1. "You're lying to the American public."
No, that wasn't one of the lines from last night's debate that really wasn't a debate. The sentence was uttered by Stephen A. Smith to Marcus Spears during a ridiculous, yet highly entertaining, segment on Tuesday's First Take.
The bit, which compared Patrick Mahomes to LeBron James, couldn't have been dumber, but it provided many, many laughs.
The first two-and-a-half minutes of the segment made zero sense and just featured yelling and screaming about some list that nobody cares about. However, things got good at the 2:30 mark when Spears tried to call out Stephen A. for mentioning that Mahomes has a ton of weapons because, in Spears's mind, that diminishes Mahomes's talent.
I'm not sure why this is an issue for Spears since Mahomes DOES have a ton of weapons and IS great (yes, two things can be true at once), but this kicked off some vintage Stephen A. Smith performance art.
Smith quickly called out Spears for comparing Mahomes's supporting cast to LeBron's supporting cast in Cleveland when he had Matthew Dellavedova and Tristan Thompson on his team. Poor Dellavedova and Thompson were at home minding their own business this morning, but got dragged through the mud by Smith for being subpar basketball players during a discussion about Patrick Mahomes. That's rough.
The fireworks really went off after that with Smith and Spears losing their minds. The facial expressions were tremendous. Spears referred to Max Kellerman and Smith as "Mr. Columbia" and "Mr. I've Been Doing This Forever." Kellerman then tried to point out that a better comparison for Spears would've been Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, not Dellavedova and Thompson, which caused Smith to scream "THAT'S WHAT I TOLD HIM!" in high notes that would make Mariah Carey proud.
I'm still not sure what anyone's point was, but after the other debate last night, this one was much more refreshing and you should check it out if you need a laugh.
On a side note, huge props to Tristan Thompson for enjoying the segment even though he was besmirched throughout it.
2. One more item about debates: J.J. Watt and teammate Brandon Dunn were caught having one before Sunday's game in Pittsburgh about whether a blimp flies or hovers.
3. A brand new SI Media Podcast dropped this morning and it features an interview with Sunday Night Football play-by-play man Al Michaels.
The legendary broadcaster reveals why Mike Tirico will be filling in for him on a few games this season, when the plan was devised, and how he feels about it. Michaels also talks about the Collinsworth Slide, what it's like to call games with no fans in the stands, how he felt about ESPN trying to trade for him last year, his all-time favorite call from another announcer, referencing betting lines, making "lest" and "farcical" part of the lexicon and much more.
4. During that podcast with Al Michaels, he said Scott Van Pelt has made his weekly "Bad Beats" segment an "art form."
For some reason, ESPN refuses to promote Van Pelt's segment, which he does every Monday night. I searched all over for it yesterday so I could include it in Tuesday's Traina Thoughts, but it wasn't on any of ESPN's platforms.
Luckily, Stanford Steve came through for us and now I can give you the best weekly segment on all of sports TV.
5. Here's a shocker. When there's a good NFL game, people tune in.
Ratings for the Chiefs-Ravens Monday Night Football game were up 36% from last year's Week 3 MNF game.
For all the talk about the NFL's "terrible" ratings this season because of people fake protesting, the league is down 5% from last season, with the numbers going up each week.
Keep in mind what I wrote in Tuesday's Traina Thoughts. Ratings for the broadcast television networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX) are down 47% in primetime. The NFL is down just 5%.
6. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Marvin Gaye released "Sexual Healing" on this date in 1982. Here's a great live performance of the classic tune.
7. SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: Singer Helen Reddy passed away last night at the age of 78. Whenever I hear "Helen Reddy," I think of Stone Cold Steve Austin singing her song, "Delta Dawn" during one of the all-time greatest Attitude Era segments with the Rattlesnake and The Rock in a sing-off.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.