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Original Issue

Under Review

The bashing of Monday Night Football's new halftime feature, You've Been Sacked--in which NFL players play a prank on an unsuspecting teammate, a la MTV's Punk'd--is hardly surprising. Nothing inspires more reactionary howling than MNF's seasonal makeovers, from the 2000 addition of arcana-loving comedian Dennis Miller (he was subtracted after two seasons) to last year's hiring of glam sideline reporter Lisa Guerrero, who lasted just one season. But Sacked, while not a masterstroke, doesn't deserve the gong just yet.

The first of the eight planned segments--in which Rams wideout Torry Holt was duped into thinking he'd been named the league's best-dressed player and sat for a fake magazine photo shoot that ended with him dressed as a ballerina--was at times amusing. (That's more than can be said of last year's halftime segments, a competition featuring players jamming with B-list musical acts.) Credit ABC for understanding what most of the kids are watching these days--comedic reality-driven programs--and for creatively skewering the vanity of a few pro athletes. While future segments should go easy on the hypermacho undertones (Torry's in a tutu! What a girlie-man!), Sacked could be far, far worse. Many Monday Night segments have been. --Josh Elliott