Monday, December 22, 2014

Monday night football. TV hanky-panky?

The recently concluded Monday night football game between the Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals was interesting in more ways than one.

Denver was hoping to lock up a first round bye in the playoffs, while Cinci was scrambling just to stay alive. As we now know, the Bengals would prevail. This is what happens when a certain Mr. Potato Head quarterback (you know who I mean) that never saw a stupid commercial endorsement he wouldn't do for a few more bucks that he doesn't need throws 4 interceptions. Plus, the game was played in a torrential downpour. To their credit, the Cincinnati fans who had packed the stadium remained throughout, even while getting drenched.

Then something very strange happened.

About 10 minutes after the game was over, the usual gang of TV talking heads gathered on the field to "analyze" what we had just watched. (Evidently, we're too stupid to comprehend a football game. It must be explained to us). There was the play-by-play man, former QB Steve Young, some bald dude in tennis shoes, and the ever-lovable Ray Lewis. While the other guys sported modest suit coats and ties, Ray-Ray was decked out in hybrid gangsta/pimp mode. The full length coat, the uptown hat, all the way down to his size 12 and a half spit polished brown shoes. He was STYLING. Beats a murder rap, pun intended, but that's old news. Ahem.

In and of itself such a post-game show wasn't the least bit strange. We've come to expect panels of drones telling us what we're about to watch in pre-game shows as well. They get it right about as often as Joe Couchtater could with a 12-pack already half gone and a meat-eaters special pizza on the way.

But this particular post-game show jumped out at yours truly for a couple reasons. Again, this was only minutes after the game had concluded. Something was wrong.

In the background, Paul Brown stadium had gone from a fan in every seat to completely empty. It seats over 65,000 people and it was packed a few minutes before. I've been to my fair share of sold out football stadiums, and there's no way it totally empties out in that short of time. You couldn't get that amount of people out of a stadium that fast if it had been rehearsed, a credible bomb threat was announced, or Judge Judy showed up on the Jumbotron to give them a "talking to". It's physically impossible. Hmm.

Plus, after raining throughout the game, it had magically stopped. OK, that can happen. But in an on-field post-game interview with Cincinnati running back Jeremy Hill -- he was completely dry. He'd played in the rain for the last three hours, and 10 minutes later he doesn't have a drop on him anywhere? Hmm.

The field itself looked fairly dry. This, 10 minutes after 3 hours of hard rain? Hmm.

Something very strange was afoot. Most unusual, and almost impossible to logically explain.

Were the TV folks playing a little time-delay hanky-panky with their viewers?

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