The morning after.. NFL Network.

After having two full plates of turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes and stuffing, I was treated to two apple pies and a pumpkin pie. I won’t lie. I take full advantage of Thanksgiving at the family’s house. And it’s almost like my mother, after years of dealing with football – one of her most hated things in the world – she instinctively timed the dinner perfectly. Not long after Miami secured their 27-10 win over the Detroit Lions, the dinner bell rang. After eating enough food that could feed Warren County, I made my way to the couch and turned it to Fox to see Tampa Bay take the field for their first offensive possession. I didn’t miss a second of NFL action; just the boring rubbish that followed and preceded the games. For that and the delicious food, I'm thankful for mom. Of course, like the years before that, I led the prayer for dinner and shocked EVERYONE -- including my mother -- when I finished saying "thanks" for football and the Cincinnati Bengals. I got the stare.

As the trend continues in the NFL this year during national games, the games were boring and mind-numbing. I guess it’s what you can expect. Detroit is always on Thanksgiving therefore making the games typically bad. Joey Harrington was booed in Detroit and Fox was getting off on a warm Tony Romo love-fest.

That was all the football I got. Boring games that if prompted, I’d never pay to watch. There was no night game for me. See, I’m one of the victims in the Time Warner/NFL Network wars. I’m the innocent Frenchman that begs American soldiers to take my daughter away from the bombarded town like the scene in Saving Private Ryan.

"It seems crazy to me that we should have to pay extra money to watch the games," said Rapid City resident Dennis Brouwers, 55, who became a Broncos fan while serving in the Air Force in Cheyenne

Viewers in the Denver area needn't worry. Fox affiliate KDVR-Channel 31 bought the rights to tonight's game, so even those without cable TV can watch. According to NFL policy, games are simulcast on a noncable network in the home cities of the teams playing. However, the rule doesn't apply to secondary markets such as Colorado Springs and Grand Junction. Those cities are outside of KDVR's broadcast range.

Broncos owner Pat Bowlen doesn’t much mind that only 41 million have access to the network. He’s a chairman of the league's broadcasting committee and called the Chiefs/Broncos game "historic".  He continues, "I think as you look into the future three or four more years," Bowlen said, "it will be a fully distributed, 365-day, 24/7 network. And it won't just be about the NFL." What the hell else could it be about? It’s the NFL Network. Shouldn’t it be about the NFL?

Basically Bowlen is saying to you, the customer, you will have to pay money in order to watch NFL games. To me, this is setting a horrible precedent for the future. Not only would you pay money to watch the NFL, but you’d get a network called the NFL Network that won’t always be about the NFL. That’s false advertising, to me.  Bowlen’s right about one thing; this is just the beginning. There will be a day when you’ll pay $20 just to watch the Bengals live on television.

It’s not just the three major cable companies that are refusing to pay for the outrageous costs.

In parts of South Dakota serviced by PrairieWave Communications, the NFL Network originally was part of basic cable. But when the NFL Network added games to its package, the cost jumped substantially for the cable providers and PrairieWave decided to drop the network.

To be honest, I haven’t lost any sleep over not getting the NFL Network. The games most likely, like most national NFL games, will be over by the third quarter. The only thing that interests me about the network is games replayed the next day.

Otherwise, I’ll just ignore the diatribe of NFL spokesmen telling us they have best programming ever and we’re "suffering" like starving people in third world nations. Really. If the NFL Network is promoting that we’re suffering, wouldn’t they reduce their demands that the major cable companies have gaffed at? Probably not. They have the best programming ever. Just ask them.

I'm a little surprised that my co-NFL bloggers have remained relatively quiet on their opinions about the network. It makes me think that I'm the only one that really has a problem with this. And maybe my opinion that the NFL is starting to think too highly of themselves falls in the minority category. Of all the NFL blogs in SB Nation that mentions this is tommasse at Pats Pulpit saying "Note to NFL: Nice work. Solid plan." Yes, that's dripping with sarcasm.

Note: I think it's interesting if you look at my posts from the birth of the blog until now. My opinion has absolutely changed as I've learned what the hold up is.

Broncos aren't part of some fans' feasts [Denver Post]
Bowlen envisions bright future for NFL Network [Rocky Mountain News]
NFL Network Is Still Plugging Holes [Multi-Channel]
Outlook Dim for NFL Network, MSOs [Broadcast News Room]
NFL Network-Time Warner feud unlikely to be resolved by Thanksgiving [My San Antonio]
No settlement in sight between Time Warner and NFL Network [Desert Sun]
Comcast at odds with NFL Network [Clarion Ledger]
Rutgers fans could miss bowl game [NY Post]

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