have. Jerome Bettis? Cris Collinsworth? And that other guy?

The Sunday night game almost makes up for one of the crappiest slate of Sunday afternoon games in recent memory. Houston @ New York Giants? Miami @ Chicago? Atlanta @ Detroit? Will any of these games be decided by less than 30 points? Two potential upsets this weekend: I wouldn’t be surprised if Buffalo beats the visiting Packers — while the Packers are probably the better team, they might not be ready to face a team that’s simply bad after facing teams that are tremendously putrid (Dolphins and Cardinals). Also, no one seems to give the 49ers a chance against the Vikings (well, does anyone give the 49ers a chance any week?), but the Vikings are coming off a short week after an embarrassing loss that was not only bad for their collective psyche but also bad for the health of their players, several of whom — especially on the defensive side — are out or questionable for Sunday’s game. Seems like an ideal situation for San Francisco, especially at home.

Oh, and the football Badgers? I like them to come out fast for a change and win by a final of 30-14. Little known fact: Joe Paterno is actually younger than Chevy Chase. OK, not really, but you had to think about it, didn’t you?