Thursday, February 07, 2008

Presenting a Slice of History, With OJ Simpson

Over the last few months, I've been an unabashed critic of the Fanhouse's Michael David Smith, and perhaps I've been a bit unfair. Sure, he assaults his readers with a daily avalanche of filler in order to boost his post count. And yeah, I guess an honest assessment would reveal that he's devoid of anything even remotely resembling an interesting writing style. I suppose it's true that his sycophantic behavior towards anyone even peripherally related to the NFL Network or ESPN undermines his overall credibility (although he did call Sean Salisbury a big meanie earlier today). And now that you mention it, yes he does look like your stereotypical child molester, although that's not entirely his fault.

But I do have to give credit where credit is due; and when it comes to research skills, MDS is without parallel in the world of quasi-independent blogs. Today while scouring the internet, he discovered this clip from a 1992 NFL broadcast on NBC, in which Brett Favre relieved an injured Don Majkowski and led the Packers to a 4th qtr, come from behind victory. Your NBC studio consists of Bob Costas, Buddy Ryan, and famed USC running back, OJ Simpson. I should warn you, viewing this clip could be a bit disconcerting:

Looking at that clip with the perspective of the present day was weird, wasn't it? It was almost like viewing a broadcast from an alternate universe. I mean those analysts in the studio were actually analyzing the game of football. Safety had to go with the tight end down the middle in the cover two? The corner needs to funnel the receiver to the inside? What the hell is that?! I want to hear about about a player's grit and determination. I want to hear about "big time players making big time plays." I want to hear about Brett Favre just being Brett Favre. Don't try to make me think. Don't you know that I never played in the NFL, so I couldn't possibly understand?

If he was still willing to give such incisive commentary, I'd rather have OJ Simpson in an NFL studio today than Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, or Jerome Bettis. But unfortunately, we're going to be stuck with guys like Shannon Sharpe, who are more interested in being a cut-up than an analyst. OJ would never stoop to such levels.

Although if I remember correctly, this broadcast wasn't entirely focused on breaking down the X's and O's of the game. In the next segment, OJ Simpson presented his "Worst Person in the World" award to "that dude who's been sleeping with my wife," which obviously inspired some devoted Simpson fan to take care of the problem himself. And now we're stuck with Emmitt Smith trying to learn the English language on live TV. It's all so tragic.

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