TV ALTERNATIVES

We've seen this episode of the Super Bowl before - Here's what else TV has to offer on Super Bowl Sunday

We all know how this Super Bowl ends. New England Patriots website

Raise your hand if this Super Bowl (can I say that here? Or do I have to say “Big Game?”) match up just doesn’t do it for you. Mine is up, actually both hands are – are yours?  My guess is that they are. 

People love to say that millennials are killing everything. Well as a millennial I can tell you that the Patriots are killing the Super Bowl.  Last year the Patriots presence killed my interest in the game from a football perspective, but I watched because I wanted to see our city shine.  This year, though, there is nothing to connect me to the game.  Usually I am down to watch football no matter who is playing, but the Patriots just suck the fun out of it. Watching a Super Bowl with the Patriots is like watching a show in syndication. While I would love to be wrong, I am confident I already know the storyline.  It's the same one that has been repeated in 71% of the Super Bowls the Patriots have played in with Brady and Belichick, and in 100% of the ones where the Patriots play anyone other than the New York Giants.  In case you forgot it goes something like this:

  • Patriots get down early

  • Patriots gradually climb back in the game

  • Clock gets late in the game, opponent is still leading, you think “The Patriots might actually lose.”

  • Opponent makes bone-headed move

  • Patriots make incredible play

  • Patriots score go-ahead points with 2 minutes or less remaining

  • You feel like an idiot for actually thinking the other team might win

I can’t be the only one who has grown tired of this script right? I mean if I want to watch something where I know the evil empire is going to score a victory I may as well just watch The Empire Strikes Back for the 387th time.  At least there are lightsabers and lasers in that. So with my interest being at an all time low, I began to wonder what else I could watch during the Super Bowl. Can the rest of TV provide anything more compelling?  Here is what else is on during the Super Bowl:

NCIS, NCIS New Orleans, NCIS Los Angeles (CBS) – It’s an around the country NCIS marathon.  I really know nothing about this show, but know it has been on forever and has spinoffs in pretty much every city.  I am pretty sure it is based on some government law-enforcement agency, but I have never heard of the NCIS outside of this show. Why is that? Regardless, I’m sure even NCIS Salt Lake City is more interesting than the Super Bowl will be.

The Simpsons (Fox) – Usually a solid 30 minutes of entertainment.  I admittedly have not watched in years, but when I did the writers always seemed to keep it fresh - something the AFC has been incapable of.

Animals With Cameras (PBS) – Just the title alone is enough to capture my interest. How do these animals acquire the cameras? Is this the beginning of the primate uprising?

Puppy Bowl XI (Animal Planet) – Always a solid choice during the Super Bowl.  I bet this gets much better ratings than you’d think. I smell an Animals With Cameras cross-over episode opportunity.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo) – You want drama, you want un-predictable, you want aggression, and you want rich people whining? Forget the NFL – this is your show.

Death Row Stories marathon (CNN) – Another show whose title draws you in. Probably not as fun as Animals with Cameras but I bet it sucks you in nonetheless.

Chappelle’s Show marathon (Comedy Central) – Of all the counter Super Bowl programming this may be the winner.  I could watch this over the Super Bowl without a twinge of regret.

30 for 30 (ESPN) – “The U” episode.  This was one of my favorite 30 for 30s, plus the promo song they ran with it was stuck in my head for months. I bet no less than five times you say “Oh yeah, I forgot he went to Miami.”  I may actually DVR this to watch it again.

Jersey Shore marathon (MTV) – If Gronk isn’t playing you can always watch this to get your Gronk fix.

Air Disasters (Smithsonian) – If you never plan to fly again you may think about checking this out.

Law and Order SVU marathon (USA) – Always a go-to when there is nothing else on.  Law and Order is one of those few shows that you can watch for days on end even if you have seen every episode four times.  Since it does not appear there will be a new episode of the Super Bowl until Tom Brady retires you should probably just make Law and Order your rerun of choice on Super Bowl Sunday.

*Who am I kidding - I’ll probably watch, if for no other reason than it gives me an excuse to eat all the delicious crap people serve on Super Bowl Sunday.

 

 

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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