With Matt Millen and Joe Theismann on NFL Network, no chance to enjoy the silence

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By Norman Chad
Sunday, November 14, 2010; 11:35 PM

NFL Network does many things I love. Tragically, its presentation of NFL games is not one of them.

And this year, NFL Network has undertaken a social experiment of potentially apocalyptic consequences: It has created a three-man booth, two of the men being Matt Millen and Joe Theismann, which means, in effect, a four-and-a-half-man booth.

Putting Millen and Theismann in the same booth is like putting sugar and honey in your green tea.

With no regard for a trembling and tormented nation still reeling from economic and electoral collapse, NFL Network has decided to stuff two stupefying and unrelenting voices into our living rooms every Thursday night.

Amtrak has a "Quiet Car" - it prohibits cellphone use and Joe Theismann.

Theismann doesn't talk in his sleep, he filibusters in his sleep.

If you handed Theismann a celery stick, he would speak into it.

Millen, meanwhile, long has been potent at a very simple TV device - if you say something authoritatively, it appears you are an authority.

I don't care that Millen was arguably the worst team president in modern NFL history, with the Detroit Lions. I do care that I can't even shift my butt in my Barcalounger without him soliloquizing on inside A-gap blitzes, 5-underneath coverage and tackle-end splits.

Theismann and Millen talk in so many circles, they ought to be broadcasting from a Ferris wheel. They say too much to say too little; in fact, they will say stuff that contradicts stuff they said earlier.

Listening to Theismann and Millen reminds me of that Cialis ad - if your erudition lasts more than four hours, call your local cable operator.

Next time you're watching an NFL game on NFL Network, try this test: See how many times you can count to 5 during the telecast with no one talking. I gave it a shot - if you ever get to 10, sell.


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