You’ve probably heard me say, "change is good ... until it happens." Well, as much as I’m joking when I say that, I’m also kind of serious. Change can be difficult; for instance, football. I know it’s not a super-worldy topic, but change is change and this past Sunday was kickoff weekend in the National Football League. But for the past few years they’ve stripped us of having a proper kickoff weekend because lately the NFL, in its infinite wisdom, thought it would be a grand idea to have a premature kickoff on Thursday! Honestly, it’s like keeping unwrapped presents under the Christmas tree then wrapping them on Christmas Eve and expecting everyone to be excited the morning that all that full-contact commercing you’ve been doing gets handed out. It’s a little anticlimactic when the bulk of the games get played on Sunday; that’s really all I’m saying. Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, they start with two Monday night football games.
I, for one, used to get pumped up for kickoff weekend. I’d roll a cooler full of adult-style beverages and food into my mancave and incessantly flip through the 423 games to choose from. Well, that’s not entirely true. I would focus for the most part on my New York Giants while pitying the New England Patriots fans. But keep in mind, back in those days the Pats weren’t the juggernaut they are now; they played in a stadium named after a beer you could strip furniture with and had a quarterback that if he got hit just right his head would fall off. So it was a good pity, not the pity that I have now for Pats fans when I think about the two Superbowls we shared together ... that’s a different pity all together.
Sports posturing aside and back to this whole change thing: I’m not sure what marketing idjit came up with the idea to start football on a Thursday night, but I liken it to a child getting an Easter basket with no candy, doing Passover dinner without brisket, or getting married without saying I do. It spoils everything! Sure, I can muddle through the Sunday, but I actually get up and go to the refrigerator now and grab an apple as opposed to chips, and water as opposed to some sudsy concoction that will ensure my team winning. It’s different, and I don’t like it!
Then they took what was the next best thing to an actual weekly holiday and forced us to choose and stay up so late that office productivity the next day was shot. Two Monday Night games; one was enough and it didn’t matter if it was the Cleveland Browns versus the Seattle Seahawks -- it was your only choice and you watched it. I’m sure the same idjit came up with this, too. I can’t even begin to imagine that meeting ... a room full of programming flunkies making dumb decisions and the opening statement of the meeting is, "OK, so this has been working extremely well since the ‘60s and it is by no means broken ... so how can we fix it?" And with that meeting they took all that was well in the world and ruined it.
I’m sure that over time, I will settle into the idea of the football season starting on Thursday and having two games on Monday night, but it’ll take a while because when they started blacking out games that had regional interest to garner more ad bucks ... well that’s one decision I still haven’t gotten over yet.
My favorite thing was to flip through the three NBC affiliates along with the three CBS and three ABC affiliates and literally watch almost all the games that were being played. Now all I have is FOX and NBC and the occasional CBS game, but let’s not forget the one game that you can’t watch unless you pay extra for on the NFL Network. Who can keep track of all of this. What the Hell is up with that?