By Ryan Divish
I'll be the first to admit I watch too much television. It's a disgusting habit that probably makes me dumber every second. But I can't help it. My addiction is due to living in North Dakota for four winters. When the temperature is 75 below zero, suddenly cozying up in front of the TV doesn't sound like a bad idea.
It gets worse, I have two TV's in my room with dueling remote controls to maximize how much I can watch at once.
It's sick really, I'll have a football game on one channel and MTV on the other, or I'll be playing my Playstation 2 while watching Seinfeld reruns.
On certain Saturday's, I have even managed to hook up four different televisions in one room to have every football game on at once.
Yeah, I got some problems.
And unfortunately, there isn't too much that I won't watch. It doesn't matter if it's the eighth rerun of Sportscenter in the morning or the three-thousandth replay of the MTV video music awards.
Ahh, the MTV video music awards.
As most people under the age of 40 know, this year's show will go down as one of its all-time best shows - if there is such a thing.
Leave it to the combination of Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera to cause an avalanche of commotion and controversy while acting out every teenage boy's fantasy.
During the opening number, in which the trio sang a medley of Madonna's songs, music's ultimate bad girl kissed her two bad-girls-in-training on the mouth, leaving mouths in the audience and around the country wide open.
In unison every guy watching at the time screamed out, "That was awesome!"
People around the country didn't know how to react. Bible thumpers in the south called it promoting sin, forcing the Atlanta Journal Constitution to run a front page apology after running a front-page photo of the lip-locked Madonna and Britney.
Pop culture critics called it a sleazy cry for attention for three singers, whose careers are slowly fading into the background.
Myself, the TV critic, I called it pretty cool. But hey, I'm a juvenile idiot.
After the MTV video music awards, people couldn't help but wait for last night's NFL kick-off celebration featuring Britney, Mary J. Blige, Aretha Franklin and Aerosmith.
Many testosterone filled guys were pumped, thinking if Britney kissed Madonna last week, she's got to do something better this week.
Thankfully, Britney never kissed Aretha, which would have been just gross. Nope, she didn't do anything too controversial, other than sporting some provocative short shorts, flashing some even more provocative dance moves all the while belting out her trademark out-of-tune singing.
Wait, did I say singing, I meant lip-syncing. Britney didn't sing one note (as if she actually could). I still wonder how she can manage to lip-sync out of tune, but with Britney does it really matter?
And that still has to be the high point of the one-hour show. Mary J. Blige screamed too much, Aretha has aged too much and Aerosmith was decent, but Steven Tyler scares me.
The low point came throughout the show when ABC decided to parade out U.S. troops to introduce the acts. While I am sure it was a thrill for them, it looked corny and contrived and was an example of a network trying milk patriotism for some ratings points.
It was so bad, that I actually wanted the game to start. I've said before that NFL football doesn't really do much for me. I can sit and watch it if it's on or it's a really big game. But the whole game in general lacks the color and pageantry of college football. Some people like to say the NFL stands for the No-Fun-League because of its strict rules down to how a player wears his socks. Still, the kick-off show was so bad, that I couldn't wait for the game to start.
The game was boring as usual. Not enough offense, not enough Lisa Guerrero and way too many commercials. Too bad "The O.C." isn't on Thursdays.
But you know what is worse than watching pro football?
It's watching a television show based on pro football.
Yeah, I got suckered into watching "Playmakers" on ESPN a week ago. I am convinced that the 2 billion commercials ESPN showed before the series premiere contained subliminal message telling you to watch it.
So I did. And it's yet another 60 minutes of my life that I won't get back. I am not saying "Playmakers" is bad, but you couldn't force me to say it's good - even if you ripped my fingernails off and shoved my hands into a bowl of rubbing alcohol and peroxide.
The show was so cliche, that it should be called "clichemakers." The show takes every stereotype held about professional football and not only uses it, but bases the entire show around it.
Whether it is the cocaine-addicted, fast-running, gang-banging rookie running back, the painkiller-addicted, drug-dealing quarterback, or the veteran running back trying to fight his way back from a knee injury and resorts to using performance enhancing drugs.
Do you see a pattern here?
Every cliche from every football movie ever made has been used to make this so-called "original" ESPN program.
I don't know much about the upcoming shows, but there will be an overdose on something, player arrests for a variety of things including sexual assault and drugs, a paternity suit from a football groupie, do I need to keep going?
If you want to find out what happens next on Playmakers, just rent "The Program", "North Dallas Forty" and "Any Given Sunday."
But since I've complained about what to watch, I will also offer up some show to watch. "Pardon the Interruption" is one of the best shows on TV. It discusses the top issues in sports in a fun and colorful way.
If you are a fan of teenage melodrama, "The O.C." isn't bad, it's no "Beverly Hill 90210," but it does have 25-year-old actors trying to play high school students like 90210 did. Also, watch any college football, it doesn't matter who's playing, even the Cats. College football is filled with the emotion, pageantry and big plays that pro football lacks.
And if nothing else is on, I highly recommend the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards because MTV will be rerunning that for years to come.
And in the words of guys everywhere, "It was awesome."