TVlog: 5 Minutes of ESPN Firsttake


Since Jonathan Lee Riches decided to give me a day off by suing Martha Stewart for the benefit of Rachael Ray, I had to come up with a new subject. So, in a first for NerdsOnSports, I’m going to write running commentary on what I’m watching on TV. At 11 AM. I don’t have a job to go to until Monday. So I watch things like “Firsttake” (f/k/a “Cold Pizza”) on TV. It really is this bad.

All times EDT.

11:00: OK, They’re talking about Steve Spurrier’s history vis-a-vis LSU. Interesting, perhaps, but I tuned in right in the middle, so I’m really not sure what the operative thesis is here. I think it’s something about how Spurrier’s had a great coaching career and has performed well against LSU, or hasn’t, either way he’s a football coach.

11:00:44: “Test time for Penn State.” Dana Jacobson has just asked the stupidest question I have heard in a non-sideline context in so very long. “Penn State undefeated right now. Are they a true undefeated team?” The argument for PSU not being a “true” undefeated team seems to be that their 3 vanquished opponents have thus far compiled a collective record of 1-8. I would venture that the real “test” of being an “undefeated” team is whether the number in your “loss” column is “zero.” If they lose to Michigan on Saturday, then maybe we can retroactively give them a loss in week 1,2, or 3 to compound the insult, but for now, I’ll go with “they haven’t lost any games you dumbasses.” Which reminds me, Notre Dame still has yet to score an offensive touchdown this season. Just look!

11:01:28: Oklahoma “had a good team last year, won the Big XII, but think about everybody they had sitting on the bench. Their leading rusher this year, their leading passer, their leading sacker and their leader in tackles for loss…” One of the givens about college football is that teams will change, often a great deal, from year to year. There is no earthly way that anyone should be surprised by a complete turnover from one year to the next like this. Unless you’re a college football analyst on ESPN.

11:02:45: Pat Forde is off my TV screen, after those 2 interminable minutes, and the “Firsttake” theme is playing. It’s jaunty, but not gripping in the “Colbert Report”-theme sense. It’s the mild buffalo wings of televised sporting news theme songs.

11:03: Killer banter between Jay Crawford and Dana Jacobson regarding Peanut Butter crackers and their merits as against cheese flavored crackers. Apparently ESPN HQ has a snack machine just as crappy as the one in my building’s basement. Suddenly I crave pork rinds and V8.

11:03:48: Razzles counteract peanut butter breath. Useful information. Also, Jay Crawford probably found out that some Zach Braff movie talked about Razzles, so it will make him look hip and/or sensitive to drop some knowledge regarding the candy-gum. Sage Steele has never heard of Razzles.

11:03:52: Ken Griffey, Jr left the Reds game in the 8th last night (ab strain). I’m sorry, ESPN Crawl, but I just can’t abstrain from commenting when Griffey gets hurt!

11:04:00: “I’m sure there are a lot of people who are professional athletes who would appreciate a Razzle every now and again.” Isn’t that what got Stephon Marbury sued?

11:04:10: Sage Steele is SO CLOSE to sneezing. But she will soldier on and we go “from Razzles to sneezing to golf.” Golf is more boring than the other two because it lacks the letter “z,” long known as a mark of excitement.

11:04:33: Anti-doping policy for golf? What the hell competitive golfing edge do you get from… anything? Golf is a game of precision, concentration, and silly hats; drugs only help with the third part. Steroids, HGH, that crazy blood thinner stuff, any of it– I can’t see how there would be an upside for the golfer. Any explanations?

11:04:47: Isiah’s probably gonna be cut from the defendant roster in the Anucha Browne Sanders case. But hoo boy is Jim Dolan gonna have to pay up. He –admitted– that she was fired because she filed a suit. That is never, ever good.

11:05:02: I have pretty well lost my will to live, after only five minutes of this crap. I can’t wait for my job to start.

I have, of course, made liberal use of the DVR to compose this piece. Hopefully you take with you, dear reader, the hard-bought wisdom that dressing up a turd (Cold Pizza) in new clothes (Firsttake) won’t get the stain out of the carpet.