NFL vs. Jesus Christ
And Jesus didn't cover. Redeemer? Not this week.
An Indianapolis church has run afoul of the NFL's bone-crushing lawyers. The league has shut down Fall Creek Baptist Church's planned Super Bowl party primarily because, it seems, the church was going to attract too many "out-of-home" eyeballs.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello explains that the NFL's deal with TV networks depends on Nielsen being able to measure at-home viewers. Too many out-of-home viewers means the nets get bad numbers, ad rates fall, checks bounce, and End Times are upon us. This is why the church's planned use of an on-wall projector—a low-cost way to present a 100-inch or more "screen" to large groups—is Original Sin for the NFL.
In fact, the NFL maintains it is illegal for anyone to display the game on a screen larger than 55 inches. This means, for one, there are many thousands of copyright violators out there in America's recently updated home theaters. League spokesman Aiello says the NFL does make an exception for sports bars and other venues which routinely show televised sports, but as for the ad hoc viewing party—woe unto you.
Church pastor John Newland makes an interesting point about how the NFL's stance skews America's Super Bowl experience, the Indy Star:
"It just frustrates me that most of the places where crowds are going to gather to watch this game are going to be places that are filled with alcohol and other things that are inappropriate for children," Newland said. "We tried to provide an alternative to that and were shut down."
Even those of us who think sundering the holy link between alcohol and the Super Bowl is blasphemy can see that the NFL is not on a righteous path here. Anything that makes the Super Bowl more of an event accrues to the NFL. A few dozen churchy Colts fans cannot possibly dent the massive appeal and massive profits of America's secular winter festival.
They know not what they do.