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Reason #1 to hate the NFL exhibition season: Tape delayed broadcasts


The Lions take on the New York Giants 7pm Thursday night a Ford Field in their preseason exhibition opener. I know it’s only an exhibition, but it’s the first we’ve seen of the Lions on the field since January. I’m actually looking forward to seeing the “new”  Lions. I was planning on doing something on SLR that night, be it a live blog or a continually updated post with my running commentary. (which was my style of choice last year on TWFE)

Unfortunately, thanks to the NFL and their draconian broadcast policies, the local carrier for Lions exhibition season in Detroit, WWJ-TV, channel 62, as per NFL policy, is covering the game on a tape delay basis, starting at 9 PM.

Come on, it’s 2008, not 1958…Though I’m sure there are more than a few old, white, curmudgeon NFL owners who wish it still were 1958.

I realize the NFL’s backward thinking ways requires no local game came be broadcast live unless it is a sellout.  In their cloistered world, NFL owners still believe blackouts and tape delayed broadcasts will force fans to to attend the games in person.

There is not a bigger waste of cash on this planet than paying prices set by the robberbaron NFL owners to attend an exhibition. I don’t care how good a team may end up being during the regular season, in the bmonth of August you are going to be subjected to sub-par football being played by never-gonna-be’s who have no chance in Hell of making the opening day roster.

Considering the often ugly and mistake filled nature of exhibition football, wouldn’t the NFL be better off throwing their fans a bone, and televising those games live to the home city? Talk about being penny wise and pound foolish. They would rather wring every last penny out of what will be half empty stadiums than build up a little goodwill by allwoing the home team fans to watch in real time.

Blackouts and tape delays are a moronic policy. If such backward policies really worked, the NBA, NHL and MLB would never have sellouts, and I wouldn’t be able to watch every single game, both home and away, of the Tigers, Red Wings, and Pistons.

I’m going to clue the NFL owners in. You know what will make fans attend games?


Really, that’s all. It won’t make a whit of difference if the games are televised, people will turn out in droves to watch a good team.

I have a feeling this is the start of an issue we local Lions fans are going to have to deal with all season.  Ford Field has had sellouts every year of it’s existence. Thanks to fans feeling burned after Detroit’s 1-7 finish in 2007, that sellout streak is going to end in 2008. So will the Sunday Lions broadcasts in Detroit.

If the streak ends, it’s going to make following and blogging about the Lions a God damn nightmare.

It starts Thursday, where I’ll have to make a choice. Either listen to the radio broadcast and follow live, taking all the fun out of a live blog, or go into a media blackout till 9 PM, which is a pain in the ass.

Thank you soooo much, NFL.