HOWL! NBC10 Flops with Both Conan and Football

conan_obrien_20Chattin’ It Up with Conan on NBC10

It is my opinion (for what it’s worth) that local television morning shows are often embarrassing to not only the cities in which they take place, but also to the stations and anchors/talent (whatever they want to call themselves) who preside over them. One of my pet peeves is the fluffy filling of the news hour on a local news show with absolute stupidity.

 NBC10 took the time to interview fellow NBC show host and semi-celeb, Conan O’Brien. They asked him a series of questions to test his knowledge of Philadelphia. They are not only stupid, but completely lack humor, which was their apparent attempt. The entire segment was an abomination. Not only does the station look stupid, but it makes Philadelphia look stupid. Maybe I’m alone on this, and perhaps I found this web video sort of last minute and decided to vent… either way, I don’t like it.

Watch the video and tell me it’s not a complete lack of creative planning on the part of the NBC10 morning show producers. I dare you to disagree.

Traitors in Our Midst

 The atmosphere of negativity surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles franchise grows more oppressive with each playoff loss, a climate presumably dampened by the evaporation of boiling green blood. The hometown media, committed to controversy and obsessed with championships as the only measure of success, needlessly stoke the fires of discontent with unrealistic and spiteful assessments of the situation. I have one word for the sports desk to consider: perspective.

 In a January 28th article on NBC10’s website, entitled “Joe Banner: More of the Same,” Brian Morlock exemplifies this lack of reasoned reflection. Morlock blasts Banner for contending that Philadelphia fans agree with the return of both Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb for the 2009 season. He accuses Banner of “gloating” over the team’s five NFC championship appearances under Reid, cites the failure to acquire Tony Gonzales as a major mistake, and repeats the tired refrain that the lack of a championship ring nullifies Reid’s otherwise exemplary record.

 This critique is unfair and myopic in the extreme. While Morlock is certainly entitled to his opinion, I offer a few anecdotes from recent NFL history that could add balance and sanity to his article. Bill Cowher, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1992 through 2006, lost four AFC championship games and 1 Super Bowl before finally hoisting the Lombardi trophy in Super Bowl XL. Coincidentally, Andy Reid has lost an equal number of championship games and a Super Bowl, though he compiled these playoff runs in ten years while it took Cowher thirteen. Cowher’s experience is a testament to patience and a rational view of success in the Steelers’ front office.

 Also, the recent history of two of the NFC’s storied franchises might give pause to those lining up Big Red for the chopping block. During Reid’s tenure, the San Francisco 49ers have mustered two playoff appearances and one playoff win. The Dallas Cowboys, America’s Team by self-proclamation, have reached the playoffs four times and not won a single postseason game during this stretch. Reid’s record in the playoffs? Ten wins that cannot be undone by seven disappointing losses.

 The NFL boasts a finely crafted measure of parity that is unparalleled in professional sports. A reasonable draft system coupled with a profit sharing regime gives hope to all fans that next year could be theirs to cherish. The sheer complexity of the game, with 22 positions to fill as well as reserves and special teams, makes consistency a tall order. Morlock and his fellow naysayers are like hungry alley cats whipped into a frenzy by shiny things, the glint of the Lombardi trophy taunting them from a distance.

 Firing Reid after this season would be a mistake of epic proportions. He wouldn’t have time to retrieve a cardboard box to empty his desk before some other team snatched him up. Sports writers are compelled to dwell on the controversial, but this shouldn’t cloud better judgment. Another trip on the coaching carousel could doom the Eagles to mediocrity, a fate far worse than disappointment. And those who delivered Eagles fans to such a fate would be considered nothing less than traitors. In the cradle of the American Revolution, Benedict Arnold is not welcome at the sports desk.

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