To Me, Monday Night Football's 'Love Actually' Parody Was Perfect


The long and fruitful marriage between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady came to an end. Perhaps you've heard about this. If you haven't — and even if you have — please allow a high-pitched Jay Leno to finish his joke.

Things have gone much more smoothly for the quarterback than they have for the coach, who floundered without an elite signal-caller to handle the big jobs around the house.

Though it's always difficult to understand all that's at work in a relationship from the outside, ESPN attempted such a feat last night during its Monday Night Football broadcast, using the god-awful Love Actually as inspiration.

In this imagined universe, Belichick travels to what we're left to assume is Brady's Florida home, where the temperatures have dipped to an unusually brisk level. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback answers the door while wearing a full uniform, pads, and eye black. And that part actually seems believable because Touchdown Tom is always a bit far removed from ground control.

Belichick then drops title card after title card showing Brady how bad things have gotten since he left before having the door slammed in his face. This is obviously different than what happens in the movie, as Steve Levy dutifully pointed out. Then Brian Griese came over the top with what was as full-throated a defense of the flawed picture as you'll hear in the year Almost 2021.

MNF has distinguished itself over the past few years with these excellent animated elements. This one is among the top efforts. Their decidedly over-the-topness really plays into Levy's wheelhouse and as a result they've been presented with pitch-perfect tone this year.

There's always the risk of beating a good bit into the ground with overuse, but the broadcast might actually doing more of these per week next season. Or increase them to a two- or three-minute digital short to see if gold can be found there. It seems like most people will willingly go on that journey as the capital has been built up to a point where it's worth taking such a risk.