The message came to me, appropriately enough, through the "Messages" tab on my cable TV interface. It told me to expect that the NFL Network would soon disappear from my channel menu. It was the antithesis of a "coming soon" announcement: "Evaporating on this spot!" And my initial impulse was to fly into yet another frenzy of trying to find television service provider that would offer me all the choices that I so desperately require.
Then I remembered: I have already been down this particular rabbit hole. I know that I could have called my cable provider at any time this past season and, once the check cleared, they would have flipped the switch to bring me not just regular season games, but hours more football related programming. There are a variety of ways that I could spend my weekends watching more televised sports. Most of these involve ever-increasing outlays of cash money for the opportunity to watch my favorite teams on Sundays. And the occasional Saturday. And Thursday. And Monday. Getting my football from a satellite in outer space would have allowed me an even larger choice of venues and teams. I could be watching the draft combines. I could be sitting on the couch for even longer stretches of time watching others exert themselves. Saying yes to any one of these packages would require me to deal with someone whose chief reason for existence is to encourage me to buy that one more service that would make my sports fantasies a reality. At least that's been my experience over the past few years. Maybe the NFL will start a program to stimulate fan interest and ticket sales by offering all of their programming to the public at limited or no expense to the average fan.
Maybe John Elway will be starting quarterback for the Detroit Lions next season. I surrender my need to see every down, every penalty, every time-out. I know that games can and will take place without my active participation. It was one of my wife's friends that pointed out how much more fun and satisfying it is to watch only the highlights of the day's games. She has a point. even though the immediacy of the contest is eliminated, you get to see the parts that really mattered. Until they start making me pay extra to watch Sportscenter.