The 2007 Patriots are the best team ever. They completed their undefeated season last Saturday proving once and for all that they, and by extension me, and everyone I know who roots for them are the best football team/people in history. Some people who aren't so awesome are the NFL Network, who decided that it would be really cool if tried to alienate a humongous fraction of their fan base by barring most of the country from watching games such as that one. The NFL has been the insufferable national pastime for the last decade, I guess they are hoping to fade into irrelevance by putting their broadcasts behind a paywall. This weekly "Thursday game on NFL Network" thing is a slippery slope to a world where the only football on weekend TV is the local team, and you have nothing to talk about with your friends because you don't care or make enough money to buy the $400 football channel that all the other games are on. In any case, I consider it the travesty of the past month or so that it was not going to be possible to watch the New England Patriot's bid to go unbeaten for the 2nd time in NFL history everywhere in NEW ENGLAND. Only Boston would have been allowed to see the game, the "secondary" markets of Providence, and whatever those other parts of the region are (Maine or something) were in blackout, unless they picked up the tab for this retarded channel that shows 24/7 coverage of a sport that is played roughly once a week for less than half the year. Not to mention the Giants fans living in Albany, or wherever else they live (hanging upside-down in caves?).
At the last minute the network, facing a whirlwind of bad publicity, decided to allow it to be shown on NBC and CBS and the WB or something and people everywhere stepped back off their ledges. Nonetheless, this whole debacle is a harrowing vision of things to come, and we surely haven't heard the last of these money-grubbing bastards. They only relented after a massive angry blowback (including petitions by people as august as RI's Congressional delegation), but they're probably just planning on weathering those for the next few years until we get used to this odious network and accept its existence.
So in summary, the following people deserve to be strapped to a chair and forced to watch Greg Gumble and Chris Collinsworth discuss the St. Louis Rams for the entire month of April:
- The greedy NFL execs, who have already recouped every expense and made millions a month before the opening day kickoff, for deciding that anyone living outside a team's primary metropolitan area should have to pay them money to watch a game, when advertising has always been more than enough in the past.
- Anyone who blamed cable providers for not carrying the NFL Network in the first place, instead of the NFL itself for making this idiotic decision.
- Anyone who thought it was somehow generous of the NFL to relent and air a game they never should have taken off fan's TV's in the first place.
- The people who made those manipulative commercials aired during the game attempting to capitalize on the league's PR blunder by making the point that cable has all sorts of stupid channels anyway, what is one more that you force people to pay for in addition to those?
- Greg Gumble and Chris Collinsworth.