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An Open Letter to the NFL

December 21, 2009

Dear NFL,

Just wanted to let you know that ever since I checked tvguide.com last Monday and saw that the Packers/Steelers game would be televised right here in Rochester, I have been anxiously anticipating today’s arrival. I planned my entire weekend around having this afternoon’s 4:15pm – 7:30pm time slot free from activity or interruption. Turns out I could have planned some extra Christmas shopping, or a coffee date with a friend, or even a full-fledged circus, because you chose to air the EAGLES/NINERS game instead (and an entire Sunday of meaningless games, by the way. The circus really could have been an option.)

This, more than being cause for fury, is a quandary. Even if the Eagles game was remotely competitive (which, in fact, it was not), wouldn’t it be more prudent to show the Steelers game in this area anyways since we are closer to Pittsburgh than we are to Philadelphia? Yes, yes it would. Additionally, it is not my fault that a blizzard hit the mid-Atlantic and the Philadelphians needed a few extra hours to shovel. Pre-arranged football schedules, like time, should wait for no man. And yet you allowed time to wait for the snow to be cleared in eastern PA. Those old adages are around for a reason, you know.

I’d also like to thank you for airing the final minute of the aforementioned snow-laden game so that I could bear witness to the action-packed sequence where Donovan McNabb takes a knee, the commentators thank everyone who has ever worked for FOX, and time expires. Be still my heart. It was also great of you to air a commercial after that and then to cut back to the Eagles celebration before finally deciding to show the final three minutes of a game you had promised to show in it’s entirety.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I got to see the final three minutes. Although they were agonizing and did not result in a favorable outcome, they were the type of final minutes that make football the blessed event that it is. My apartment morphed into an impassioned war-zone. In my defense, I’d like to say that my screams of frustration were partially due to the circumstances of the game and partially because I was only viewing the fleeting fourth quarter. Although I’m sure that neither excuse would appease my neighbors and their dinner guests, as I can only imagine that my enraged outcries were not the background noise they were hoping for.

In conclusion: a plea for better decision making. Just as it was a puzzling decision for Mike Tomlin to opt for an on-side kick early in the fourth quarter of a game in which he was winning, it was equally puzzling for you to opt for a lame game over a game that was basically the definition of all that is beloved about professional football.

Next time you are presented with a similar situation remember me and my tale of woe, and choose wisely.

Sincerely,

A Disgruntled Cheesehead

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