TV watchers, Rams fans, you thought last week was bad? This game is going to suck. Big time. Even if Sam Bradford starts behind a completely rehashed offensive line, we’re only a missed block and a few ankle ligaments away from the Kellen Clemens era. And we’re in Seattle, where their stadium full of longshoremen and secessionists have been drinking Russian moonshine since Saturday morning in preparation for their slice of prime time. The “12th man,” they call it.
Despite the crowd’s antics, the Rams are awful and the Seahawks are irrelevant. There’s no worse combination for a national broadcast. So what’s a ratings-hungry cable giant to do? Anything it can to boost ratings, of course.
ESPN programmers, we invite you to consider these humble suggestions:
1. Three solid hours of Tim Tebow highlights. (Three more hours, I mean. I realize he’s all you’ve talked about all day.)
2. During said highlight package, a fight to the death between Stephen A Smith and Skip Bayless. Neither survives.
3. More recycled crowd shots of Jacksonville. (Hey, it worked great before!)
4. Re-runs of Burn Notice. It’s like McGuyver and the A-Team shacked up in Miami and had a sexy baby. Oh, and Bruce Campbell is on the show, but nobody knows why.
5. At halftime: TRUCKASAURUS!
6. Three-hour infomercial for colon cleanser.
7. An ESPN/Lifetime collaboration, “Mommy May I Sleep With Danger II,” Erin Andrews’ spy cam revenge fantasy.
8. Free iPad to every 10th viewer. Seriously. Just turn on the game. We’re not kidding.
9. Reanimate the corpses of Stephen A Smith and Skip Bayless, give Colin Cowherd a rusty shovel and let them go at it.
10. Yet another GOP debate.
11. A test of the Emergency Broadcast System for 3 straight hours. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP.
12. Wonder Years marathon. Who doesn’t love Winnie Cooper?
13. A showing of The Replacements, reminding us of how much worse it could be (or better). “Pain heals, chicks dig scars, but glory lasts forever.”
14. A montage of John Gruden’s best “this guys” and “that guys” from MNF’s past.
15. Bring back Dennis Miller.
16. Apologize for the brutal on-air slaying of Dennis Miller by a zombie-crazed Colin Cowherd.
17. Bring back Tony Kornheiser. (I think you can see where this is going.)
18. Live on-air debate between Kurt Warner and Jesus about whether Tim Tebow is carrying this Tebowing thing too far. The answer: Yes.
19. C-Span live coverage anchored by the NFL Countdown crew.
20. Another painfully uncomfortable Albert Pujols press conference, attended only by Cardinals and Mariners fans. Armed with produce.
21. A pee wee football game called by Lou Holtz and Gus Johnson
22. Show the director’s cut of “Sleepless in Seattle.” Grab your wife, and three hankies. You’re gonna need ’em.
23. A montage of Oregon football highlights from the last three years. ANd by highlights, we mean those uniforms.
24. A 3-hour special with Morgan Freeman narrating the Health Care Reform bill, because people will listen to him talk about anything.
25. Live split screen: a Rex Ryan vs Rob Ryan eating contest.
26. Harry Potter vs Voldemort Part Feud.
27. ESPN Spy Cam II: Mel Kiper Jr. styling his hair. (Three hours may not be long enough.)
28. How to make the RG3 Superman socks.
29. A “where are they now” feature on Mike Martz and Mike Holmgren, cut embarrassingly short when someone informs ESPN that both are still actively working in the NFL.
30. Just for old times’ sake, a three-hour Dick Vermeil press conference, in which he talks about things that make him cry. Puppies, rainbows, the Rams winning games, Isaac Bruce’s Hall of Fame candidacy, Lawrence Phillips’ untapped potential, the Rams losing games, and just … life, you know!