Dear ESPN Monday Night Football

I watch too much football these days. Aside from being one of the few things that makes HDTV actually worth the trouble, I am also blessed with being able to follow two teams that are playing at a high level: The Patriots and the Steelers. Which brings me to Monday Night Football.

My beloved Patriots came within a few feet of losing their first game last night. I have nothing really to say about that. You can read about it in the papers. I do have some questions about how football games, and really all sports, are produced for television though.

1. Why is the game on so late? Why should us poor East Coasters need to suffer until almost midnight just to watch a football game? Baseball is, of course, worse.

2. Why is he game so long? We all know the answer to this. But it’s too bad anyway. The best is how you get a 15 minute TV time out so they can get the punt teams on and off the field.

3. Did you know that the last team to go undefeated was the 1972 Miami Dolphins? Just checking. This is an important fact to bring up in every Patriots game from now until they lose.

4. Why did they waste what seemed like 45 minutes of my time continually talking about the tragic death of Sean Taylor while at the same time adding absolutely nothing to the content or texture of the story? Just saying “Hey! did you know Mr. Taylor was shot?” over and over again is both in poor taste and kinda boring.

5. Did you know the Patriots might be the first team to go undefeated since the 1972 Miami Dolphins?

6. I have to ask this again. Why do they have reporters on the field? What are these people for? The most comical part of last night’s production was not the Ravens defensive coaching staff completely losing the game for their team, it was watching the wardrobe, hair, accessories, and the sheets of paper stapled to the set blow around in the 35mph wind. Here is a hint ESPN: digital compositing, look it up.

7. Did you know that the 1972 Miami Dolphins went 17-0 in 1972?

8. If I ever, ever, see that Flashdance car dealer commercial again, I’ll have to poke my brain out of my skull with a pen knife.

9. I wonder what Don Shula thinks of the Patriots being this close to going undefeated for the first time since the 1972 Dolphins. Oh wait. No I don’t, I don’t care at all.

10. Is there a more annoying TV sports personality than Chris Berman? Oh that’s right, Dick Vitale. Never mind.