I Am Watching Football: 2021 Week 1

Well, that was certainly… football.

I suppose it’s good to have it back, and looking (rather, more sounding) like the game it once did. After a year of, well, I needn’t elaborate, it’s comforting to have the NFL come roaring back into our lives, full of bombast and unchecked hubris, even if these packed stadiums do feel a bit like we’re celebrating too soon. The Raiders learned that lesson the hard way Monday night. They recovered in the end, but it was close, and an embarrassingly stupid thing to watch in the process.

But hey, we’re back. And I’m back. Might be a bit of a surprise after starting Week 17 of last year and writing precisely three articles before dropping the whole thing after the Bills were defeated in the AFC Championship. What can I say. It was January. It was dark. Literally. We’ll try and not let that happen again, but with just myself and zero engagement to hold me accountable, who knows. This was already supposed to go up Tuesday. Anyway, I used to have like, sections of this, didn’t I? Let’s see…

Obligatory Sports Talk

I guess I need to talk about the Bills. I don’t really want to. Not because they lost last year, it was the Chiefs, what can you do. Not because they blew it Sunday to the Pittsburgh Rapist & Co.. No, because THESE IDIOTS ARE APPARENTLY ONE OF THE LEAST VACCINATED TEAMS IN THE LEAGUE. What a bunch of fucking morons. I can’t, I can’t even, I mean of course they get somewhat good, break my heart, and then break it again by becoming objectionable. I recognize it’s difficult to find an NFL team without objectionable players, but come on. This should be a slam dunk, especially given the “put the team first” attitude on which sports are supposed to operate. This includes, worst of all, Josh Allen, quoted here in The Sun (I know, but it’s linking to a podcast where I assume he did actually say these things) in April saying, “I’m a big statistics and logical guy, so if statistics show it’s the right thing for me to do, I’d do it. Again, I’d go lean the other way, too, if that’s what it said.”

I have no idea if he ever “ran the statistics”, but I can’t find any article confirming he did eventually get the shot, and we all know everyone who does shouts that shit from the rooftop. And with good reason. It literally makes us better people.

So we’ll see if I end up caring about them or not. And in the meantime just cast general aspersions across the league and various broadcast operations. Speaking of which, this was a sloppy opening week. I already mentioned the Raiders, who, in their first Las Vegas home opener with fans, stormed the field after their “touchdown” in overtime against the Ravens. “The previous play is under review. The game is not over. The game is not over. THE GAME IS NOT OVER,” the stadium announcer blared in absolute futility. It took a solid five minutes to clear the field and make them all line up on the one yard line, just to then get pushed back and turn it over to the Ravens in the course of some truly spectacular disorganized panic. They did manage to regain possession, and drive far enough down the field to be in range of a field goal, at this point a game winner in overtime, and then spent so much time deliberating whether or not to take the shot they were penalized for delay of game and pushed back out of range. It was clownish, until Raiders quarterback Billie Joe Armstrong fell back, lobbed it off his back foot to the end zone, and scored the now actual game winning touchdown, which was actually still pretty clownish but hey, it worked.

It wasn’t exactly smooth sailing in the booths either. I caught a number of missed music cues going into breaks, replays that didn’t come in when they were supposed to, and that’s not a “field announcer who’s mic isn’t working” type malfunction. This is the sort of stuff that’s the grease between the gears, you’re not supposed to see it, but when it’s not there the whole engine seizes up. I imagine, just like the players, the skill of the production teams will progress through the season. And maybe next time Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth will actually know who Matt Stafford’s wife is.

Sponsored By

In my last article, I spent some time in praise of GEICO’s then original and entertaining commercial “Scoop There It Is”. This commercial has returned, in full force, for the new NFL season. Maybe I simply haven’t been watching as much broadcast television during the offseason, but I did watch a great deal of the Olympics, The Bachelorette, the run of Jeopardy! guest hosts (Aaron Rodgers MVP, for real), and I don’t recall seeing this as much. There needs to be an FCC regulation on how long we can be subject to the same exact 30-second spot. I mean seriously GEICO, did you spend so much money on Tag Team that you’re now beholden to bleed as much longevity out of the thing as possible? Keeping a runner of the same concept but branching out into new bits is fine, we’re still seeing At Home With Baker Mayfield, because who doesn’t love seeing At Home With Baker Mayfield? But it’s different At Home With Baker Mayfield.

A Dream I Had the Other Night

In some vague, unremembered emergency, I needed to get upstairs in a multistory apartment building, and I was running up the stairs, sprinting myself to full exhaustion, but each time I turned the corner, I was still on the same floor.

Can’t Stop. Won’t Stop.

GameStop ($GME) price as of writing: $204.52

If you know you know.

What Else Am I Watching?

My life slowly fall to pieces? The world descend into chaos? Or maybe just Bachelor in Paradise. David Spade had a pretty good turn as guest host back at the start of the season. I’m not up to date at the moment, but I’ll probably try and catch up. It was generally a long summer with not very much in the way of new things coming out, something that’s come to an abrupt end as Archer, What We Do in the Shadows, Brooklyn 99, and more have all returned with new seasons in the last week or so. I’ve been enjoying the new Steve Martin/Martin Short/Selena Gomez (not a combination I fully anticipated, but it’s working) vehicle Only Murders in the Building. It’s fun, well made, has an interesting view on the age dynamics within the group, and to accuse it of being formulaic would be to accuse it of precisely what it is trying to do, play with the now well worn trope of the true crime podcast.

Well, I think that should probably wrap it up for this week. Can’t blow through all my notes in one go, gotta keep it easy if I want to keep it up. I’ll see you next week, or maybe not, it’s up to you, but I’ll still be here, maybe actually on Tuesday next time.

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