CBS Lucks Out on Super Bowl
CBS is at an all-time low. The sit-coms suuuuuck, the nonstop golf coverage on the weekends is excruciatingly unnecessary, Dave Letterman is a mere parody of himself and Craig Ferguson’s anti-funny monologues are cringe-inducing-ly embarrassing, The Early Show’s hosts are more soporific than 20 Xanaxes chased by a fifth of Jack, and even 60 Minutes isn’t what it once was. Does anyone really need any more fucking celebrity interviews? And I’m all for seeing “Leggy” Lara Logan onscreen, but just because she has spent some time on the ground (and reportedly in the sack) with U.S. troops in far-off deserts doesn’t mean she has anything significant to say.
The CSIs are –– unintentionally –– hilarious. “My name’s Horatio, and I talk in a real hushed voice, and I always end a conversation with a one-liner while turning my back to you. I’m a real badass.” Yeah, you’ve got that right, Horatio. You’re indeed bad, and you are an ass.
Worst of all is CBS’ pro football coverage. With the exception of host James Brown and analyst Boomer Esiason, who back when he was a color commentator never, as far as I can recall, missed a single penalty call and could figure out a team’s tendencies before the opposing head coach could, the analysts –– Dan Marino, Bill Cowher, and Shannon Sharpe –– have the collective football IQ of about 50. Oh, you say, but Cowher coached a Super Bowl-winning team. Yeah, but if you actually watched every Steelers game during his tenure –– I did; I’m a Steelers fan –– you would have realized that he could have won five Super Bowls based on the sheer caliber of players he had. How run-left/run-right/throw-an-incompletion not only got him to the Super Bowl but also landed him a Super Bowl victory is beyond me.
And Marino is stiffer than a five-ounce shot of rumplemintz, and Sharpe –– does anyone even know what the hell he’s saying? Has he ever even uttered a complete sentence or finished a complete thought?
Marino, Cowher, and Sharpe were their usual anti-charismatic, non-football-knowin’ selves yesterday before and after the Super Bowl, and the two guys calling the game –– Jim Nance and Phil Simms –– were their usual big-dog-little-dog selves but to particularly annoying effect. Here’s a re-enactment of a typical Nance-Simms exchange from yesterday.
Nance: “That was some run, wasn’t it, Phil? Wasn’t it?!”
Simms: “A great run. But that’s because the guard …”
(Replay of guard faceplanting and nipping a defender’s shoelaces on the way down.)
Simms: “… makes an excruciating block on the linebacker, just blows him right out of the hole!”
Nance: “Do you like strawberry daiquiris?”
Simms: “I tell you what, the Indianapolis Colts have to do a better job of tackling the Saints’ running backs.”
Nance: “I have two tickets to Belize –– we could leave right now.”
Simms: “The Saints are probably thinking, ‘We could do this all day. Just run plays and gain yardage.’ ”
Nance: “Sleep with my wife.”
Simms: “The Saints and Colts are playing.”
Nance: “I love you.”
And so on. And you’d have to think that the halftime entertainment –– a mini-concert by Jurassic rockers The Who –– had something to do with the fact that three Who classics are regularly aired during episodes of CSI: New York and all 900 CSI spinoffs. Which brings up another point: CBS’ unabashed, perversely gleeful willingness to bend over to any advertiser. Food Network’s Guy Fieri, whom I normally like, actually had to do a segment on Ritz crackers and all two ways you can use them. And now the food guy with the spiky blond hair will be balls-deep in peroxide and crackers for the rest of his life.