Ravens playing on Thursday leaves me feeling a little gray

The Kickoff

December 01, 2006|By PETER SCHMUCK

Before somebody sparks another gender war, I'm going to make a startling confession:

I'm a big fan of Grey's Anatomy - the show that was knocked into ABC's overnight schedule by the local broadcast of last night's Ravens game - and if I had my way the Ravens would have played Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati and I wouldn't have had to stay up until 1 a.m. to find out whether Dr. Yang's betrayal of Dr. Burke is going to be the end of them as a couple.

The Ravens are a pretty big deal in this town, but I'm not sure that Steve McNair beats Dr. McDreamy in a fair fight.

The thing that bothers me most about the situation, however, is the automatic assumption that Grey's Anatomy is a chick show and that I might be some kind of wimp for watching it. That small-minded notion seemed to carry the day in local news accounts of the prime-time preemption, including a story in The Sun that referred to the show in one of its headlines as "a women's favorite."

I consider myself a pretty masculine guy, but I've always been a sucker for the medical shows, even the ones that include a bit of soap opera. My favorite was St. Elsewhere, but Grey's will have to do now that NBC's ER has run out of believable emergency room injuries. I think in last night's episode, somebody swallowed a lawn mower.

(OK, I'm exaggerating. It was just an ice pick and it was stuck in the guy's ear, but you get the idea.)

Grey's Anatomy, if you have never tuned in, is about a group of intense young interns at a Seattle hospital who basically sleep with one another (and their superiors) and fight over plum assignments, like resecting Patrick Dempsey's acting career. The main character is a neurotic young woman (Meredith Grey) whose famous surgeon mother is institutionalized with Alzheimer's disease. In other words, it's a pretty upbeat hour most nights.

Thursday is a big night for prime-time television, perhaps because of all the people like me who blow off work Friday. The fledgling NFL Network is trying to get a piece of the action with some Thursday night games, the first of which featured the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos on Thanksgiving. Not everyone gets the NFL cable channel, so the league allows the games to be picked up locally in the home markets of the competing teams.

Hence, I had to watch Ray Lewis in pads last night when I could have watched the beautiful lingerie model-turned-intern Izzie looking just the right amount of sexy in scrubs.

Funny how the NFL seems to get entangled with the big prime-time shows. Remember the public outcry when Monday Night Football spoofed Desperate Housewives a few years ago? I was a big fan of that show, too, which caused me no end of criticism from my wife, who insisted that the show was trashy and that it said something about me journalistically that I would make frequent reference to it here. Now she watches it religiously, so what are you going to do?

There's nothing wrong with a man's man liking good television drama, even if the ratings say that the majority of the show's viewers might be women. If you don't believe me, you can ask my daytime friend Dr. Phil.

By the way, does this outfit make me look fat?

Mea culpa again

Some alert readers noticed that I strongly picked the Cincinnati Bengals in Wednesday's column and chose the Ravens in our weekly staff picks Thursday. That was a mix-up that occurred after I forgot to submit my staff pick Wednesday. My bad. I was not hedging my bets, as someone suggested. I picked the Bengals and clearly outlined my rationale.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

The Peter Schmuck Show airs on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon on Saturdays.

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