Mt. Vernon Register-News

Z_CNHI News Service

January 2, 2014

NFL blackmails fans with threats of playoff blackouts

The National Football League has proven it is good at blocking and tackling. Once again it shows that it’s not bad when it comes to blackmail, either.

That's been clear in recent days with news that three of this weekend's playoff games may not be televised in their local markets if all the tickets aren't sold. Hence, fans in Green Bay, Indianapolis and Cincinnati must pay up or miss out.

It's the ultimate threat – and punishment – for fans who support their teams throughout the season then get gouged when games mean the most and rewards are the highest.

Never mind that the majority of tickets have been sold, and the mammoth stadiums will be near capacity. The NFL's local TV blackout rule is about the game's image and the opportunity to wiggle every dollar from a fan’s wallet.

In Green Bay and Cincinnati, the teams should offer ticket buyers perks to attend this weekend's games. At Lambeau Field, the temperature is expected to hover around zero for Sunday afternoon's game between the Packers and the San Francisco 49ers.

Though it will be warmer in Cincinnati on Sunday, Paul Brown Stadium, which sits along the chilly Ohio River, is still expected to get the coldest temperatures of the year and perhaps a snowstorm.

Granted, playing conditions inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday will be balmy by comparison.

But finding entertainment dollars in the family budget only days after another expensive Christmas and a night out on New Year’s Eve might test the skills of an accountant anywhere.

There’s nothing new about the NFL's annual guilt trip. It's just another league tradition.

The blackout rule was instituted in 1973 and has become the bane of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who has called the practice archaic and poor policy. That's especially true, he says, in markets where teams have used public financing to build stadiums.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Grandstands feel a little empty at NASCAR races

    Two decades after NASCAR started running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the crowds have thinned considerably. It's probably no reflection on the sport's massive following, which stretches from coast to coast, but it surely doesn't NASCAR's image help when the cameras pan across all of those empty seats.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • Rodden, Danny.jpg Sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute

    The sheriff of Clark County, Ind., faces an eight-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying about paying a prostitute for a sex act and giving her a badge so that she could claim a discount rate at a hotel.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 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 28, 2014 3 Photos

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks