Bronx, NY – This past Sunday I got home just in time to catch the 1 pm kickoffs of the first week of NFL games. Being in New York, I immediately resigned myself to three-plus hours of watching the Browns and Jets hump each other up and down the field. After around 5 minutes of this I thought to myself, “Hey, why don’t I just watch the NFL Network and catch the updated scores.” Unfortunately I had refused to pay the extra dollars for the live check-ins courtesy of the RedZone channel. But, surprise-surprise, at some point it appears that my local cable douchebags (I’m lookin’ at you Jimmy Dolan) decided to include RedZone in their monthly stick-up note to me. That’s sweet.
And, you know what? It really made a difference! Bouncing from game-to-game, seeing all of the action, not hanging around for endless challenge replays, annoying game announcers almost fade into the background, and nary a commercial. Don’t get me wrong, I’d still want to watch some games in their entirety the same way I like to listen to some albums (remember those?) from start to finish. But, otherwise, this is the only way to watch this league these days… even if you could give a rat’s ass about Fantasy Football.
Sunday Night Dead. On the flip side of the the NFL viewing experience was Sunday night’s Dallas Cowboys/New York Giants game. If you’re into brainfarts, this game had it all: turnovers, horrid play calling, poor clock management, unimaginative offense, and some truly inept officiating. In retrospect, I’m not even sure this was a football game. It had a lot of the same elements as Weekend at Bernie’s 2. But the worst thing was the commercials. Breaks in the action during the day games are bad enough, but at night it seems to get even worse. Commercial after commercial after commercial. Mind-numbing stuff. I finally gave up after three quarters and apparently missed the hilarious ending where Tony Romo hit Bernie’s corpse (capably played by Jason Witten) for the game winner as Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman broke Dez Bryant’s foot during the celebration.
The Mets are a Machine. The best remedy for all of this early-season NFL white noise is the New York Mets. Holy God!, the Mets appear to be an honest-to-goodness post-season threat. Yes, I know, let’s get there first. But the Metropolitans have thus far won the games they needed to win down the stretch. Hell, they’ve even won games that they tried to take off by playing their bench guys. They’ve got great young pitchers, an out-of-nowhere never-say-die offense, and a bullpen that wavers between incredibly capable and cardiac-arrest-inducing (thankfully, lately it’s been the former). In short, they are probably the most fun team to watch in baseball right now.
Fun is a good thing, and so is rest. So, I’m done for this week. Come on back tomorrow for either another column or perhaps a second day of this column. These days, it’s anyone’s guess.