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Chan Lowe: The insult of NFL blackouts


I’ll admit to knowing nothing about the business of sports, but it strikes me that there is something fundamentally wrong with a business plan that requires a stadium to sell out for a professional game before local fans of that team are allowed to watch a game on TV.

If the owners have to resort to that kind of strong-arm tactic, then maybe they’re peddling something defective. Who wants to sit out in the elements freezing, or broiling, or getting rained on in seats that are so far away from the action that the players look like little dots on a mat, when high-def television allows the typical NFL aficionado to visually undress a cheerleader as if he were within smacking distance of her pompons?

Or maybe it’s just that the tickets and ancillary refreshments are too expensive to be worth leaving the security and comfort of one’s lounge chair for.

Since so much revenue is to be made from TV, anyway, why don’t they just scrap the crowds altogether, and have the teams play in a large white room over which a virtual stadium has been digitally superimposed, with a roaring sound track running in the background? Think of the money that will be saved by property-tax payers who won’t get shaken down by owners to finance new sports palaces.

It makes sense to me, but then I’m the kind of person who watches a PBS documentary during the Super Bowl.

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Heck, why bother with real players and a white room? Just have the players play themselves using the Madden Football video game, make the whole thing virtual :-).

Think how much that would cut down on injuries!

I don't know,or care, about sports...But I'm very unhappy over the NFL blackout if a game isn't sold out...
When a game is on, I have the computer all to myself...I'll even make a big bowl of popcorn & serve hubby a beer.-with pom-pom's ready at half-time..
Let The Games Begin...

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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