Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hey, NFL - I Was Thinking...

I was watching football over the Holiday weekend and was amazed at the number of empty seats in the stands. LP Field in Nashville, home of the Tennessee Titans, a decent team with a 6-5 record, was maybe half empty. An optimist might call that stadium half-full, but when you're talking about an NFL venue, you would rather be Lambeau Field, a stadium that would sell out even if the Packers were winless well into the season. Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego also had large sections of empty seats, a strange thing when the Denver Tebows were in town, the hottest topic in all of sports right now.

Television coverage for a football fan can be very frustrating, particularly if you rely on the networks and don't have some pricey premium package. (Let's not even talk about the ridiculous dispute between the NFL Network and the cable giants, who can't come to terms, thus depriving us from even considering a pricey premium package.) So if you live on the East Coast, it will be a rare day when you get to see the Seahawks, the Raiders or the 49ers play. Down here in Florida, we are subjected to Buccaneers, Dolphins or Jaguars games; three teams that make up the Triangle of Suck in the NFL. If we aren't being made to watch them stink up the field, then the networks assume we want to see the Patriots. Recent weekends, I have seen more of Tom Brady and that homeless guy who coaches the Patriots than I have my own dog.

When football is not on, the Sports Centers of TV and the web or the Sports Sections of print and online journalism are talking about football. It is, no one can argue, the new national pastime. We don't give a crap about baseball, in comparison. We eat it up, can't get enough of it, and will watch the sorriest matchup in history if it is the only game on TV. 

Which brings me to my point. A football fan will watch any game if it is the only game available. So...WHAT IF...the NFL played six days a week? (My original plan called for seven days a week, but I'm reminded that Saturday is college football day, and that would not sit well with the American football watching public to mix it up like that.)

The season would still be 17 weeks long, you'd just have fewer games per day. There are 32 teams, which makes 15 games a week, allowing for two teams having a bye every week. So, two games on Monday, two on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Sunday you'd have two early games, two late games and one night game. If a team plays on a Monday, to avoid fatigue and allow for jet-lag recovery, that team plays the following week on a Tuesday.  It would be a scheduling nightmare, to be sure, but not one that some innovative programmer couldn't overcome. A fan could conceivably watch every game all season long, granted with a little back and forth on the remote control between the games happening simultaneously.

What about the other TV shows that would get bumped if CBS, FOX or NBC were to take this on? Oh, how sad it would be if 2 Broke Girls or Whitney or one more CSI wasn't available. Move it to another night or time. If the networks follow the money, which they will, they know that the NFL is a ratings bonanza. Let ESPN and ESPN 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and The Ocho get in on the bidding. Advertising, dollars, ratings, licensing, perhaps even stadium attendance will be affected. (We all know that a nationally televised game fills seats better than one only available in the local market.)

I'm sure there are too many interests involved in a plan like this for it ever to really happen, the most powerful likely being the NFL and their precious NFL Network, but I'm throwing it out there. Football fans and football haters are invited to weigh in in the comments section. Tell me why I'm wrong, why this won't work, or what we could do to make it happen. If you're a fan of Whitney, just be quiet. That show is getting canceled and you know it.    

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Ricky Gervais is The King of Comedy

Who else could get Patrick Stewart, David Bowie and now Liam Neeson to do these deadpan skits? The man is a flat-out genius. If you disagree, you're just wrong and that's all there is to it.

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Allow Me to Endorse Something

Readers of this blog know I'm not in the habit of praising very many products. I have endorsed a chili sauce once and have likely professed my love of an ice cold Coca-Cola now and again.

So here's a little nine-dollar thing that makes life easier. It's an iPhone bike cradle. Fits the 3 or the 4. If you're doing rough, mountain riding, some reviews say it might slip out, fall and break, thus pissing you off to the point that you will write a scathing one-star review on Amazon. I have not taken it off-road yet, but so far, it stays in nicely. So when you're riding and that song comes up that you can't stand anymore, it's an easy job to skip ahead to the next tune. Or just keep your iPhone on Maps and watch your progress as you navigate through town.

So far, Casa de Jeptpacks has ordered two of these from this place.

No, I am not compensated in any way for mentioning this. Just a friendly tip for my fellow bicyclists.

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Saturated Street Scenes: Prague

I'm calling this one "Lo, I Am With You Always"

Across the Vltava River from downtown Prague, Czech Republic, (where there is no shortage of opportunities for western dining, including a TGIF's and nearly a dozen McDonald's) is a nice public park called Letenske Sady. It was in that park one beautiful day on an unknown date that the Google Street View camera came across the scene of an innocent childhood game amongst some girls.

Creepy lurking clown sold separately.

Click for the large

You can view the actual scene here.

And all of the Saturated Street Scenes are here.

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Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Vet and The Noob

When I first saw this, I thought, "Wow - a new movie starring Jonah Hill and Sam Worthington that looks like it's based on a video game." Wrong, it's a video game commercial starring Jonah Hill and Sam Worthington.

Some may deride the stars for "selling out." But unlike a guy like Clooney, who only sells out overseas while maintaining the illusion of the pure and noble movie star here at home, these guys said, "You know what? It's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3! How do we say 'No' to this?" And they sell it well. Something tells me Hill is a gamer anyway and the fanboy in him was more than happy to be a part of this promotion. Beautifully shot, acted and directed, this will help sell the hell out of the game, arriving on Tuesday and already the most pre-ordered title in gaming history. Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic makes a brief cameo at the end.

And is this a slimmed down Jonah Hill? Unlike his neo-brat pack brother Seth Rogen, it looks like he didn't lose his comedy skills when he lost weight.

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