Thursday, April 28, 2005

Must See TV

Hard to believe Chad Johnson
could be more entertaining
OFF the field
After a riveting Monday night of playoff basketball, things have taken a turn for the worst. The Suns and Grizzlies played some entertaining ball last night, but the game ended at like 3 a.m. The Bulls victory was compelling, but was only shown locally (lucky me!). The other four games - featuring wins by Detroit, Miami, Seattle, and San Antonio - were all horrific blowouts that would put even a diehard fan to sleep.

So what to do when a five hour block of anticipated entertainment goes awry? Easy; tune in to ESPN for their bizarre new show, "Battle of the Gridiron Stars." It's like the Real World/Road Rules "Inferno" without the debauchery, featuring a terrific brand of "we're pretending to take this very seriously" commentary, with a steady dose of trash talk thrown in. It's like the Iron Chef merging with an MTV Rock and Jock softball game.

*To read the rest of this entry, please click on the "Must See TV" link on the right side of the screen, or click on "comment" below.


Adam Hoff said...

("Must See TV" thread continued)

The premise is simple: star NFL players have gathered in Florida to compete in random events like the soccer shootout, the obstacle course, and the jet ski race. I'm telling you, this is hilarious. A lot of these stars are very good on screen and being placed in new settings leads to interesting results.

Chad Johnson has been the comedy MVP thus far, missing on every swing during the Long Drive Competition and crashing his jet ski into the beach, while also running his mouth and absolutely dominating all of the physical tasks (that guy is freakishly athletic). Troy Brown and Deion Branch have proven to be versatile performers in a variety of tasks, Joey Porter displayed uncanny jet skiing ability, and Brian Westbrook looked like a candidate to play goal on the next US World Cup team. Good times all around.

The other stunning development has been the emergence of a funny Manning. Not Peyton, who has been as annoying as ever, but his much cooler younger brother Eli. He comes off as more laid back and more athletic than his robotic older bro, and already has the upper hand in the challenge by drilling a shot past Payton into the left hand corner of the goal in the soccer shootout. I'm telling you, I'm an Eli believer now.

Which reminds me: the media needs to get off this guy's back. Sure, he came off poorly when he refused to play for a Chargers team that wound up winning 12 games, but in the sports world, that is ancient history. In an arena where TO can go from villain (for being TO) to hero (for his Super Bowl performance) back to villain again (asking for a raise) in a span of five months, there's no need to rake Eli over the coals for something so minor. (This coming from the guy who plans on calling all of his enemies "Vince Carter" until the day he dies.) And once Manning started playing in New York, he did an adequate job despite having no line and no big play threats to throw to. Put him in Pittsburgh and it's not hard to imagine him playing at a level close to that at which Big Ben performed. Give Eli some better pieces and he will be very good. So relax, everybody.

In the meantime, until we get some better playoff action, be sure to tune in to the Battle of the Gridiron Stars for some quality viewing pleasure.

Anonymous said...

Finally, someone defending Eli! Mark my words = Eli is going to be just fine.

Mark said...

Good call on the Gridiron stars. Not as good as Real World/Road Rules, but what is? My favorite event has been the tug-of-war.

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