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It's the one-week mark. I'm still sticking to my pledge to you: nothing but pigskin, salsa and a daily column. No vacations to my ranch. No secretly watching Shaq's debut with the Heat. No flipping over to ESPN Classic to watch the "SportsCentury" bio on Adrian Peterson. My proof? I can list every commercial from Wednesday night's game between South Florida and Alabama-Birmingham. More on that later. First, big applause from the couch for Sean McDonough and Craig James, who aced the USF-UAB game, helping make what could have been a ho-hum Conference USA matchup into an entertaining contest. Announcers rarely raise the level of game, but these two kept me informed about two teams I knew nothing about and threw in some humor (something, I'm learning, that is sorely lacking in football broadcasts). McDonough pulled out what will surely be the best line of this 19-day marathon. After sideline reporter Heather Cox did a nice bit on how a coach and teammate give UAB quarterback Darrell Hackney a lucky penny and quarter, which he then keeps in his football pants, McDonough said to James, the former SMU star running back, "Things haven't changed much in college football since you played. People used to give you money, too." If you don't understand the genius behind that quip, try a Google search for "SMU" and "death penalty."
|Food consumed: Dinner was a variation of French onion soup, prepared once again by Mrs. Couch Potato. Delicious. Dessert was chips and salsa. Diet sodas: 2 Salsa: Newman's Own, peach flavored. Is this what those Hollywood types eat? They can't eat regular salsa like the rest of us? They probably have some special, no-carb, no-fat, organic chips as well. Heck, they probably don't even eat the chips. Get stuck in their teeth and all. Three stars out of four. Time spent blowing leaves before game: 90 minutes. Mental state of mind: Better than John Kerry's. Seriously, I'm hanging in there. Mrs. Potato is putting up with my football fix so far. Still, 12 more games does seem like a lot. What do the pros say? One game at a time. Stat of the night: UAB had 649 yards and no turnovers in their game -- and still lost. Debate of the night: Does Utah deserve a BCS berth if the Utes win out? The studio guys also debated the issue at halftime. Prediction of the night: James said USF's Andre Hall is ready to break a long run against UAB's struggling defense. Moments later, he broke a couple of tackles and went for a 38-yard TD and a 38-20 lead.|
I thought it would be fun to track every commercial for at least one game. There were ... pause ... pause some more ... 95 (!) during the game. True, many of these were 15-second spots, and 11 were "house" ads for ESPN The Magazine or "Dream Job" or other ESPN properties. But I was shocked at the total. We never actually notice how many commercials we see (or don't see) during a football game. Near the end, I was really rooting to hit the 100-ad mark. Some highlights:
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Leonard Nimoy Should Eat More Salsa Foundation
And make sure to watch Texas A&M take down the Sooners on Saturday!