Editorial: NFL rules rain down on big game in churches
Old Scrooge has arrived early in 2007, only this time he's made an appearance as the National Football League television police. Many churches across Minnesota and elsewhere in the U.S. had hoped to have a good crowd Sunday night for the Super Bowl.
Old Scrooge has arrived early in 2007, only this time he's made an appearance as the National Football League television police.
Many churches across Minnesota and elsewhere in the U.S. had hoped to have a good crowd Sunday night for the Super Bowl. Organizers were looking for good fellowship and football.
Instead, organizers ran into the NFL television police that sound more like a cousin of Scrooge.
You see the NFL has always been a good marketer and has a few rules. The premier sports league in America restricts the showing of the game to screens not larger than 55 inches and allows only one television per audience.
The NFL does not exempt churches from these regulations. However, the NFL does exempt drinking establishments as long as they do not charge admission and they don't have an event "to promote a message."
The difference is quite clear according to the NFL. The league waives the rule for bars because it is their daily business to televise sporting events.
Churches from Woodbury to Indianapolis and beyond all sought to gather their flocks to watch the game on their big screens. But NFL rules prohibit the practice because they don't qualify for the bar waiver.
This just doesn't pass the commonsense test. The NFL just restricted the growing sector of churches with television viewing capabilities, banishing the viewers to their home or the local bar.
Most churches just cancelled their Superbowl parties. Others brought in 55-inch or smaller televisions and changed their event name to anything but the noun "Superbowl."
The NFL's position here is just plain stupid. It will be interesting to see how those NFL marketing geniuses spin this one.