Are Merril Hoge, Mark Schlereth, Chris Berman and Cris Carter the Worst NFL Talking Heads Around?

The NFL is almost too fun. I find myself spending so much time in front of the TV on Sundays that I start sitting in uncomfortable positions and not noticing until my foot is numb and I get hit with the realization that I might have to saw it off with a small pocket knife like James Franco did in that movie, unless I switch positions.

This season, the NFL is treating us like a puppy who sat when his owner asked him to, and it’s giving us a treat by having a Thursday football game EVERY SINGLE THURSDAY. That means that if you like college football – which I do – you have football on Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Saturday each week. More often then not, four-sevenths of the time, football is on. I’m not sure if my eyesight or my bank account is going to go first, but the next 20 weeks are going to go by faster then Macaulay Culkin’s childhood.

But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies this time of year, even if watching Troy Polamalu leap over the offensive line and turn Joe Flacco into a pretzel is significantly better than any sexual act known to man. When football season returns, so does the football crew on television, and that means a heaping portion of Merril Hoge, Mark Schlereth, Rachel Nichols, Stuart Scott, Tom Jackson, Phil Simms, Chris Berman, Herm Edwards, Cris Carter and worst of all…Tony Dungy.

It’s the only bad thing about football. Everything about the season is rewarding to the viewer except the actual coverage of the sport. It’s  bad enough to make you watch “The Closer” re-runs on TNT while you wait for the Monday Night game to start, rather then watching the ESPN crew sit there and make Suzy Kolber uncomfortable for two hours.

Most of these people are not only horrible on television, but they are despicable people in general. Obviously I can’t actually back that up, but I’ve seen those videos of Chris Berman sexually harassing his co-workers and I’ve seen Rachel Nichols undressing me with her eyes while she talks about the Chargers’ struggles with the 3-4 defense. If you look hard enough, you’ll see that these are not upstanding citizens or people who you want to babysit your kids. They’re monsters.

Let’s break it down, shall we?

Merril Hoge: The word “factor-back” does not exist, you idiot. You made it up, it doesn’t make sense, and the television audience is now dumber for having to listen to you spout off about it 10 times a week.

“Darren Sproles is this week’s factor-back!” 

Go play in traffic.

Mark Schlereth: Here’s Mark Schlereth’s sole solution for every problem that exists in the NFL:

“This is the NFL. You’ve got to dig in, get tough and put a hat on a hat. You see this? That’s all about desire. If he dug in there, played smashmouth football, put a hat on a hat, you’d be moving the chains.”

Mark, there’s an alien invasion. They are stronger then us and more intelligent. How can we possibly win this war?

“Trey, you see this green guy right here? He turned this guy here into dust because of want. It’s all about desire. What that guy should have done was play smashmouth football. He’s got to get low, and put a hat on a hat.” 

Mark, how can we fix the economy?

“What Obama has to do is play smashmouth football. When Biden tries to come into the Oval Office, Obama has to say, ‘Hey man, this is my field.’ Go out there, put a hat on a hat and move the chains.”

Hey dumbass, they’re wearing helmets. Not hats.

Slutty Rachel Nichols: Stop looking at me like that, Rachel. It’s gross. If I was a betting man, I’d wager my life’s savings that you have had a serious affair with the Jets offensive line in the bathroom showers while yelling “BRING IT ON! I CAN TAKE IT!”

Seriously. I don’t even mean that as a joke. That thing on your face is really uh…genital herpes-ish. I can’t think of a single thing that you wouldn’t do with Matt Leinart.

In all my years of watching television, I’ve never seen a woman who comes across as slutty as Nichols, and that includes soft-core porn on Cinemax and the show “Gigolos” on Showtime.

Stuart Scott: We get it man, you’re black. Understood. You made your point.

Tom Jackson: Just say ONE meaningful piece of football analysis and I’ll take you off this list. Just one. Instead of telling me that Brady threw to the end zone and the ball was caught for the touchdown, could you perhaps tell me why that happened? Instead of nodding at Chris Berman and then chuckling when he makes jokes that aren’t funny, could you – I don’t know – do anything productive?

What the hell does Tom Jackson get paid? At least others guy who aren’t good at their jobs at least look like they’re trying, or they actually open their mouths on television. Jackson comes across like the f**king “boom goes the dynamite” guy every time he opens his mouth to explain anything.

Phil Simms: I’ve actually got no qualms with Phil Simms’ analysis. The guy knows football well enough, even if he looks like he might rip off his sweater vest and start making out with Jim Nantz at most points during the telecast.

But the issue with Simms is how he says the word “him.” It’s a simple word, with three sounds. H-I-M. Him. Not a problem for most people. Simms, though, is not most people. He can’t pronounce it. Instead, he replaces it with “eem.”

“Watch eem here.  He makes an in-cut and Brady hits eem right in stride for the touchdown.”

He can clearly pronounce the “H” sound because he says the words he and here perfectly. Presented with the daunting challenge of pronouncing a difficult word like “him,” though, Simms folds like a cheap suit.

Once you really here it for the first time, you’ll never be able to watch a Phill Simms-telecast game the same way again. Any game with eem announcing becomes incredibly difficult to watch.

Chris Berman: I’m on record with this one already.

For some inexplicable reason, Berman is now the play-by-play guy when ESPN has two Monday night games, which is kind of liking having a blind guy try his luck a school bus driver. He sounds like a clogged sink the whole time, only the sink’s noises actually apply to what’s happening.

Herm Edwards: My colleague Pete at the Extra Pine Tar headquarters is fond of the phrase “Herm Edwards crazy” as a way to describe anybody who does anything that is absolutely ludicrous. If you go for it on fourth-and-13 from your own 10 in the first quarter, you are Herm Edwards crazy. If you think the Red Sox are going to make the playoffs, you’re Herm Edwards crazy. If you go on television and instead of answering questions that are asked you just make faces and yell “That’s football!” well…then you’re just Herm Edwards.

Also, you lose credibility when you do a commercial as a mini-you coaching customers at a supermarket on how to buy Coors Light. Herm might as well be walking down the street with half a cantaloupe on his head saying, “I’m a hamster. I’m a hamster.”

Cris Carter:  ”Come on, MAAA.”

If I saw Cris Carter in the real world, and he said “man,” he wouldn’t say, “MAAA” instead. But when he’s on television, and they’re doing the segment “Come on, man,” Carter can’t bring himself to say man.

Yeah Cris, you’re a thug dude. You’re hard. No doubt about it. When I think Cris Carter I think tough S.O.B., not soft receiver who wouldn’t go over the middle and can’t into the Hall of Fame.

Come on MAAAA

Tony Dungy: Ohhhh boy does this guy get to me. If I found out that Dungy was visiting my hometown I would pack up my family and go into the witness protection program. Have you ever seen him blink? I haven’t, not once.

It’s not hard for me to picture him gleefully torturing old men in his basement as he stares into their eyes and tries to offer life lessons on how to become a better human being. Just don’t say that I didn’t warn you when you wake up in the middle of the night and Dungy is sitting Indian-style on your chest, licking his lips and carving his initials into your cheek with a sickle.

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