Monday, February 05, 2007


The NFL put a stop to a standing tradition in at least two churches that I know of by threatening them with a lawsuit if plans for Super Bowl parties went forward. Many churches I *don't* know of also cancelled their plans. The Fall Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis advertised a Super Bowl party on their website, complete with snacks (covered by a minimal entrance fee), a testimonial video featuring Colt's coach Tony Dungy and Bear's coach Lovie Smith, and the game being projected onto a giant 12-foot screen tv. Once the NFL got word of the party, they sent a cease and desist letter to the pastor, informing him that the church was violating the NFL's copyright laws.
In the letter, they outlined the church's infractions:
*No admission fees can be charged- even to create a break-even situation on costs for the host

*The name "Super Bowl" cannot be used in promoting the party

After receiving the letter, the pastor responded to the NFL by saying that they wouldn't charge a fee, nor would they refer to it as a "Super Bowl" party. The NFL responded, saying that the party also violated two other rules:
*The game can be shown on no more than one tv, 55 inches or smaller.

*The game cannot be used to promote any sort of "message", like the testimonial videos by the two coaches.

The church cancelled their event, and so did a local Cincinnati church which had planned on showing the game on their new 28 FOOT HIGH projection hi-def screen. According to River Hills Christian Church's Executive Pastor Will Mullins, the Falls Creek situation prompted their decision. Pastor Mullins said he received many emails from other pastors with similar plans, asking what he was going to do.

Pastor Newland of Falls Creek brings up a VERY good point, when he says that there's a double standard going on when sports bars with giant screens can charge barstool rental fees and sell food and drinks, but his church can't offer a free event for families. "It just frustrates me that most of the places where crowds are going to gather to watch this game are going to be places that are filled with alcohol and other things that are inappropriate for children," Newland said. "We tried to provide an alternative to that and were shut down." (source)

IMHO, the NFL needs to STFU and accept that people are drawn to the Super Bowl, and will gather, en mass, to watch the big game. Why should they care if it's done at a church, or a bar, or someone's home? I guess I can understand them not wanting the host to charge a cover fee, or attaching the game to a message... but we ALL know it's the SUPER BOWL, and who cares how many tv's it's being shown on, or how big the screen is? In this case, the "message" was a video featuring the head coaches for both teams in the big game... so obviously the NFL let the coaches be interviewed for the show- why not let it be aired? Especially in churches, for heaven's sake!

The NFL's objectives here are to:
1. get the game to be watched by as many people as possible
2. get viewers to buy products hawked by their advertisers
3. promote the game of football
4. associate the name "Super Bowl" with the NFL championship game
By sending cease and desist orders to churches, they're turning away MANY viewers. MANY viewers. I just don't see the point. I really, really don't.


  • Good piece, the NFL obviously has it's share of idiots in offices, it's in, thanks!

    absurd thought -
    God of the Universe says
    outlaw all sports

    at least beat the losers
    make them kick concrete ball

    By Anonymous USpace, at 10:43 PM  

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