Sunday, January 19, 2014

You football fans know about this thing called television, right?

Today is the NFC and AFC Championship Games. I must say I’m very disappointed this year. Not by which teams are competing – both games feature a great match-up – but by the fact that neither game will be played in a blizzard or monsoon. What the fuck? In Seattle game time temperature should be around 50. That’s summer weather up there. Sure there may be rain, but who in Seattle will even notice?

And the situation in Denver is even worse. It may hit 60 degrees. Will there at least be heavy winds? No. Light winds are predicted. Why even bother to play in Denver in January?

Let’s face it – football is best played in hellish arctic conditions. The more important the game; the worse should be the weather. If ever there was an argument FOR Global Warning it would be the NFL Playoffs.

Yep, there’s nothing more fun than watching an ice bowl or snowstorm… on television. Sitting in your nice warm living room, beer and snacks at your fingertips, a fire roaring, the bathroom only feet away, and the game in high def on a giant flatscreen. The yellow line, replays, close ups, field reporters, coverage from every angle – that’s football.

What’s that you say? GOING to a game? Actually being a part of it? Being on hand to witness possible greatness?

Are you fucking nut?

It’s on TELEVISION.  You football fans know that, right?   You can see it free. From your house. In living color. Better and closer and… drier. It’s a beautiful thing, this television. You don’t get frostbite. You’re not stuck in massive traffic jams with 50,000 other people who have been drinking heavily for five hours. You don’t get pneumonia, you don’t get trench foot, you don’t get hypothermia. The worst you can say is that you’re subjected to promos for DADS, but otherwise television is a pretty spectacular option.

So I’ll be watching today, but it won’t be as much fun. Mother Nature can be really cruel when she wants to be.

21 comments:

Mike said...

the bathroom only feet away
That's something I've noticed in middle age. Particularly standing in cold weather. In the wise words of Abraham Simpson: "I used to be all piss & vinegar. But now I'm just all piss."

VP81955 said...

I'd rather watch a football game at the stadium than on television...but at this stage of my life, I'd rather hear the game on radio than do either. Pro football on TV has been distorted into a quarterback soap opera; for all intents and purposes, it's devolved into a glorified Punt, Pass and Kick contest. I'm sick and tired of seeing incessant QB reaction shots when they're not even involved in the damn play. People, particularly casual fans, have become incredibly ignorant of how football is really played, and I blame TV as the reason.

John said...

We do one NFL game per season, mainly for the tailgating experience, though being down in the lower half of the country, so far the tailgating experience hasn't included requiring a flapped tent with forced-air heater, so people will have a place to go to avoid frostbite after being out in the near-zero temps too much.

And as far as the Super Bowl goes, the first 10-day forecasts for the Meadowlands should be coming out the middle of this week. I really want the thing to be like that Detroit-Philly game back in December, but the NFL and the Meadowlands security people have put the kibbosh on tailgating -- only 13,000 parking spaces, no grills of any kind or even chairs on the parking lot pavement, and people can't even drop others off in the area without a parking pass.

They will let you arrive at the game on an official Super Bowl Party Bus from Manhattan, at a cost of $51 per person for the six-mile excursion (hey, someones gotta pay those Lincoln Tunnel tolls). The discount option is the $10.50 train ride from Penn Station, which doesn't even go directly to the stadium, requiring a change in the picturesque hamlet of Secaucus. Considering all the high-rollers who get the Super Bowl tickets, toss in a snowstorm or worse -- a sleet storm with 35 degree temperatures -- and there are probably going to be a lot of angry upper-income bracket fans two weeks from now.

Matt said...

Lets all hope for a blizzard during the Superbowl.

However, the teams are really concerned about the home experience. TVs are so good why would you go to the game. Which is good for the fans, the owners finally have to cater to us. Most stadiums now have WiFi so I can check my fantasy team. Sooner or later they will have to lower the price of beer a little bit.

DwWashburn said...

Well put, Ken. About the only professional sport I follow with regularity is baseball. I ONLY watch pro football if they are playing in snow. College sports? Don't get me started. Minor league baseball is no fun on TV and neither is minor league football and basketball, also known as college football and basketball.

Chris said...

Friday question: how come Everybody Loves Raymond only had one act break? (At least the first 3 seasons) I mean, I know Phil Rosenthal wanted to create a classic, back in the day family style sitcom, but why didn't CBS push for more ad space?

DyHrdMET said...

One thing to keep in mind. The NFL will blackout the game (that is to not show it on TV) in the home market if the game doesn't sell out. So for everyone in Denver watching on TV, they have those idiots at the stadium to thank for being able to watch in the warmth of their homes/bars.

Ken Levine said...

The NFL has lifted that ban.

David Whitham said...

Watching an NFL game in person is awful. With all of the TV time outs, I felt like I was in a TV studio, instead of a football stadium. This is one reason (out of hundreds) why baseball is a much better experience in person than football.

I agree with the the other posters who are hoping for a blizzard for the Super Bowl. It will serve the NFL right for they way they are handling the parking at the Meadowlands.

T. Howolochuk said...

Will you be at Dodger Stadium next week, Ken, watching friggin ice hockey with temps in the mid 70s? You'll have to wear your winter sun block.

Roger Owen Green said...

Yes, the return of the Polar Vortex may make the Super Bowl your kind of game, Ken.

Mike McCann said...

These the HD TVs (and annoying music, sound effects and flashing lights) make football a much nicer experience at home. But let me flash back to my one and only conference championship game: it was January 1987, and the Giants, who I've rooted for since I was 7 were hosting the Redskins for the NFC spot in the Super Bowl. I was covering it for the radio station where I then worked, while my wife and my pal Dennis were in our seats. With outcome sealed as the 4th Quarter rolled on, I headed toward the locker rooms to get post-game interviews. On my way down, I stopped on the main level just to soak in the atmosphere. The wind was as intense as it ever was in Giants Stadium history. Hot dog wrappers were flying everywhere, creating a unique kind of stadium "snow." And the place was rockin'! The Giants were moments away from closing out the conference championship. It had been a little over eight years since that plane flew over the stadium pulling the banner "15 Years of Lousy Football... We've Had Enough." Now, no more lousy, just delirium -- Phil Simms, Lawrence Taylor and coach Bill Parcells were on their way to Super Bowl XXI. My team had finally made it there (and would win it two weeks later). It was cold, it was windy. It was wonderful. That moment with the stadium buzzing and fans feeling rewarded, was perfect. It would be wonderful to see the Giants claim a title two weeks later. But being THERE at that moment was an experience you can't duplicate on TV.

D. McEwan said...

There's something on TV tonight other than Downton Abbey and Sherlock? Not at my house.

Dixon Steele said...

Mike McCann,

From one very longtime Giants fan to another, thank you for your post.

DJ said...

I saw a 14-day forecast for the New York area.

For Super Sunday, mostly sunny. High in the mid-40s, low in the 30s.

Cap'n Bob said...

I hope you're joking, Ken. Why would anyone want to see a football game in such extreme conditions? With the ground too icy or slippery the runners are handicapped. With rain or sleet the passers can't pass and the receivers can't catch. I want to see people who are the best at what they do be able to play unencumbered by a blizzard or typhoon.

BTW, GO SEAHAWKS!

W. Keith Sewell said...

Ken, you may just get your wish in two weeks! I'm not too proud to admit it. But I'd rather be in my Mancave at home - for all the reasons you stated above. Especially, the one about the can' being only 10 feet away. "How do you spell relief?"

W. Keith Sewell said...

No more bans, my friend. The ban has been lifted.

Unlike the BCS championship Game Which was not even shown on broadcast TV.. WOW!

W. Keith Sewell said...

Mike McCann - Hey Mike, yeah I wish I could've been at Soldier's Field the year before when the 85' Bears - shutout the Giants on their way to a Superbowl win. (alas..our only win). When that punter, "What was his name? wiffed :)

btw - I knew the G-Men would win the next year. They really were a 'pack of wild dogs" in '86. LT.

Anonymous said...

@Keith Sewell
It was Sean Landeta
And the Bears might have won in '86 had Ditka not been so stubborn and tried to win with essentially a rookie quarterback, especially a short rookie quarterback, in Flutie which had never been done before.
A decent quarterback and they win again.
He thought his coaching, and not that defense, was the reason they dominated in '85.

AAllen said...

Football fans watch games in stadiums for the same reason that fans go to Star Trek conventions when they could just watch the show at home. Sometimes you have to break away from the screen and get out into "real life," such as it is.