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Bad Idea of the Week: Lame Super Bowl Counter-Programming

So there's this football game on Sunday. A so-called "Super Bowl," and if you didn't know that, then a few cable channels are looking for you. Most of the big networks just roll over on Super Bowl Sunday, putting on repeats of "America's Funniest Home Videos" or "Grease: You're the One That I Want" and gift-wrapping the day's ratings for whichever channel has the big game (this year, it's CBS).

But cable networks seem to think there's a niche market of people (mostly women) who don't watch the Super Bowl but would keep the TV on if it were tuned to a knitting marathon.

That's right, a knitting marathon. The DIY Network is showing several back-to-back episodes of its show "Knitty Gritty" during the Super Bowl. On the one hand, it's hip knitting (read: iPod cozies), and there's a charity tie-in for people to help make blankets for the needy. But still: It's knitting. On television. For hours. At least there would be plenty of needles handy if you wanted to stick one in your eye.

That's far from the only bad idea on Super Bowl Sunday, so

Most of these programs conjure images of the weary wife squinting at some tiny TV in an upstairs room, while rowdy fans guzzle beer in front of the big screen. The traditional "women's channels" hold nothing back on Super Bowl Sunday, with Lifetime throwing out a set of women-in-crisis films (The Good Girl, Bastard Out of Carolina) and TLC airing a marathon of "What Not to Wear." ESPN, rather hilariously, is showing figure skating.

One of the more baffling counter-programming ideas comes from TBS, which is showing a marathon of "My Boys," a show about a girl who likes sports. Presumably, that means many "My Boys" fans are also girls who like sports, and if you're a girl who likes sports, isn't there a decent chance you'd be watching the Super Bowl in the first place?

Most of this counter-programming is so bad — I haven't even mentioned Hallmark's halftime cryfest — that even if I weren't a sports fan, I'd put the game on just to avoid the other options. Or turn the TV off and, you know, read a book or something.

On second thought, there's always Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl. I was going to make fun of it, but I got distracted by this picture of cute puppies, so it must not be such a bad idea after all.

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