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So, I had a pretty heated discussion with a friend a couple weeks back about NFL studio shows. Yes, I’m the kind of person that can have heated arguments about a studio show. It’s my curse.
Anyway, I was doing a “links of the week” post on the other blog I write for (shameless plug), and came across this little gem. It’s a clip from the NBC postgame show after Brett Favre’s first NFL game, in which he came off the bench for Don Majkowski, throwing a long game-winning touchdown. Here’s the video of NBC’s NFL Live postgame show featuring O.J. Simpson, Buddy Ryan, and Bob Costas and their interview of Favre:
Now, I watched this video with an eye toward the limitless amount of unintentional comedy in it. The circa-1960 headset NBC was using? priceless. O.J. Simpson, here as always? amazing. Costas having to explain his pronunciation of Favre’s last name? I almost lost it.
But the best part? The awesome discussion between Ryan, Simpson, and Costas about the strategy of the prevent defense and how Brett read and reacted to the play. And then they brought in Favre and asked him relevant football questions to supplement what they were saying!
I mean, where was the constant, oh-we’re-just-regular-guys joking around? the hot girl doing weather reports? the fourth, fifth, and sixth studio analyst? How did they survive without bashing Terry Bradshaw’s inability to pick football games correctly? How did football fans live?
Seriously though, the argument me and my friend had over these studio shows is that some people don’t want to talk about football, they just want to watch the spectacle. They don’t want to know the difference between a Cover 2 and Cover 3. They don’t care about why a QB pump-fakes before throwing a bomb to the outside. They just want to know the results, laugh along with some ex players, and watch Frank Caliendo do his John Madden impression just one more time. I don’t want to sound like a stuck up football fan, but I want to watch guys who have spent their life playing and learning the finer points of the game to talk about, you know, the finer points of the game.
Studio shows shouldn’t dumb down to the fans that don’t know anything about football, they should try to educate them. If they’re real fans, they’ll listen and learn like we all did. It’d be like if they decided they weren’t going to teach phonics in elementary school because little Timmy’s parents didn’t read to him when he was a kid and now he doesn’t know the difference between the letter P and G. It’s madness of the highest order.
Believe it or not, I don’t hate the shows as they are now, they’re still entertaining, but they could be so much better. The only studio shows that approach this level of quality are TNT’s Inside the NBA and ESPN’s Baseball Tonight when they used to have Harold Reynolds on.
So where do you stand on studio shows? Do you think they’re alright now or could they be better with less people and more discussion centered around the game?