Yes, we've played this game before, but Tony Kornheiser makes it so darn fun. And easy. As soon as I saw the New England Patriots on the schedule for Monday night this week, I was sure Kornheiser would spend most of the night rambling on about Tom Brady, despite the fact Brady wouldn't be playing in the game (he's too busy getting married, or something).
Anyway, the object of last night's game was to count how many times everyone's least favorite Monday night commentator mentioned Tom Brady (the guy not playing) by name, as opposed to Matt Cassel (the guy playing). The results were staggering, but not surprising. The final count: Tom Brady: 22, Matt Cassel: 9
Before the opening kickoff the score was already 5-1 in favor of Brady.
On a night where Cassel completed 75% of his passes and threw three touchdowns, helping lead the Patriots to a 41-point performance on offense, Kornheiser, one of the guys announcing the game, referenced him by name nine times. He referenced a guy not playing 22 times. That's incredible, and completely predictable.
I understand the importance of Tom Brady's injury to the Patriots and the NFL. He's the best player in the league, and if he's not, he's on the short list of guys who might be ... but he's not playing right now! I can assure you the Patriots and Broncos fans tuning into last night's game weren't tuning in to hear about Tom Brady; they were tuning in to see the guys actually playing on the field. Naturally, it might make sense to, you know, talk about them. The people tuning in last night who weren't Patriots or Broncos fans were watching because it was the only football game on TV. They would have been watching whether it was Tom Brady or Bubby Brister lining up under center for the Patriots.
Kornheiser's references ranged from, "If Tom Brady were in the lineup, those sack numbers would be cut in half," to "We know Matt Cassel isn't Tom Brady." Gee. Ya think? On the rare occasions that he actually mentioned Cassel by name, he would quickly mention Brady in the same sentence.
On the plus side, we were subjected to Toyota's "Saved By Zero" commercial only four times. So, that's something.