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'Tebowing' Alec Baldwin hosts NFL Honors; gets big laughs, but steers clear of politics
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) ' Trying to do his best "Tebowing," Alec Baldwin got a bit of help on stage.
The host of "NFL Honors" on NBC was kneeling down when Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow stepped up and showed Baldwin how it's really done.
"Bless you, Tim," Baldwin responded.
That capped a nearly 10-minute monologue Saturday night on the eve of the Super Bowl as The Associated Press awards for the 2011 season were announced.
Baldwin started by walking into the glittery crowd, handing a football to Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers and asking the AP NFL Most Valuable Player to sign it.
The "30 Rock" star then tossed around the jokes, taking equal shots at the NFL, Madonna and the Kardashians, mostly to big laughs from the likes of Joe Namath, Rex Ryan and Cam Newton. All the while, Baldwin clutched his prized souvenir.
The evening's first presenter, Katy Perry, kept in the spirit.
"Hi Tim, my parents said hi," Perry told Tebow. Both of the 27-year-old singer's parents are pastors ' Tebow was raised by missionary parents.
Early in his monologue, Baldwin pretended he saw Madonna ' who's performing at halftime of the game between the New England Patriots and New York Giants in the audience. He pointed out it was instead Packers linebacker Clay Matthews.
"I was confused by the hair and biceps," he said to a roomful of laughs. Matthews, for the moment, didn't look too amused.
Baldwin jabbed a famous reality show family, too. Mentioning the power and popularity of the NFL, "It would take 800 years for the Kardashians to date and destroy all of them."
But Baldwin did not spare the NFL.
He told the audience New England coach Bill Belichick was tucking in his Patriots and telling them that Giants coach Tom Coughlin was not hiding in their closet.
He joked about the NFL lockout, saying fans would've had to resort to watching Canadian football with teams with silly names such as the Argonauts.
And he compared Philadelphia quarterback Vince Young's preseason comments of being on a dream team with a bad dream ' the nightmare of being naked in school. The Eagles lost four of their first five games.
After the award for the AP Defensive Rookie of the year, Baldwin sat next to former NFL star Archie Manning and asked him: "Peyton or Eli?"
Rather than choose between his quarterback sons, Manning offered a quick retort.
"Let me ask the question: Alec or Billy?" Manning said.
Conveniently, the younger Baldwin brother was sitting right in front of Alec.
As for the postgame altercation between coaches Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers and Jim Schwartz of the Lions, "I haven't seen a handshake that awkward since Nixon met Elvis."
Before the show, players were eager to hear Baldwin's take on the NFL.
"He'll say anything but he's always funny," Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew said.
The evening's presenters included television host Jimmy Fallon, "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm and "Entourage" actress Emmanuelle Chriqui.
John Carucci covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow him at http://www.twitter.com/jcarucci_ap.