July 24, 2009

Feuds of the Week is a collection of the week's most pressing matchups. Not included this week is "Tim Tebow vs. Temptation" because he has somehow exerted enough resolve to power most of the Western Hemisphere.

The NFL Draft vs. Primetime Programming

The NFL is turning the 2010 draft into a three-day event, with the first round moved to Thursday night -- square in the middle of primetime programming.

Given the NFL's shrewd record of marketing its biggest events, the move doesn't come as a surprise. What should be interesting to see is whether top college prospects coming off of running 40s and meeting with agents will be able to make any sort of dent into your regularly scheduled network programs.

The Verdict: The first round beats Jay Leno's new show, but by April, a compensatory sixth-round pick may beat Leno. The Office may go on the offensive and have Michael Scott thoughtlessly make fun of Ndamukong Suh's name, but it won't be enough, as the draft should down the NBC comedy. Finally, Grey's Anatomy beats the draft, but by then, Tim Tebow will probably have a recurring role on the medical drama anyway.

Mets VP Tony Bernazard vs. The Binghamton Mets

Upon learning that Bernazard reportedly ripped off his shirt and openly challenged the Mets' Double-A affiliate to fisticuffs, there are two (and only two) natural reactions to the news:

1. "Wow, that's way out the line and unspeakably unprofessional."2. "YES! YES! YES! Did they go at it? Please tell me they went at it! Did the old man get a swing in? AWESOME!"

The Verdict: I'm not sure I care that it was unprofessional, mostly because it's so insane. I don't know how anyone can be outraged over such an entertaining story. Bernazard gets a pass from me, especially if he got down like the Hulkster.

Rich Harden vs. Wrigley

One of the fun things about baseball (if you're not any good at actually playing baseball) is the joy of poring over stats and pretending you know what they mean.

After one carefully looks at Harden's '09 numbers, there's little doubt that while he should probably never put on anything resembling the Cubs' pinstripes ever again, he should keep plenty of his road grays at the ready.

Harden has an ERA of 7.59 at Wrigley, where he often pitches during the day. But when he pitches on the road, mainly in night games, he's, well, Rich Harden (2.03).

The Verdict: As much as I'd like to congratulate Ozzie Guillen on figuring out the true essence of Wrigley, I've come to the conclusion that Harden is simply Night Man to Ted Lilly's Day Man (yes, this was all an excuse to get this song re-stuck in my head).

LeBron James vs. The Last Three Months

The NBA MVP's name seems to be making headlines for the oddest reasons. Since May, LeBron has been all of the following: a puppet, a guy who displayed bad sportsmanship after a season-ending loss, a guy who got dunked on, a guy who tried to get the very same dunk covered up, and then a guy who -- via a book scheduled to be released in September -- admitted to smoking pot in high school.

The Verdict: Not one of these items is particularly offensive, but after playing the role of the lovable prodigy for the last six years, it'll be interesting to see how James comes back from this. For the record, some sort of commercial/ad campaign featuring LeBron getting repeatedly dunked on has the potential for all-time NBA commercial greatness, especially if he can get a hold of MJ's sweater.

Franklin Gutierrez vs. The Outfield Wall

The Verdict: Ouch. Could we possibly avoid center fielders sprinting into giant electronic scoreboards? Pretty please?

Seth Rogen vs. Entourage

Seth Rogen doesn't like Entourage. The creator of Entourage, Doug Ellin, doesn't like Seth Rogen movies. On one hand, it's extremely successful people lobbing petty insults about projects that made them successful, but on the other, it gives us an opportunity to decide, quite simply, who's worse at their job.

Entourage was never necessarily a great show, but it was always good at being watchable, which may be more important than great, if that makes any sense. Everything always looks nice, the characters haven't evolved and every episode seems like it ends after 14 minutes.

Rogen has written and starred in wildly popular movies and wildly unpopular (but great) TV shows. He also wrote Drillbit Taylor, so there's that.

The Verdict: If I were committed to a padded room and had only the DVD box sets of Entourage or the filmography of Seth Rogen (Knocked Up, Da Ali G Show, Superbad, Freaks and Geeks) at my disposal, the nod goes to Rogen, and it's not even close. OK, Drillbit Taylor evens things out slightly.

Dan Rubenstein hosts and produces the SI Tour Guy video series for SI.com and co-hosts The Solid Verbal college football podcast with SI.com's Ty Hildenbrandt. He can be reached at sitourguy@gmail.com.

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