There's always a World Series game on a Sunday night in late October, and the NFL has always taken that night off. I didn't think it was bad, of course -- just odd. It seemed like the NFL was making a friendly gesture, saying, "Hey, this is your big moment, you guys should have the stage all to yourselves. Let's not compete."
So, out of pure friendliness, the NFL gave up a television audience for a night, and all the money that comes with it. Cooperation, at the expense of cash. Like I said, odd.
They're done being friendly, though. This year, the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to New Orleans to face the Saints on Sunday night, October 31st, and that game could end up going head-to-head with game four of the World Series.
"The rationale is that Sunday Night Football has become a staple, and people want to watch football for the entire season. We didn't feel it was appropriate to take [that Sunday night] off anymore. We had obligations to NBC from a programming standpoint, and we felt it was best to continue on with that great franchise every night of the season and allow the consumer to be able to choose, whether they want to watch Sunday Night Football or the World Series."
Roughly translated: "You want a piece of this, Bud Selig? COME GET SOME."
It's a little bit unfortunate, but really, the only thing surprising about it is that it took the NFL this long to do it. It bums me out a little bit, not just because the spirit of friendliness is gone, but because the Padres are tied for the NL West lead, and I'm going to have to choose between watching football and watching the Padres sweep someone in the World Series.