Happy Friday, folks. It's been a long week, so I figured we could unwind a bit with some non-football talk for a bit.
A couple weeks ago I mentioned the new shows I was looking forward to this TV season, and a few people asked what else I'd be watching beyond the freshman sitcoms. So, I figured why not run through my DVR schedule, and perhaps either a.) you'll find some new shows to check out, or b.) you can refer me to some better viewing options.
If you're one of the many readers who could care less about this little exercise, however, please feel free to skip ahead to the end for some football-only links. Go ahead, I won't hold it against you. Just stop reading right now...
OK, they're gone. Now, here's the real news about Joe Cox...
Kidding, of course. Although Fridays are getting pretty dull lately without any crazy injuries for Georgia's QB. Anyway, back to the TV slate...
MONDAYS -- I've been relatively happy with the new season of "How I Met Your Mother" so far, highlighted by "Moustache Marshall" last week, which for whatever reason, made me laugh more than any gag the show has done in a while. I must admit though, I have some small concerns about the Robin-Barney relationship. NPH's character using the term "girlfriend" just sounds wierd. At various times I've also tried to give "Big Bang Theory" a chance, but despite the love it gets from critics, it's really just "Friends" for nerds. "Monday Night Football" has been pretty solid this season so far, including the dramatic Dolphins-Colts game last week that turned out to be the deciding factor in a fantasy football thriller for my 3-0 squad. Also, I really like the addition of Jon Gruden, who actually provides really interesting insight rather than slapstick and pointless "analysis." The only thing I don't like is how he sits on his stool. He looks a little constipated, and it weirds me out. STILL WAITING ON... "Chuck" and "24," although last season was the first in about four years I actually made it through all 24 episodes. More than any other show, I wish "24" had been on HBO. It's potential so far exceeds what it actually accomplishes. DITCHED FROM MY DVR... "Heroes."
TUESDAYS -- Perhaps the worst night of TV all week. There's really nothing on, which is fine by me, as I probably need a day off from rotting my brain. My girlfriend has tried to get me into "The Biggest Loser," which is not altogether awful, but we both agree that the show could be boiled down to about 10 minutes plus a weigh-in at the end. Intead, it's stretched out to two hours with the contestants repeating the same things every 8 seconds, as if I was too stupid to remember what happened before a commercial break. "This challenge is really important because if we don't lose nine pounds, someone goes home..." Ummm... yeah, I know, that's the freaking premise of the show! I'll admit though, there's nothing quite like ordering a pizza and stuffing your face on the couch while watching "Biggest Loser." It's a real treat. STILL WAITING ON... Anything reasonable to watch on a Tuesday. DITCHED FROM MY DVR... Nada.
WEDNESDAYS -- Not exactly a stellar night of TV either, but I have gotten into the current season of "Top Chef" which I think is one of the very few reality shows that it's acceptable for a guy to watch. You know, three years ago, I had never watched any sort of reality show, and I was fine with it. But now I've got like four on my regular viewing list, and I think it's just yet another sign that I'm getting old. But at least I'm not watching "American Idol" or any of the dancing shows. That's where I draw the line. I also really enjoyed the premier episode of "Glee" on FOX, if for no other reason that it prominently featured a Journey song. The subsequent episodes, however, have been really disappointing. I'm still a big fan of "South Park," which technically premiers on Wednesday nights, but I usually end up watching it during one of its 3,546 reruns. STILL WAITING ON... "Friday Night Lights" and "Lost." Wednesdays this spring will be great, but the wait is killing me. DITCHED FROM MY DVR... "Glee" is hanging by a thread.
THURSDAYS -- An, the mecca of TV watching. I actually can't record all the shows I want to watch. That's bad, right? I'm watching too much TV. Still, it'd be nice if they could spread some of these shows around so I don't have to gorge myself on quality programming all in one night. I'm still on the fence about the new twist on "The Office," but I'm willing to admit it has some potential. I enjoyed the plotline last year where Michael started his own company, but it was pretty contrived. The show has really gotten away from much of the real-life humor that makes working in an office so humorously inhumane. "Parks and Recreation" has actually been much improved over last season. I had nearly given up on it, but the characters have been toned down a bit and the humor seems less forced. I love Nick Offerman's character, and only partially because of the mustache. Again with the reality programming... I'd happily avoided "Survivor" for its entire existence, but my buddy's wife forced me to watch it when I was staying at their place last year, and now I'm hooked. She's like a crack dealer, and I blame her for any horrifying turns in my life from this point forward. I can't say I'm loving "Flash Forward" so far, but I'm on board. I'm not looking forward to each new episode like I do with "Lost," but there seems to be some potential. My favorite new show of the year, however, is without a doubt "Community." There have been a number of laugh-out-loud moments in the first three episodes, with the "Smoke up, Johnny!" line and the montage of Joel McHale and Chevy Chase's Spanish class project being my two favorite, by far. STILL WAITING ON... "30 Rock." DITCHED FROM MY DVR... "Fringe." I gave it a try last year hoping it would be like an edgier "X Files" but I was bored.
FRIDAY: Friday night television is punishment for people who don't go out. STILL WAITING ON... bowl season before I watch TV on Friday. DITCHED FROM MY DVR... "Law and Order." The glory days of Jerry Orbach are long gone.
SATURDAY -- If I'm home before 2 a.m. from covering football, I'm thrilled. But I'm not watching TV. STILL WAITING ON... A day game to cover. Woo-hoo, LSU! DITCHED FROM MY DVR... "Saturday Night Live." I'll still watch occasionally, but it's hardly appointment viewing.
SUNDAY -- Quickly becoming the second-best night of TV. In addition to the full day's slate of NFL games, there are a surprisingly large number of good shows on at night. I'll generally check out the "Sunday Night Football" matchup, which for the most part this season has featured better games than the Monday version. I loved the first two seasons of "Dexter," on Showtime, and I'm intrigued by this year, but last season started getting me thinking that it was really just the same plotline each year but with new characters. I couldn't be more excited about "Curb Your Enthusiasm" this season. Even without the "Seinfeld" folks during the first two episodes, the show has been top notch, so it can only get better from here. I've enjoyed the first couple episodes of "Bored to Death," but I'd love to see a bit more of Zach Galifianakis. "Entourage" is wrapping up what has been a bit of a down season, but still, the show is always entertaining. I'm still watching "Family Guy," but honestly, the show is really nothing but a dozen or so jokes loosely strung together under only the most esoteric of pretenses. STILL WAITING ON... "The Cleveland Show." I meant to DVR it but I forgot. If it's anything like "American Dad" though, I won't watch more than one episode. DITCHED FROM MY DVR... "The Simpsons." The show is like the Raiders... used to be edgy and great, now just a shell of its former self.
OK, now that I've officially illustrated what a nerd I am for watching so much TV, what shows am I missing out on?
And for those of you who read all of this only to ask yourself, "Why the heck did I waste 8 minutes of my day reading that?" here are some actual football-related links for you...
-- I have a story in today's Telegraph on the development of linebacker Marcus Dowtin, who has all the tools to be a great player, but is working hard on keeping his head in the game.
-- I missed this earlier this week, but the good folks at Catfish and Cornbread didn't... a big thank you to all the UGA fans from some Arizona State travelers who loved their trip to Athens.
-- Check out the publisher of this book... no wonder we haven't seen him on the field much this season. He's been busy! (h/t Amanda D.)
-- I'd always wondered where the heck this came from, and Georgia Sports Blog was kind enough to point readers to the explanation of why LSU fans smell like corn dogs.
-- The Junkyard Blawg looks at some keys to the game this week, but I love his opening line: This is the "Capital One Bowl Elimination Game."
-- I've done five radio shows this week, and all have asked me my prediction for the game. I've told them exactly what Senator Blutarsky told his readers today: I have no idea.
-- Bernie, on the other hand, doesn't mind going out on a limb with a pick. That's why he gets paid the big bucks.
-- Battle Hymn Notes picks a couple of players to watch, and I like their selections.
-- The New Orleans Times-Picayune chimes in with its A.J. Green story o' the week.
-- With Tim Tebow's injury as the starting point, Chris Low looks at the SEC's backup quarterbacks to see who's in the best shape to handle a hurt QB.
-- I love this graph from Hey Jenny Slater that really simplifies a complex topic. (h/t T Kyle King)
BONUS LINK: Thanks to reader Scott C., here's the YouTube of the fourth-and-inches play last week in which Arizona State's linebacker shoved the ref into the line of scrimmage.