Sunday, November 11, 2007

Packers Could Go All the Wa--- Wait? What Happened?!?

So here I am, at home in San Francisco, the transplanted Wisconsinite that I am, actually able to watch a Green Bay Packers football game on local television, courtesy (and I use the word loosely) of Fox. I'm not a rabid football fan; the Chicago White Sox and Vfb Stuttgart are the teams I follow more closely and in the sports I like more. But I am a Green Bay fan, a fan of the city where I grew up and of which I remain parochially boosterish (to slaughter several language cutoms at once).

But the game. It was a rematch with rivals Minnesota, which claimed to be on the upswing after being rejuvenated by the previous week's win against San Diego. And the Pack, well, they're just the most exciting team to watch these days. Between the always-exciting Brett Favre and a high-achieving band of first- and second-year teammates, they've built up a winning record that has made the national media take notice of a town they usually don't talk about unless it's used in a sentence in December with "the frozen tundra of."

Oh, yeah, the game. So the Packers play a great game, beautifully executing a running game, the one component of a championship team they were supposedly missing. They stopped Adrian Peterson, the Vikings' supposedly heroic running back. They ran in for touchdown after touchdown, running the score to 27-0 midway through the third quarter. Then suddenly a Fox sports broadcaster cuts in and announces that because the Packers are so far ahead, Fox is going to switch to a "more competitive game." And so goes one of my few chances to see my hometown team out here on the West Coast. Thanks, Fox.

Now, presumably, Fox thought that West Coasters who were watching NFC Central game were only doing so because they were football nuts and would watch any game, so better serve them up with one that is more "competitive." But I differ. The people watching were a mixture of people like me, who specifically wanted to watch those two Midwestern teams (and a goodly portion of whom were happy to see li'l ol' Green Bay take the stuffing out of Minnesota), and the people Fox thought were watching the game anyway --they'd watch anything. So, if the second group of people will watch anything, why not let 'em keep watching a game that they'd be talking about on Monday morning at work? They'll be happy (being relatively easy to please, anyway) and the people like me would be happy, too.

Instead, Fox didn't let either group see the entire game.

Oh, the Packers won the game 34-0. I would have loved to have seen it. Some other network, please buy the NFL rights from Fox.

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