Thursday, December 23, 2010

In Not News, I Hate The NFL Network

Tonight in Pittsburgh, the Steelers took care of business against the Panthers in one of those weekday night games that exists just to remind you that the NFL hates you. Adding to the hate is the fact that the game was only available locally to the Pittsburgh and Charlotte markets, and my cable provider doesn't get NFLN. And hasn't for all five years of the life of the network.

I own the Pittsburgh defense in my roto leagues, one of which is going down to the wire, and rules that wins count for the defense. So I really was interested in tonight's game, even in the garbage time, since the Carolina offense is terrible and all.

When you don't get NFLN and want to know what's happening in the game, you can do what I do... monitor the game on a game update service (I use Yahoo StatTracker, since my league is there), and cue up the NFL.com video cast. Which is, basically, a sports studio event with braying analysts that mete out "live look ins" to the game as if they were spooling out quarter doses of methadone at the clinic.

Tonight, since the game was out of hand early in the third quarter, you got even fewer look-ins than usual, since clearly no one should be interested in the final minutes of a blowout... unless, well, you own the freaking Steeler defense, and need the team to avoid giving up garbage time points. So NFLN's coverage tonight, with sideline analysts chatting about Not Game while the game that they aren't showing you is going on right behind them, but not in a way that you can tell what's going on?

Redefines maddening in our time, really. (And the live look ins have copious amounts of Joe Theismann and Matt Millen, and are behind the Web feed.) If there is a Hell, its fires await for the people who make this online product, and run this network. (And yes, I want my cable provider to just cave in and get this damned thing already. They should have the cash from that whole Fox Armageddon thing, right?)

Oh, and one final point. Panther coach Jon Fox, who kicked a field goal to avoid the ignominy of a shutout in tonight's game when down big? You can go to hell, too. At this point in the Panther season, I can safely say that the performance of my fantasy team is more important than your real one, in that my fantasy squad has more people who root for it than the Panthers. Go for the touchdown and fail like a man. It's not like you're going to have a job in another two weeks either way...

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