The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

January 4, 2014

NFL blackmails fans with threats of playoff blackouts

(Continued)

“I think that’s outrageous,” McCain said during a Senate hearing last spring. “Now, if that stadium is not taxpayer financed, then that owner can do anything they want to. But if the taxpayers paid for them, by God, I think taxpayers ought to be able to see the game whether they sell out the stadium or not.”

McCain’s bid to end blackouts in places with publicly funded stadiums hasn’t gotten far in the legislative maze, but how many bills have on Capitol Hill?

What’s significant is that the rule is getting prominent scrutiny.

Even last month, the Federal Communications Commission proposed doing away with blackouts in all pro sports.

“There is evidence that after nearly 40 years, the Sports Blackout Rule has outlived its relevance and utility,” said FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn in a statement.

What’s amusing in this replay of the blackout scenario is how the NFL caters to large corporate interests, then puts the pressure on blue collar fans to save the day.

This week the Colts were frantically trying to sell a remaining 4,500 tickets for today’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, with prices starting at $56. The Bengals listed about 8,000 tickets for sale earlier in the week, with face values of about $100 apiece, for the matchup with the San Diego Chargers.

The situation was about the same in Green Bay, where the Packers had yet to sell 7,500 tickets, with prices for most of those falling between $100 and $125.

Given the weather expected across the Midwest, it’s not surprising that some fans prefer to stay home.

In fact, it’s the quality of today’s high-definition televisions that leads some fans to argue that the best seats for the games are in their living rooms.

Nevertheless, the idea of the NFL not televising a game in a local market is unconscionable. It hasn’t happened since 2002 and would be a black eye for a league so eager to protect its reputation as America’s favorite sport.

Tom Lindley is a CNHI sports columnist.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Scott Levine mug LEVINE: Hope is back at Roosevelt building

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holly Youngquist Friends of the Library book sale is underway

    Friends of the Library Book Sale is open now. The sale is open to all until 8 p.m. today and on Friday, Aug. 1, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Finally, Saturday, Aug. 2, is box day. From 9 a.m. to  3 p.m., books will sell at $3 per box.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cremation service helped pet owner in her time of need

    I wanted to share some positive news about a business located in Clinton that I’m guessing most residents aren’t aware even exists. It’s Northridge Pet Cremation on Main Avenue and for me they were recently a godsend.

    July 31, 2014

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A Cappella choir concert was a success

    The CHS A Cappella reunion was great. It was real great to hear so many good voices of so many former choir members.

    July 31, 2014

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Time to boost social security

    It's time for Congress to act so that Social Security benefits can finally start to keep pace with the cost of living.

    July 31, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Off and on the record Let us now praise anonymous sources.The new White House press secretary got into a familiar old spat with the White House press corps the other day over the use of anonymous sources.Josh Earnest — has there ever been a more perfectly named White Hous

    July 25, 2014

  • Be more informed

    Blame the city.That is a favorite pastime of many, including me at times. Driving over that pesky pothole or paying that annual property tax bill can lead to some choice words referencing the city. Nobody takes the brunt of being the scapegoat more t

    July 25, 2014

  • CCC thanks community, collaborators for successful movie night Clinton Community College would like to thank those who participated in the free outdoor movie showing of “Captain America – Winter Soldier” on the evening of Friday, July 18.We are grateful to have such wonderful community collaborators in the Erick

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook