February 01, 2007

NFL - Nazified Fascist League

Well maybe not quite all that. But it does kinda turn one's cookies to have to read this unfortunate statement on a church's website:

We regret to inform you that we have had to cancel our bash to view the Colts game this Sunday in a family friendly environment due to the fact that the NFL believes we would be in violation of the Copyright Act, because we had planned to show the game on a screen bigger than a 55 inch diagonal. We have appealed to their legal counsel and exhausted all options without success. We have been informed that the only exceptions to view the game are given to sports bars and restaurants. While we have argued that we only intend to provide a family oriented environment that will make no profit from the showing, the NFL claims that our event cannot proceed by law. Therefore, we have no choice but to challenge this in court or cancel the event. We choose to cancel the event. We deeply regret that we have been prohibited by the NFL from providing a family friendly environment for celebrating the Colts great season. -Pastor John

More background here:

The thousands of churches across the country that want to host Super Bowl parties Sunday night had better not pull out big-screen TVs, or they could face the wrath of NFL attorneys.

The NFL is telling Fall Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis that the church's plans to use a wall projector to show the game at a party for church members and guests would violate copyright laws.

NFL officials spotted a promotion of Fall Creek's "Super Bowl Bash" on the church Web site last week and sent pastor John D. Newland a letter -- via FedEx overnight -demanding the party be canceled.

Initially, the league objected to the church's plan to charge partygoers a fee to attend and that the church used the license-protected words "Super Bowl" in its promotions.

Note to NFL: You are showing a game. You aren't the Knights Templar protecting the Holy Grail. You aren't haven't discovered a Brazilian herb that cures all communicative disease. Again, you are showing a game. The fact that hundreds of people want to get together and watch your product is something that you not only should be proud of, but you should encourage. Maybe a little less $500 an hour lawyerly advice and a bit more common sense from the average Joe's and Jill's at the local coffee shop.

According to the article, the NFL's Party Rules read as follows:


For groups that want to host Super Bowl parties -- other than sports bars and businesses that normally show televised sports -- here are rules the NFL says must be followed:

• No admission fees (even to pay for snacks).

• Only one television (55 inches or smaller).

• No use of the words "Super Bowl" in promotional materials.

• No exhibition of the game in connection with events "that promote a message."

Queries to the NFL re: MY Super Bowl Party:

- May I journey to the rest room during the game without your express written permission?

- Can my guests put empty peanut shells in my ash tray?
- Is the NFL owed a royalty on my empties?

Oh yeah, you saw it right - "SUPER BOWL!!!!". I said it. Sue me.

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