Playoffs Picks, Links and Late Night Television

January 15, 2010

With just seven games left (not including the Pro Bowl) in the NFL season, we’re all starting to prepare for life without football for the foreseeable future.  Luckily this week had so much going on that America was saved from a 6 day news cycle about how Brett Favre is playing in what could be his final game.  McGinn and I covered everything from our playoff picks to the coaching swaps to the late night TV wars to Gilbert Arenas and ended up talking about Scottie Pippen getting blindsided by little people on this week’s podcast and you have to admit…that’s a hell of a slate!  Because it was so wide in scope I wanted to try something new this week and use the Friday blurb before the NFL Picks as footnotes to what we talked about.  So the following are links that I enjoyed over the last few days that touch upon something we mentioned in the podcast that may enhance your listening experience.  So kick back, put on the podcast and click away.

*Author’s Note: The links are all underlined*

Link one is an article that you’ll need ESPN Insider to check out but it helps put Kurt Warner’s playoff brilliance into perspective.  McGinn and I chat briefly about how he went from being the ultimate “maybe” hall of famer to a sure thing over the last calendar year.  Here Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders compares Warner’s playoff numbers to those of Tom Brady.  If you don’t read that article and think that Kurt will end up in Canton one day I don’t know what to tell you.

Two of NBC's biggest stars took the gloves off and threw some punches at each other this week

Our conversation eventually steered us to the late night shakeup over at NBC.  I think what Conan has been doing since he released his genius statement on Tuesday has just reinforced the love his most devoted followers have for him.  He has spent the first 10 minutes of every night just ripping NBC to shreds all with that same Conanlike self-deprication that gives all of us the appreciation we have for him.  He’s been a smart and hilarious risk taker that has turned his monologues into must see television and by doing so proves that NBC is making the wrong choice.  Jay Leno has tried to do the same but it comes off as stale and smug.   NBC is booting a comedian that resonates with people who are about to enter their nightly news/first 10 minutes of the “Tonight Show ”  viewing prime and replacing him with a guy who’s lost his fastball and his biggest Neilsen ratings will be drawn from a 50+ audience that will slowly dwindle over time.  When you take a step back and think about it, NBC couldn’t have possibly messed this up more.  They moved the #1 late night host to 10 PM and oversaturated their lineup so by the time Conan came on people were ready to change the channel or go to sleep.  Then they screw Conan and piss off  his entire 18-35 demographic that they are going to need for advertisers in favor of Leno, whose audience is done deciding what products they want to buy at this point.  The all around incompetence is astonishing and now it’s clear why this is a last place network.

My favorite monologe so far came from Conan the day he released his statement where he takes the gloves off and works NBC like a speedbag.  Here is a link to the full episode and his first 10 minutes are truly outstanding.  While Conan has been crushing it every night his competitors have joined in on the fun too: this past Tuesday Jimmy Kimmel came out dressed as the big chinned guy everyone’s been talking about recently.  Then just last night Leno put Kimmel on his 10 PM show (an added slap in the face to Conan by booking a competitor of his) and Kimmel just trashed him right to his face.  Finally David Letterman, the true King of Late Night, who was also once involved in an NBC screwjob, chimed in with some shots at Leno and NBC as he explained the situation.

We now shift gears back to the NBA and touch on Gilbert Arenas’ stupidity.  I enjoyed PTI Cohost Michael Wilbon’s take on it from the Washington Post this week.  Mr. Wilbon lives in DC so not only do we get the take from one of the best national NBA guys in the media, but we also get some of the local flavor as well.

To cap off the first podcast of the decade McGinn explains how there is an internet clip of Scottie Pippen getting beat up by little people.  He drops an f- bomb so be sure to keep the volumes down at work but really…one of the best 50 basketball players in history is blindsided and attacked by little people–don’t you just love the internet?

Just one more before we get to the picks; call it a bonus link, I present to you the top 100 fail clips from 2009.  It’s like watching a more violent and faster paced America’s Funniest Home Videos only Bob Saget isn’t involved.

Onto the picks, winners in bold.

McGinn:

Arizona at New Orleans
Baltimore at Indianapolis
Dallas at Minnesota
New York Jets at San Diego

Last Week: 2-2
Playoffs: 2-2

Hugh:

Arizona at New Orleans
Baltimore at Indianapolis
Dallas at Minnesota
New York Jets at San Diego

Last Week: 2-2
Playoffs: 2-2

Hugh’s Pick vs the Spread: Cardinals (+7), Ravens (+7), Cowboys (+2.5), Chargers (-7)

Last Week: 2-2
Playoffs: 2-2

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