Tuesday, November 08, 2011
My MNF Commitment
Sorry, honey. I promise to grit my teeth and say 'nuth-think.'
I SPOKE TOO SOON. Ordinarily I wouldn't do two football posts in a row. But this is a special circumstance. I was all fired up about yesterday's post and it slopped over into my reaction to last night's Monday Night Football game. This is by way of explanation, not excuse. Because -- and I know you longtime readers will scarcely be able to credit this -- I made myself obnoxious to my wife by making continuousconstant fun of MNF color announcer Jon Gruden.
This isn't about the fact that the Eagles lost. I was expecting that. It's already dialed in, so to speak.The Eagles suck and we're both rooting for other teams anyway (Ravens, Bills, Lions, Raiders, and Raiders). My wife just wanted, quite understandably, to watch a football game without having the experience ruined by her husband. I plead guilty with extenuating circumstances. My impersonation of Jon Gruden is spot on, and most of you would enjoy a few minutes of it, as did my wife the first time she heard it. I draw on my knowledge of the dactylic nature of glossolalia ("speaking in tongues") to imbue my performance with satiric cruelty, which amuses the performer no end and ultimately bores the listener into a coma because once started -- just like glossolalia -- it just keeps going, impossible to stop.
So what conceivable circumstances could be extenuating?
I have a long history of problems with ESPN's Monday Night Football "talent." Suffering is not a thing which can be counted -- unless you have specific names to name:
There was a time when we thought nothing could be worse than Joe Theismann and whatever made-up storyline he clung to diarrhetically through thick and thin, usually having to do with what a brilliantly prescient football mind belonged to one Joe Theismann, who graduated from Notre Dame, don't you know, and could reduce any football game to the one-note plot he had dreamed up in his hotel room the night before, regardless of what was actually happening on the field.
But then came Tony Kornheiser.
[Thank me HERE for my beneficent omission of the endless list of broadcast crimes perpetrated by this pompous pseudo-intellectual's incessant outrages against every conceivable prior definition of the sins of repetition, loving the sound of your own voice more than life itself, and frankly nauseating homoerotic hero worship of the league's two most repellent permanent adolescent jerks. In NFL history. Ever. By a long, lo-o-o-o-o-ng way.]
And then I made perhaps the biggest single blunder of my whole career as a prognosticator:
Now he's gone. Maybe Gruden will be awful, boring, obnoxious. All we know for sure is that he can't possibly be as bad as Tony Kornheiser.
Incredibly, against all odds, and absolutely catastrophically, Jon Gruden is worse than Tony Kornheiser. He cannot stop talking and he cannot prevent himself from seeing every single play as a Hall of Fame performance worthy of a ringing motivational speech to the nearest Kiwanis Club (er, you and me on the couch in TV land). Every player is the greatest player ever, every play is the greatest play ever, and could you really, just once, SHUT THE FUCK UP?!!!
How I got into trouble in the first place. Thing is, when you start doing Gruden, you start to feel how he does what he does. It's all in the meter. When I start that damn dactylic praise rant, I find myself knowing more about football than I really know. It spills out of me like the Sunday halleluiahs of a Pentecostal in a Kentucky double-wide church: I praise blocking schemes, run blitzes, three-four defenses, man-man-zone transitions, and triple-move wide receiver routes I never heard of till they tumble from my double-loud teflon vocal cords and scare the cats into the garage.
Jesus. No wonder she walked out on me and went to bed. It's a wonder she hasn't actually shot me.
At least she was spared the ignominy of a season-ending fourth quarter for the Beagles, which I narrated helplessly to myself to the bitter end, in tongues.
This morning, in Philadelphia, WIP SportsTalk is hoping for Jon Gruden as a replacement for Andy Reid. Frankly, I'm with them. At the very least it would get his immensely annoying ass off Monday Night Football. And we'd have a whole year to save up for a cable package that'd let us see every Raiders game instead of the ones involving flightless birds (Ravens excepted).
If you know what I mean.
To be clear, what I mean is, I'm committed. No more Jon Gruden impressions. But what do you think of my Raiders idea?
P.S. Just so you don't miss it, there's a pool underway at the previous post, with (I think) a pretty decent prize. Go take a look. Enter early and often. Time's a'wasting...