Thursday, December 14, 2006

Thursday Night lineup: What's on Tap

Now that I have regained my composure, and the use of my computer after a day of malfunctions, I can get back to blogging to my hearts desire.

So what is going on that I could post about?

Hmmm, let's see...

-Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt passes away at 74
The longtime owner of the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs Lamar Hunt passed away today from prostate cancer.

Hunt is widely recognized as one of the key pioneers in the history of the pro game that has become the national pastime over the past decade. He helped form the American Football League, which eventually merged with the NFL to form a powerful sports conglomerate.

His Chiefs played in the first AFL-NFL championship game in 1967, which was known as the World Championship, and three years later Kansas City went on to win it all. The game that was won had been rechristened The Super Bowl, a name Hunt thought up while watching his children play.

R.I.P. to one of the founding fathers of the NFL that we know and love today.

- San Fran (5-8) @ Seattle (8-5) 8PM NFL Network
In the latest installment of the Game of the Week that Nobody Can Watch the one-time surprising but suddenly sliding 49ers travel to blustery (rain & 40-60mph winds predicted) Seattle for a date with the Seahawks.

The last time these two teams hooked up in Week 11 San Fran running back Frank You Can't Call Me Al Gore, the NFC's leading rusher, gashed the 'Hawks defense for a franchise record 212 yards on 24 carries in a 20-14 Niner victory. Seattle has also allowed 115 yards to Tatum Bell and 115 to Edge James since then, so it needs to shore up that weakness.

The Seahawks played that contest without starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who missed the game due to the sprained knee ligament that forced him to miss 4 games. Backup Seneca Wallace threw 3 crucial INTs, two by Walt Harris, and the Hawks were in a state of flux.

But since then the 49ers have lost 3 in a row to put a damper on its surprising season and Seattle had won 2 straight since the return of Hasselbeck & Shaun Alexander before mailing it in last week at Arizona.

With a playoff berth and the NFC West title on the line with a win tonight, you can bet Seattle won't be caught napping in this one. It just better just hope it can stop Mr. Gore or the 'Hawks will be facing a real inconvenient truth before the playoffs start.
MY PICK: Seahawks 27, Niners 13

-NBC Comedy Block a must-watch tonight
After a one-hour ...Earl last week and no Office we get a flip-flop tonight; Earl takes a break and we get a one-hour holiday Office instead. Yippee!

Following the Office ep, which involves a holiday party (or two) and Michael getting dumped and finding a new (Asian) girlfriend, there are new installments of Scrubs and 30 Rock.
The lineup has yet to find its groove according to the ratings, as the shows continue to get clubbed by Ugly Betty, CSI, Grey's Anatomy and Survivor: Wherever, but each has still got its own core audience of 8-10 million viewers that are rewaded with consistently amusing and often hilarious episodes.

Although Earl has lost a bit of its initial idiosyncratic charm from the debut season it is still a quirky and bawdy mix of Bundy-esque humor. Example: Crabman to Joy last week, re: Joy acting un Joy-like due to her new medication- "I'm Ying and you're Yang; Ying's nice, Yang's a bitch."

(By the way, Crabman and Randy are reason alone to watch the show now. Crabman is better known to TV viewers as the Rubber Band Man from the Staples ads a few years ago, and Ethan Suplee kills it every week as Earl's intelligence-challenged brother.)

The Office
is still the best comedy on TV, although some of the touchier subjects played upon this season have pushed the show towards the uncomfortable barrier. I mean its okay to take on racism & homophobia on one of the Law & Orders, but not so much in a prime time comedy. It still garned a Best Comedy Golden Globe nom, as well as a Best Actor nom for Steve Carell.

Scrubs & 30 Rock bring this block together. I am still getting used to the Scrubs humor; it's like a cross between Boston Legal and Arrested Development. 30 Rock has the benefit of familiarity; seeing Alec Baldwin in prime SNL skit form for a full half hour, plus the unpredictable Tracy Morgan and awesome Tina Fey makes this feel like a long, but in a good way. Baldwin's Jack Donagy is one of TVs classic bosses, and his treatment of underling Fey is priceless. The portrayal has earned him a well-deserved Golden Globe nom.

By next season this 2 hour block should have a larger audience, especially when they clean up at the Globes.

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