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The piece that opened Monday Night Football this week has been debated and analyzed about as much as the Zapruder film. There are plenty of losers in this fiasco but we can all agree on the winner: Desperate Housewives. Even the sherpas who climb Mt. Everest are now familiar with Nicollette Sheridan.
The losers are numerous and I promise I'll limit my take because the rest of the world has already offered an opinion. But the biggest hypocrite in this desperate affair is the NFL, a league that employs scantily clad cheerleaders on every NFL sideline and endorses video games that celebrate violence.
So Paul Tagliabue and his suits were shocked -- shocked !-- and offended that the NFL's primetime showcase would use sex to sell its product? Was that before or after the Eagles cheerleaders released its latest lingerie calendar? Please.
Personally, I was not offended by MNF's opener because I live in America in 2004 and sex is everywhere. Plus, I was impressed with Terrell Owens' acting chops. I also don't have children. But I can totally see where parents would find the skit base and tawdry and be offended by it. That's fair.
Just once, I'd like to see a network issue a mea culpa with an iota of truth to it. ABC's knobby apology ("We have heard from many of our viewers about last night's MNF opening segment and we agree the placement was inappropriate. We apologize.") bordered on laughable.
Here's the statement I would have liked to have seen ABC issue:
"We, the network that once employed Lisa Guerrero as a sideline reporter, apologize to anyone who was offended by last week's opening segment of Monday Night Football. Our attempts to cross-promote our most-talked about show with another ABC show that has declined in ratings and buzz obviously offended some of our audience. We promise to be a little less titillating in future attempts to cross-promote our entertainment programming with the NFL. Hopefully, this will not prevent you and your children from watching future ABC programming, including Wife Swap, which airs Wednesday night at 10 p.m."