What about the "replacement" game on my TV?

Bob Berger

Forget about the complaining about the refs. How about tossing some anger at the NFL and it’s contractual obligation to broadcast the hometown team at the expense of watching the end of the game that is already on my TV? A game that’s been the focus of my attention for over 3 hours. Example: I’m comfortable and cozy on my couch this past Sunday watching the Redskins-Bengals game. Since my couch resides in Houston, Texas I’m told by an announcer that, due to contractual obligations, the game I’m watching will soon exit my television in order to show the Houston-Denver game. That announcement is repeated a few minutes later.

Meanwhile the Redskins and Bengals are locked in a tight struggle. The broadcasters are questioning whether the game should be over with a ten second runoff. The officials are somewhat confused (shocking, I know). There’s time for one final play. Robert Griffin and the Skins have the ball trailing by 7. A slight movement on the couch puts me in perfect position to watch the last scintillating seconds. Then poof, the Redskins and Bengals disappear. I must confess, it was expected and down deep I was prepared for the switch. But what did I see? Not the end of the Redskins game (Robert Griffin threw an incomplete pass and the Bengals won, I would later learn) or the beginning of the Texans and Broncos.

Did RG3 connect on his last-second heave against the Bengals? If you live in Denver or Houston, you'll have to find out later.

What I saw instead was a commercial.  Actually, commercials. Not one, but four. While the final seconds of a game I had devoted hours of my time to was ending, I was watching commercials. That’s just plain wrong. It left me mumbling to myself and cursing out the NFL. It’s like the old bait and switch. They switched, but instead of promised football I got something else - commercials. The same stinking advertisements I’d been seeing for the past three hours. Now this is something to get angry about.


In the wake of Monday Night;s weird ending where the replacement refs directly affected the outcome of a game, ESPN’s SportsCenter drew it’s highest rating ever, according to the folks in Bristol. As for the game, it was slightly lower than last season’s week three Monday Night matchup, but the highest rated this season.


Drew Brees is among many players who’ve called how the game is being officiated embarrassing. If the players are so irate at the league and so protective of the integrity of the game, why don’t they support the locked out officials and not show up and play the games? It’s a silly rhetorical question I pose, yet obviously the anger is tempered and the “integrity” upheld by large paychecks. I’m sure there’s something in the collective bargaining agreement that precludes the players from boycotting the games. Yet if there wasn’t, they’d still be playing and complaining. Don’t blame the refs, don’t blame the commissioner. Blame the owners. You can also blame yourself. If you’re watching (and you are) there’s no economic reason for the NFL to settle the dispute. If you’ve got the jack don’t step back. The NFL’s got the jack. Frankly, I’m watching, and the trials and tribulations of the replacement officials won’t cause me to stop. Plus, complaining is part of the fun.


When you’re biding your time between coaching jobs or have reached the end of your playing career, what do yo do? You go into television. Donovan McNabb, one of the most polarizing figures in Philadelphia sports history will be talking football every Thursday night’s on Comcast SportsNet (the official cable home of the Eagles). McNabb is also working for the NFL Network (what former player isn’t).


Notre Dame and Michigan did not always play. In fact when they met in 1978 it was the first game between the two schools in 35 years. However they’ve played every season for the past 27 expect for a couple of two year breaks in the mid-nineties and 2000 and 2001. The Irish and Wolverines will face each other next year and in 2014. However, Notre Dame has informed Michigan it’s puling out of games scheduled for 2015-2017. The earliest this series could resume is 2020. Notre Dame recently announced a move to the ACC for all sports except football. The Irish have agreed to play 5 ACC opponents a season and so there goes one of the games great rivalries. A casualty of the changing landscape and money grab by college athletics. It’s a shame. 

Follow @footballpost on Twitter for the latest news
This story originally appeared on Nationalfootballpost.com