Here's a hubbub that is sure to gain plenty of attention in the coming weeks: the NFL blackout policy. In short, it's turrible. A blackout happens if a team does not sell out a home game. It's hard imagining an NFL game not selling out these days considering Bieber fever is the only thing on par with the NFL's popularity. I mean, we are treated to Stu Scott and NFL live for what seems to be 3 hours a day, 365 days a year. Still, 22 games were blacked out last year. All 22 blackouts came from teams not making the playoffs. Even a Senator is trying to get things changed so he can see his Browns every Sunday. Right now, pretty much everyone expects that number to be much higher this year.
Here's a bunch of reasons why this is an easy assumption. 1) Season ticket sales declined for the 3rd straight year. 2) NFL Redzone. I do not have this gift from the heavens, but everyone who does swears that it's pretty much the greatest thing since Goldeneye 64. 3) Fantasy Football. It is next to impossible to have a conversation about the NFL with anyone without them going into detail about how "Shonn Greene screwed them so hard last week." It seems fans devotion is split 50/50 these days between their home team and their ironically named FF team. They'd rather pony up for NFL Redzone and watch all the games instead of dropping serious coin to sit next to the drunk in the leather vest at the stadium. 4) We are all ramen noodle poor. What sounds better to you: an $8.25 beer or 30 Natty Lights for roughly the same price? Ok, the $8.25 beer, but you are going for the Natty Light you sandbagging sonofabitch.
Sadly, yours truly is a hopeless fan of a team that regularly risks the threat of blackout. I guess these things happen when your team has won three out of their last 41 games. Also, after last week, I am pretty sure there are shenanigans afoot in this league. What's turrible is that whenever a game is blacked out...they do not show another game. Instead, you are treated to a three hour infomercial. As a writer for Awful Announcing, this makes things difficult. I can't enjoy my scheduled Lions/Seahawks game announced by Fox's F team, (usually Chris Myers) instead I get three hours of this.
One of the great traditions I've adopted on Sunday mornings is this frantic chase to find streams of my crummy team playing on the internet. Apparently the NFL frowns upon this practice because it seems to get more difficult each week. Zero of these websites seem to not be based in the third world. These sites usually are written in some spanglish/hieroglyphic hybrid that makes it next to impossible to decode. I swear if I ever needed a human organ on the hush, these illegal NFL streaming sites would be the first place I would check.
One of the first things you are taught about the internet is that you are not supposed to download programs or files from anyone you do not know. When my Lions are scheduled to play the Bills, logic goes out the window and I save everything to the hard drive. Sure the game is stuck "buffering" for 60% of the time and the sound doesn't even remotely come close to matching up with the video, but it's all worth it the second I see the warriors wearing the honolulu blue and silver on the field on my tiny computer screen. Take that, Goodell.