8 Things To Look For: 2014 Masters

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LOS ANGELES — The legendary comedic actor Tim Meadows once said, as Tiger Woods on a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit, “golf is great and I love golf and whatnot.” And he’s right, though I’m not sure what the “whatnot” is anymore since Tiger, well, ya know, gave up all the whatnot. Regardless, golf is nearly the perfect game in the sense that all its glory and goathood rests squarely on your shoulders. You’re not competing against anyone else except yourself and the golf course, which makes for a 5-hour battle of will and determination. The ultimate mental game, if you’ve ever swung a club you know exactly what I mean, golf pushes your limits in ways other sports can’t. I taught myself how to play 15 years ago, molded my swing after watching countless pros on TV throughout the years and reading magazines and infomercials, and am still a gigantic hack. Just when I think I have the game figured out, my ball striking goes into a funk or I can’t putt to save my life. This ever happen to you: if one aspect of you game is on point, another is completely off kilter? All the time right? It’s a good thing I’m not a professional. I’d have won and lost my Tour card a dozen times by now and more than once gone completely Tin Cup by breaking all my clubs out of frustration during a round.

As it were, I didn’t completely embarrass myself this past week at Lakeside Golf Course in Toluca Lake, Calif. in a Red Cross Celebrity Golf Tournament. What was I doing there? Good question. Let’s just say it’s good to know people. But it was hands down the nicest course I’ve ever played on, with pristine fairways and the smallest, neatly manicured greens I’ve ever seen in person. And fast. Dang were those greens fast. It was a modified scramble, so my final score 87 was much more generous than I would’ve shot had I been required to use my own tee shot each hole, but still, considering I’ve hit the links twice in the last 9 months, I’ll take it. Point is, the round was the perfect way to begin Masters week. And because I’m always looking out for you guys, here’s my 8 Things To Look For: 2014 Masters:

1.) Where Is Tiger Woods? So Eldrick announced last week he was going to miss the Masters to have surgery to alleviate the pain in his aching back, thus missing his favorite even for the first time since 1994, ya know, when he wasn’t yet on Tour. We all know the next year he set the scoring record and took the golf world by storm. So let’s just assume that’s going to happen next year.

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2.) Wait, Really? Tiger’s Not Playing? Really! And I’m pretty bummed out about it (as I tweeted out shortly after his announcement), as Tiger is hands down my favorite golfer and a main reason people watch on Sundays, especially at Augusta where even though he’s been up-and-down the last few years, he’s always found in himself in contention heading into the Back 9. I really think his absence will affect ratings but I guess we’ll see if the Masters truly are Tiger-proof. It won’t be the same without him this year, that’s for sure. Think of all the great Augusta moments in the last 19 years that he’s been a part of! It’s amazing.

3.) Can Adam Scott Win This Thing Again? Here’s the most crazy stat in the last five years of golf: 19 of the last 21 majors have been won by someone different. On top of that, there hasn’t been a consecutive Masters champion since Tiger in 2001-’02, so you’d think something has to give, right? Clearly Scott, an Aussie, has the game to repeat and he’s off to a good start this season with four Top 12 finishes in five events. Knowing he can win at Augusta is a big mental hurdle to overcome and with that in his back pocket he’s already a leg up on those who have faltered in years past.

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4.) Who Is The Next Young American Champ? Speaking of, and with Tiger out, I’m ready for a new, young American to come on the scene and really take charge and ignite some excitement among U.S. golf fans. It’s been a while. We need a stateside Rory McIlroy. So let me just throw out five names to keep an eye on in the next couple days:

Keegan Bradley: The Vermont native is 27, a Red Sox fan and will be wearing sick Jordan XI golf shoes throughout the tournament. (Hey, I’m easy to please.)

Harris English: The 24-year old is from Georgia, has five Top 10 finishes dating back to last October, and wait for it, we have the SAME BIRTHDAY. That makes him rootable in my book.

Ricky Fowler: Of course, any list of upcoming Americans has to include Fowler, who’s only 25 believe it or not. And while he’s struggled on the course of late, you know he’s going to have one of the craziest outfits out there, and that counts for something.

Webb Simpson: Remember, Simpson won the U.S. Open back in 2012, so you know he’s got major game. Plus, he’s only 28 and also has five Top 10s since October. Another major win here would really elevate his status as a serious contender to take Tiger’s place among American superstars.

Patrick Reed: Then we have Reed, who shocked everyone a couple weeks ago by donning the red shirt on Sunday a la Tiger and then went out and beat him. Only 23, he’s proven to have the moxie to hang with the big boys but Augusta chews up and spits out hopefuls for breakfast.

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5.) Will Fred Couples Be Near Leaderboard This Weekend? Freddy is like your cool uncle who lets you stay up late and watch the movie with some tities in it ,and maybe let you sip on his beer while you’re at it, which is why he’s one of the biggest fan favorites at this event each year. He also somehow seems to find himself in contention heading into the weekend. Couples, who won back in 1992, made a serious run last year before sliding off late and finishing 13th. As always with Couples, it’ll be how long is back can hold up in that Georgia heat.

6.) Will A Past Champion Make A Run? There are 19 former champions in the field this year and those with the best realistic shot to contend include Angel Cabrera (2009), Adam Scott (2013), Phil Mickelson (2004, ’06, ’10), Charl Schwartzel (2011) and Bubba Watson (2012).

7.) How Many Times Will Jim Nantz Say “Hello, Friends”? Get ready to hear it A LOT in the next four days. I’m talking like at least 438 times. And while we’re here, get ready for talk about the azaleas, Butler Cabin, Amen Corner, Hogan’s Bridge, Eisenhower Tree (which is gone from the 17th hole), Condi Rice being a member now and how it’s a tradition unlike any other. In fact, you might want to play a Jim Nantz Drinking Game or two while you’re crushing cheese sandwiches and watching the Masters package on DirecTV. Better yet, don’t. There’s no reason to end up in the hospital on Friday. It’s a long weekend of golf.

8.) Tiger’s Really Not Playing? Unless he’s been secretly in the WWE the last month with Vince McMahon plotting what would be the coolest ruse ever, then yes, Tiger’s really not playing. Trust me, you’ll live without him.

8 Things To Look For: 2014 Boston Red Sox

2013 World Series Game 6: St. Louis Cardinals v. Boston Red Sox

LOS ANGELES  The Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2013 behind beards and a band of unique brothers united by a love of the city. It was a championship season as unexpected as any considering the natural disaster that was the 2012 season, and the equally catastrophic September of 2011, in which the team went from first place to missing the playoffs faster than you can spell Yastrzemski. The collapse was terrible and predictable with the moves made in the 2010 and ’11 offseasons (Terry Francona out, Bobby Valentine in, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez for a combined $489 bajillion) but in a way necessary to make Sox fans appreciate those good ole’ days of ’04 and ’07.

Those title teams were fun to watch and root for, and always gave you everything they had. They were full of colorful characters and personalities, and found new and exciting ways to win games. The 2012 team sucked, wasn’t fun and probably hated each other as much as I hated them. Shortly after Boston dealt Crawford, Gonzalez and Josh Beckett to the Dodgers around the trade deadline in 2012, I ran into LA GM Ned Coletti at a bar in Culver City and thanked him for taking those guys off Boston’s hands. He laughed me off but the move turned things around (much like the Nomar trade in ’04) and laid the groundwork for a title run.

In a way, I enjoyed 2013 more than the other World Series years because of what was expected (nothing) and the ultimate end result (champagne baths and Duck Boats). And because of Mike Napoli. He’s taken Manny Ramirez’s place as the lovable goofball who hits mammoth home runs and keeps everyone loose. He’ll never be as enigmatic as Man-Ram or cut off  throws from the centerfielder or high-five fans while making a catch at the wall or rub Julian Tavarez’s head in the dugout (or hit .330) but he does have a penchant for getting a clutch hit (and parting around Boston without a shirt). And I love him. Look, the ’04 team was supposed to contend given how close it came in ’03, and ’07 was still riding that success thanks to a bevy of home-grown talent (Pedrioa, Youkilis, Lester, Papelbon, etc.). That title was expected.

What’s going to happen this season? Who knows, but what’s for certain is that this Red Sox team should be there come the stretch run again. Unlike the NFL, where teams go from worst to first all the time and the playoff turnover year-to-year is great, only a handful of teams have a realistic shot at hoisting the trophy come October in Major League Baseball, and this Red Sox team is one of them.

With that said, here’s 8 Things To Look For: 2014 Boston Red Sox:

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1.) What will we get from David Ortiz? Big Papi is one of the most beloved Red Sox of all time. He’s going to be a Hall of Famer five years after he retires. He can do anything.He’s  Superman. For baseball purposes, he went from 2-for-22 in the ALCS last year to a whopping 11-for-16 in the World Series. That swing was a microcosm of what No. 34 has been doing in recent years in the Hub. Slow starts have led to big finishes, but let’s be honest, Ortiz is 38 and while he’s signed on for two more seasons, what he has left is very much in doubt. Sure, he hit 30 homers last year (his 7th season with at least 30), but as we’ve seen historically from other sluggers, when it goes it goes in a hurry. I won’t overreact to a slow start this year but I’m not expecting the end to be pleasant, whenever it occurs.

2.) Who will be this year’s Jonny Gomes?  I’m not talking about the numbers, because I’m a realist in that Gomes isn’t The Babe, and he hit just .247 in 366 at bats last year. But the spark he gave this team when he was an every day player can’t be measured. He started the beard revolution, provided me with my favorite moment of the year - punting his helmet rounding third after a walk-off homer in June against Tampa Bay - and was an infectious spirit on the diamond. The Red Sox are gonna need it again because it’s a long season and repeating is hard.

3.) Is Felix Dubront ready for primetime? — I covered the big lefty when he was with the Portland Sea Dogs coming up and I’ve enjoyed watching his progress in the big leagues. Dubront is a power pitcher and has 306 strikeouts in 323.1 innings in his two full big league seasons but got shelled this Spring Training (7.77 ERA in 19 innings). He’s going to be an important element of this Boston pitching staff and if it’s going to make another deep postseason run he’ll need to win 15-or-more games. He’s only 26 but it’s time to show some consistency.

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4.) Grady Sizemore, starting center fielder?  This is actually not a question, it’s happening, and I’m just as shocked as you are. Sizemore hasn’t played in two seasons, and hasn’t played a full season since 2008, but somehow beat out Jackie Bradley, Jr. for the center field spot. The same JBJ who most, including me, thought was in line for the starting job after Jacoby Ellsbury signed with the Yankees this offseason and was sent down to Pawtucket last week. I don’t know if Sizemore is gonna make it, but I hope so. He averaged 26 HR, 81 RBI and 28 stolen bases in his best four full seasons with Cleveland, and if he can be around those numbers again it’ll be a genius move and soften the blow of losing Ellsbury but giving the Sox some speed and pop at the top of the lineup. Fingers crossed.

5.) A.J. Pierzynski? Yes, really.  And you thought spelling Saltalamacchia was tough? I’m pretty shocked the man once voted the most hated in Major League Baseball is wearing Red Sox colors this season, but by all accounts, he’s a great teammate, and one of those guys you’re glad is on your team because of what makes him so hated. I just want him to do what everyone wants out of their catcher: handle the pitchers, be reliable, and provide a little pop at the plate now and then. Salty’s 40 doubles last year will be hard to top, let’s hope A.J.’s intangibles make up for it.

6.) Will the bullpen repeat its 2013 performance? Let’s be honest, what the bullpen did last year, especially Koji Uehara, was unbelievable. He was downright unhittable in the stretch run and postseason, giving up just one run in 13.2 innings with seven saves. But he’s 38, so I wouldn’t expect a repeat performance. Uehara came out of nowhere and I’m guessing it’ll be someone else giving manager John Farrell a surprise performance to save the day this summer, whether it’s Andrew Miller or Burke Badenhop or Edward Mujica or someone from a deadline deal. Stay tuned.

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7.) How will this team handle being expected to win?  It was different last season, there weren’t any expectations – last year every Red Sox fan would’ve been satisfied with a .500 season given the way 2012 was an unmitigated nightmare – but now this band of mistfits are champions. They are expected to win 90 games this year and compete for another World Series. A year ago, there was no pressure and what happened? They won. A lot. Now that there is pressure what’s going to happen if this team struggles in April and May? If Xander Bogaerts isn’t living up to the tremendous hype we all have for him early on? If Will Middlebrooks get sent down again because he’s lost his power? If Jon Lester has control issues or Clay Buchholz injures his back again? If Koji blows a couple saves? If Ortiz is hitting .091? What if? I’m hoping no one panics, remembering how patience paid off a year ago, but this is Boston and what happened last year is in the past. We’ll see.

8.) What grimey thing will these guys do next?  Last year it was the beards and David Oritz and Boston Strong that carried this team and provided its spirit and driving force. In 2004, there was “Cowboy Up” and the Jack Daniels and the naked pullups, in ’07 it was The Idiots, so we’ll see what comes from this team. You don’t know when it’s gonna happen or who’s going to be the leader, but I’m expecting something and I can’t wait.

The Beatle In Shoulder Pads

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 The fifth Beatle walked strong among the masses,
 Wearing swooshes and all black camo.
 He bounced to the music and smiled real wide,
 Welcomed the decision makers to the show.
 See, the kid is strong, sure and ripe.
 Not afraid to tell all to smoke exactly what's in their pipe.
 Talk they do, experts and hacks.
 How he's this, and can't do that. Waaack.
 They'll mention his antics, his hustle, the mess.
 No strength or safety in his game, all finesse.
 But he's a rockstar, it can't be denied.
 Beat 'Bama, won the Heisman and barely broke stride.
 Yeah he drinks, dates models and flaunts what he's got.
 You would too if you were him, your own Johnny on the spot.
 Now he's Broadway bound, could be the first overall pick.
 May 8 will arrive before they can spell "lickity split."
 And so the suits with whistles flew down to small College Station,
 To watch the Beatle move and throw, broadcast to the nation.
 They came from all parts of this great NFL land,
 And throw he did, all according to plan.
 Coaches, GMs, friends and fans.
 Even a President watched in awe from the stands.
 Our hero stood tall, but not that high.
 We all knew he could ball and basically fly.
 A bomber, celebrity and life champion all in one.
 Whitlock called him Kardashian with skills, so fun.
 Is he Tebow? Vick? Deion? He's none.
 He's Johnny Football.
 Coming to a stadium near you, 
 So brightly this fall.

 

Big East Memories And March’s Opening Weekend Madness

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LOS ANGELES — At age 20, I went to Madison Square Garden in New York City for the first time. It was March of 2001, and being in charge of the college basketball show at Syracuse University’s student television station had its perks. Such, I made the executive decision to cover the Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament, for which our Orangemen were a 3-seed. To say I was out of my element was an understatement, as this was the first event of this magnitude I had covered.

Rich Kiss, UUTV’s sports director, came with me, and he and I had three of the most fun days I can remember as a college student. That our Orangemen (we were still the Orangemen back then) won two games, and narrowly missed reaching the league championship by a single point in the third, was only icing on the cake of the experience. We took the train over from New Jersey into the World Trade Center, walked over to 34th and 8th with our camera equipment, picked up our credentials and felt like we belonged. I remember we grabbed every media guide and quote packet we could get our hands on in the press area, ate from the $5 donation buffet (Boston Globe hoops historian Bob Ryan took the last piece of cheesecake) and when some real reporter asked us if we were using the phone on our table we bewilderingly said no, as if who were we to even have phones. But we were somebodies covering the event; the names on our passes told us so. 11213267-large

We walked among the stars of this Broadway show even if we were barely understudies. I got a little journo-hero struck when we saw Bill Rhoden of the New York Times, and Dick Weiss of the Daily News, two basketball writing legends, but for the duration of this tournament we were all colleagues and it felt as such. In the locker room interviewing players, in the press room talking to coaches, high above the MSG floor in the media section as I called all of my friends from the working telephones; we we there. After one of the games, we even did our standups on the court. Like pros. At The Garden. Basketball Mecca.

The next year, our Orangemen weren’t very good but Rich and I returned; we lost the first game to Villanova and the three things I remember most are: a) that we basically called it on the train ride over, since like I said, we weren’t very good; b) saying if we somehow lost tonight we were going to head to Atlantic City the next day (we did); and c) The Scene. The Scene was unlike anything I’ve been around, not like the high school, college or pro games I attended growing up. There was a buzz as soon as you walked through The Garden doors or made your way up the steps from the subway. It made the hair on your arms stand up. The clapping and chanting. The team regalia. School cheerleaders lining the entrance. Vendors screaming out deals for programs, t-shirts and refreshments. Everyone talking hoops at every turn. Even the back pages of the Daily News and New York Post were smathered with Big East Tournament headlines.

And the basketball. Oh the basketball. Other conferences have high-flyers, run-and-gun offenses and the visual eye candy to attract those with less-than keen eyes for superior hardwood mastery. And that’s what the Big East was, the best hoops the nation had to offer, and it was on display night-in and night-out across the northeast. From Providence to South Orange, out to Syracuse, back to Storrs and everywhere in between; college basketball at its absolute pinnacle. Marquee coaches, superstar players and the most rabid fans. Those qualities and more were on full display in the latest 30-for-30: Requiem For The Big East, which documented the league’s creation in 1979 and ultimate demise in 2013.

It was a fantastic two hours of television that featured commentary about the Big East’s rise and fall from legendary coaches Jim Boeheim, John Thompson and Lou Carnesecca, writers who covered the league Michael Wilbon and Charlie Pierce, former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese, and players Ed Pinckney (Villanova), Chris Mullin (St. John’s), and Patrick Ewing (Georgetown), among others.

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The documentary touched on the seminal moments of the conference, from Georgetown ending Syracuse’s 57-game home winning streak to close out Manley Field House, to the recruitment of Ewing, who hailed from Jamaica through Boston, New York City’s Mullin and Pearl Washington, the league’s toughness, Big Monday, and everything Dave Gavitt went through to get the league off the ground and to the heights it reached by teaming up with ESPN for broadcast rights. It was a fantastic trip down memory lane.

One of the elements I found the most interesting was one of Gavitt’s initial reasons for wanting to create the Big East was to keep the best players from the northeast – including New York City – in the area. Gavitt watched Big Apple schoolboy legend Lew Alcindor leave the east coast for UCLA in the 1960s and knew something had to be done. And it worked, as the league’s top eastern players stayed at home and played in the new power conference. Always fighting for national respect, the Big East received validation when Georgetown reached the 1982 NCAA Championship, and then just three years later placed three teams in the Final Four.

Other thoughts: I loved hearing Pinckney and Mullin talk about playing pickup hoops at parks across New York City, starting in Harlem and working their way down. That’s the thing about city ball, if you can play, the color of your skin doesn’t matter, and Mullin was one of the best around. … I never knew Boeheim got his Bob Knight on with a heated chair throw in the press conference after the 1984 Big East title game. … Thompson told Ewing to block every shot in the 1985 title game, which resulted in five goaltending calls off the bat. Also, Ewing still hasn’t gotten over losing the game to Villanova, saying, “in my heart the best team did not win that night.” … Pierce saying capitalism ruined the Big East, while Wilbon blames “dumb and greedy presidents.” … The doc was voiced by “Breaking Bad” villain Giancarlo Esposito, aka Gus Fring.

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I first wrote my world famous “Tips For Enjoying March Madness” column for the Journal Tribune way back in 2006 – the 2009 version won me a Maine Press Association award. A lot has happened since then and most of it hasn’t been great for my bracket in 2014. Speaking of, how’s yours looking? Did you call North Dakota St. or Stephen F. Austin? What about Dayton? Mercer is in Macon, Georgia if you still haven’t figured that out yet. These first 48 games were some of the best basketball of the year, with perhaps the most exciting game of the first two rounds being #8 Kentucky/#1 Wichita St., which made the worst #11 Dayton’s upset win over #3 Syracuse.

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Seriously, the last month of basketball being played in the 315 has been downright atrocious. (rant alert) Forget that we lost to a six-win Boston College team AT HOME, but also to Georgia Tech and N.C. State to end the season, losses happen, I’ve played sports my entire life, even when you’re better than your opponent you’re not always going to win. It just happens. Fine. But your effort in those losses is something you CAN control. Your shot selection. Your aggressiveness. Your rebounding. All within the realm of things you can have a direct outcome of. And where has it been the last month? Very good question. Bottom line, Syracuse didn’t deserve a 3-seed in this year’s tournament and it didn’t deserve to reach the Sweet 16. Obviously, I’m not over the loss yet and probably won’t be until Opening Day at Fenway next month. When you start the season 25-0 you expect a more satisfying ending than losing to Dayton two hours from your campus. What a frustrating end to what should have been a joyous season. And that’s the other thing, I didn’t have that much fun watching this team play. Every possession was a struggle. Every shot was spent praying it went in. Nothing was automatic. When we got a big lead, we quickly surrendered it. We played down to the level of our competition. We scored 47 points! To Dayton! For the game! Oregon nearly had that at the half against BYU. Did the season turn when Boeheim got tossed late in the game against Duke? Is someone really going to make that moment when it all went to crap? Did I just do it? I just hope Tyler Ennis and Jerami Grant come back next year. Neither are ready for the pros and I think this tournament confirmed that.

[exhale] On to next year.

Here’s what else caught my eye after the most amazing four days of college basketball I can remember (it was a 48-game blur, so forgive specifics):

- These kids are terrible shooters; most but not all of them. Doug McDermott had a great first game against Lousianna-Lafayette going 12-for-23 and 30 points, but then not so much against Baylor (15 points). Meanwhile, Wichita St.’s Cleanthony Early couldn’t miss Sunday against Kentucky, going 12-for-17 and 31 points. It’s too bad both couldn’t make it out of the first weekend.

- Hard to tell which team is playing the best right now. After the first round I would’ve said Wichita St. and Syracuse, and then both lost in Round 2. Now, I might say Kentucky, Baylor, Arizona, Florida, Virginia and UConn are leading the field, so who knows what their fates hold in the Sweet 16.

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- Player I want taking the game-winning shot on the final possession: UConn’s Shabazz Napier; dude is fearless.

- Got to explain what a backdoor lob was this weekend, which was pretty hilarious in between the 13-year old giggles. I even used two glasses of water and a dipping container of ketchup to visually illustrate. Coach Norman Dale would’ve been proud.

- Baylor’s hunting uniforms need to join the NBA’s sleeve jerseys and take a long walk off a short pier. Not a good look for anyone.

- I participate in an NCAA Tournament individual scoring fantasy league each year and I felt really good about my squad after the draft, especially after I missed out on the championship last year by a measly 7 points (thanks a lot, Georgetown). However, after the opening weekend I’m down to only four players remaining and I have about a good a shot at a title as Dayton, which is a long one. Seriously, I can’t believe Oklahoma AND Creighton both went down. Those two losses cost me at least another 75 points. Just so long as I don’t come in last.

- Speaking of, did any of these potential top NBA Draft picks (Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Marcus Smart, etc.) have good games or do anything noteworthy? And who is this year’s Harold Arceneaux? He’s yet to reveal himself.

- Anyone else really sick of that Buffalo Wild Wings old man in the hat? We get it, the game is on, we’re probably already in our seats. Stop yelling at us.

- My original Final Four was Florida, Virginia, Creighton and Louisville. Revamped Final Four: Florida, Virginia, Baylor and Louisville. Sticking with my Louisville championship pick as well, although that may change at halftime of Friday’s Kentucky game; stay tuned and happy madness!

86th Academy Awards Running Diary

LOS ANGELES — For the first time in the last 3 years, I am not at the Academy Awards (#StraightUpBrag), so I figured I’d roll over to Berger’s place and bust out a running diary for this year’s show. Ellen DeGeneres is the host, a much safer choice compared to last year when apparently Seth MacFarlane offended everyone, but we’ll see who ends up stealing the show. I’m not expecting many surprises in terms of who the actual winners are, but you never know. OK, let’s get to it!

5:29pm PST - Since I wasn’t at the Red Carpet this year for The Eisen Podcast, figured I’d do a running  diary since I can actually watch the show. Berger cares about this stuff as much as I do so hopefully we’ll have some good commentary throughout. We’re a minute away. I’m guessing it’s gonna be another long ass show. Berger thinks 3 hours and 24 minutes. I’m definitely taking the over.

5:30 - Ellen walks out and immediately goes in with a “raining in LA joke… Thank you for your prayers.” Predictable, and everyone laughed. UGH, that’s the problem with Ellen, she’s so safe and everyone loves her. But seriously, it was touch-and-go with the rain here, people. She’s not wrong about that.

5:32 - The June Squibb being old and can’t understand anything bit was funny. And is Ellen wearing velvet? Berger immediately breaks out into Seinfeld velvet lines. This is why we’re friends.

5:33 - Ellen should just quit now after that Liza Minelli male impersonator joke. That was hilarious.

5:35 - “Did Julia Roberts always have that many teeth?” Valid question by Berger. … Julia is loving this Ellen monologue. Jesus stop laughing, this is not that funny. “She’s hammered!” That’s the only explanation I’m accepting.

5:37 - Jennifer Lawrence is mostly perfect, right down to stumbling while getting out of her car. But I wouldn’t have cut my hair if I was her.

5:39 - How does Jonah Hill have a better seat than Marty Scorsese? And everyone brings their mom to this show, huh? Not gonna lie, I would bring BrockmanMary, too.

5:40 - OK, time for some awards. Anne Hathaway is out to present Best Supporting Actor. We can all agree she’s the worst, right? And it’s gotta be Jared Leto, yes? It’s the rule. Dress up like a woman/man, get the statue. They don’t break rules in Hollywood.

5:42 - Leto wins it. And Tyler Perry with the great seats next to Jennifer Garner. “The only reason I’m watching this show is for this speech.” Leto tells Ellen he loves her first. Upset of the night.

5:44 - Neck tattoo guy turns out to be Leto’s brother. “To all the dreamers out there!” Hooray for dreamers! Nice of him to mention those who’ve lost battle to AIDS. Very well done speech. Hard to top that one tonight.

5:47 - Jim Carrey out for the next awards and wow, that’s a blue suit. Lotta blue suits tonight. Lot going on with Jim’s hair, too… and he’s breaking out the weird faces. Sweet. He’s never changed… LSD joke and director cuts to U2. Was that on purpose?

5:51 - Kerry Washington comes out and damn, she’s huge! That little Nnamdi inside her is ready for the Draft. She’s here to introduce Pharrell singing some song titled “Happy.” Wait, so Jim Carrey didn’t even give out an award? What was that for then? I’m so confused. This is an awards show still, right?

5:53 - “Is there any big event that Pharrell hasn’t performed at in the last two years? When did he bcome Quincy Jones?” It’s a good point. Where’s he showing up to next? 5:1 he’s at the NFL Draft.

5:55 - Berger has these peanut butter filled pretzel bites which are basically heaven in your mouth. I just crushed 6 like it was nothing. I might eat the whole container in the next 3 hours.

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5:57 - Sam Jackson walks out sans Kangol hat (also a huge upset) with Naomi Watts. “Shes in my top 5 tonight, look at her. She looks Incredible.” And Berger’s DirecTV DVR alert comes up that 2 things are abut to record at once. True Dectective and Wicked Tuna. Yeah, the tuna’s getting canceled. Oh, and they’re handing out costume design which goes to “Great Gatsby,” and Catherine Martin, which is the third win for this woman apparently and she’s also nominated in another category tonight. That seems selfish.

6:00 - HOW DID BAD GRANDPA NOT WIN FOR BEST MAKEUP?!?!??!!!!?? “Is that the same woman from the Kimmel bit before the show?” Dallas Buyers Club won, by the way. Making Jared Leto look like a hot chick takes a lot of makeup.

6:02 - Harrison Ford comes out and immediately quotes Marlon Brando. That’s the best moment of the night so far. Harry introduced as “Oscar nominated” so we look it up and it’s true, he’s never won an Oscar OR Golden Globe. He wasn’t even nominated for The Fugitive?! That’s incredible. What a joke. And he’s teasing “American Hustle,” “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Wolf of Wall Street,” the first 3 of the 9 Best Picture noms.

6:05 - Channing Tatum out next. If you painted him gold he’d look like the Oscar statue. Not for nothing, but the best part of last year’s show was post-Oscars when Tatum and Jamie Foxx were on Jimmy Kimmel playing on the piano. That was downright hilarious.

6:07 - Something funny to do during big events is seeing what ELSE is on TV. Right now we have the Fab Five 30 for 30, the Bassmasters Classic and the “Rockford Files” leading the clubhouse at the moment. Clearly I’m not mentioning “True Detective,” which I’ll be watching later tonight. Life is a flat circle of time.

6:09 - Spike has “Return of the Jedi” on, “Anchorman” too, and “The Skulls.” Some great counter programming right now, people.

6:11 - Who is this old broad with bad plastic surgery on stage with Matthew McConaughey?! Man, he’s really handsome. And why is he rubbing her back? That’s creepy. Apparently, it’s Kim Novak who was in “Vertigo.” They’re presenting animated short. We could’ve got MMc a better category.

6:17 - Sally Field walks out… “She looks unfucking believable. She has to be like 70!?” She’s 67, but I’m feeling you, Berger. And “Frozen” won for best animated feature in the least surprising victory of the night.

6:19 - Not sure I understand the point of this montage. Is it supposed to be about heroes or something? “42″ was not a good movie by any stretch and it’s mixed in with all these iconic, Academy Award-winning performances. Strange.

6:21 - “Emma Watson! Holy shitballs!” Yeah, she’s out with Joseph Gordan-Levitt to present visual effects… “Emma Watson gets an achievement in visual effects!” Wait, so you’re telling me Johnny Depp wasn’t really walking across a moving train in “The Lone Ranger?!” I feel so cheated, but only because I paid $12 to see that piece of garbage. “Gravity” wins. No shock. Best visual experience in a theater I’ve had in a long time.

6:24 - “Gravity” has made $700 million worldwide. “So have I.” That’s amazing. And not sure what this song is that Zac Efron just introduced. Why is he even there? Do people still think he’s a movie star? His face looks fat, too. Yes, I am just jealous.

6:30 - Good job by Kate Hudson for not getting outrageous-looking breast implants. They’re classy and probably didn’t cost as much. And Jason Sudeikis is a handsome man, but I definitely would’ve hated that guy in college. Without question.

6:32 - They’re presenting Live Action Short Film… and “Helium” wins. “When I inhale helium it usually turns into a live action short film, too.” Well played, sir.

6:36 - Ellen walking down the aisle and mentions ordering pizza and if anyone would want any. Yeah, that’s what these people wearing ridiculously expensive gowns and tuxedos want, greasy-ass pizza. Wait, preggo Kerry Washington gives a fist pump. She’s excited at the thought of pie. But pregnant people don’t think rationally. Someone help her out.

6:37 - What’s going on with Bradley Cooper’s hair? And every woman just said, “I just want him to speak french to me. Who cares what his hair looks like?” “20 Feet From Stardom” wins for best doc feature. Very cool idea. Definitely going to check that out… and Tina Turner’s Hollywood Blvd. lookalike just started singing and is now getting a standing ovation. That was bizarre.

6:40 - Frank Underwood just strolled out and addressed the crowd. That was awesome. Kevin Spacey is a boss… WHOA. Angela Lansbury is 88? “Ya, I’ve been watching a fair amount of ‘Murder She Wrote’ recently.” It’s too bad Kevin Spacey is such an amazing actor, he’d would’ve been an amazing late night talk show host or stand up comic. I’d watch him do impressions all night. He should actually host the Oscars.

6:48 - Jeez, where the hell has Ewan McGregor been? He’s looking like an extra from “Dallas Buyers Club.” Also, the side balcony squads are 3-for-3 in Oscars tonight after “The Great Beauty” just took home Foreign Language Film… and I think this Italian director just thanked Diego Maradona and Mike Napoli. That was weird.

6:51- Why is Tyler Perry there?! “He is the richest person at the Oscars.” Well OK then. He’s out to showcase the next 3 Best Picture noms: “Nebraska,” “Her” and “Gravity.”

6:55 - Brad Pitt, looking like he’s about to film the Macklemore biopic, comes out to introduce U2 singing “Ordinary Love,” which is my new favorite song. It’s incredible, even though I cant stand Bono. Even though I want to be The Edge. I’m nearly convinced he’s the coolest guy alive right now. It’s a constant conundrum of mine.

6:57 - “Why is he on the ground?” I stopped trying to explain Bono a long, long time ago.

7:03 - Ellen is now in the aisle next to Meryl Streep talking about tweeting about a picture of the two of them. She wants to make it the most RT’d photo in Twitter’s history. OK, wait, Brad Pitt is walking over. Now Julia Roberts wants in. Jesus, everyone is getting in on this now. Jennifer Lawrence just said she wanted to grab a boob if the picture wants to get retweeted that many times. Wow, this is incredible. Who is that guy in the flat top?! “I’ve never tweeted before!” -Meryl Streep. Jesus, what a mess. Bradley Cooper actually ends up taking the photo. Can’t wait to see how this turns out. And no way am I giving this an RT.

7:06 - Holy shit, I would absolutely watch a sex tape with Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron. Great Caesar’s Ghost they are two perfect humans.

7:09 - Ellen broke Twitter. This picture stunt has taken it down. That’s unbelievable. Wonder how many RTs that photo is gonna get. I’ll admit it was a pretty cool 2014 moment but I’m just curious with all these stunts how people would react if it was Seth doing them.

7:11 – Two-time Best Supporting Actor and Quentin Tarantino mouthpiece Christoph Waltz out to present Supporting Actress… real categories! Should be a good one.

7:14 - “12 Years A Slave” actress Lupita Y’ongo wins, as she should. Absolutely amazing performance by her. “Lupita and Liza, the hug of the night.” … her and her date have matching flat tops. No big deal. I ask Berger if he thinks Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence have had sex: “yes.” And that’s that.

7:21 - Ellen is really taking this pizza bit to the next level as some dude just walked on stage with three pies… Julia Roberts and Spacey immediately raise their hands that they want some… is this a real guy? I’m so confused. Brad Pitt is handing out plates. What the hell is going on? Isn’t this supposed to be a dignified awards show? This should be a Golden Globes bit. Leo’s no dummy, he’s not eating the pie. Don’t wanna get grease on that navy tux.

7:24 - What the hell was that spaceship thing that lady was talking about? Are they making a sequel to “Flight of the Navigator?”

7:26 - “Are they going to give out any awards on this awards show? It’s like that scene from ‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘you plan on actually having dinosaurs in your dinosaur park, yes?” … and we just made an “A Few Good Men” joke. We are on fire… classy of Bill Murray to just shout out to Harold Ramis during the cinematography category.

7:29 - Anna Kendrick comes out and I think I see a nipple. Either way, shout out to her for being from Portland, Maine. Represent… and yes, “Gravity” just won another technical award, this time for Editing. “We get it, ‘Gravity’ was cool looking.” It really was.

7:32 - That Ellen photo is at 433,000 RTs right now and going up infinitely every second. “Let’s call a spade a spade, it’s a pretty amazing photo.” Yes, it really is… and I think Whoopi Goldberg, wearing the wicked witch socks from “Wizard of Oz,” just said Pink’s real name in an effort to tell America she hangs out with Pink. Really strange. Has anyone ever won an Oscar and then gotten really weird like she has? Nic Cage, I guess.

7:38 - Pink just absolutely destroyed “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in the Oz tribute wearing an amazing ruby red dress. That was fantastic. Director cuts to John Travolta and Kelly Preston. “Kelly Preston, I can’t say it enough.” Berger is a fan.

7:42 - Ellen comes out wearing a fairy costume. Right, because of the Oz thing. This is not funny.

7:43 - Jennifer Garner is incredibly stunning tonight and is joined by Benedict Cumberbatch, who is an absolute boss. He has to be the next James Bond right? “He should come out with a line of candy, Cumberbatch Kids” … and Catherine Martin wins her second Oscar of the night for production design. She’s got 5 now, if you’re scoring at home. So greedy.

7:47 - Another semi-pointless montage. Not sure what this one was for, but it was kind of awesome. I think it was for movie badasses. Also, that Ellen pic now up to 736,000 RTs. Americans are morons.

7:52 - Glenn Close out to introduce the In Memoriam piece. Who’s the hammer? We vote Shirley Temple… kicks off with James Gandolfini… wow, that was tough… goosebumps during this thing…

7:58 - Ends with Philip Seymour Hoffman, fitting, he was an Academy Award winner… and Bette Midler comes out to sing … “WIND BENEATH MY WINGS?!??!” Definitely didn’t see that coming.

8:05 - Whoa, Goldie Hahn needs to cut back on the plastic surgery. Who wins in a Plastic Surgery Off: Goldie or Kim Novak? She’s introducing the last three Best Picture noms: “Philomena,” “Captain Phillips” and “12 Years A Slave,” which is my pick to win the whole thing.

8:08 - Ellen’s photo is now at 1.2 million RTs, which is officially the most RT’d tweet of all-time… and how come no one ever calls out John Travolta on all his wigs? We’re just gonna let that slide, along with Harry Ford’s earring? Guess so.

8:09 - What did Travolta just say?! There’s no chance that’s her real name… Apparently it’s Idina Menzel. Wow, that was a butcher job… people are going nuts on Twitter.

8:11 - I’m pretty sure Jamie Foxx is doing a beatbox of Chariots of Fire right now during this award for costume design or something. You think that was in the prompter?

8:14 - Holy smokes, Robert Lopez just completed the EGOT, made famous by Tracy Morgan on “30 Rock” for winning for best song in “Frozen.” This guy has to get the necklace now, right? Or at least walk around with an F U shirt. I probably would.

8:23 - Ellen is now passing around one of Pharrell’s hats for a tip for the pizza guy. This bit has officially jumped the shark. Do you think these stars actually carry cash? … Robert DeNiro and Penelope Cruz out for Best Adapted Screenplay… John Ridley has to win for “12 Years a Slave,” right?

8:25 - Indeed he did. Whoa, purple dress on his Asian gf/wife/side piece? Wasn’t ready for that… Man, some good speeches tonight. Really liked his. Well done… OK, off to Original Screen play … this one is tough.. “American Hustle,” “Her,” “Blue Jasmine,” “Nebraska,” “Dallas Buyers Club”…

8:27 - Going to say “Her” wins because of how unique it was, and I really enjoyed that film … booyah! Spike Jonze everyone. Wow, you could tell me any age for him and I’d believe you. Amazing that he used to direct Beastie Boys videos and now he’s won an Academy Award. Shows you anything is truly possible.

8:32 - Best Director already! Has this show flown by or not? I can’t tell. It’s been 3 hours so probably not. Ok, here we go… and it’s Alfonso Cuaron for “Gravity”… how many statues is that for Gravity now? “They’ve won all the dumb ones.” Well. So there.

8:42 - Daniel Day-Lewis out to present Best Actress. I forgot it’s been a whole year since he transformed into Abraham Lincoln. Funny tweet just now saying DDL prepared four years for this introduction… So it’s been Cate Blanchett leading this category since the summer, let’s see if she can go wire-to-wire.

8:43 - Yeah she did. I like Cate’s dress… and good use of exacerbates.

8:48 - Jennifer Lawrence out to present Best Actor… all she’s thinking right now is, “don’t trip, don’t trip, don’t trip.” And all I really want her to do is trip… whoa, she just scolded someone for laughing… what was that? She realizes this isn’t about her, right? I think in the course of a few hours I’m losing interest…

8:50 - OK, who ya got? Leo was really awesome in “Wolf of Wall Street” but for some reason you get the feeling like he’s never gonna win one of these, though I often think about what type of acceptance speech he would give. Speaking of, I know everyone wants Matthew McConaughey to win and believe me, no one loves MMC like I do, but I just think Chiwetel Ejiofor was so fantstic in “12 Years A Slave” and deserves it. We’ll see…”it’s either AIDS or slavery, so some oppressed people will be really happy.”

8:52 - Effin’A’, McConaughey for the win. Fantastic tux. Gave us the “all right, all right, all right,” too … he nailed it. Wow. That was awesome… and he’s his own hero. Just wow.

8:55 - Final award of the night. Best Picture, and who else but Will Smith out to present… wearing… whatever that is… and we’ve hit the 3:25 mark, the over wins… Like I said, I’m predicting “12 Years A Slave”…

8:57 - WINNER. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it, just a fantastic (yet disturbing) film. Really well done.

OK, that’s gonna do it for me and Berger. Thanks for reading. Hope you were entertained. My next running diary will most likely be the 1st Round of the 2014 NFL Draft. So you have some time to prepare yourselves. Oh, and the final RT count on the Ellen photo as we go off the air is 1.73 million. Simply amazing.

NFL-Themed Suggestions For #TrueDetectiveSeason2

LOS ANGELES — To say that HBO’s “True Detective” has taken dramatic television by LSD flashback storm this winter would be a vast understatement. Anytime you can combine a mustachioed and pony-tailed Matthew McConaughey blowing your mind with existential theories on life while making little tin men with empty Lone Star beer cans, and mix it with young Woody Harrelson driving around the Louisiana backwoods looking like a pissed Roger Goodell after Brandon Merriweather just speared someone, you have a recipe for TV success. Throw in the most badass cinematography, the most mind-blowing monologues, and single shots you’ve every seen on the small screen – and did I mention McConaughey and Harrelson giving A+ performances? – then you have a certified hit.

So much so, that fans and media critics can’t even wait until this season’s 8-episode run concludes  before throwing out suggestions on who Season 2′s crime-fighting duo should be. You might find this hard to believe, but Twitter has been fascinated in the last week, too, with half-serious, half-jokey ideas. I threw out a couple of my own on Thursday, but then I got to thinking: what NFL pairings would make for a fascinating criminal-hunting duo? Who could capture my attention for 8 riveting episodes of weird fiction? Who is going to give it to me straight or even take it way outside the box? Who would make fireworks? Here’s a few I came up with:

PEYTON MANNING & PAPA JOHN
Who knew these two would overtake Tony Romo and Jason Witten to become the league’s biggest BFFs, but look at them, gazing into each other’s eyes, their matching shirts, all those pizzas. Can’t you just imagine them driving to the crime scene, not even talking but knowing what each other is thinking? Their deep conversations would just be 7 minutes of cruising silence with lots of head nods and knowing glances, and every episode would end with them filling out police reports while brainstorming new topping combinations.

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BILL BELICHICK & ERIC MANGINI
Here’s how this season would go down: Belichick would do all the cool stuff, like ya know, catch the killer or get the key confession, only he would bend a few rules, bribe a few hookers, inflict a little Jack Bauer/Frank Pembleton pain to get the job done. Mangini would be all rah-rah while it was going down, but then about 6 months later go to the commissioner and tell him about all the corners Belichick cut to crack the case. Belichick would then get fined and suspended, and Mangini would move on to another precinct where he’d get fired after less than two years because everyone realized he sucked at his job.

STEVE SMITH & AQIB TALIB
First off, just look at these two. Are you telling me you wouldn’t watch ANY show starring these guys?! I’d watch a cooking show, bird watching, you name it. So knowing what we’re working with, and that this pairing gave us arguably the phrase of the 2013 NFL season in “Ice Up, Son,” you can only imagine what viral quips they’d come up with. Stage this season in Atlanta and have every night end breaking down evidence at Magic City or Waffle House, and I don’t see why this wouldn’t be the highest-rated “True Detective” of all-time.

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CORTLAND FINNEGAN & ANDRE JOHNSON
The legendary hothead Finnegan, and the known docile Johnson would be a fantastic contrast of emotions as partners for a season of TD. Oh, right, these two once fought in the middle of an NFL game, how could I forget? Yeah, so there’s some volcanic history there that could erupt at the drop of a hat. Couldn’t you just imagine these two on a stakeout having a conversation about jazz or where to get burger/fries and suddenly coming to blows inside the Crown Vic? Me too. They’d be too busy arguing about anything to make any kind case progress. Each week would be a guessing game of what sets them off this time.

BRETT FAVRE & JOHNNY MANZIEL
Favre recently said the player Manziel reminds him of is himself (no kidding, Brett?) which would makes them a natural pairing for a season of TD. And theirs would be your classic “grizzly old vet teaches the new hotshot the lay of the land.” Favre would show Manziel all the backwoods tricks, how to cut corners, the most effective way to interrogate and how to make it look like you’ve got nothing when you’re really close to nailing the bad guy. At some point during the season, Manziel would begin to “get it” and it’ll look like Favre is no longer needed, only the old guy will somehow save the day in the end, proving he still has the goods. That, or a task force or federal agency will come in just before victory, intercept all their evidence and close the case themselves.

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RICHIE INCOGNITO & JONATHAN MARTIN
Too obvious? OK, but for kicks and giggles hear me out. Can’t you just see them taking separate cars to crime scenes, desks on completely other sides of the station, and having entire conversations, exchanges of notes and hunches over text message? “U C DA LAB REPORT?” “YA DAWG  LOOKS LIKE I KNOCKED UP UR SISTER HA HA” “F U MAN I QUIT”

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MICHAEL CRABTREE & RICHARD SHERMAN
McConaughey’s Rust Cohle never actually says he’s a superior detective to Harrelson’s Marty Hart but you know he thinks it. However Sherman wouldn’t just think it, he’d say so and often. Just think how hilarious it would be to see Crabtree screw something up in the field, or not understand where Sherman was going with a lead or idea, and then cut to the next scene where Sherman is storming into his boss’s office screaming, “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU PAIRED ME UP WITH SUCH A MEDIOCRE DETECTIVE!!!” This would happen every episode, and I’d laugh every time.

JERRY JONES & JASON GARRETT
Obviously, these two are partners, but it would be great to see how Jerrah would try to undermine Garrett throughout the course of the season. Would it be subtle at first, such as insisting he walk through doors before Garrett, then taking away driving privileges, forgetting to pick up his lunch? Or would he just go straight to forgetting to tell him about witness questioning, stakeouts or even arrests? Like can’t you see Garrett sitting at his desk thumbing through reports while Jerrah walks in dragging the bad guy in cuffs while everyone’s cheering. Cut to Garrett with that dumb ginger look on his face like Tony Romo just threw another game-losing interception. AND SCENE.

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REX & ROB RYAN
How could we not have these two buffoons leading the charge to find the next Reggie Ledoux? I just picture a lot of eating and not a lot of detective-ing going on. Rob would be driving and they’d pass a donut shop and he’d be all, “just a quick stop, Rex.” Or by a ribs place. “I promise, in-and-out.” Or by the Tastee Freez. “You want sprinkles on yours?” Meanwhile, Rex has this new figure, the lap band has done it’s thing, and he’s trying to be all good but he’s stress eating and hasn’t shaved in weeks. I also envision we’d break the cable record for F-bombs with this pair or at least  flailing arms and notebooks thrown.

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SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI & JOSH SCOBEE
I have no idea how the two are related aside from the fact they are the two most badass kickers I can think of and it would be hilarious to have a kicker season of TD. Scobee’s badassery is well documented here at The Chris Brockman Website, and SeaBass, well, I mean, come on, he’s been a legend since Jump Street. It would be hilarious to see them skip out on investigating to hit the driving range and 19th hole, fight through the language barrier (maybe we could set this season in Poland?!) and spend most of the 8 episodes complaining how they’re never taken serious by the other detectives; “just because we only show up at the end and either close or blow the case doesn’t mean we don’t put our pants on one leg at a time just like them!”

JON GRUDEN & KEYSHAWN JOHNSON
This season would be awesome if only for the scene around the midway point of the season where Gruden flips out for the final time at Keyshawn’s incompetence and kicks him off the case. Then, every time we see Gruden coming back into the office with a key piece of evidence or to celebrate a closure, there’s Key just sitting in the corner reading a book about being a good detective or interior decorating.

WARREN SAPP & MIKE SHERMAN
This pairing would be great just to see how many different ways Sapp would undress Sherman during the 8 episodes. “PUT YOUR BADGE ON!” “TAKE YOUR GUN OUT!” “WHAT!?” “BOY!” And then watching Sherman try to formulate a comeback only to finally mutter one out under his breath when Sapp has already walked away and moved on. Seeing these two sweat through their suits each week would be hilarious as well.

MARK SANCHEZ & BRANDON WEEDEN
The hilarity with this pairing is watching them week-in and week-out fumble and throw away the case with botched evidence collection, totally whiffing on obvious clues and constantly being told by their superior how even a monkey could solve this case. Some jokes write themselves and this season of TD would be full of them. Bad news if you’re a victim looking for justice, of course.

JIM HARBAUGH & PETE CARROLL
These guys hate each other, it’s well documented, but are forced to work together because no one else will be their partners. They spend the first few episodes barely talking while Jim is throwing guys through doors and spitting over everything while Pete just chews his gum and paces smiling while muttering phrases about competing and Zen. This happens over and over and after each time, when they get back in the car, they simultaneously look at and say, “What’s Your Deal?” Cut to black. No case ever gets solved.

2014 NFL Mock Draft — Vol. 1

(from the editor: The NFL Draft is a big deal. Perhaps you’ve heard. So for the first time, we here at The Chris Brockman Website will be publishing a 1st Round Mock Draft leading up to May 8th’s start to the 2014 NFL Draft. We expect this list to change more than Joan Rivers’ face in the coming months and maybe inspire healthy debate. Enjoy.)

By Shawn Bradley
Special to The Chris Brockman Website

LOS ANGELES — We’ve finally made it through our first football-free week since August – but the ache is deep. Trying to substitute college basketball for the NFL on Sunday felt weaker than Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club” or a white guy dunk attempt. Luckily, we can all start looking forward to the NFL Scouting Combine later this month in Indianapolis. So before Mike Mayock starts drooling over who has “non-stop motors” and “freakish athletic ability,” lets take a look at our first Mock Draft of the NFL Non-Playing Season – which we’ll certainly be saving for ridicule in the early, drunken hours of May 9th.

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1.) Houston Texans — Jadeveon Clowney, Jr., DE, South Carolina
Despite all of his on- and off-the-field BS, Clowney’s appetite for destruction makes him the safest pick in this draft. Teaming him with J.J. Watt should be terrifying for years to come and first-year head coach Bill O’Brien knows the fastest way to end his Houston honeymoon is to whiff on a quarterback here only to then watch Clowney wreck the league in a different jersey.

2.) St. Louis Rams — Jake Matthews, Sr., T, Texas A&M
Knowing he has to face two of the NFL’s nastiest defenses four times a year, Jeff Fisher chooses to protect Sam Bradford instead of replacing him. After Jake Long tore up both his MCL and ACL in Week 16, the Rams are in need of an immediate starter at tackle. General Manager Les Snead will most likely trade down with a QB-hungry team and still land Matthews later in the top 10.

3.) Jacksonville Jaguars — Blake Bortles, Jr., QB, Central Florida
After not giving hometown hero Tim Tebow a shot to resurrect his career, the Jaguars take a different beefcake signal caller from their own backyard. Bortles showed some of that Ben Roethlisberger game during the Fiesta Bowl and should only become more attractive during the pre-Draft process, especially if he brings this along with him.

4.) Cleveland Browns — Johnny Manziel, So., QB, Texas A&M
In what will be the ultimate test of his legend, Johnny must extinguish the dumpster fire that is the Browns. Mike Pettine, coaching for a job he just got, must pray that new Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan can help Johnny produce an RGIII-style Rookie of the Year campaign. Having All-Pro receiver Josh Gordon and Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron around should give Johnny a chance at becoming a Cleveland icon, just like his mentor was.

5.) Oakland Raiders — Teddy Bridgewater, Jr., QB, Louisville
Poor Teddy falls face first into the Black Hole where 1st Round picks get lost faster than inner city virginities. Bridgewater appears to have everything except ideal height but he won’t have any time to develop in Oakland and the Raiders should be picking in the top 5 again next year with a new coach and a new GM.

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6.) Atlanta Falcons — Anthony Barr, Sr., LB, UCLA
Injuries ravaged the Falcons in 2013 but their defense would have likely been quite poor anyway. Barr repeatedly shows the type of edge-rushing ability in the tape below that makes you think he could have double-digit sacks in his rookie NFL year. After converting from running back, Barr racked up 23 sacks in just 2 defensive seasons with the Bruins.

7.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Sammy Watkins, Jr., WR, Clemson
New Bucs head coach Lovie Smith is fortunate if the most explosive receiver on the board falls to him at No. 6. Watkins solidified his top 10 status with a record-setting Orange Bowl and his versatility should help Tampa Bay’s offense instantly. If Smith has him return kicks, Watkins could have a Cordarrelle Patterson-type of impact in his rookie year.

8.) Minnesota Vikings — Derek Carr, Sr., QB, Fresno St.
Guessing Adrian Peterson stops whatever he’s doing on the night of May 8th so he can call his agent and demand a trade. Mike Zimmer would be trusting Norv Turner and a Fresno State product with the franchise’s immediate future. I’d would rather trust Woody Allen to … hold that thought… My guess is the Vikings have a new coach and quarterback by the time they open up that new stadium in two years.

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9.) Buffalo Bills — Mike Evans, So., WR, Texas A&M
The Bills aren’t completely desperate at receiver but they can’t pass up a true No. 1 wideout to pair with E.J. Manuel. Evans was a consistently dominant for two straight seasons at Texas A&M and he put on a show for NFL scouts when he torched Alabama for 279 yards in Week 3. At 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, Evans is a physical specimen who knows how to use his size downfield.

10.) Detroit Lions — Darqueze Dennard, Sr., CB, Michigan St.
When Rashean Mathis is at the top of your depth chart, it’s time to upgrade the position. The Lions stay local here and take the Spartans’ Dennard, the consensus top corner in the draft. The 2013 Jim Thorpe Award winner appears to have shut down ability on tape but his 40 time will likely help decide if he goes this high on draft night.

11.) Tennessee Titans — C.J. Mosley, Sr., LB, Alabama
With all the quarterback’s off the board, Ken Whisenhunt safely selects the best defensive player available. Mosley’s sideline-to-sideline speed has some scouts throwing around Luke Kuechly comparisons, which is high praise. Expect new defensive coordinator Ray Horton to push for this pick as the Titans will be switching to a 3-4, which Mosley has been playing in for years.

12.) New York Giants — Taylor Lewan, Sr., T, Michigan
Lack of protection, and Hakeem Nicks’ overall disinterest, are the two best explanations for Eli Manning’s horrifying 2013 season. The Giants address one of those issues by using their 1st Round pick on a tackle for the second straight year. Lewan, a four-year starter at Michigan, was projected to go top 5 just over a year ago before he opted to return for his senior season.

13.) St. Louis Rams — Justin Gilbert, Sr., CB, Oklahoma St.
After a rough season, and due to earn $9 million in 2014, Cortland Finnegan’s future in St. Louis is in doubt. The Rams gave up a league worst 8.1 yards per pass attempt in 2013, so improving their secondary is a must. Gilbert showed strong man coverage ability in the pass happy Big 12 and he might end up being the Rams top corner by opening day.

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14.) Chicago Bears — Timmy Jernigan, Jr., DT, Florida St.
With most of Chicago’s defensive line ready to hit free agency, this pick makes too much sense for GM Phil Emery. Plus, when you’re in a division with Adrain Peterson, Eddie Lacy and Reggie Bush, you need to figure out how to stop getting run over. The 6-foot-2, 300-pound Jernigan made his presence felt in the BCS Championship and he should be a good fit for the Bears defensive scheme.

15.) Pittsburgh Steelers — Greg Robinson, So., T, Auburn
The Steelers have some glaring defensive needs but here they can turn a perpetual weakness into a strength.  Robinson could easily be gone by now but putting him with a healthy Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro would give Pittsburgh a formidable offensive line for years to come. Robinson was outstanding during Auburn’s miraculous 2013 run and he should instantly be able to step in and protect Big Ben’s bathroom breaks.

16.) Dallas Cowboys — Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, So., DB, Alabama
Jerrah Jones is out to fix the worst daggum defense in Cowboys history, and since the 32nd ranked unit was such a joke last season, it’s fitting that they pick a kid named Ha Ha. Clinton-Dix is a rangy center fielder and the best of a bad safety crop. The Alabama prospect is overvalued here by a desperate team and I smell another bust in the secondary for Dallas.

17.) Baltimore Ravens — Marqise Lee, Jr., WR, Southern Cal
Following his monstrous sophomore season in 2012, no one thought Lee would be here for the Ravens. Injuries and overall program dysfunction led to a steep drop in production but Lee looked liked himself in the Sun Bowl catching a pair of touchdowns. Also, let’s not forget about the time he put up 345 yards on 16 catches against Arizona.

18.) New York Jets — Eric Ebron, Jr., TE, North Carolina
Absolutely vomit-inducing on offense for long stretches last season, look for the Jets to pick up a new option for Geno Smith. GM John Idzik will likely add receivers through both free agency and the Draft but in this spot he should select a three-down tight end who appears to be a major matchup problem – check out the one-handed catch in the video below.

19.) Miami Dolphins — Zack Martin, Sr., T, Notre Dame
Considering who he replaced, new general manager Dennis Hickey is probably looking for high character guys. With a pair of starters involved in the scandal of the 2013 season and another starter involved in the scandal of the  2013 offseason, it’s a fair assumption that Miami will look for O-line help. With the Buccaneers, Hickey scouted the Midwest for over a decade and he should fall in love with this mauler from Notre Dame.

20.) Arizona Cardinals — Cyrus Kouandjio, Jr., T, Alabama
After spending a Top 10 pick on a guard who never played last season, the Cardinals still proved to be a playoff caliber team in 2013. Kouandijo is just 20-years old and those who have scouted Alabama say he’s already better than Chargers standout D.J. Fluker (11th overall in 2013). This native of Cameroon would be plug-and-play at left tackle for an Arizona team hoping to take the next step in the NFL’s best division.

21.) Green Bay Packers — Trent Murphy, Sr., LB, Stanford
The Packers lack of depth at linebacker was painfully apparent after Clay Matthews and Nick Perry went down. Murphy is an absolute warrior goon who stands 6-foot-6 and recorded 10 sacks last season in Palo Alto. Murphy had a subpar Senior Bowl week because the Falcons staff had him playing end but he should be a perfect fit in Green Bay as an outside rush linebacker.

22.) Philadelphia Eagles — Khalil Mack, Sr., LB, Buffalo
Most Mock Drafts have Mack going in the top 10 and while he did have a record-setting career, it happened at Buffalo. Mack’s Scouting Combine performance will go a long way towards determining where he ends up, but the Eagles would be a good match. Chip Kelly’s defense needs a major pass rushing upgrade after finishing 20th in sacks and last in the league in passing yards allowed in 2013. Plus, this is likely Trent Cole’s last season in Philly.

23.) Kansas City Chiefs — Kelvin Benjamin, So., WR, Florida St.
The Chiefs gave Dwayne Bowe 5 years and $56 million only to see his numbers drop while he got high. By drafting Benjamin, an absolute pterodactyl at 6-foot-5, Andy Reid would be giving Alex Smith a pair of big-bodied receivers while also hopefully freeing up Bowe to find his 2011 form. Benjamin caught 15 touchdowns in 14 games this season including the game-winner in the BCS Championship game and should be an immediate red zone threat.

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24.) Cincinnati Bengals — Kony Ealy, Jr., DE, Missouri
I can’t see penny-pinching Mike Brown keeping free agent Michael Johnson, so the Bengals will be thrilled if Ealy is still available. At 6-foot-5 275 pounds, Ealy is lightning quick off the snap and has shown a variety of pass rushing moves even though he played just two seasons for the Tigers.  After totaling 9.5 sacks in 2013, Ealy appears primed to fallow former Missouri standouts Aldon Smith and Sheldon Richardson into NFL stardom.

25.) San Diego Chargers — Jace Amaro, Jr., TE, Texas Tech
Yes, the Chargers have Ledarious Green and Antonio Gates, but Amaro is too good to pass on. He often ilned up in the slot for Texas Tech and was a YAC machine last year while setting the single season FBS record for receiving yards by a tight end. Having the 6-foot-5 Amaro running down the seam with Keenan Allen on the outside should make it easy for Philip Rivers to build off his career year in 2013.

26.) Cleveland Browns — David Yankey, Sr., G, Stanford
The Browns have their new franchise quarterback, now protecting JFF becomes the next order of business. Yankey is a versatile lineman who can play tackle but his best position is guard. That’s good news for Cleveland, which suffered through atrocious guard play in 2013. Coming from Stanford, a program that has become synonymous with physical play in recent years, Yankey is a road grater who should be a 10-year NFL starter.

27.) New Orleans Saints — Kyle Van Noy, Sr., LB, BYU
With Victor Butler coming off ACL surgery, the Saints would love to have another option to rush the passer. Van Noy had an explosive year playing alongside Ziggy Ansah in 2012, notching 13 sacks and 22 tackles for loss. In 2013, he was exposed to constant double teams but still managed 17 TFL. Van Noy would certainly be a perfect fit at outside linebacker in Rob Ryan’s improving defense.

NCAA Football: Colorado at Fresno State

28.) Carolina Panthers — Davante Adams, So., WR, Fresno St.
The Panthers receiving corps isn’t scaring anyone and Cam Newton’s lack of options of blatantly obvious during the Divisional Round loss to San Francisco. Enter Adams, who displays Dez Bryant-ish physicality at times, albeit against inferior competition. But no matter who he was playing against, the dude still caught an eye-popping 24 touchdowns last season.

29.) New England Patriots — Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jr., TE, Washington
Would The Hoodie dare roll the dice again on a talented tight end who’s draped in red flags? I’m guessing Bill Belichick says “eff it, Tommy needs a new toy.” Seferian-Jenkins is a twoering 6-foot-7, 270-pound seam-splitting nightmare and when he wasn’t drunkenly smashing into trees on U-Dubb’s campus, he was breaking every major Huskies tight end receiving record.

30.) San Francisco 49ers — Stephon Tuitt, Jr., DE, Notre Dame
Slowed by preseason sports hernia surgery, Tuitt struggled to replicate his stellar 12-sack sophomore season in 2013. When healthy though, he is shockingly agile for being a 6-foot-7, 322-pound beast and he’ll surely benefit learning from Justin Smith, one of football’s premiere 3-4 defensive ends. Expect this hulking human mover to light up the Scouting Combine and cement himself as a 1st Round-worthy prospect.

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31.) Denver Broncos — Jason Verrett, Sr., CB, TCU
Even if the Broncos bring back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, corner is still a sore spot for the AFC champs. The Super Bowl bummer will certainly force Denver to toughen up on D, and Verrett is exactly the kind of physical corner that would fit with the Seahawks secondary. Over the last two seasons, no FBS player had more passes defended than Verrett, who had almost as many breakups as Taylor Swift.

32.) Seattle Seahawks — Jordan Matthews, Sr., WR, Vanderbilt
Matthews is the perfect Seahawks receiver: underrated with a chip on his shoulder. Despite putting up record numbers in the NFL’s AAA affiliate, Matthews is garnering little 1st Round buzz. At 6-foot-3, he possesses desired size but his speed is being called into question. Still, anyone who averages 19 ypc in the SEC must be able to get down field quick enough.

48 Things That Did Happen In Super Bowl XLVIII

LOS ANGELES — It’s amazing how quickly five months flies by when the only thing you look forward to is each passing Sunday. That’s life in the National. Football. League. But seriously, weren’t we just talking about how the Texans and Falcons were ready to make The Leap and become real championship contenders? And how miserable the weather was going to be for Super Bowl XLVIII? And how if Peyton Manning had anything left in the tank after a remarkable comeback season? And if this and then that, and then that and if this? No? Just me?

If we learned anything the last 22-plus NFL weeks  it’s that week-to-week, and sometimes day-to-day, we really don’t know anything. Yeah, we all thought the Seahawks and Broncos and Patriots and 49ers would be good, and lo and behold they were the final four teams standing. But what about the Chargers? Nope. Philip Rivers couldn’t find the ocean from the beach in 2012. Redskins? That unraveled in a hurry. Same in Houston and Atlanta. Cam Newton impressed, Andrew Luck became the Comeback Kid, and Nick Foles morphed from “Point Break 2″ extra into an MVP candidate.

It was a year of surprises and unknowns and it ended in the most unpredictable way possible; Seattle and it’s #1 defense thrashing Peyton Manning’s record-breaking Denver offense. Go figure.

Lucky for you, I told you all what to expect in the big game; now let’s go see what actually happened. And like Phil Connors, I think I was really close on this one.

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1.) “Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will talk about how cold it is at MetLife Stadium.” — I was too busy slicing three different kinds of cheese so I didn’t hear the top of the broadcast, but I’m sure one of those two mentioned the weather. It would’ve been journalistically negligent to not to.


2.) “It won’t actually be that cold.” — Gametime temperature was 49 degrees! Joe Namath didn’t even need that ’70s pimp mink coat he was wearing. But, come on. HE’S JOE NAMATH. #RollTide
3.) “Roger Goodell will be shown sitting outside among the “real” “fans” because he is a “one-of-the-guys” type of commish.” – Fox really made us wait for this one, but when the 3rd quarter hit, BAM! There was good ‘ole Rog sitting among the peeps in the stands like the regular guy he is. Looked great, too.
4.) The opera chick singing the National Anthem will take for-eva to belt it out.” – Again, I nailed this one, but this woman I’ve never heard of sure sounded good.
5.) “Fox will try and get a close-up of Knowshon Moreno crying in pre-game.”
6.) “They will fail.” – I may have missed it, but Knowshon didn’t cry in pre-game did he? Because I’m sure he was crying postgame after that beatdown.
7.) “Most of the commercials will be terrible.” – OK, maybe I was a bit off here. I enjoyed several of the spots. In no particular order: 
8.) “Except Bud Light. They always hit home runs.” – That three-and-a-half minute mini-movie with some guy named Ian Rapoport (not to be confused with @Rapsheet) was really awesome. Also loved the “24″ promo, the “Transformers 4″ trailer and the Full House spot. Kind of an underwhelming commercials year.

9.) “You’ll have no idea what songs Bruno Mars is singing. That’s because no one can name any song that he sings.”– Bruno Mars is a cross between Little Richard, Michael Jackson and James Brown, and I think that’s a good thing. He did a good job with the time he had to work with and willll probably be a gigantic star now, which means my mom will know who he is.
10.) “The Red Hot Chili Peppers will rock out and may literally actually have their cocks out.” – Shirtless sorta counts, right? And I love how we’re having an air guitar controversy. Seriously, people.
11.) “The Broncos will be winning at halftime.” – OK, so I can’t get all of these right.
12.) “Peyton Manning will throw an interception in the game.” – Can I interest you in TWO interceptions?!
13.) “It will not be to Richard Sherman.” – Um, nailed it!
14.) “Joe Buck will make a joke tossing it down to Erin Andrews about Richard Sherman’s rant two weeks ago.” – So sad this didn’t happen. But hey, nice jacket, Erin.
15.) Pam Oliver’s weave will look absolutely ridiculous.” – Believe it or not, Pam didn’t look half bad on Sunday.
16.) Darren Rovell will tweet about the amount of buffalo wings consumed during Super Bowl parties.” – So Rovell tweeted about the food overall consumed on Super Sunday but specifically about wings. Has to be the upset of Sunday. Thought that was a lock.
17.) “You will all threaten to unfollow him but not actually go through with it.” – Alas, I’m still following him, too.
18.) “It will be mentioned roughly 3.5 times how Marshawn Lynch now has an endorsement deal with Skittles.” – It was awesome when Lynch was picking up Skittles off the turf and eating them after he scored. What a legend, boss.
19.) “And how Beast Mode wasn’t exactly an active participant in talking to the media this week.” – He’s just ’bout that action, boss.


20.) “Not that it matters because Lynch is going to run for 125 yards at 2 touchdowns.” – Lynch finished with only 39 yards on 15 carries, which surprised the hell out of me; thought he’d dominate in this game.
21.) “We all will be reminded that Wes Welker dropped a potential Super Bowl-clinching pass two years ago.” – Surprisingly, this didn’t come up.
22.) “Pete Carroll will be shown roughly 27 times chomping away on a poor piece of gum.” – It was awesome watching Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” this week for all the Carroll cutaways during the game; hands down the happiest guy in the league. Always jumping and yelling and smiling. Also easy to do when your team is running away with the title.
23.) “He’ll be smiling the entire time because now that Dick Clark has passed away, Carroll is the world’s oldest teenager.” – Carroll is 62 years old and hands down lives younger than you or me.
24.) “It’ll be mentioned that Peyton Manning is old and Russell Wilson is not.” – Their 13-year age difference is pretty remarkable, all jokes aside.
25.) “And that Wilson used to play baseball.” – I really just wanna know if he’s gonna cut his hair now.


26.) “And that he loves Jesus.” – Speaking of Hova, did you see Wilson sitting courtside with Jay-Z and Beyonce Monday at the Nets game? Yeah you did. Throw the Roc up, Russell! Get that Cano money!
27.) “And that Manning loves Papa John’s.
28.) And getting them checks.” – Manning not appearing in a Super Bowl commerical has another huge upset.
29.) “There will be roughly 37 promos for some awful new Fox show that will get canceled after 4 episodes.” – No new Fox show this winter? Really?! I feel cheated.
30.) “The ‘celebrities-at-the-game’ montage will be hilarious because they all will look freezing cold and completely miserable.” – This montage was great because everyone was shown inside a box! No one wanted to brave the elements?!My favorite was David Beckham, who had a fantastic white sweater on but was sitting by himself, looking at his phone, which prompted a friend of mine to say that was like me. Apparently I’m on my phone a lot. Who knew.
31.) “We’ll all be warm and full from eating tons of delicious food in the comfort of our homes.” – I’m still eating leftovers four days later!
32.) “Julius Thomas will catch a touchdown pass.” – I think we all expected the Broncos to score more than a single touchdown.
33.) “We’ll hear more than a few times how much the Broncos defense misses Von Miller.” – Was Von Miller mentioned during the broadcast? That was pretty shocking to me.


34.) “Legion of Boom will be said 17 different times.” – I think I have Richard Sherman’s screaming “L-O-B!!” burned in my brain at this point.
35.) “Troy Aikman will express his discontent for the bravado at which Seattle plays defense.” – Don’t think this happened but I’m sure Aikman was complaining somewhere, sometime about Sherman and his crew. Let it go, Troy.
36.) “We will be reminded that Seattle’s fans are called the ’12th Man.’” – BUT DID YOU HEAR HOW LOUD THE 12TH MAN WAS ON SUNDAY!!?!
37.) “The coin toss will come up heads.” – I think this was right? I still can’t believe Joe Namath’s coat. What a legend.
38.) “The Gatorade doused on the winning head coach will be yellow.” – Thanks to the second bathing I got this one. Yellow is always the safest choice.
39.) “The first points of the game will be a field goal.” – Do I get some credit if the second points of the game where a field goal?! Two of the last three Super Bowls Tom Brady and Peyton Manning called for safeties result in the first points of the game. Unreal.
40.) “You will all wish you were at my house for the game.” – We had a GREAT time at Trojan Manor. In fact, I still have some leftovers if you’re in the LA area this week.
41.) “But don’t worry, I’ll be live-tweeting the festivities.” – Hope you enjoyed my tweets as much as I did.
42.) “Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger will be mentioned.” — I thought this might be the case because when these two faced off in Super Bowl 43 it was the last time there was such an age discrepancy. I was wrong.
43.) “So will Madonna. Just cause.” – Eh, shot in the dark.


44.) “There will be a special teams touchdown.” – Oh boy did I nail this one. Really proud of this prediction. Well done, Percy Harvin. Whatever the Seahawks paid you this year was worth it.
45.) “And at least two missed field goals.” – OK, so I missed on this one.
46.) “There will be some kind of precipitation in the second half.” – It appeared that Bruno Mars was getting slightly misted on when he was out there doing his best Little Richard impression, so that counts.
47.) “A big defensive play will be made late in the 4th quarter to all but determine the outcome.” – Turns out the big defensive play in the game came much sooner, and it’s play-maker, Malcolm Smith, was named the game’s MVP.


48.) “The Seahawks will win the game, 23-20.” – So I was a little off.

48 Things To Expect During Super Bowl XLVIII

LOS ANGELES — Once again, Super Bowl Week has come and gone. Was it good for you? Oh, and we’re all caps-ing this bad boy because it’s an event like no other! Except, well, everything is an event now. And it’s award season! (Elaine would be proud of my exclamation point usage) So maybe people are evented out. Are you? Hell no! It’s the Super Bowl! And it’s in New York! Except it’s in New Jersey! And have you heard it might be cold? Don’t worry, Anne Hathaway won’t be around to drive us into Serious Town with some wicked intense acceptance speech. But Richard Sherman’s here, though he’s been pretty subdued for the most part. He better step it up. There’s only one more day to really start yelling at people BECAUSE HE’S CRAZY!! AND WENT TO STANFORD!! HE’S SMART CRAZY!!

There’s been no shortage of story lines this week from the aforementioned Sherman being asked about making it rain at the strip club, to Peyton Manning (did you know he’s playing in the game and his legacy is at stake?) throwing duck yards and duck touchdowns for the last couple years. Also, Pete Carroll has been smiling a lot, John Elway has been being The Freakin’ Duke around town, Russell Wilson has been not getting a haircut, Marshawn Lynch has been dropping the greatest phrases known to man – “I’m just ’bout ‘dat action, boss” – and Wes Welker has been trying to explain to people why Bill Belichick hates him. But hey, there’s a game on Sunday!

There have been 266 NFL contests played this year and it’s all come down to this. One more. Seahawks. Broncos. For all the proverbial marbles, or in this case, Tiffany hardware. Vince Lombardi will be headed west this offseason, but will he cross the Rockies and get rained on in the PacNorth, or will the finest piece of hardware in the land hit the microbrew scene in the 303? I can’t wait to find out.

And since last year’s column was such a rousing success (rousing might be a bit overstated), we here at The Chris Brockman Website decided to bring the gimmick back for another go’round. So without further adieu, here’s the 48 Things To Expect During Super Bowl XLVIII.

———————————————————————————————

1.) Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will talk about how cold it is at MetLife Stadium.
2.) It won’t actually be that cold.
3.) Roger Goodell will be shown sitting outside among the “real” “fans” because he is a “one-of-the-guys” type of commish.
4.) The opera chick singing the National Anthem will take for-eva to belt it out.
5.) Fox will try and get a close-up of Knowshon Moreno crying in pre-game.
6.) They will fail.
7.) Most of the commercials will be terrible.
8.) Except Bud Light. They always hit home runs.
9.) You’ll have no idea what songs Bruno Mars is singing. That’s because no one can name any song that he sings.
10.) The Red Hot Chili Peppers will rock out and may literally actually have their cocks out.
11.) The Broncos will be winning at halftime.

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12.) Peyton Manning will throw an interception in the game.
13.) It will not be to Richard Sherman.
14.) Joe Buck will make a joke tossing it down to Erin Andrews about Richard Sherman’s rant two weeks ago.
15.) Pam Oliver’s weave will look absolutely ridiculous.
16.) Darren Rovell will tweet about the amount of buffalo wings consumed during Super Bowl parties.
17.) You will all threaten to unfollow him but not actually go through with it.
18.) It will be mentioned roughly 3.5 times how Marshawn Lynch now has an endorsement deal with Skittles.
19.) And how Beast Mode wasn’t exactly an active participant in talking to the media this week.

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20.) Not that it matters because Lynch is going to run for 125 yards at 2 touchdowns.
21.) We all will be reminded that Wes Welker dropped a potential Super Bowl-clinching pass two years ago.
22.) Pete Carroll will be shown roughly 27 times chomping away on a poor piece of gum.
23.) He’ll be smiling the entire time because now that Dick Clark has passed away, Carroll is the world’s oldest teenager.
24.) It’ll be mentioned that Peyton Manning is old and Russell Wilson is not.
25.) And that Wilson used to play baseball.
26.) And that he loves Jesus.
27.) And that Manning loves Papa John’s.
28.) And getting them checks.
29.) There will be roughly 37 promos for some awful new Fox show that will get canceled after 4 episodes.
30.) The “celebrities-at-the-game” montage will be hilarious because they all will look freezing cold and completely miserable.
31.) We’ll all be warm and full from eating tons of delicious food in the comfort of our homes.
32.) Julius Thomas will catch a touchdown pass.
33.) We’ll hear more than a few times how much the Broncos defense misses Von Miller.


34.) Legion of Boom will be said 17 different times.
35.) Troy Aikman will express his discontent for the bravado at which Seattle plays defense.
36.) We will be reminded that Seattle’s fans are called the “12th Man.”
37.) The coin toss will come up “heads.”
38.) The gatorade doused on the winning head coach will be yellow.
39.) The first points of the game will be a field goal.
40.) You will all wish you were at my house for the game.
41.) But don’t worry, I’ll be live-tweeting the festivities.

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42.) Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger will be mentioned.
43.) So will Madonna. Just cause.
44.) There will be a special teams touchdown.
45.) And at least two missed field goals.
46.) There will be some kind of precipitation in the second half.
47.) A big defensive play will be made late in the 4th quarter to all but determine the outcome.

Pete-Carroll-and-Russell-Wilson
48.) The Seahawks will win the game, 23-20.

It’s Brady & Manning For It All Once More

We’ve seen this movie before.
Three times actually; twice for a trip to the Super Bowl.
And each time the victor went on to hoist Lombardi.
Tom Brady vee Peyton Manning.
Two of the NFL’s Mount Rushmore signal callers squaring off in the playoffs.
For all the proverbial marbles.
Their 2013 narrative has been as such: Manning sprinted through the regular season, surgically registered his greatest statistical campaign and should win his record 5th MVP.
Brady withstood season-ending injuries to several Pro Bowl teammates, and carried a group of one-offs and little-known rookies to what seemed like weekly comeback wins en route to a record 8th AFC title game appearance.
Today, the future Hall of Famers meet with another trip to Super Sunday at stake.
It will be electric.
It will be epic.
And we’ll all be watching.
Again.

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