In Honor of TMC, a Little NFL Bashing

In the great, advanced nation that is Florida, it only took 4 weeks for DIRECTV to manage to send a 400-pound wheezing, 60-year-old guy out to my house and install the new dish.

Why DIRECTV, you ask? That's the question I've been asking myself, since on demand digital cable is about two-thirds the cost, DISH network is about half, and they carry about 900 percent of the same crap (sidebar: I would now like to officially slap the shit out of any of the bearded men who host home improvement or home decorating shows. You have no taste. You wear plaid shirts. You stop in the middle of the one interesting thing that you've done on the show in six weeks to pimp Bella Hardwood Floors--which suck, incidentally--or Craftsman Tools--which requires that you visit America's retailer most in need of life support, Sears.)

ANYWAY, the only reason to order DIRECTV is NFL SUNDAY TICKET. That's right, the overpriced (269.99 this year) package that enables you, if you are so inclined, to order 100 Daytona Hot Wings from the local wing shack and settle in with your boys to watch such thrillers as the Houston Texans being made into the prison bitch of the Cincinnati Bengals, or this week's thriller Tennessee at Arizona.

For the low, low price of 70 bucks a month, I get approximately 4 hours of entertainment a week.

But the price isn't the issue. The issue is why our major sports leagues are so behind the eightball when it comes to technology. Why, for example, when there are 80,000 fans in the stands and half of them have 4 inch digital televisions, does the referee at an NFL game have to go stick his head in something that looks like Darth Vader's microwave. And why do they put it near the sidelines, in easy range of the beerchucking fools in Section 121 (only a problem at the Linc and the Meadowlands).

But mainly, the question is (if any of you know Joe Browne, NFL's communications guru, tell him I double-dog dare him to answer this question without a fucking press release): why can't we buy single games on a pay-per-view basis? College football manages this. I've even been able to buy a freaking William and Mary game on PPV (god help me, but I'm still a fan) but if I want to watch the Redskins I have to face either a) extortion, or b) getting hammered at the Sports Column, 12 S. Dubuque Street, Iowa City, IA.

I bought the thing, so I can swear at Joe Gibbs and the rest of the Redskins. But I'm not happy about it.

Oh, the best part of the installation was when the guy asked me if I could go up the ladder and check on his wiring.


TMC said...

At least this year, the Skins are respectable, which has to make the cost a lot easier to swallow than in previous year's.

No doubt, though, DirecTV is a huge ripoff; extortion is the right word for it.

Mike said...

I actually prefer DirecTV to cable, but it is weird that the NFL is allowed to have an exclusive contract with one company to carry its out-of-market games. I'm sure cable isn't happy about that one, either.

aaron said...

Gregg Easterbrook of Tuesday Morning Quarterback on NFL.com harps on this constantly; for example, NFL Sunday Ticket is a basic cable option in Canada.

In the DC area, however, unless there's a deal, digital cable costs more than DirecTV, at least $15 more a month.

The kicker is the high-speed internet. Verizon is unreliable and you only get a price break from Comcast if you alreay have cable...either way, you're spending at least $125 a month for both.

TMC said...

Kinda on a tangent now but:

Even though the TMQ column can get damned repetitive ("stop me before I blitz again!"), I think it's one of the most entertaining football columns out there.

TMC said...

More fuel to the fire: only people in KC and Miami were able to watch the rescheduled Chiefs-Dolphins game tonight (Nope, not even people who shelled out the cash for the NFL package on DirecTV), despite the fact that pro football on a friday would have been awesome.