Monday, September 11, 2006

"Football View in America?"

My wife* had the best NFL analysis of the day, perhaps inspired after sitting with me all afternoon watching NFL games:

We were checking out the slick new NBC pregame show, and she astutely noted the new "Football Night in America" studio team is obviously modeled after the cackling hags on "The View":

Bob Costas replicates Barbara Walters' "mother hen" role.

Chris Collinsworth is a forcing-the-funny Joy Behar.

Sterling Sharpe is Star Jones (but not because they're both black, my wife clarified, but because, like Star, Sterling is so fundamentally unlikeable. Also: As names, "Star" and "Sterling" even SOUND the same.)

Finally, Jerome Bettis is a hybrid of Rosie O'Donnell (both resident chuckling fatties) and Elizabeth Hasselbeck (both wide-eyed does who say nothing of real value).

And, whether or not you've ever watched "The View," you know all those characters -- and you have to agree that she's pretty right-on.

-- D.S.

* - Not to go all Bill Simmons on you. However, a sports columnist relaying analysis from spouse (or parent or sibling or friend or neighbor or co-worker or etc.) has historically been very fertile territory for writing fodder, probably since the earliest "fportf" pamphlets of journalistic history. (Please tell me someone gets the "fportf" joke.)

Update (8:12 a.m.): I can already tell that there is a huuuuge "Where's my ESPN NFL Primetime?" backlash brewing. It was, arguably, the best show on ESPN (no matter what kind of mixed feelings you may have felt about Chris Berman). When the new NFL deal came out, the cancellation of "Primetime" was a small footnote, but its importance looms huge this morning. Who else thinks that putting a version of Primetime exclusively online would set all kinds of Web-usage records? (It doesn't have to be the full hour, but it could be more than the shadow of its former self that is planned for the late Sunday SportsCenter.) Would the NFL deal permit an online-only show? I'm guessing not, but it's still a great idea.

36 comments:

Jason said...

First time poster...just wanted to say that fportf definitely made me laugh.

Also...keep up the good work, Dan!

Anonymous said...

Fportf.... priceless. Dan, we are thrilled that you continue to write. BEST. BLOG. EVER!!!

Mark (Austin, TX) said...

OK that "highlight" show sucks. All around suckage. I want tos tart a campaign to get Chris Collinsworth fired, he is so bad. And what the hell happened to Costas? He used to be one of the best play by play announcers ever and he had virtually no insight whatsoever into the games yesterday. He was playing facilitator not analyst, I don't get it. Where exactly did they dig up Sterling Sharpe from?

I want Primetime back, and I want it back now.

Gig said...

Sure, I got it. It gave me flashbacks of digging through the school library's attic. Scary place.

Continuing on the family theme, my five-year-old daughter has a very good chance of winning the office football pool this week.

Jake C said...

Two things on the worst side:

Football Night in America - I don't care about the mix of characters (although, I do hate Collinsworth, and now he's everywhere)...but this the worst.show.name.ever.

#2, worst.ESPN.idea.ever. was moving NFL Primetime to NFL Bed-time. That show was the ultimate and perfect segue from the afternoon games to the night game. Bad move!

Stewart said...

You're absolutely right about NFL Prime Time. I absolutely miss it! That was the best highlights show out there. And to pour more salt in that wound, I thought the guys at NBC were horrible! I was bored watching them and it seemed like they were trying too hard to be funny. I ended up turning it off and just waiting for the game itself.

jeff (kc) said...

Agree, ESPN losing the rights to broadcast a recap show on Sunday is a huge mistake. It's where I went to get the hi-lites of all the games. I watched the NBC one last night and shut it off within 5 minutes. It's just horrible.

I'd actually argue that ABC/ESPN got a bad deal with the NFL contract for the sole purpose of them losing Primetime which lead right into the Sunday night game.

jrm78 said...

NFL Primetime was always worth watching, as Boomer could at least make some of the highlights of a Browns-Texans match-up interesting. I agree that the WWL should try to do at least a half hour highlight reel on the net. Or they could make it available to their flagging ESPN Mobile network. It would get some interest that way.

On another note, does anyone else think that Fox is going to miss James Brown moderating the pre-game show? The replacement JB (Joe Buck) had a perpetual deer-in-the-headlights look all show, and when there was any of the usual ribbing that went on between the cast, he looked towards the camera with a frightened expression.

Not related to this in any way, but the CBS pre-game was very tight and polished. (though Esiason is starting to look older than middle age now)

kevin said...

Wow. Didn't have any idea about the Primetime thing until Berman "alluded" to it last night. I will admit, working Sunday evenings never allowed me to catch Primetime first run, but the 400 ET showing leading into ATH and PTI made for a heavenly Monday afternoon.

I feel bad for ESPN that NBC got so much juice for their first Sunday night game out of the Manning-Bowl thing, but I can't wait for Tony K. on MNF.

Tyler said...

Very nicely done on the fportf thing. I have to agree.

On the NFL Primetime front, I don't get to watch much TV anymore (as an overextended college student), but when I used to not do anything on Sundays but watch football it was always on my list and was extremely enjoyable. That being said, I'd defintely make time for an online-only show. Sounds like a great idea. Online email campaign, anyone?

Tyler said...

Oh, and in response to jrm78's post, Joe Buck is the worst play-by-play announcer in the history of... well, fportf. The baseball playoffs make me shudder when he and McCarver are paired... ugh.

rob (warwick) said...

To steal from Simmons a little, Dan, how cool would it be to have a studio team that's comprised of actual fans? Even if it were recognizable names/celebrities, as long as they had some fandom/allegiance to spice things up. What would be better than, say, new NBC NFL Host Jerry Seinfeld looking into the camera and saying, the Jets win and the Giants lose. "Whaaaat. is up. With that?" (my best Seinfeld impersonation). Easily tops Bob "I'm blinded by my own aura" Costas or Sterling "mi aura is bigger than your aura Bob" Sharpe.

Christian (High Point, NC) said...

I only watch The Weekend View on the Weather Channel. Compelling TV. Who would be the Kellie Cass of the Football of America cast?

Paul said...

True story on the PrimeTime cancellation... there is now a 30 to 45 minute window between the afternoon and the night game where all I really do is either

A:) play some minicamp on Madden, and get mad because you can't tackle Fred Taylor

B:) Argue with my wife about the amount of football I watch

Seb Pho said...

I want my Primetime back, I've been watching that everynight since I was 6 years old. It has a nostalgic feel to it for me, the same way Summerall - Madden did on the late Sunday afternoon games for FOX.

I had an idea last night though when I watched Sportscenter, and they did that NFL Blitz thing. Why not just make it a 90 minute Sportscenter, and have the first hour be just Berman and TJ giving us NFL highlights. The last half hour can be saved for other sports then. How could anyone be against this idea?

Lastly, I googled "fportf" and got a bunch of arabic websites (terrorist?). Anyone help me with that? And glad to see you type out "dildo" in an earlier post. Get a little more X-Rated instead of being the "nice" guy.

El Padrino said...

i want my primetime back

T-Bone said...

at least i wasnt the only one not in on the fportf. not even urbandictionary.com has it...

jrm78 said...

Tyler, yeah, I'm acutely aware of how bad Joe Buck is at baseball pbp. Every Fox Cubs-Cardinals game is him and McCarver butchering the game while barely hiding his Cardinals homerism. I can't say that his butchering of the pre-game show was unexpected though. "I pick Dallas to win!!11!"

The spanish call that "el Jomerr".

Unsilent Majority said...

Fuck Primetime.

The NBC show is in desperate need of four brandy snifters go complete the motif. Plus it might take some liquor to loosen up Jerome's lips.

Anonymous said...

For those of you goofballs who don't understand the "fportf" reference, let me 'splain it to you.....

Never mind. If you don't get it, go read someone else's stuff, like some of those lame-o writers at Fox or CBS Sportsline.

Phil said...

Dan, off topic, but you have been immortalized...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Shanoff

Anonymous said...

Cant say I get the fportf joke, apparently that means I should be reading Fox Sports or something, dont get the correlation there?

Anonymous said...

For those who aren't aware, the name Football Night in America is a ripoff of our beloved Hockey Night in Canada which has been around since the beginning of time.

All the guys on the panel seemed incredibly awkward while watching the highlights. Granted it's only been one week but it's not even close to Primetime levels.

roboninja said...

Fportf!! lol
NFL Primetime needf to be brought back. I think it if a huge loff for the NFL; people really ufed that show to keep up on the happeningf in all the dayf gamef. Pluf, I really liked Berman's callf.
(Man, the f-thing gets annoying, huh?)

Dan Shanoff said...

I didn't mean to exclude readers who didn't get the "fportf" joke. Here's the backstory:

Back in the day (like, when the Declaration of Independence was written), the letter "s" was written using the letter "f" -- I think it had something to do with the typography norms of the day.

In trying to make the point that the technique of using your spouse/sibling/parent/friend in your column is as old as the printed opinion itself, I just wanted to emphasize it visually by transposing the normal "s" in "sports" with the "f," as if it was written back during the 18th Century.

And now I want to officially thank you all for letting me dork out today. -- D.S.

Joe (Dayton) said...

Dan,

I'm suure you've just enlightened many readers on why Jagermeister is spelled "Jagermeifter" on teh bottle.

shelly said...

Regarding Football Night in America: i had no MAJOR problem with it besides the following three things:

A) Jerome Bettis's suit

B) The use of the digital chalkboard. It's such a time waster.

C) They had some minor issues coordinating graphics to what was being discussed.

Other than that, it wasn't that bad. Oh and the footage of the Mannings' home video was kind of lame.

C-Train said...

It looks to me like a lot of people got the "fportf" joke. Well-played.

T-Bone said...

boy do i feel ftupid. gueff i fhouldn't have flept through fo much claff.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else get the annoying blip sound after the ball was snapped on the games on Fox? It was on during the Cards/Niners game and was one of the most annoying things I have ever heard. They were able to have that special effect, but decided not to splurge and have the first down line overlay (one of the best innovations in all of broadcast TV).

anonymous said...

as long as you dont have your wife write a "guest sidebar column", then we will let you mention her. the minute she takes up part of your cyberspace, youre cut off.

shelly said...

anonymous, re: ball snap special effect: it couldn't have been as annoying as when they tried to digitize the hockey puck in the NHL. I think that really put the nail in the coffin for me and enjoying hockey on TV.

slcup said...

fportf...awesome.

Hawkins said...

At least your wife probably won't be funnier than you are, which Simmons' wife is.

Anonymous said...

Nice characterization of "Football Night in America." The view. If they start talking about fashion I'm gonna scream.

I miss NFL primetime!

turd ferguson said...

I would have been a little slow on the "fportf" remark if I hadn't just read something that said (paraphrasing here) "when our founding fathers told King Charles to kiff their aff."