Sunday, January 31, 2010

2010 Grammy Awards...I Gotta Feeling

Tonight is music's biggest night. I'm disappointed that pop has completely taken over the major categories, but my picks are in regardless.

Album of the Year
"I Am ... Sasha Fierce," Beyoncé
"The E.N.D.," the Black Eyed Peas
"The Fame," Lady GaGa
"Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King," Dave Matthews Band
"Fearless," Taylor Swift

Since the best album of the year wasn't nominated (21st Century Breakdown by Green Day), I am forced to choose the best nominee. Dave Matthews Band outclasses the other four by a great margin. If not DMB, then I hope Taylor wins, since she actually writes music and doesn't have any songs that contain a chorus that includes, "Boom Boom Boom."

Song of the Year
"Poker Face," Lady GaGa and RedOne, songwriters (Lady GaGa)
"Pretty Wings," Hod David and Musze, songwriters (Maxwell)
"Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," Thaddis Harrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash and Christopher Stewart, songwriters (Beyoncé)
"Use Somebody," Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill and Nathan Followill, songwriters (Kings of Leon)
"You Belong With Me," Liz Rose and Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)

Since "21 Guns" by Green Day wasn't nominated, I am going with the boys residing in Nashville, Kings of Leon. I would be embarrassed to watch someone win Song of the Year with either of these choruses: "If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it" or "My p-p-poker face, my p-poker face." Ridiculous.

Record of the Year
"Halo," Beyoncé
"I Gotta Feeling," the Black Eyed Peas
"Use Somebody," Kings of Leon
"Poker Face," Lady GaGa
"You Belong With Me," Taylor Swift

I gotta feeling the Black Eyed Peas are going to win this award. Next topic.

Best New Artist
Zac Brown Band
Keri Hilson
Silversun Pickups
The Ting Tings

From what I've read, the Zac Brown Band are the favorites. That's f-ing retarded. MGMT is in a different league than the other four nominees. They've written three of the best songs I've ever heard ("Time to Pretend," "Kids," and "Electric Feel), and I would be willing to put my life on the line that the other artists in this category combined will never accomplish that feat.

There they are. It won't surprise me if I don't get one of the major awards correct, but I definitely chose the best of the nominations we have been given. Peace.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

NFL Divisional Round Predictions

I was 2-2 on Wild Card weekend because I gave Green Bay's defense and New England too much credit. I'll try to do better in the Divisional Round. Let's do this.

Saturday Games

Arizona Cardinals @ New Orleans Saints

The Cardinals put up 51 points against the No. 2 defense last weekend. The Saints only scored 44 total over the final three weeks. Their offense is no longer balanced, and the defense hasn't gotten the amount of turnovers as earlier in the season. Plus, I'm not picking against perhaps the best post-season quarterback ever, Kurt Warner.

Cardinals 41, Saints 37

Baltimore Ravens @ Indianapolis Colts

The Colts have the best player of all-time in Peyton Manning. It's at home. Joe Flacco is playing hurt. The Colts were once again my pre-season Super Bowl pick. And while the Ravens have destroyed my hopes before, I don't see any reason to go against Indy in this game.

Colts 24, Ravens 17

Sunday Games

Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings

This is the hardest game to call in the Divisional Round. The Dallas Cowboys are the hottest team in the League. Their defense is tenacious, Romo isn't making mistakes and the running game is finally clicking. But, the Vikings have a sick run defense and don't rely on the big plays like Philly. Brett Favre will get the ball into the hands of his playmakers and AP will break out of his slump. And Jared Allen will force a Romo turnover. I'm going with Minnesota.

Vikings 24, Cowboys 21

New York Jets @ San Diego Chargers

The Chargers are the most talented team in the League. Rivers (as much as I hate him) is an elite QB and is playing as well as anyone. They're going up against a rookie in Mark Sanchez and will be much more effective against their vanilla offense than Cincinnati last week.

Chargers 28, Jets 17

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Yet Another Reason Why NBC Sucks

If there's one thing in the world that pisses me off, it's messing with my boy Conan O'Brien.

Perhaps my favorite TV personality, and easily the best host in late night, O'Brien is being bumped to make room for the aging and increasingly unfunny Jay Leno.

Leno, whose prime-time ratings have been abysmal, agreed,in 2004, to turn "The Tonight Show" over to O'Brien in 2009. He didn't want to let go of the position in the end and has publicly made it clear that he wanted his former time slot back.

In steps NBC.

The NBC executives responsible for this have clearly not paid attention to their own network's or O'Brien's history. The first few years of his stint on "Late Night" were blasted by critics. Yet he continued to develop his own style and superb comedic timing, which led to him becoming the best in the business. He developed a growing fan base, especially with young adults, and if given the right amount of time (Hint: it's more than the 7-8 months he's currently been on) he would no doubt take "The Tonight Show" back to the top.

And one thing that proves his top-notch character is the statement he released on the situation. It reads as follows:

People of Earth:

In the last few days, I've been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I've been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I've been absurdly lucky. That said, I've been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn't the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn't matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it's always been that way.



He respects "The Tonight Show" too much to move it back. He respects "Late Night" and Jimmy Fallon enough to not jeopardize the potential of their success. And he ends by lightening the tone with a hair joke. That is why he is the best.

And another reason why NBC sucks!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Wild Card Weekend Predictions

The NFL Playoffs are here, ladies and gentlemen. Three of the four games are rematches from Week 17, and I expect those results to be the same. Let's do this.

Saturday Games:

New York Jets @ Cincinnati Bengals

Last week's match-up ended in a 37-0 shellacking by the Jets at home. I don't expect this one to be a blowout, but I do think the Jets will come away with a win. They have the top-ranked defense and rushing attack in the league, and Cincinnati hasn't looked good in the second half of the season.

Jets 23, Bengals 17

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys also shut out the Eagles last weekend, 24-0. I don't think the Cowboys' defense will hold Donovan McNabb and Desean Jackson scoreless again, but they are one of the hottest teams entering the playoffs. Plus it's at home. And they have the motivation to win their first playoff game since the mid-'90s.

Cowboys 31, Eagles 24

Sunday Games:

Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots

I hate the Patriots. I hate the Ravens. Wes Welker is hurt. New England's defense isn't as good as it has been. Baltimore has a much-improved offense and should have won in New England earlier this season.

With that being said, I do have a rule that will allow me to pick this game. Don't bet against the Patriots. I haven't done it and don't intend to start now. And I hope they get blown out by San Diego next week.

Patriots 27, Ravens 24

Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals

I wanted the Cardinals to win the Super Bowl last year. I want the Cardinals to come out as the NFC champions for the second year in a row. But I don't think it's going to happen. Kurt Warner belongs in the Hall of Fame. Larry Fitzgerald is the best WR in the game. But the Packers are better right now. Their defense is strong, and Aaron Rodgers & Co. should be able to outscore the Cardinals who may be without receiver Anquan Boldin. If I'm off on one prediction this weekend, hopefully this will be it.

Packers 31, Cardinals 30