Feb 1, 2007

the dumbest thing the NFL has ever done

This is worse than a salary cap, NFL Europe, or Mick Jagger in tight leather pants, collecting Social Security while rockin' for the oldies at halftime.

The NFL doesn't want you to watch the Super Bowl home on the big screen, at church on the big screen, or even at church with a five-inch black-and-white TV with rabbit ears. And they sure as hell don't want you to use it to witness to confused secularites who came for the cheap nachos.

The NFL, apparently, hates every Super Bowl tradition worth having.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league's longstanding policy is to ban "mass out-of-home viewing" of the Super Bowl. A major exception to the rule is made, however, for sports bars and other businesses that show televised sports as a part of their everyday operations.

"We have contracts with our (TV) networks to provide free over-the-air television for people at home," Aiello said. "The network economics are based on television ratings and at-home viewing. Out-of-home viewing is not measured by Nielsen."
Well, guess what? Out-of-home viewing is about the only viewing going on Super Bowl Sunday, which happens to be the NFL's (if not television's) biggest day of the year. Why, when advertisers are paying more per second of screen time than Donald Trump pays for hairspray, why, why, why would they want to go and piss off their absurdly loyal viewers? Especially when even more people are going to watch those commercials just because their friends have dragged them there? Do that many people have Nielsen boxes in their homes?

The restriction on televisions larger than 55 inches is stupider still. This is America, dammit, and we like our televisions jumbo-sized. We also like to sit too close and hoot and holler and eat salt and fat by the bagfull and ignore the dog who really has to pee and is scratching at the door and whining but this is fourth and goal.

Screw you, NFL. I'm not going to boycott. Oh, no: I've already got plans to watch The Super Bowl with my dad and some neighbors and friends. We're gonna put it on a projector and blow it up to Jumbotron size. We're gonna play it on the side of the only two-story building in Elma, and invite everybody to come and enjoy the show. We're going to change the channel every time a commercial comes on and watch figure skating until the copyright police drag us away in handcuffs, just to prove a point. That point will be lost in the hubbub, and the cuffs will probably dig into our wrists, and it's no fun to stew in copyright prison, but it'll be worth it, NFL, just to know that we won't be bullied by your stupidity.

[link via Jeff Taylor]

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