1. Maybe it's because all NFL pregame shows are the same and follow the same formulas, but Steve Kornacki's appearance on NBC's pregame and halftime shows Sunday night was a breath of fresh air.
Plus, he absolutely kicked ass explaining the NFL playoff races.
Kornacki, who generated enormous praise for his MSNBC work on election night, wore khakis, his sleeves folded halfway and he had his rolled up papers in hand. He was in front of his big touch screen and he was ready to go.
He came out of the gate strong, explaining the significance of the Giants' upset win in Seattle on Sunday, while analyzing the NFC playoff picture.
Graphics were flying all over the place—there were a million numbers on the screen and Kornacki was explaining it all without missing a beat or taking a breath.
Percentages, schedules, tie-breakers, probabilities—Kornacki covered it all.
The man who has been dubbed, "Chartthrob" and "Map Daddy," was back at halftime to give insight into the AFC and NFC playoff races.
It's no surprise Kornacki excelled at this experiment. What is surprising is that from what I saw, he was universally praised on Twitter. There's nothing more rare than that in 2020.
I would bet good money we'll be seeing a lot more of Kornacki on NBC's studio shows as we head into the playoffs.
2. Travis Kelce is so good he doesn't even know who he's playing. He just goes out and dominates whether he's playing the Broncos or the Raiders, as evidenced by his postgame interview after Kansas City beat Denver on Sunday night.
3. Last week, Baker Mayfield quoted Parks and Rec's Ron Swanson about skim milk after the Browns beat the Jaguars.
On Sunday, following Cleveland's dominating win against Tennessee, Mayfield quoted the great Dwight Schrute from The Office.
We are big fans of this trend, so please keep it up, Baker.
4. The special teams stats coming out of the Chargers' 45–0 loss to the Patriots are astounding. A sampling:
5. The latest SI Media Podcast features a conversation with Chris Long. The Super Bowl champion, who now hosts the Amazon Prime pregame show on Thursday nights and the Green Light podcast three days a week, shared his insight into what NFL players are going through this season while trying to play through a pandemic.
Long also talks about what's going on with Tom Brady and the Bucs, and why he thinks people shouldn't sleep on the Packers.
Non-football topics Chris and I discussed include our hatred of shaving, Uggs, celebrity-scented candles, the funniest TV/movie death or funeral scenes and much more.
You can also watch the podcast on YouTube.
6. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: I got a little traction this morning on this tweet about the great '80s MTV game show, Remote Control, so I had to feature it in the column today.
Here's an episode that featured Weird Al, LL Cool J and Downtown Julie Brown.
7. SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: Happy 64th birthday to NBA legend Larry Bird.
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.