Emmitt Smith was FREAKING INCREDIBLE on Dancing with the Stars last night. By far the most impressive dancer of the night.
(Yes, Margery and I watched. You scoff? First of all, more people watch DWTS than almost any other show on TV; that doesn't make it unmockable -- however, it does put me in the mainstream to be watching. Second, I'll continue to argue that ballroom dancing is a sport. Certainly more of a sport than, say, poker. Third, like last season, there is a HUGE sports hook: The leading rusher in NFL history is participating. My question: How could you NOT be watching him?)
Anyone who previously made a joke about Emmitt embarrassing himself on this show (and I think I was one of them) is WRONG. Couldn't be more wrong.
He was relaxed. He was enjoying himself. And his moves were legit! Given Jerry Rice's success on the show last season, it's obvious that there's something to translating football skills to the dance floor.
But Emmitt was awesome. I'm stunned. Given that (a) it was live and (b) it was a huge chance for Emmitt to embarrass himself on national TV, it was a pretty gripping 2 minutes. Certainly more dramatic and exciting than the last 2-plus seasons of his NFL career.
(Meanwhile, my pick, Mario Lopez, was pretty damn good; one judge called Lopez the guy to beat Why do my "expert" "sports" "predictions" always hit the jackpot on the lamest shit?)
ESPN "MNF" ratings are HUGE: Not just huge, but ESPN's largest audience EVER. (And you know how I love a good superlative.)
In fact, it was the second-most-watched cable TV event ever, behind... do you know off the top of your head? (It was the Gore-Perot debate about NAFTA. It is mind-blowing that a public policy debate would be the most-watched thing ever on cable.)
I think these numbers justify the "Is It Monday Yet?" hype. It's no small thing to produce your biggest audience number ever, particularly in the digital cable/PS2/iTunes/YouTube era.
But I'll be curious to track how they hold up over the season: Fans' appetite for the NFL -- particularly "MNF" can't be much higher than the season-opener. What happens when the matchups start to get a little less exciting? (Maybe they'll import Dick Vermeil for a little extra sizzle. The one consensus from MNF Week 1 seems to be that he was the best of the TV analysts. Did people forget how good he was on college football games before his return to the NFL with the Rams?)
Lance: "Hatchet job!" Armstrong calls NYT story about his 1999 TdF teammates' EPO use a "hatchet job." Actually, if he was upset by the guilt-by-association from the article, what does he think of the recent wink-wink, nudge-nudge gossip coverage of his, um, friendship with Matthew McConaughey?
File this quote away: "I don't believe there's a lot of uncaught use." That's NFL union honcho Gene Upshaw on the NFL's HGH problem. He said it because he's the head of the union, but it's ludicrous.
Shell calls Raiders "embarrassing": So what does that make the coach?
More Raiders: Jerry Porter denied openly rooting against his team on Monday night. (But you have to imagine that he was rooting against them on the inside. Did anyone ask him THAT?)
I want a scale model of Danica Patrick's hot new Batmobile-looking "Danica-mobile" race car. (Wait: Or do I want a scale model of Danica herself? Is there an action figure yet? Is that, uh, weird?)
Bengals' Henry pleads guilty: If every
Rick DiPietro: 15 years, $67.5 million. (Wait, I'm sorry: GUARANTEED.) Who says that the NHL's finances are a wreck? Wow, that lockout was SO worth it...
Big Ben questionable for Week 2: Cowher says if he can play, he'll play. But having watched "my" Jags D on Sunday, I can say with confidence that the Steelers should NOT play him.
Deion Branch's new deal: 6 years, $39 million ($13 million bonus). (Yes, you bet your ass that holdout was worth Every. Damn. Penny. If he'd stayed in NE, he would've been paid a paltry $1 million. No wonder the Pats want $800K back.)
Kevin "Munchies" Grubb refused to submit to a random drug test at a NASCAR event over the weekend. Yeah, there's no WAY he was on anything.
ESPN to stream Champions League online: I'm all for any new TV deals that wrap in b'band. And for a mere $1,250, you can catch every game.
Uniform Watch: Here's a jaw-dropper. Not to steal Paul Lukas' gig, but this is cool: Instead of taking money from some random sponsor to put their logo on their jerseys, FC Barcelona – reigning Champions League champ – will actually pay UNICEF $2 million a year for 5 years to have the UNICEF logo on their jersey. Before this, Barca had never had a logo on their jersey. Now, when they decide to do it, it's more good-of-the-world than greed. (Take that,
More DWTS: Anyone watch the season premiere last night? Let me say this: I actually KNOW that hottie co-host Samantha! We went to Northwestern together! We once worked on an econ class project together! That's as close as I've come to TV stardom since my ill-fated appearances on "Around the Horn." (I gotta put those on YouTube...)