Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Completely Random

Monday I mentioned my frustration with CBS delaying the start of the 4pm Steelers - Packers showdown because they had to make sure every 1pm game had concluded. And even though the regional Bengals - Ravens broadcast had long since ended, I was stuck watching the end of the Raiders - Chiefs game, which meant that I didn't see my first Steelers play from scrimmage until there was 6:25 left in the first quarter.

Not so surprisingly I guess, there were people on both sides of this issue. And if I weren't completely insane, I could probably understand why the CBS programming people opted for an exciting finish in the early game over a more-than-likely-boring-as-hell first ten minutes of a meaningless second half of a midseason doubleheader.

Fair enough. Except that I like watching the Steelers. And don't get me wrong, if Pittsburgh had the 1pm slot, and their game ran late, I'd be just as pissy if they cut away from the ending to show the start of whatever 4pm game followed. So yeah, I'm impossible to please. But as my wife so diplomatically put it while I was stomping around the house waxing idiotic on inane topics like, "... this is why I hate all big corporations ... they're ruining America!": "Don't worry. We'll get that season ticket thingy next year and you can watch whatever game you'd like." Implicit in this of course, was the understanding that the Sunday Ticket would also allow her to live her life without having to baby-sit a grown man one day a week for four and a half months out of the year. Every year. For the forseeable future.

Whether CBS switched to the Steelers - Packers game or not doesn't change the fact that Pittsburgh's defense has really, really struggled to get off the field on third downs the past few weeks. The good news is that the Steelers have been able to force teams to kick field goals, but at some point stuff like this will come back to bite you in the ass. So I guess the bad news is that (a) stuff like this will come back to bite you in the ass, and (b) James Farrior is doubtful for Sunday night's game.

And before you break out the, "yeah, but they're playing Cleveland" line, let me remind you that I'm with Cowher on this one: there are no cupcake games in the NFL. And let me also remind you that Farrior's backup is Clint Kriewaldt: Special Teams Ace. The same Clint Kriewaldt who Cowher described as having, "... a rough series to start, but he settled down after that."

By the way, did either Nantz or Simms mention that Farrior was out of the game? I first realized it when I saw Potsie sitting on the bench with a big ice back wrapped around his knee. Is it too much to ask for commentators to actually, you know, commentate? I know Nantz has to pimp "DefCon 7" every 45 seconds, but can you at least update me on injuries if you're going to neglect the action on the field?

(And yes, I know the CBS World Premiere [by the way, how many World Premiere's can a network have in a year? I've counted three so far] wasn't actually called "DefCon 7." But I can't remember the real title -- other than it had the number "7" in it -- even though Nantz would talk over plays to remind me to watch ["See the Eiffel Tower explode!] -- and "DefCon 7" sounds just ridiculous enough to be believable.)

And here's a question I ask every weekend: why is the correlation between former players turned commentators and their knowledge of the game negative (or at least their inability to articulate it)? At one point in the not-to-distant past, I thought Phil Simms was tolerable. Well, he's not. He's no Sean Salisbury or Michael Irvin, but god is he arrogant for a guy that says a lot of stupid stuff. And given his current stable of year-round booth mates, I'm convinced Jim Nantz was either Jack the Ripper in his previous life, or he's destined to be Wilt Chamberlain in his next one, because he's stuck with the likes of Phil Simms, Billy Packer and Lanny Wadkins all year long.

Back to Kriewaldt -- when I saw Farrior on the bench, I just assumed that Cowher would move James Harrison inside, since that's actually where he practiced for most of his first year with the team. Cowher was asked about this in his press conference, but gave some cryptic answer that I didn't follow. So that doesn't look like an option. And to Clint's credit, he did a pretty good job in coverage on the failed 4th down play on the Packers' last offensive drive of the game, so props for that.

Here's the final question from Cowher's Tuesday press conference:
Q:Did you see Jimmy Kimmel's skit and what did you think about it?

A:I heard about it. I'm not proud of it. I've got to do a better job as I've been told. My chief advisor (wife Kay) has told me I need to do a better job of controlling myself. I will attempt to do that.
Kimmel has a segment during every Monday night game, and it's usually pretty bad. This was no different. I'm not interested in dissecting why this segment routinely sucks, but I'm guessing trying to force some laughs in the span of 60 seconds is pretty hard to do without T.O. being somewhere nearby ready to do shirtless situps while Drew Rosenhaus stands around yelling. I will say this about Kimmel though: He's smart enough to hang out with Adam Corolla -- one of the few guys less funny than him (And for the record, I was a big "Loveline" fan -- the radio show, not that MTV debacle).

Whatever. I think it's pretty humorous that a reporter brought it up to Cowher during the press conference.

Commence downward spiral into mediocrity ... Go! So the Globe is reporting that the Red Sox are interested in Jim Bowden, the current Washington Nationals GM, and Jim Beattie, the guy who was so good at his job that his former employer, the Baltimore Orioles, chose not to re-sign him after his contract expired. And frankly, I don't know much about Beattie except these two things:

a) The Orioles might be one of the worst teams in baseball when you factor in how much money they spend to suck; and

b) He's a prick. This is the same douchebag who tried to get Johnny Pesky kicked out of the dugout because, well, for no good reason.

If this guy is seriously being considered for the job, then the Red Sox deserve whatever they get. And I mean that in a bad way.