Friday, November 21, 2008

Mike and Mike Are Both Whiny and Stupid...Today

I listen to Mike and Mike (no relation to Joe & Joe) most mornings on my drive in to work; yes, like my partner in crime, I've got much too glamorous a lifestyle to pay for with just one job. And I like Mike and Mike, generally. They usually keep a pretty good focus on sports and don't stray into pop culture. They don't talk too much about golf (which as you might already know, I think is a waste of time), and they do talk about baseball, which I like.

Anyways, I tuned in this morning, and found them discussing the Detroit Lions. They talked about how bad they are, and they are bad. Are they historically bad? Maybe. There are some positions that you can have an elite player at where he can carry a bad team; quarterback and defensive end come to mind. But as good as Calvin Johnson is, it's virtually impossible for a wide receiver to carry his team. So yes, the Lions are bad.

But that's not what made me talk about my friends Mike and Mike in such a foul way. Mike Greenberg suggested that the NFL was foolish for sticking with the tradition of scheduling the Lions in a Thanksgiving game every year. The two Thanksgiving games are nationally televised and get very high ratings, and Detroit is a terrible team. It was for these two reasons that Greenberg believed the league should schedule a different game. Mike Golic was in immediate agreement, which should've sounded warning bells to Greenberg.

The fact is, those two reasons tell you precisely why Detroit is the perfect team for a Thanksgiving game. Everyone has their own traditions on Thanksgiving, but a common denominator for most sports fans is to watch football. Those sports fans will watch pretty much any NFL game you put in front of them, partly because they like sports, and partly because it's tradition. The number of people who would shut off a Lions game just because it's the Lions is pretty small. So you put your worst teams out there when you know people will watch anyways. It's a simple business decision.

But what's worse is that Mike and Mike should know this already, from firsthand experience. Two years ago, they did the Monday Night Football contest between, wait for it...the Cardinals and the 49ers. This season, they did Denver versus Oakland. They know how it works. The NFL puts some games on national TV that they know involve teams that won't be very good, because they're the biggest dog in sports TV. Everyone watches the NFL, and if there's only one NFL game on, everyone will watch that game. So enough with the whining, whinies.

Oh, and this season, Detroit's Thanksgiving game is against the currently undefeated Tennessee Titans. People will watch.

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