Monday, October 23, 2006

And it just keeps getting worse

My reception yesterday was not very good. I have the high definition Tivo for DirecTV that receives local channels over the air. Yesterday, for some reason, the Fox affiliate signal was not coming in very well. As a result, whole chunks of the game were lost. I'm so happy that happened.

After so promising a performance on Monday night, the team that played Oakland on Sunday looked like the worst team in football. The defense didn't look awful (as usual), but the offense couldn't run or pass which means a big let down on the scoreboard. People are calling for Dennis Green's head, and no one (including me) is arguing against it. It's just hard to believe how unbelievably bad this team is performing.

Maybe I could switch to hockey. How are the Coyotes doing? Woo hoo! They're doing better (2-6, not 1-6). Please let me stop liking football.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I Love to See My Name in Print

The NFL has some complicated rules for broadcasting home games to the local crowd. Indeed, they have predictable, but not always obvious rules every week.

The games that occur on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday night and Monday are considered national games and never have other games on at the same time, so as long as the game is not blacked out locally, everyone receives the game.

On Sunday afternoons, there are as few as 11 games or as many as 14 games being broadcast. Fox carries the games where the visiting team is from the NFC while CBS carries those where the visitors are from the AFC. On each Sunday, one of those networks has the doubleheader game of the week. Typically, both show a game in the early slot (1PM Eastern) while only one shows a late game. If the city has a local team playing at home, each network gets only one game (with the exceptions explained below).

Next is the blackout rule which requires that normal seating (not including loge or box seating) be sold out 72 hours prior to kickoff to lift a blackout of any station broadcasting within 50 miles of the stadium. At their discretion, of course, the NFL has the right to lift a blackout anyway. If the blackout is lifted, either due to sellout or by gift from the home office, it is added as a third game being broadcast. That said, the other network is not allowed to show a game in the local area while the home team's game is being broadcast.

Since those rules were implemented, and prior to this year, there were 13 weekends where every game was broadcast in their local markets. In 2002 and 2005, it happened four times each year. This year, the NFL is 7 of 7. That's right, every game has been sold out every week. Remember, of course, that the Cardinals alone were responsible for eight weeks per year of avoiding that record, but there were also at least five other weeks each year that we weren't the cause.

Noting this anomoly, Tim Lemke of the Washington Post wrote an article giving particular focus to the Phoenix market. Finding himself at this blog, he very kindly asked a few questions about the team and the impact of local broadcasts. As you've already noted from the title, he quoted me a couple of times in the article which you can find here. Enjoy the read!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What the Hell Happened?

Last night, I sat next to a Bears fan. He was friendly, polite, visiting from Chicago, and I had the utmost respect for him.

Last night, around 15,000 fans in attendance cheered for the Bears. Most were locals who celebrated when the home team lost. I have no respect for these people who base their loyalty on an analysis of who is more likely to win.

The better team lost last night. Just as the better team lost last week and in Week 3. This is a team that should be 4-2 right now, but bizzarely keep finding losses where they should find wins. Suddenly, I feel personally aflicted by this disease. I just don't know what to say.

Monday, October 16, 2006

So I Skipped a Week

Frustrating is the word.

To begin a game with two first quarter touchdowns only to lose 23-20 singes. I remembered my camera this time, but the only decent action shot I got was of Ty Law intercepting a Leinart pass. I'm pretty sure I don't want to remember that.

What gets to me is the constant reminders from acquaintances that these are the same old Cardinals and that nothing will change until the Bidwill family is gone. I don't subscribe to that theory, but lacking significant wins, I have no argument back.

This team is two dropped balls away from being 3-2 right now. If Warner doesn't drop that snap as time was winding down against St. Louis, the Cards win that game. If Johnson doesn't let that third quarter pass bounce off his chest last week, the Cards go up 27-10 late in the third quarter. I suspect that would have been the final nail in the coffin.

Instead, we have 1-4. As a result, a very difficult game against Chicago becomes a must win. I'll be there. I'll have my camera. I'll be screaming. I just hope I get to take a few pictures of dejected Bears fans.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Football Disgusts Me

Okay, so maybe I'm not disgusted, but for a year that held such great promise, this is sure turning out to be a joke of a season.

So, let's regroup. Thanks to incessant turnovers, we lost a hard fought game in Seattle, blew a very winnable game against St. Louis, and looked like amateurs in Atlanta.

I was out of town for a pool tournament in Las Vegas, so watching the game became a communal event with gamblers at the Riviera Casino. How depressing to hear so many people laughing about the Cardinals' ineptitude.

Nice job, Adrian Wilson, but for the rest of you, I sure hope you pick it up before the game on Sunday. The Chiefs will not roll over for you.