Miller Time
   By Rick Cipes

Dennis Miller
Dennis Miller brings a new comedic element to Monday Night Football. But his shtick may not work for big-time, ’nad-scratching football fans.
The band is warming up, and I can hear distant rumblings of the redneck warpath cry: “Are you ready for some football?”

Married dudes, this is exciting for you because it means you get to score a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, for at least one night a week. Single swingers, now that football’s here, it will eliminate some of your time prowling the Net for poontang. And I got news for you, stud: She’s probably a he, so do yourself a favor and stay out of Springerville, unless you really can’t do without the “15-minute fix.”

And speaking of 15-minute fixes, what’s up with Monday Night Football’s new credo: “Are you ready for some ... Dennis Miller?!?”

Do ABC and Don Ohlmeyer actually think the infusion of “Miller Time” is going to pump up their ratings, more so than, say, Survivor did for CBS? I think not. I think Denny will be lucky to survive past his first year. And you know what that means: Rush Limbaugh, keep your bags packed. (Is there a trading deadline for announcers? If not, maybe we should get Costas on it.)

ABC’s simple, kindergarten-reduced theory goes something like this: Let’s see if we can increase ratings by putting a “regular guy” in the booth, therefore attracting more “regular guys” to the show. Warning to Regular Guy: Watch where you tread because the minefield is loaded.

Hey! Exactly! That’s what they were going for -- a lot of drama! Now I get it: It is Survivor, and Dennis is the only contestant. He’s in the hot seat, with his colleagues scrambling to “blend in” and make nice-nice with Al Michaels so they can protect their own jobs. Come on, do you really think Eric “I need to brush up on my diction” Dickerson, Dan “air not as hot as Dierdorf” Fouts, or the new eye candy, Melissa Stark (Leslie Visser RIP), will be there to assist Dennis in his time of need? Two key words come to mind: “Incoming! Duck!”

Naw, Dennis is flying this mission solo, just as if he were doing stand-up. So at least it won’t be foreign territory for him. Foreign territory is Peoria, Illinois, and other countless cities across Middle America, none of which, I believe, will go for Dennis’ esoteric rant. Because contrary to the hype, I have seen, and hung out with, regular guys, and Dennis Miller is not one of them. Anyone who quotes Sun Tzu and Socrates in the booth definitely doesn’t think his own shit stinks. Sometimes his repartee is so intellectual that it seems to make his own head spin around, à la The Exorcist. Just be sure and take cover if things get out of hand and pea soup projectile vomiting splats everywhere.

Note to Dennis: If you want to be a regular guy, drop the “allusions” of grandeur and join the regular guys on the couch. And let’s see you scratch your ’nads just like the rest of us. Because remember, Denny, we are ready for some football, not some highbrow comedic crap.