1. I’ve been staring at a blank page for 15 minutes to try to find a nice, timid way to say this, but I couldn’t come up with anything, so I’m just gonna go with my original thought: NBC embarrassed itself Sunday night.
From start to finish, the broadcast of Chiefs-Jets was hard to stomach for a legitimate NFL fan. If you aren’t a football fan and just tuned in for the spectacle, then NBC did a great job. But if you cared about the football game, you were treated to a rough three hours.
There’s a fine line between having fun with something and going overboard and becoming cringe. NBC was beyond cringe. And not just with the Taylor Swift nonsense.
I have no idea what happened in the pregame show and I don’t care. If NBC wanted to do three hours of Taylor Swift during the pregame show, fine. Nobody cares about NBC’s pregame show.
But then the actual game finally started, and the first thing the broadcast did was have poor Mike Tirico welcome the Swifties.
NBC is all-in on Taylor Swift. "Hi Swifties, we will be with you all night." pic.twitter.com/WPuBMtUwB1— Cork Gaines, Ph.D. (@CorkGaines) October 2, 2023
The second thing NBC did was have sideline reporter Melissa Stark give us a report on Swift and Aaron Rodgers: two people who weren’t playing in the game and had absolutely nothing to do with the game. So NBC made it clear from the beginning that it was going for a full spectacle. And fa ull spectacle we got with numerous camera shots of Swift and Rodgers.
At one point, NBC was so beside itself with Swift madness, it was cutting to Swift in the middle of camera shots.
NBC with the 0.1 second cut to Taylor & Brittany pic.twitter.com/zEJFRGJaHW— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 2, 2023
Isiah Pacheco scores on a 48-yard touchdown run and starts celebrating? Who cares? WE MUST SHOW TAYOR!!!
At another point NBC showed the street sign for New York City’s Cornelia Street, the title of one of Swift’s songs. Because that is what NFL fans care about during a close game.
You know what Sunday night felt like? It felt like the Super Bowl. A game that is catered to the nonfootball fan. The NFL’s biggest games on Sundays get 20 million to 25 million viewers. The Super Bowl gets 100 million viewers. So the Super Bowl telecast is for the other 70 million to 75 million people in that the actual game is secondary. That’s what happened Sunday. NBC figured it was going to have all these non-NFL fans tune in to see Taylor Swift jump around and make faces in the suite and NBC decided it was going to center the broadcast on those viewers.
It wasn’t just the Swift stuff that was hard to take.
The way Cris Collisworth “analyzed” Zach Wilson was truly absurd. Collinsworth spoke about Wilson the way a parent speaks about a toddler when they first use the toilet on their own after being potty trained. Anytime Wilson completed a pass, Collinsworth was effusive in his praise. Did Wilson play well? Sure. Did he play out of this world? Not even close. He was 28-of-39 for 245 yards with two TDs and no interceptions. Solid game. But by the end, Collinsworth tried to have you think Wilson was Tom Brady. Here’s what Wilson did: He led his team to 18 points and a loss.
All of this might have been fine if the game were a blowout or noncompetitive. But it was actually a good game, with the Jets having a change to pull off a stunning upset. Plus, the point spread was in the balance all night. So the NFL fan was totally invested in that game.
But everything I say here is completely irrelevant because NBC is going to end up with a monster rating for the game, and that’s all that matters to the network and the NFL.
2. Now I will defend NBC on something, sorta. A lot of people online are mad about Rodney Harrison’s calling Zach Wilson “garbage” and Harrison’s trying to bait Chiefs defensive star Chris Jones into bashing Wilson during a postgame interview.
Rodney Harrison tried to bait Chris Jones into saying something bad about Zach Wilson— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) October 2, 2023
Chris Jones instead used the opportunity to praise Zach Wilson for his performance tonight.
Respect to Chris Jones.
A few things here. I don’t like Harrison calling Wilson garbage. He should’ve said Wilson has played like garbage. But Harrison’s quote was, “He is garbage.” That’s not cool.
Having said that, who on earth thinks that former Patriot Rodney Harrison is objective? Find me a clip of Harrison saying Mac Jones is garbage, and then I'll change my mind.
And while I get why people would be annoyed that Harrison pushed back on Jones’s saying Wilson was “special,” I give Harrison credit for not letting such a ridiculous comment go unchecked. If Harrison just sat there and nodded, viewers could’ve thought he agreed that Wilson is special.
3. I'm not 100% sure whether Buck Showalter was kidding around or being serious here, but either way it was amusing to see him stop in the middle of his press conference announcing the Mets had fired him to mock reporters for tweeting out the news while he was speaking.
Buck Showalter announces that he will not be returning next year and has a message for Mets fans:— SNY (@SNYtv) October 1, 2023
"I was honored to get a chance to manage a second New York team and I'm proud of what the Mets did... I wish things could've gone better this season because Mets fans deserve that" pic.twitter.com/0cxRnauerZ
4. If you missed it Saturday, FS1’s Eric Collins had the best call of the 2023 college football season.
The best call of the college football season on an insane 4th down conversion. pic.twitter.com/VySbpReKnN— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) September 30, 2023
5. Giannis has discovered brats, and it’s wonderful.
How come no one ever told me about brats? 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/VzI8LNIszA— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) October 1, 2023
6. The latest SI Media With Jimmy Traina dropped, featuring a conversation with New York Post sports columnist Andrew Marchand about the latest sports media news and story lines.
Topics discussed include ABC/ESPN using staggered start times for their Monday Night Football doubleheaders, how the Pat McAfee–ESPN marriage is going, the Deion Sanders effect on college football, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s viral cocktail/gambling/gummy moment on First Take, a New York radio fight, the expected move for WWE's Monday Night Raw and much more.
Following Marchand, Sal Licata from WFAN radio and SNY TV in New York joins me for our weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment. This week, we discuss Sal’s NFL-watching dilemma, whether the NFL should ban the Eagles’ push play, single-game streaming costs, bizarre Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce prop bets and more.
You can also watch SI Media With Jimmy Traina on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: On this date in 1991, the Seinfeld episode “The Pen” aired on NBC. It was the only episode of the series that did not feature Jason Alexander and George. However, the episode featured some of Julia-Louis Dreyfus’s best work.