Sunday, January 29, 2006

17% Of CHB Bitterness

The All-Most Red Sox Team
NFL Games on the NFL Network

SUNDAY, JAN 29th - Well, if you've been here before you'll know that this site has been strictly parody sports news. But to add a new wrinkle to the experiment, I've decided to put my Sports Journalism class from 1994 to good use and try my hand at writing a column.

So in my first crack at it, I'd like to extend an apology to a columnist who has been doing this a heck of a lot longer than I. He's not real popular these days, and I can't say I've ever been a fan, but I;d like to take this opportunity to apologize to Boston Globe sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy.

You see, Mr. Shaughnessy makes it abundantly clear in his columns that he resents having to add in the disclaimer that the Globe owns 17% of the Boston Red Sox. Most writers handle it with a stale aside in parentheses, but Mr. Shaughnessy works it in with some sort of snide remark.

I'm sorry this clearly annoys you so. I really am.

I can see your point - you have to say the same damned thing each and every time. Plus it detracts from the flow of writing. If I were in your shoes, it would annoy me too.

And I'm sorry because despite my understanding of your frustration, I'm going to insist that you put it in every damned thing that you or anyone else at the Globe writes about the Red Sox.

I want to see it in every story. In every notebook. And especially in every damned story about "Fenway Neighborhood Improvements" that seem to include so much less community outrage than before the 17% ever came into play. The Globe made the bed, now it has to sleep in it. Deal with it.

And lastly, I'm sorry if this sounds paranoid or negative but we are a negative society by nature; otherwise, Groundhog Day would be on August 2nd and six more weeks of summer would be at stake.

The All-Most Red Sox Team
Speaking of the Sox, is it just me or could the team field a seriously killer lineup with players who have ALMOST played for them?

And I'm not talking about just trade rumors, but guys who were signed, sealed, delivered, only to have some sort of bizarre Red Sawxian drama get in the way?

Heck, you could probably field half a team just from Manny Ramirez almost-trades.

I guess some star power was taken from this team now that the Coco Crisp trade has gone through, but does this type of stuff happen to other teams? (I mean, besides the teams the Red Sox are trying to deal with)

I know, dumb question.

The NFL has grown so successful and powerful that its tough to imagine them plummeting back to earth.

Well the latest TV deal with a new package shown on the NFL Network might provide some insight in the years to come.

I'm sure folks in the league offices will convince themselves they have achieved their success through great leadership, a great product, great marketing, etc.

They're delusional. And that will be their downfall if they don't keep it in check.

The reason the NFL is so popular is that it is the greatest TV sport in the world, because of the way it is scheduled.

First they play primarily on Sundays at 1pm. What else is there to watch? Infomercials and bad 80's films like Roadhouse. (Which up until recently was my greatest Guilty Pleasure Movie but I'll save that for another column) You have some West Coast games on at 4pm. That means in the span of just over six hours, more than 85% of the league's schedule for the week is played.

Think about that. In other sports games are spread out over the entire week. The Celtics or Bruins might play 2-3 times a week but there are league games every night. Kobe Bryant scored 81 points on a dark night for the Celtics. If you're watching a Patriots game and Shaun Alexander is gunning for a 300-yard game, you can be sure you're going to know about it as it happens. You're not only watching the Patriots game, you're watching the NFL. Both of you who are still watching the Bruins this year are just watching the Bruins; you might get some scoreboard updates but that's about all.

Granted, baseball teams generally play all at the same time. But they play 162 games - you're not as invested in them. You watch a Patriots game, you're watching 1/16th of the season. You watch a red Sox game and you're watching 1/162nd of their season - its just not the same. And you have the same problem of catching up with the league - no one does across-the-league cut-ins better than a network carrying NFL games.

I am convinced that the main reason the XFL failed so miserably was because of their failure to schedule games on Sundays at 1pm. Instead, NASCAR pushed their way into it and have enjoyed record popularity since.

The new NFL on NFL package is dangerous because it dilutes the schedule that much more. Plus they're on a channel hardly anyone gets. They're going to carry games over-the-air in local markets, but in a league that thrives and depends on being in the forefront, its dangerous to push anything into the background. I'm not saying this deal will kill the league, but its indicative of arrogance that could lead to a downfall.

Well, that's about it for this week. Check back on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays for more fake sports news, plus each weekend for more columns. If you're interested in seeing a comedy show, check out my schedule at Joe Calapai Comedy. Thanks for reading!

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