The NFL Network may be all about football, but it's also an entertainment commodity, so when you can get a star with the kind of buzz that Jay Leno currently has around him with the Conan O'Brien fiasco ... well, you put the game on hold and you do it. And if you can't do that ... well, maybe you take Steve Mariucci, put a Leno wig on his head, and you get this.
It was the hit of the Network's "NFL GameDay Morning" show on Saturday. Ah, Moochie-man -- you are a treat. I enjoy Mariucci's educated take (his "Coach 'em Up" segments are always worth watching), and it's good to see that he doesn't take himself too seriously. He did his best to imitate Leno's delivery, and the Palin joke ("The Colts' backfield reminds me of Sarah Palin -- decent-looking, but probably won't run!") nearly had Warren Sapp(notes) hyperventilating in the studio.
As a Seattle resident, I found the first pun particularly riveting.
"Pete Carroll has agreed to take the coaching job for the Seattle Seahawks. I think he'll do a good job up there, but he'll have to adapt to the NFL again after all those years at SC. For example, this week, Pete found out that NFL players pay for their own cars!"
And this one was topical...
"In his first season as the Colts' head coach, Jim Caldwell led his team to the best record in football and the number-one seed. People are saying at NBC that it's about time for Tony Dungy to show up and take the job back!"
Who knows -- if NBC continues to make a disaster of prime time and late night, someone might just get a call from embattled execs Dick Ebersol and Jeff Zucker. Ready for your shot, Mooch?