Tag Archives: NFL

The Super Bowl, Alternative Programming and Why Tim Tebow’s Pro-Life Stance May Have Missed the Target Demographic

Isn't Sleepless in Seattle on channel 2?

By nature, the author of this blog is the stubborn sort.

You say “paper or plastic” and I say “neither.”

You say “jump” and I say “sorry, I just ate breakfast.”

You say “watch the advertisement orgy of expensive TV spots during the Super Bowl” and I promptly change the channel.

And that’s exactly what I did.

While the lion’s share of the TV viewership watched Tim Tebow tell the women of America what to do with their uterus (uterii?) and while that little kid smacked his mom’s boyfriend over a bowl of Doritos, I took a peek at how the other channels chose to fill their wasted time slots.

It was a fun exercise; one that I heartily recommend.  It was my own personal social experiment where I thumb my nose at popular culture and mass consumerism to study the human nature of TV programming decisions.

Here’s what I found:

While the Saints won the coin toss and elected to receive, TBS aired Failure To Launch, a film about a whimsical 35 year old man that still lives with his folks and falls in love with Sarah Jessica Parker, the woman hired by the parents to seduce their son and convince him to move out.

It stars Matthew McConaughey, in his most challenging role.

When Peyton Manning tossed a touchdown strike to take a 10-point advantage, E! Network was showing Sleepless in Seattle, the endearing romantic comedy where the son of a recently widowed man calls a radio talk show in an attempt to find his father a new wife.  One woman hears the broadcast and goes to great lengths to meet the widowed man.

Sleepless in Seattle features the delightful cast of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

When the Saints recovered an onside kick to open the 3rd quarter, ABC countered with Stepmom, the movie where a terminally ill mother has to settle on the new woman in her ex-husband’s life, who will be the new stepmother to her children.

Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon play the conflicted women.

As the Saints secured their first-ever Super Bowl victory with a 4th quarter interception and touchdown return, the premium movie channel– Love Stories East— treated their viewers to Kate & Leopold, the fantasy romance that features the tagline ‘if they lived in the same century they’d be perfect for each other.’

The movie showcases the talents of Sleepless in Seattle star Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman, as her love interest.

On and on it went.  The WE network showed Beaches, the stirring Bette Midler drama.  The feature presentation on the Encore Movie Channel was She’s All That, followed by 10 Things I Hate About You.

My experiment seemed to confirm what we already know about the Super Bowl:  It is a Man Holiday;  the biggest sausage fest of the year;  the modern-day He-man Woman Hater’s Club.

If once is an anomaly, twice is a coincidence, and thrice is a trend, then the counter-programming to the Super Bowl proves that it is nothing more than an epic struggle between testosterone and estrogen.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock during the Super Bowl, I turned to my wife to share the results of my scientific research.

To my dismay, she was gone.

I stood up to stretch– the resulting noises from my body sounding like a door with squeaky hinges– and my living room suddenly got brighter, as if a veil had been lifted from my eyes.

I surveyed the room– it wasn’t a pretty sight:

The sofa had a life-sized mold of my ass pressed into the cushions.  A massive pile of unwashed dishes teetered in the sink.   A varied collection of empty take-out boxes littered the dining table.  The dogs were hungry and trembling with low blood sugar.  Outside, the yard looked like the canopy of a rain forest.

A note on the fridge from the wife:  Went for coffee.

What?  During the Super Bowl?

It seems that I was/ am living proof to my own experiment.

Damn, catharsis is a bitch.

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Filed under Life, NFL, Relationships, Sports, Uncategorized

A Recipe For Crow: An Open Letter to the San Diego Chargers

Courtesy of isportsweb.com

Dear San Diego Chargers,

I’ve been eating crow for dinner for 11 consecutive Sundays.

It’s really tough and gamey and generally not very pleasant, even if you soak it in logic and coat it with common sense.

You see, I’ve been taking plenty of flack for the words I posted on October 21st, regarding your humiliating loss on Monday Night Football by the Denver Broncos.

Since that time, you have been victorious in 11 straight NFL contests.

Let’s qualify some things:

1. We’ve been going steady since 1984, when my lone criterion for selecting a favorite football team was civic pride and  how cool the helmet logo was (a lighting bolt was– and is– an impressive design feature for a knuckle-head such as my self).

I’ve seen the good times (the magical 1994 Super Bowl year) and the bad (the 1 and 15 season, the Ryan Leaf debacle) and my loyalty has never wavered.

Shaky fair-weather fan I am not.

2. A key component to any healthy long-term relationship is honesty.  The October 21st post of this humble blog is evidence to that notion.  My words, however unflattering, were honest.

3. Given the state of affairs in late October, my words were a true assessment of how the season was unfolding for you.  I don’t regret a single word I wrote.

If you can’t be honest with yourself– or your loved-ones– who can you be honest with, right?

You are now, through no credit of mine, well positioned to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

All because you believed in yourselves– and in each other.

You believed in hard work,  pre-game preparation and your style of winning football games.

You ignored the naysayers, the odds makers and conventional wisdom.

You ignored silly blogs like Bacon Makes It Better.

But I haven’t ignored what you’ve accomplished, San Diego Chargers.

And crow never tasted better.

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Trade Secrets Revealed

Houdini once shackled himself in chains, was submerged in a tank of water and escaped in less than a minute.

David Blaine took a stroll down the side of a skyscraper.

David Copperfield convinced that supermodel to marry him.

Impressive efforts, all three.

Read on, dear reader– I’ve done one better.

Be prepared to be astonished; brace yourself for the improbable; be ready to raise an eyebrow and say “damn.”

Behold, the greatest magic trick ever to be perpetrated on mankind:

I have watched an obscene amount of sports on TV this year and have managed to successfully stay married.

(Dramatic pause to let the certain tidal wave of  “oooohhhhs” and “aaaahhhhs” wash over this post).

The proprietors of Bacon Makes It Better can feel your skepticism.  We can sense your disbelief.  We are abundantly aware that despite popular sentiment, not everything you read on the internet is true.

But it is most certainly real.  I can tell you, in breathtaking detail, who has qualified for the NFL playoffs all while an engraved platinum band still rests on my finger.

Marriage and sports can coexist– and we are willing to share our trade secrets with you.

We have tested the method in our state of the art facility (my living room).  We have applied it generously under a variety of conditions (College Bowl Games, Pro Football, NCAA hoops, golf).  We have even adapted our system into a user-friendly format that we have named, during an epiphany of creative genius, the S.A.V.E. method.  It is an acronym for:

S is for set-up.

Possibly the most critical part of the process.  Without a proper set-up the best laid plans of mice and men would be smashed to bits.  Know the day and time of the game.  (NFL note:   Do not assume that your game is on Sunday.  The complex football schedule will squeeze games in on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Is it a local game or out of market?  Morning or afternoon)?

Know the schedule, understand the logistics involved, plan ahead.  Store this knowledge safely into the recesses of your brain, right next to what’s for dinner and don’t forget to take out the trash.

A is for Approach.

It’s go time.  With your knowledge of the schedule neatly tucked away plan which game you really want to see.  (Don’t get greedy!  You can’t see ’em all)!  Tell the wife, well in advance, that you plan on watching your chosen game.  Don’t dance around the subject– be direct.  She will appreciate your advance planning and will be impressed by your consideration of her time.

Tread lightly, dear reader, for timing is crucial.  If her favorite couple gets booted off of Dancing With The Stars or if those handbags she’s been keeping her eye on are no longer on sale, abort mission.  I repeat, abort mission!

V is for Value.

Help the wife to understand the importance of the game.    Tell her what’s at stake.  Will a champion be crowned?   Does an invite to the playoffs hang in the balance?  The more value attached to the game, the more likely it becomes that she will accept your need to be a captive audience member.

Remember, this is where salesmanship is at a premium.  Placing value on the game can cover a wide range of popular subjects:  Is a favorite actress of hers dating the star quarterback?  Plug it.  Isn’t that defensive end the guy from Dancing With The Stars?  Plug it.  Aren’t they playing in San Francisco, the city that she loves to visit?  Plug away.

Maybe you’ll even convince her to watch the game with you.  Hell, it just may be the start of an activity that you’ll share together.
This may not be such a bad alternative– just so long as you are able to see the action.

Note: At no time during the approach and value stage should you whine, snivel or pout.  When executed properly, you will advance to the final level…

E is for Enjoy the Game.

Spoil yourself with the fruits of your labor.  Kick up your feet.  Crank up the volume.  Guzzle a cold one.  You’ve done your due diligence, so watch your chosen game with the uninterrupted peace that you’ve created.

WarningBe certain that such behavior is not conducted within plain view of the wife.  Poor sportsmanship or excessive celebration may jeopardize future athletic viewership.

Suck, my life does not.

In summary, dear reader, the proprietors of Bacon Makes It Better implore you to try this battle-tested system, which has been made publicly available just in time for the NFL playoffs.    What have you got to lose?

It may just S.A.V.E. your marriage.

The proprietors of Bacon Makes It Better assumes no liability for the poor application or general misuse of the above described method. Results may vary. Actions outside of this method should be conducted at your own peril. May cause rash or irritation.  Discontinue use and call a doctor if symptoms persist. Use as directed.

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At Least We Have The Weather

It’s been said that an NFL general manager assess the progress of their team in four game increments; and being that the season spans 16 games this quarterly analysis seems a prudent one.

With Week 6 officially in the books, many conclusions can be drawn from what we’ve witnessed so far.

Attention Charger fans: You’re not going to like what I have to say.

I know, I know. I can still remember last year, how we were left for dead with four games to go, and how we won each of those ‘must win’ match-ups to close the distance with the then division-leading Denver Broncos. I remember the defacto playoff game against those same Broncos on the final day of the regular season that sent us to the playoffs and completed, for Denver, the worst collapse in NFL history.

If the Chargers did it once, they can definitely do it again, right?

I am a fan of historical handicapping, I do believe that lightning can strike the same place twice and I am certainly aware that history has a pesky way of repeating itself.

But that was before last night’s debacle on Monday Night Football.

We can crunch the numbers, pour over the injury reports and study the Caliente Line to try to wrap our minds around this, Charger fans. But we’ll leave that to the professionals.

Here at ‘Bacon Makes It Better’, we focus on the intangibles.

Credit the Denver Broncos. They showed heart, desire, determination, passion, effort and about fifty other similar descriptions that never make the box scores. In a contest between divisional rivals, the things that defy statistical measures often determine the winner.

San Diego played Denver in the same underachieving way that has typified their style of football this season. With their Super Bowl expectations quickly evaporating, the Chargers are demonstrating that when teams set goals before first establishing their intentions, the results are often mixed.

Professional sports franchises seem to find a way to inherit the personality of the city they are in. Pittsburgh has that Steel City, blue collar toughness thing. New York has that ‘If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere’ frenetic pressure and energy that threatens to consume you at any moment.

San Diego, well, at least we have the weather.

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Pick a team, any team

There really isn’t a clear criterion for selecting a favorite sports team; the motives are varied and cover a vast range of conditions.

Maybe you spent your summers in Detroit where the Red Wings captured your allegiance. Perhaps your worship of Cal Ripken, Jr. was the catalyst for your love for the Orioles. Or maybe you simply fancy the color purple, in which case the Minnesota Vikings would be your natural NFL choice.

However random the reason, there is one thing that should remain constant: You pick a team and you stick with them.

I’ve followed the Los Angeles Lakers ever since a rookie named Magic Johnson once played all five positions on the floor against Philadelphia in the 1980 Finals. So after the 2009 edition of the Lakers won the 14th championship in franchise history, I was understandably thrilled by their success.

But so, it seemed, was every one else.

Suddenly, Laker memorabilia materialized from thin air. Documented Laker-haters were dressed in Kobe Bryant jerseys. Laker hats with the tags still attached covered the head of every other kid. Those obnoxious Laker flags adorned every car on the freeway like a strange presidential motorcade.

Sure, I’m proud of my team’s accomplishments but I don’t want to share the moment with wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Relationships are fickle in 2009. Our culture lacks the vision to look too far ahead and our minimal powers of reflection barely allows us to remember what we had for lunch. Our obsession with the bottom line prompts us to demand of each other what a big-haired Janet Jackson inquired during the summer of 1986: “What have you done for me lately?”

The choices we make in selecting our preferred sports franchises reflect this fleeting attitude. Fans switch their allegiance in teams like a seasonal wardrobe change.

As a new champion is crowned at the culmination of each sports season, the surge in the winning team’s popularity reaches a deafening crescendo. Should that team fail to repeat its success in the subsequent year, that same team loyalty would meet the same fate as the mutton-chop side burn or a Croc sandal.

Maybe the advent of player free agency and the rise of fantasy sports leagues have contributed to this Machiavellian devotion, where the focus is on statistical analysis and final outcomes rather than the quality of a player’s effort or the spirit of the competition.

The idea of a monogamous relationship with our favorite sports club is a vintage way of thinking and grows rarer with each season.

But like any bad fashion, even the really terrible ones, the cyclical ebb and flow of things will bring everything back into proper focus.

Maybe we will miraculously re-develop the bravery to devote ourselves to something we can believe in and be willing to accept the bad with the good.

Maaay-be.

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