NFL Lawyers Fumble the Ball on Super Bowl

I just watched a report on TV about the NFL contacting churches who host big Super Bowl watching parties and telling them they are illegal. Apparently it’s OK under the law for bars (selling booze, of course) to host Super Bowl parties but not houses of worship. The National Football League claims they are violating copyright laws when they open their doors and charge admission.An NFL league spokesman was quoted as saying the TV networks are concerned about large audiences skewing their Nielson ratings. So what he is saying is if they don’t charge, then it’s OK to skew the ratings?

So what if they charge a few bucks? Churches have to heat their buildings, pay for the electric bill and the water that flushes the toilets, the paper plates and cups and the food that is served. The “admission” is really a donation to the church because all of these people could stay home and watch the game for free. They are paying for the party. If the churches had used the phrase “suggested donation,” would the NFL have ignored them?

Marketing research – like the Nielson ratings – is not an exact science. People can – and do – lie all the time. For example, I recently participated in a focus group discussion. Now I knew enough when the company called not to admit to ever having worked in advertising, marketing, etc. Besides checking my name and age on my driver’s license when I showed up, they had no way to track if I had actually purchased similar products during the past year or told any other lies about my income, family members, etc.

As we sat around the room, one of the women said she worked for one of the other types of companies that should have rejected her from the study…but she still got her $100 participation fee at the end. Since there were only four of us, the marketing people probably wanted to just get this over with. And I swear the other two ladies were plants…they were friends, and my gut feeling about the way the one lady talked… and talked…and talked….she had participated in lots of focus groups(another disqualification) and/or was somebody’s mother or aunt. She really over-acted and kept interrupting me and finishing my thoughts. (Heck, maybe her family paid her to go.)

Back to the game….how does Nielson account for folks who aren’t watching any of the game…or the commercials…but just hanging out at the buffet table? If someone is yakking on the phone while the TV plays in the other room, is that person subtracted from the stats? I assume they still use a certain amount of diaries filled in my hand…how are mistakes detected there?

In the spirit of family values, freedom of religion, and the separation of church and state …the NFL should butt out if the members of a church want to worship at the foot of a big screen on Super Bowl Sunday. After all, Sunday is supposed to be a day of worship according to the conservatives running our country.

In preparation for Super Tuesday (woops….is that a violation on the copyright for Super Bowl?)…. I hope Obama, Hillary, The Formerly Rev. Huckabee, and all of the other Presidential candidates watch the game from a church hall. That way they can shake more hands… and skew some more statistics.

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One Response to “NFL Lawyers Fumble the Ball on Super Bowl”

  1. 9nine9

    Wow … that’s even dumber than my biggest NFL/Super Bowl pet peeve: Ads for products not affiliated with the NFL not being allowed to use the term “Super Bowl.” Super Bowl is about as generic and accepted a term in America as you can get. Hearing a commercial for an HDTV to watch the “big game” drives me insane. And I’m not religious at all, but picking on houses of worship is bad kharma!

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