Canucks and Beyond

Why Does God Love Football?

01/07/2007 at 1:58pm EST

Inspired by the NFL Playoffs—yet still for absolutely no defensible reason—I Googled “GOD LOVES FOOTBALL” yesterday. The result was 685 hits on the internet. Now, for some comparisons…

... a mere 60 hits. Bad, sure, but guess who’s really going to hell? “GOD LOVES BASEBALL” produces only 44 hits and “GOD LOVES BASKETBALL” has only 5.

The reason this is all very important (no, not really) is that I’m pretty sure God and His Internet Keyword Army have got it wrong.

Especially when I read this. To quote the relevant parts:

With football championships on the line, the annual scramble for impossible to get tickets is underway, with newspapers chronicling the desperate “Hail Mary” efforts.

For example: If you have tickets for the Eagles-Giants NFL playoff game on Sunday, and have always wanted to “call the plays”—not on the playing field but in someone else’s bedroom—here’s your big chance.

A purportedly “very attractive younger couple, both in grad school” took out an ad on Craigslist on Thursday offering to let some voyeur direct the action as they have sex in exchange for two tickets for the game, to be played in Phildelphia on Sunday.

Football fans… such a clean-cut demographic.

Then there’s the money-grubbing, internet-hating, fan-crushing sheer greed of the NFL’s content policies. This entertaining column last December might be the only time in modern history that the NFL and NHL were compared and the NHL came out ahead in business policy analysis:

The NHL, beleaguered by poor television ratings and coming off the heels of a recent labor stoppage, has decided to throw caution to the wind and embrace Google Video as a vehicle of re-engendering public interest in the product by signing an exclusive content deal with the video sharing site in early November.

“When web users are searching for diverse video content, Google Video is the first place they go, just as is the first place hockey fans go when they want NHL video,” said Keith Ritter, President of NHL ICE. [...]

The NFL, however, has taken a drastically different stance on the free distribution of its video content. Around the same time the NHL locked up deals for content distribution of its games, the NFL kindly (or perhaps not so kindly) asked YouTube to remove more than 3,000 clips from its site that featured NFL game footage.

What the NHL is trying to do (and I think there’s room for improvement, but they’ll get there eventually) is really quite progressive, making use of the technology available online to satisfy its current fans and bring in more. And while I realize the NFL doesn’t have to kiss-ass to get the ratings, their position on this issue is antiquated. How they treat their customers while they’re at the top of the ratings will be remembered; especially by young fans who have come to expect the instant accessibility of footage on YouTube and Google.

This snarky little 2 minute video makes the same argument, but she’s more amusing than I, so watch it.

Well, that’s all I’ve got. Enjoy your playoffs, football fans. I know they’re as precious to you as the NHL games are to me. But always remember this—enter “Terrell Owens” into the Gematriculator and it spits out 99% Evil, 1% Good.

Enter “Steve Yzerman” and you get 1% Evil, 99% Good.

I think that says it all… ;-)

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