View Full Version : That Time Of The Year

11-27-2007, 05:55 PM
That Time Of The Year

Itís the season of giving and the season to give thanks. Itís the time of year that all children love and nearly everyone celebrates. When people give their time to give others hope, and others often find it in unexpected places. So what makes this the best time of the year? It certainly isnít the weather. Is it the turkey or the brightly lit trees? Is it the presents, family, good cheer, or selflessness that make this the time to thank your calendar and celebrate? While certainly these are all more than worthy reasons to bring in the end of the year with a smile, for the football fanatic itís marked by something distinctly different.

Itís that time of year when playoff berths are taking form. When games originally looked at early in the season with a mild glance of disinterest become the key game for each of our teams post season hopes. But perhaps the most important gift of all for those who focus their attention to football year in and year out is the widening number of days that NFL football can be found on your television. When the temple of NFL football is no longer narrowed to Sunday and Monday night, but expands until over 50% of your week is spent engrossed in the ever dwindling number of teams in playoff contention. When Thursday finally has a meaning besides being the day that comes before Friday, and Saturday gets a glimpse of the NFL gridiron Sunday so regularly enjoys. Welcome to what the NFL likes to call the run for the playoffs.

This time of the year has been recently marred by a single problem that many face, and thatís the fact that the NFL network has come into existence. Last year (2006) the NFL chose to create its own network. Carrying some of the top analysts, reporters, and past stars of the NFL it seemed to be a great idea, but it also would carry exclusive rights to Thursday night games during this magical time of the football season. While these Thursday night games are broadcast on local channels in the immediate area of the teams that play, it is a much smaller area then nationally broadcast channels tend to favor. For fans of teams who have sweeping fan base areas where you will find concentration of fans in several states over (such as the Broncos who have many fans in Wyoming, Montana, and Utah) they are forced to watch it on the NFL network or not at all. This wouldnít be a problem if the NFL network could be found almost anywhere, but unfortunately for a few not all cable or satellite companies carry it. In fact in 2006 some cable companies were banned by the NFL from carrying their station which makes it a frustrating affair for those fans whose teams find themselves in a Thursday night battle for post season rights.

However, for every negative there is a positive. Out of state fans have the opportunity to watch a nationally televised game they might otherwise miss. If many fans find it frustrating that one or two games a year on the NFLN become a problem for them to watch, for those outside of the teams center of fans itís a weekly affair. You have to find yourself in a sports bar, crash a friends house, or pay a hefty sum to DirectTV to watch your team play week in and week out. For these fans the NFLN is a blessing, not a curse.
The problem doesnít seem to be in the fact that the NFL is choosing to broadcast these games exclusively, but the fact that so many fans have problems acquiring the channel, so I will make a prediction. As the NFL channel continues to expand and finds itself a more regular character in basic cable lineups, much like the quieting of opposition to ESPN holding the rights to Monday night football, opposition to the NFL network having Thursday nights will similarly disappear.

Despite some of the troubles some have finding Thursday night games, this is the time of the season almost all fans have come to love. Teams chasing post season hopes are materializing and fading with more urgency every week. Football is there for us to find more days then not. Teams are no longer shrouded by uncertainty but are firmly taking their places in the standings as the weaknesses and strengths of each are prominent and visible. Every season the fans wait for this important time of year. This is when football is at its best. The season is in full swing and all of us are given a chance to witness as much of it as possible. Enjoy it while it lasts because the sunset isnít far off. Because no matter what your teams hopes for post season glory look like, when it all comes to an end your Sundays will be emptier and your eyes focused on your teams prospects the coming season during this same time next year.

Medford Bronco
11-27-2007, 06:05 PM
Great article BBL

Med is one of the blessed ones who has Directv
and will be watching possibly the game of the year when GB travels to Dallas.