1. You know things are bad for an NFL coach when opposing players are mocking his awful performance.
A few hours before the Giants ended up firing coach Joe Judge late Monday afternoon, Aaron Rodgers got in on poking fun at Judge’s mind-boggling decision to run a QB sneak on third-and-9 from his team’s own five-yard line in Sunday’s regular-season-finale loss to Washington.
During his weekly appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers was asked about whether the Chargers and Raiders should’ve played for a tie on Sunday night, which would’ve put both teams in the playoffs. While answering that question and talking about the Raiders’ kicking a game-winning field goal in overtime, Rodgers brought up Judge out of nowhere and fired off a stray.
“This idea that they wouldn’t have kicked it because it could’ve been blocked. Look, you play to win the game. Nobody wants to be a part of that. Nobody wants to be a part of kneeling the s--- out to take a tie. I would lose my mind. You know what would make me lose my mind almost as much as that? Third-and-9 on the minus-5. Let’s go in goal line personnel and run a QB sneak.”
Rodgers continued by sending a message to his own coach, Matt Lafluer.
“Call that one in, Matt, and see what happens. That s--- ain’t flying, I can promise.”
On a side note, here is Dan Orlovsky’s breakdown of the Giants’ pathetic play call that Rodgers referenced in the clip above.
3. Monday's Georgia-Alabama national title game drew 22.6 million viewers. It was the second-lowest rated national title game ever. The lowest was last year, in the middle of the pandemic.
I think there are a few factors here. The two biggest being that people have Alabama fatigue and the game needs to be played earlier. The semifinal playoff needs to be pushed up a week and the national title game needs to be played on New Year's Day at 8 p.m.
There were the top 10 most-watched NFL games of the 2021 regular season.
- Las Vegas Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys (Week 12, CBS) – 40.8 million
- Dallas Cowboys vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Week 11, Fox) – 28.7 million
- Cleveland Browns vs. Green Bay Packers (Week 16, Fox + NFLN) – 28.6 million
- Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions (Week 12, FOX) – 28.2 million
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New England Patriots (Week 4, NBC) – 27.2 million
- Arizona Cardinals vs. Dallas Cowboys (Week 17, Fox) – 26.8 million
- Los Angeles Rams vs. Green Bay Packers (Week 12, Fox) – 25.2 million
- Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Kickoff, NBC) – 25.2 million
- Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Week 9, Fox) – 25.0 million
- Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Chargers (Week 2, CBS) – 25.0 million
4. Grizzlies star Ja Morant led his team to a big win over the Warriors on Tuesday night. He also sent a message to a little kid in the stands wearing a Steph Curry jersey.
5. Suns star Devin Booker had major beef with the Raptors’ mascot, the only person in the arena during last night’s game.
6. This week's SI Media Podcast, which dropped Thursday afternoon, is a roundtable edition featuring Al Michaels and Tom Rinaldi on the career of John Madden.
Michaels, who worked with Madden for seven seasons, and Rinaldi, who was a director on the recent Fox Sports documentary about Madden, share behind-the-scenes stories, give us insight into Madden’s personality and discuss some of the memorable relationships Madden had throughout his career.
Everything from Madden’s fear of flying to the Madden Cruiser to his partnership with Pat Summerall and much more is covered.
Following Michaels and Rinaldi is the weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment with Sal Licata from WFAN and SNY TV in New York. This week, Sal and I talk about his experience with COVID-19, reaction to a Wizards broadcaster making an innocent mistake, Kirk Herbstreit's recent controversial comments and the best things we watched over the holiday.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: On this date in 2006, Michael Scott burned his foot while cooking bacon on his George Foreman grill.
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.