We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's Sitcom

CBS has ordered a pilot for Home Game, a sitcom about Mark Schlereth, ESPN analyst and former Broncos/Redskins guard. Why? It's unclear.

Here's what Schlereth wrote on his blog:

Somebody's a producer! What an unbelievable ride it's been since last July at the ESPY's…That's where it all started, the seminal event if you will, where an idea was born! I was swapping stories with Peter Sussman and Steve Levinson (Leverage) at an ESPY's after party, you know, guy talk, chalk full of false bravado and embellished half truths. We were constantly interrupted by current players with obvious intentions. "Hey Mark, I'm So and So from the whoever I play for," before I could get out the obligatory, " great to meet you So and So," they had already spun a 180 and were spitting out their "A" games at the beautiful young ladies a few feet away…my daughters!!!! Between incessant ribbing from Steve and Peter and breaking up one player's advances toward my smokin hot wife a show idea was born and the rest as they say is history!

So, if you didn't follow: two guys from Leverage, Mark Wahlberg's production company, approached Schlereth at an ESPYs afterparty. They had some guy talk. And now there's a sitcom pilot based on his life. He's producing, as are his wife and daughter. The ESPYs are the worst.

This pilot is not as heinous as the Colin Cowherd pilot (also being developed for CBS). Rather, it brings us depressingly formulaic bewildered-father-with-teenage-daughters hijinks of which America had tired the moment Just the Ten of Us went off the air.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's Sitcom

The show is called Home Game, and it's about an NFL player who has retired and who now faces a different kind of home game. You get it? It will be a game, at his home, only it's not football. You see, it's a little game called fatherhood, which is nothing like football, unless you count all the chronic depression.

The script was written by Chris Nowak and Warren Bell, who wrote for According to Jim, which somehow ran for eight seasons. I've never seen According to Jim, but one imagines it involves a wife thwarting a father's effort to raise his kids as he sees fit. Let's check with Wikipedia, shall we?

[Jim's] sister-in-law Dana frequently teams up with [Jim's wife] Cheryl against Jim.

What are the odds?

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

Sort-of-real Mark Schlereth has his wife always on his ass.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

He's got some banal problems raising his daughters.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

And it's hard to have an uninterrupted night of family fun...

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

...in this digital age.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

"Tell me what's really going on in that head of yours." "...The ship is leaking."

Maybe this show is a subtle commentary on the years-after-retirement damage that arises from repeated head trauma. Maybe Schlereth is an NFL lineman suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and his ship is leaking. He can't remember things anymore, his motor skills have deteriorated. What a major artistic risk for CBS!

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

He's a football player. He can only think about things in terms of the game he once played and loved, no matter how bad it hurt him. He's trying to parent, but all of his thoughts are spilling out.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

No, just kidding. It's a show about Mark Schlereth's dick.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

This pilot needed its two writers: one to write for Schlereth and one to write for Schlereth's dick.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

Look on my cock, ye Mighty, and despair!

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

Rimshot

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

Hey, TV daughters, do you want to see Mark Schlereth's dick?

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

His wife also calls it his "floppity-flop," because that's how adults talk.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

So does his youngest daughter.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

Home Game also has something of a woman problem, making all but one of the show's females attractive in its stage directions. Here's the "petite dynamo" wife.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

Here are the three "gorgeous" daughters.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

Here's "Slut #1."

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

Here's the crew from "Busty Cops."

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

Here's the token lesbian, whose boyfriend/beard materializes later in the pilot. The Mark Schlereth Show is setting itself up for some daring social commentary in 2017, when Isabella comes out. And yes, the show will still be on the air.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

See? Lezzie.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

Some more cutting-edge social commentary: a woman cannot handle even a position with the local PTA without neglecting her own children, at least in Mark Schlereth's eyes.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

Laughter. Now wait a second. 2004 was a long time ago, per context. This is 2011, we can assume ...

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

... and the character in this show is the Mark Schlereth.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

Except that Mark Schlereth, offensive lineman, retired from the NFL in 2001, when he was 35 and not 45. The Broncos won their Super Bowls in 1998 and 1999. But the star of this show is Mark Schlereth, who played for the Broncos. Only, he's played by Rob Riggle. You figure out what's true and what's not.

Writes Deadline.com's Nellie Andreeva, excerpted on Schlereth's site:

With his background as a Marine where he was often deployed and his current profession as an actor where he goes away for filming and touring, Riggle immediately connected with the character in Home Game who is back with his family after years of playing with the pros.

You know Rob Riggle. He's in everything—Daily Show, SNL. Anyway, we'll assume it was some flack who drew this connection for Riggle, because: yeesh. Mark Schlereth had eight road games a season. He played for two teams in his career. Rob Riggle, a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve, served in Liberia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. Not quite apples-to-apples here. Maybe apples-to-mortars?

The sinister implication is this: This show is basically Major Dad all over again.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

Here's the token black football player buddy, who may be Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe, Rod Smith, or really anyone but Ed McCaffrey. Of course his name would be Byron Smalls.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

No one scored a 56-yard game-winning touchdown in either Broncos Super Bowl victory. This pilot has more alternate realities and unreliable narrators than Pale Fire.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

Yes, the "Hot Pot" is the black guy's jacuzzi.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

But what of high sitcom art, the jokes? That's why we have this running gag involving the Blankenships. Say it in your Turd Ferguson voice: "Yeah, that's right. Bill Blankenship. It's a funny name. Heh."

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

Edgy language in service of a great joke. Too bad Jack Handey's "Deep Thoughts" did it better 20 years ago.

We Have The Surprisingly Cock-Obsessed Pilot For Mark Schlereth's SitcomS

Aw, fuck it, the writers say. This is just gonna be According to Jim (with a Riggle where the Belushi is supposed to be).

But let's be generous and look at Schlereth's show another way: Befuddled and heretofore neglectful father shows his dick to his three hot daughters, indoctrinates them in the gay agenda, and lets them read the rape fantasies of a dirty old man. Tuesdays on CBS!