Anyway, last night convinced me that NBC’s Sunday Night Football was conceived by the devil. While having the Eagles on prime time means that the game will be televised in the Washington area, that’s about the only positive I can come up with. For me, Sunday afternoon is the time to watch football. You can hang out with friends, switch between games, eat unhealthy foods, and check your fantasy team in real time. That’s how football should be watched! By Sunday night, I’m trying to wind down from the weekend and get ready for the week ahead. But when the Eagles are on Sunday night, I’ve had to wait the whole day to watch them, and instead of winding down, I’m getting fired up. Making matters worse is that the games don’t end before midnight, and I’m inevitably too wound up afterwards to go to sleep. And because the Eagles have been a good team for most of the decade, they’re inevitably on prime time a couple times in the first few weeks of the season. This always gives the season a bit of a disjointed feel in the beginning.
Adding to the problem is the fact that I really hate NBC’s coverage. First off, they’ve named their pregame show Football Night in America, which comes off as really presumptuous. I refuse to even watch the show until the last few minutes. They then have an opening song sung by Faith Hill. Maybe this appeals to some people, but if I want to get fired up for a football game, Faith Hill is not the first singer that comes to mind. Not to mention the song says “I’ve been waiting all day for Sunday night.” Yeah, I may have been waiting all day to watch my team play. And the whole time, I’ve been thinking how much better it would be if they were playing in the afternoon.
Because the game is in prime time, its loaded with extra commercials, and they try to make their broadcast transcend being a mere football game. They try to make it entertainment, and trot out special guest commentators and new computer graphics. You know what I find entertaining? Watching a well played football game, one that the Eagles preferrably win. And one that doesn’t end at 1 AM when I have to wake up for work the next day!
Maybe I’m just biased because the Eagles have seemingly lost the last ten prime time games they’ve played. They really handed that game to the Bears. Still, I thought they’d be 2-2 at this point in the season, and if Brian Westbrook had played, they probably win. They’ll still be fine going forward. I will be going to this week’s game in Philly against the Redskins. The Skins are riding high after their win over the Cowboys. But it seems to me that they’re ready to get knocked down a notch.
In happier news, the Phillies clinched their second straight National League East title on Saturday. The win was clinched when Jimmy Rollins made an amazingly clutch defensive play. This was an odd season for the Phils, as at times, they looked like a powerhouse, and at others they looked like they had no shot at the postseason. Fortunately, their chief rivals, the New York Mets have proven themselves to be adept at choking late in the season, and managed to blow a division lead for the second straight year. The Mets even squandered their chance at the wild card, which is impressive considering how poorly the Milwaukee Brewers also played this month. Too bad there’s no NIT of baseball. Maybe the Mets could manage to qualify for that. But chances are, they’d just choke there too. I guess paying all that money to Johan Santana was worth it. Without him, they’d probably have finished in third place.
Last year’s playoff appearance didn’t go so well for the Phillies, as they got swept by a red hot Rockies team. This year, they’ll be matched against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers are led by ace pitcher CC Sabathia, who has pitched amazingly down the stretch of the season. If he is pitching in the critical game five of this series, I’m going to be a little nervous. Last year, it was mostly the Phillies’ offense that let them down, as their big hitters – Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard – all had poor showings. On paper, the Rockies had better relief pitchers than the Brewers do. Do the Brewers have anyone who can consistently get the Phillies big left handed hitters out?
Speaking of Howard, I feel he should be the National League’s MVP. Yes, his batting average was a bit low. But he also led the league in home runs and RBIs for a division winning team, and he was at his best in September as the Phillies made their push to the playoffs. Albert Pujols had a great year as well, but it isn’t the “player of the year” award, its the MVP.
I’d like to close by wishing a Happy New Year to any members of the tribe. May the next year bring you nothing but prosperity!