I'm thrilled the NFL decided to put tonight's Patriots-Giants game out as a simulcast, so it is available to every football fan, and not just those of us who have DirecTV. There are two reasons for this, in my book.
First of all, I'm thrilled because it's the right thing to do. One of the great things about the NFL is that it's so accessible. Can't get tickets to your local team? Well, the game will be on free TV. No other league is like that. (Most every game in every other sport is on cable, a few markets notwithstanding.) (Second parenthetical note - if you can get tickets to your local team...if it's not a sellout, it isn't on your local channel - it's blacked out. I think that's fantastic, too - go support your team in person.) So this game has a tremendous amount of interest, and it was only going to be available to a small fraction of fans? That wasn't sitting well with me, and I'm glad the NFL made the decision to put the game on CBS and NBS (it's also on ABC by me...and Channel 9 in New York). I'm not sure it was an issue that merited Congress getting involved, but that's another story for another day.
But the main reason I'm thrilled about this is that it's the last game of the season for the NFL Network, and maybe it will result in Bryant Gumbel's last game on the NFL Network. Not only will the aforementioned small fraction of people with the NFL Network get to see how awful Gumbel is at play-by-play, but now every NFL fan who cares will get a taste of it. And that is satisfying - Gumbel won't be able to hide behind the fact that no one gets the Network to keep his hideousness a secret. Unfortunately, to this point (I'm writing with the score 7-3 Giants, right after the Patriots just kicked a field goal), Gumbel hasn't been terrible. But mark my words....he will.
ON THAT SUBJECT: Drove back from New York today, and listened to the UConn-Wake Forest bowl game on the radio on the way back. I don't remember the names of the broadcasters - but they were friggin' awful. Man. I didn't know what was going on 3/4ths of the time. Especially frustrating because after the 10-0 halftime lead, UConn's 24-10 loss hurt me badly in my bowl pool.
COMING THIS WEEK: I'm off this week, so I plan a week full of updates on the blog. And therefore, I will withhold my wishes for a Happy New Year to you and yours for now.