SNL: S32E16... HOST: PEYTON MANNING... DATE: MARCH 24, 2007

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How I Never Learned To Play Proper Football

Thanks To A League Name PeeWee Sports

 

As I’ve been pointing out, this is around the time where I started to lose track of what was going on in the world of television thanks to the magic being offered by the industry becoming clear to me as I continued to hone my screenwriting skill in my effort to turn my childhood love into a job. Well, by this time in my life, I was already well over sports, having lost all interest when I attempted to play football in high school only to learn that I totally sucked.

It’s too bad because due to my size and strength alone, I probably could have been an impressive professional lineman, that is, if I could only nail down all the plays. The problem was, I only played by park rule and never even attempt to sign up for any Pop Warner sport. I don’t know if this is a regional thing, but Pop Warner was our name for pre-high school sports.

When I was really young, there was also a league called PeeWee Sports. To this day, my mom and I will both laugh as we reflect back to the one time that we did head down to the rec center to see what was available, and I really got freaked out by the name of this league. To me, a pee-wee was the word for penis, which led me to become genuinely concerned about what this league would involve. I’m not joking, I was seriously concerned that the league had something to do with nudity.

This is why I stuck to only casually play any sport in the park amongst family and friends. Because of this, I never developed and real game techniques or any real plays. Add my dyslexia to the mix, making my lack of sports knowledge and inability to quickly tell my left from my right, but the time that I did hit high school, I was way behind the rest of the team.

Though I accept all the blame for not being good, the reaction to my rookie behaviors really turned me off sports in general. The fact that I had three sisters, a divorced mother, and no real male influence, made it very easy for me to give up. Though my dad was still around and took us multiple weekends each month, he was more into things like camping and fishing and not throwing around balls, so there was no one to give me an extra push into holding on to this cliché male interest.

With all of this said, my interest in football was rekindled twice in my life, once, when I started collecting football cards around the time of the trading card bubble burst of the early ‘90s when people began to collect for potential profit and not for the love of the game. Granted, was always money involved in playing cards, but this was a time where the market got flooded to take advantage of all the naïve/greedy children.

The second time my interest was revived was when I was eighteen and learn that sports booking was legal and readily available, just south of the border. Being eighteen in San Diego this was a bonus to me because I was at the Mexican drinking age, so I was looking for any excuse to make a trip to T.J. At that point in my life, I was all in when it came to watching football, but then I moved up north. Though there were plenty of Seahawks fans filled with enthusiastic energy, there was no gambling, so watching others win or lose became insignificant to me.

Yes, that might sound a bit narcissistic, but keep in mind you’re reading an autobiography disguised as an SNL themed blog. Speaking of which, it’s now to fulfill the blogs needs and discuss the actual episode. Being so far removed from sports, I couldn’t care less about Peyton Manning as the host, other than the fact that I’m rarely let down by the athletic hosts, so I was actually open to the idea of this show being fun.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case tonight. Again, I wouldn’t say that it was a terrible episode, but the fact that it was so solidly average that, minus any connection with the host, I kept finding myself getting bored. It didn’t help that several sketches felt like half-assed attempts to recapture success from the past. We had Coffee Chat vs. Coffee Talk which weren’t really similar as far as the content goes and was actually funny but the similar titles felt weird. Bronx Beat didn’t have a title, but it felt like a blend of Coffee Talk and a female Wayan’s World or some other generic duo talk show. Don’t get me started on Penelope The Partypooper which just seemed like a lazy attempt to recapture the fame of Debbie Downer.

Sketches like these made it feel more like a trial and error night which is pretty rough considering the show is this deep into the year. Hopefully, tomorrow’s show will bring back the funny, but until then, it’s now time for me to wrap this one up by sharing what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with A Message From The President Of The United States where once again, Jason Sudeikis played George W. Bush. This week, the President addressed the nation about the controversial dismissal of eight US attorneys who our President thought were playing unfair because they seemingly sided with the Democrats when it came to ruling on the horrible policies being promoted by the Bush administration. After a while, he brought out Fred Meyer as Alberto Gonzales, who kept nervously reacting to Bush’s threats to fire him next if he weren’t to play along. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live From New York…”

  2. Peyton Manning then officially opened the show with a monolog about achieve his life goals which included starring in half of the commercials being aired on the television, and more importantly, winning the Super Bowl. He then shared a joke that a geriatric man told him while visiting an old folk hope before going on to introduce his NFL football playing family, except for his mom who wasn’t good enough to make any teams.

  3. This was followed by a parody ad for United Way where Peyton Manny treated young children pretty rough while serving as their mentor and going full force out on the field.

  4. Bronx Beat With Betty And Jodi then returned for another installment of Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph’s Bronx-based public access show, where this time they chattered it up with trying to interview Peyton Manning as a very attractive zookeeper.

  5. ESPN's NCAA Tournament Pool Party had Amy Poehler as a ditzy secretary who was killing it in an ESPN sponsored March Madness pool, even though she had absolutely no knowledge of basketball or sports in general, at that.

  6. Penelope, The Party Pooper, was a bit of a rip off of Debbie Downer only instead up ruining the fun by sharing random dark facts like Debbie would, Kristen Wiig as the titular party pooper attempted to one-up anything said by one of her guest partygoers.

  7. TV Funhouse then gave us a parody of Dora The Explorer, only in this version of the show our little explore was named Maraka who along with her trusty pet cat, sought audience participation to rescue a baby penguin. Unlike the actual Dora show where the advice sought is innocent and adorable, Maraka’s questions focused on much darker themes like whether or not Robert Blake murdered his wife.

  8. Locker Room Motivation took us to a basketball locker room during halftime, where Will Forte played a coach who attempted to inspire his losing team by playing the 1967 theme from the original Casino Royale, instead of offering any real advice on how to better their game.

  9. Carrie Underwood then took to the stage to perform Before He Cheats.

  10. Once again, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Will Forte returned as the monotoned politician named Tim Calhoun in order to announce his bid to join the race to become President in 2008. Seth Meyers discussed the fate of a polar bear club during a new segment called zoo news, and Andy Samberg wrapped things up by impersonating Sanjaya from American Idol to sing his new song. His performance brought tears to most of the audience which included Kristen Wiig, Fred Armisen, and special guest Dan Aykroyd.

  11. This was followed by a parody of 300 where we got a behind-the-scenes look at the climactic battle where Peyton Manning played an actor who was frustrated with the film’s director, who was played by Jason Sudeikis. The problem was that he refused to throw a gigantic rock at Fred Armisen because he was easily confused and thought that all of the action would be added in post-production.

  12. Carrie Underwood then returned to the stage to perform Wasted.

  13. Coffee Chat had Kristen Wiig and Peyton Manning as a married couple who dispensed distasteful gossip while enjoying their hot caffeinated beverages on their back porch.

  14. Meatloaf Lovers was a fake ad for a car where Peyton Manning share his pride in the new Mercedes-500 line that offered a featured which allowed drivers to cook meat while also traveling pantless, with the pants part being the final reveal. 

  15. This was followed by a fake ad for the new Air Force One line of shoes that were marketed toward white guys who don’t have any basketball skills.

  16. Finally, Peyton Manning closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Though I wasn’t a huge fan of either the host or the episode, at least it was on the good side of average thanks to the help of these three sketches that contained my favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the United Way Parody because up to the point where it becomes abusive, I always find it funny when adults don’t take it easy on kids while trying to teach them sports. Next, Meatloaf Lovers because of the joke at the end where it was revealed that Manning wasn’t wearing any pants, on top of the regular ridiculousness of the rest of the fake ad. Finally, I was a fan of ESPN's NCAA Tournament Pool Party because, now that I’m not a game watcher, Amy Poehler share my brand of predicting when it comes to the world of gambling on sports.

 
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