Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Separation of Church and... Football???

I always knew the NFL were hardasses about protecting their "intellectual property", but... This is ridiculous.

From the LA Times:

Churches routinely draw hundreds of fans to annual Super Bowl parties; some denominations openly use the events as tools for evangelism. The Christian magazine Sports Spectrum even markets a Super Bowl party kit for churches. This year, however, a celebration sponsored by Falls Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis caught the attention of a National Football League attorney, Rachel L. Margolies.

She ordered the church to cancel its party and remove the trademarked Super Bowl name from its website. The Indianapolis Star picked up the story Thursday — and by Friday, pastors across Indiana and beyond were scrambling to yank down their Super Bowl banners and give away their trays of burgers.

The churches are apparently in violation of a copyright law designed to keep large gatherings from affecting the Nielsen ratings of NFL games. The law states that any public place (Sports bars are exempted) exhibiting an NFL game must show it on no more than one TV, and the TV must be "living room size", defined as no more than 55 inches.

In recent attempts to enforce this law, the NFL has actually sent TV Nazis investigators out to troll casino floors in Vegas, Detroit, and Biloxi, MS to make sure the TVs weren't too big.

Ironically, one of the churches that has been forced to cancel its Super Bowl party is Northside New Era Missionary Baptist Church (Try saying all that in one breath) in Indianapolis--- The church of Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy.

Is the NFL having such a hard time financially that overbearing enforcement of this law is something that actually makes sense?

Washington Monthly gets it right--- Democrats oppose the idea of corporations getting to write their own laws. Republicans claim to oppose government intrusion. An overhaul of this law might well be a good opportunity for them to team up and score some points with all of their constituents.


Brassmask said...

What the GOP opposes is anyone getting anything for FREE while the Dems see no harm in somebody watching tv in large groups.

Personally, I like that sports bars are exempt but churches aren't.

Sports bars aren't really using the game to do anything but sell more hot wings.

Churches want to use the game to literally steal your soul.

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