Ben on the Bolts: Football & TV

SAN DIEGO - Summer is officially over. School is back in session. Leaves will soon begin to change color (in places other than San Diego). Pumpkin beer is back on tap. (Avery Rumpkin is one of my all-time favorites…but be almost 14% alcohol it packs quite a wallop.) Turkeys contact their attorneys to put their affairs in order. (Better call Saul.) A new fall television season is upon us. The NFL campaign is hitting its stride. 

It’s the last two items we’ll concern ourselves with today, because some interesting parallels can be drawn.

Some television shows, like “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” you have a pretty good feeling about in early September. Big budgets, good concept, seasoned show-runners…it all adds-up to a likely hit. NFL teams are much the same. Take the New England Patriots, for example. No matter how many stars get arrested in the offseason, with Tom Brady & Bill Belichick in charge, you know it’s going to be a good program.

Other shows you just know are going to be awful. (I’m looking at you, “Dads”.) This also applies to football teams. Sorry, Buffalo.

Occasionally, a new TV series will surprise. The writing is better than you thought. The actors build some chemistry after a few weeks. What was once slated for early cancelation may actually have a nice run. In the NFL, those shows are the surprise playoff contenders you get every year. The 3-0 Chiefs and 3-0 Dolphins are demonstrating signs of success that might not have been readily apparent in the sneak preview.

Every once in awhile, a show with a great cast never finds its stride. The New York Giants may fall into this category on the gridiron.

Finally, there’s always a show or two that we’re not sure about, even after a couple of weeks. It may be destined for success, or bound for early cancelation. But after 5 or 6 episodes, we should have a really good idea which direction they’re heading.

It’s still early enough for the Chargers to show us that 2013 can be something more than just a rebuilding season with a transition to a new regime.  If they’re going to show us something, though, we need to see it the next couple of games.  If the Bolts are still hit-or-miss by the time the bye week rolls around in mid-October, it’s probably too late to make something out of this season.

The DVR is set, gentlemen. Show me something.

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