Thursday, November 29, 2007

I guess I am missing the 28th amendment

So the Dallas Cowboys take on the Green Bay Packers at Texas Stadium. The biggest game in the NFC according to the talking heads on Sportscenter. A game with home field advantage in the playoffs going to the victor. Most likely that is.

A game that will be seen across the country only if you have a satellite dish. A game that supposedly most people in the states of Texas and Wisconsin won't be able to see because their cable providers do not offer the NFL network.

And everyone has their panties in a bunch.

Sure I will be at the bar tonight, surrounded by friends wearing green and gold. I will have on my Roy Williams jersey (he needs all the support he can get and my Tony Romo jersey has been a jinx for big games) and rooting on America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys. So all of the hullabaloo around people not being able to see their team play tonight doesn't affect me. Oh yeah I said it. Hullabaloo.

The debate rages on who the real enemies are. Is it the NFL or is it the cable companies? I say it is neither. It is the fans who expect something for free.

This comment in the Journal yesterday got me fired up:
"Both the cable companies and the NFL are making ridiculous profits, and this is
nothing more than extortion from Packers fans," said Doyle's spokesman Matt

No, it isn't that the governor of Wisconsin is pandering to the people again. It is the ignorance behind the comment. Extortion? Hardly. Watching a football game is not do or die. The last time I checked, we as citizens of the United States of America are not guaranteed to watch every football game we want to see. Ridiculous profits? There is nothing that says a company must give their product away for free because everyone wants it. Should McDonalds be forced to give away Big Macs because I like them and want one? Should BP give everyone free gas? Think about it. These companies are in it to make money. They are designated as not for profit.

Furthermore, the cable companies are public companies. Their goal is to maximize their profit for their shareholders. If they can strike a deal with the NFL to offer the network at a reasonable price to customer that will earn them a profit, they will. It is that simple.

Also, Mr. Canter should realize that he is also saying that the Green Bay Packers themselves are extorting their fans. They are part of the NFL and thus agreed to the NFL network and the games that will be broadcast on it. It could be argued that team may not be around if it wasn't for the NFL and the revenue sharing agreements.

If you cannot get the game on TV, listen to it on the radio. You will hear people calling the game better than the TV announcers, Bryant Gumbel and Deion Sanders. Ok, it might be fun to pick on Deion with his stupid comments but I am sure Cowboys fans would rather hear Brad Sham and Packers fans would rather hear Wayne Larivee. The rest of the country can probably catch the game on Westwood One with guys who have been calling games for years.

One of the other things I find interesting is the claim that most people in Texas or Wisconsin won't be able to see the game. If you look at the states, you wide rural areas. These are the areas that most likely are not serviced by cable but by satellite. Someone wants to say the people of Eagle River may not be able to watch the game because they are not getting it on local TV but they do not figure out how many of these people may already have DirectTV. I would bet that number is larger than you think.

The answer to the issue is quite simple. The game should be on pay per view. If people are willing to fork over $19.95 to watch the game, let them. This model works for boxing, MMA, and pro wrestling. No one complains that their biggest events are not shown for free yet they have shows on TV all the time that make you want to buy the big events.

Anyways, it doesn't matter to me. I look forward to a good game tonight. I am confident my Cowboys are the better team and will win. The Packers are good. It wouldn't shock me if they have a small lead at halftime. But the Cowboys play better second half football. That is where they pull away.

Enjoy the game if you can watch it. If not, turn on a radio. But don't complain about not being able to see the game.

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