There’s only one way to fix MNF, but Disney will not do it


Back in the 2005 season, Monday Night Football moved from ABC to ESPN. It was a desperation move: ESPN had just lost Sunday Night Football to NBC. In order for Disney to continue commanding a hefty paycheck from the cable companies for ESPN – about five dollars for each Expanded Basic cable subscriber – they needed a prime time NFL game. Moving MNF to ESPN seemed like a simple solution, right? Not so fast…

Naturally, ABC ratings for Monday night immediately tanked. They thought The Bachelor could challenge Two and a Half Men. Fools. But someone had an “a-ha!” moment two years later, and they moved Dancing With the Stars to Monday, which itself then became a ratings juggernaut after it moved to its new time slot. I’ve never watched it, but I am still stunned by what happened to Heather.

It wasn’t long before people started calling Sunday Night Football “The New Monday Night Football”. For whatever reason, ESPN kept getting lousy match-ups for MNF, while SNF usually had compelling games. Then along came “flex scheduling“, and SNF was all but guaranteed compelling games later in the season. The only thing compelling about MNF was a drinking game: each time Jon Gruden lavishes praise for someone, you have to take a swig. Tuesday mornings are a real bitch, though.

Just a few years after Disney moved MNF to the walled garden of cable, the perfect storm happened. First, in 2010 the FCC allowed cable companies to scramble Expanded Basic channels, rendering the built-in tuner of your TV useless: you had to pay an additional monthly rental charge for a set-top box to continue watching MNF. Meanwhile, the cable companies jacked up the cost of their services as well. Greedy bastards.

Second, the U.S. was in the middle of a massive recession at the time. Many people couldn’t afford the additional $27 a month to rent descramblers for their three household televisions. Canceling Expanded Basic would save them that $27, plus the $25 a month the service itself costs. Two months of savings pays for a decent antenna, which has better picture and audio quality than cable, so now Limited Basic service can be canceled as well. And the cord-cutting revolution took off.

Naturally, MNF ratings tanked. Then it got worse: ESPN lost over a million subscribers in early 2016, then lost another million later in the year…during football season.

On the flip-side, The NFL Network had spent their entire existence, since 2006, in ratings hell. Almost nobody watched Thursday Night Football. Then in 2014 somebody had an idea: simulcast TNF on CBS for a handful of games. And television ratings for Thursday night skyrocketed for CBS for those games. It was so successful, they decided to add NBC to their simulcast deal last season, so we get to watch even more TNF games.

On the surface, it seems like an easy solution: Disney owns both ABC and ESPN, so what’s stopping them from simulcasting MNF on ABC? Ratings for MNF would skyrocket, right?

Two reasons. First, their negotiating leverage with the cable companies for ESPN would drop significantly, which means they would get less money and not be able to afford to maintain ESPN to such high standards. Second, ratings for DWTS would likely drop if they were to re-schedule it to a different night.

The solution they went with instead: fire everybody. Except for Stephen A. Smith.




The real story is that there was a line


I love going to garage sales. Looking over other peoples’ junk can be fun. Sometimes I find something worth buying, but regardless how much they want for it, I try to talk them down to $1. Yes, I’m annoying in person, too.

Some garage sales attract a lot of people. Most of the people I see at garage sales are people I would never be friends with in real life: they park in a way that blocks somebody’s driveway, they step right through the garden to get to the sale tables, they get grabby, they’re in a hurry to get in and out so they can move on to the next garage sale, and they’re just generally rude.

So Eddie Lacy is having a moving sale this weekend. And he’s selling a lot of Packers gear, and a lot of laundry detergent. Seriously. I have never had more than two jugs of laundry detergent at a time, but Lacy has six large, unopened containers of Tide. Maybe Lacy just gets really dirty several times a day, or maybe he’s a hoarder…who knows.

Obviously, a lot of people are interested in a large bottle of laundry detergent for $5, because half of Green Bay descended on Lacy’s moving sale today. But what I found interesting was how polite these Green Bay people are: they’re waiting in line to get in to the moving sale. I’ve never seen such a thing for a garage sale. Green Bay fans are weird.


Why did Hernandez write John 3:16 on his forehead?


Full disclosure, I’m not any sort of expert on all religions. Or even a few. To be honest, over the last 30 years I’ve been exclusively studying to become a High Priest in the Church of Beer, reaffirming my faith 12 ounces at a time (pints, when I’m in Europe).

Latest word on Aaron Hernandez’s death is that he scrawled “John 3:16” in red ink on his forehead before he committed suicide. No confirmation yet if he did it backwards while looking into a mirror.

Hernandez is, for the most part, considered to be Hispanic. His father is of Puerto Rican decent. His mother is of Italian decent. So you might be asking, so what?

It means that there is about an 85-95% probability that Aaron Hernandez is Catholic.

And again you say, so what?

To which I answer: John 3:16 means something completely different to Catholics than it does to Christians. Some Catholics almost ignore John 3:16.

In other words, we have a Catholic who’s only parting message to the Earthly realm is a salvation statement of a Christian’s completed status.

Let that sink in for a minute while I grab another beer…



Gronk crashes party, sans alcohol


White House press secretary Sean “Spicoli” Spicer has the worst job in this administration. Every day he stands at the podium and has to go to battle against the so-called “fake news” press. That ulcer is probably a real bitch. He needs some help, right?

And the man who came to his rescue said, “Need some help?

Money says that Lorne Michaels is trying to call Gronk at this very moment, to get him to do a cameo appearance with Melissa McCarthy on SNL.


Hernandez suicide doesn’t pass my sniff test


As you have no doubt heard by now, Aaron Hernandez committed suicide last night in his prison cell, hanging himself with a bed sheet.

Naturally, as I am often wont to do, I put myself in Aaron’s shoes. First, he has relatively small feet. Second, how would I celebrate winning a double-murder trial five days earlier, and then having a slim chance of getting my previous conviction overturned on appeal and walking out of prison in shoes that are a little too small for me?

Out of all of my potential celebratory options available to me, suicide wouldn’t be very high on my list.

People who commit suicide usually do so out of guilt or remorse, depression, loneliness, rejection, and general helplessness, among other feelings.

What we know: Hernandez was found not guilty of double-murder. He still has his fiancée, who testified in his favor in court, even though she was granted immunity. He has the friendship of the street gang he joined in prison. He is surrounded by love, with a slight possibility of having his previous murder conviction overturned and leaving prison.

And then there is also the small fact that Hernandez is a textbook sociopath. Sociopaths don’t have those kind of feelings like guilt or depression. Sociopaths love themselves too much to commit suicide. And he left no suicide note…

This whole thing redlines my Bovine Excrement Meter. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out it was a case of merrrrderrrr. Mwuah-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaaa!

The Good Lord plays favorites with his kids, too


You always tell your children that you love them all equally, and you tell everyone else that you don’t have a “favorite” child among your brood of ankle-biters. We all do it. We all also know that every single one of us DOES have a favorite child. What will become clear to us all much later in life is that the favorite child has always known that he or she is the favorite.

And that favorite child never exposes this knowledge to the lesser siblings, so as to help make them feel better about themselves. Well, that is, up until the reading of your Last Will and Testament, at which time those siblings will truly understand their place in your status hierarchy. Hey, you’re worm food, why hide it any more?

During his first playoff game, Tim Tebow was able to will the Broncos to a tie score at the end of regulation against the Steelers. And then on the first play of overtime, he threw a touchdown pass, which brought a swift end to the game.

Yesterday was Tebow’s first official game as a baseball player. And on his first at-bat, he hit a home run.

Translation: Tim Tebow is one of God’s favorite children.

Tebow later said that it was “just one day. One opportunity”, which is exactly what the favorite child would tell the rest of us mortals to help make us feel better about ourselves in our relationship with the Good Lord.

Tebow has always known he’s a favorite child. He also realizes it would be a little tacky to stand straight up and say it out loud. Until the reading of the will, of course…




Remember Aaron Hernandez? His defense rested today. Very tired…


A couple of years ago, Aaron Hernandez went on trial for murdering his future brother-in-law. All of the sports websites wrote about the trial and subsequent conviction. That murder trial was a yuge deal, probably the yugest deal, and believe me, I know yuge, everybody says I know yuge better than anybody.

…shakes off Alec Baldwin impersonation…

Anyway, Hernandez’s defense team rested their case today for a double-murder trial unrelated to the previous murder trial. Seriously, there is a Hernandez Body Count (TM), but most of the sports websites all but ignored the latest trial. What were they thinking? THIS WAS A 2-FER DEAL! TWO DEAD GUYS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE TRIAL! Obviously not news worthy because Aaron’s 40 million is already up in smoke…yes, I understand how media works (ok, not really, it vexes me. I’m terribly vexed. Which is why I blog. Terribly.)

No shocking revelations were introduced during the trial, but if Aaron’s trial history is any indication, those shocking revelations will only come during closing arguments. Hopefully they will be just as entertaining as they were last time. In the meantime, let’s pick this most recent trial apart, shall we?

Hernandez’s lawyers made an accusation that prosecutors knowingly used false testimony from the star government witness, Alexander Bradley. As you may recall, Bradley is the guy who claimed he was shot in the face by Hernandez and left for dead, then later claimed he didn’t know who shot him (I would find it difficult to forget who shot me point-blank in the face, to be perfectly honest).

Bradley claimed he initially wanted to tell a grand jury that he did not recall who shot him, to shield Hernandez from criminal charges.

Google Translate totally failed with this one, so let me translate what Bradley actually meant: “I was afraid that sumbitch would shoot me in the face again if I squealed”

The final defense witness was Dr. Jamie Downs, a forensic pathologist, who said the wounds of one of the victims indicated that the victim’s face was turned toward the shooter and that he had his right arm raised up, suggesting that the victim was holding a gun. And reading between the testimonial lines, we can conclude he meant the victim was pointing a gun at Hernandez and/or Bradley.

But when reading between the reality lines, it’s more likely that the victim was pointing a fully-loaded middle finger at Hernandez. Honestly, who wouldn’t flip off a multimillionaire who’s been acting like a douche all night?

In other news, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, the woman who took Aaron’s name without getting the ring…or even a damn car…still has nothing new to add after being granted immunity for her testimony. She just trashed on Bradley, even though there was no reason for immunity if all she would need to do is trash Bradley. It’s like immunity doesn’t even mean anything anymore.