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Gridiron Grumblings: NFL Blackouts Another Sign of the Economy

Hakeen NicksGreetings, and welcome to the second edition of Gridiron Grumblings here at the Camel Clutch Blog. This time around I am going to take a hard look at one of the scarier economic situations in the NFL, in addition to putting the word out about another fantasy football sleeper. “Get That Dough” will return next time, when the NFL betting lines for Week 1 get a little bit clearer.

Blackouts Could Cripple the Nation

Well, maybe not the USA, but the Jaguars nation and the Chargers nation could suffer. According to God, er, NFL commish Roger Goodell, the Jags and Chargers will face local television blackouts, due to slow ticket sales. League broadcast rules prohibit a local broadcast of a game if it is not sold out, in order to protect team owners ability to sell tickets. Their theory is if you can see the game for free then why buy a ticket to go to a game? Well Rog, maybe because in some markets, the job market is in the shitter, and the number of people that can afford the exorbitant ticket prices has dwindled. The owners make so much more money off of the television deals, and merchandising, that protecting their right to sell tickets is laughable.

[adinserter block=”1″]Other teams that are facing blackout situations are the Lions, who play in one of the most depressed markets in the country, and were 0-16 last year. Hell, the people who bought the tickets are the one being punished here, as they have their hard earned money go right down the drain. The Raiders also have a problem, as they had blackouts last year, and are looking at more this year. Hmm, first the Chargers, and now the Raiders, and people still want to complain that there is no team in Los Angeles. How well do you think a 4th team in California would work out right now?

A lot of this consternation stems from several pre-season games that have been blacked out (lucky viewers!). On nfl.com, Goodell said “some of the August ticket sales could be attributed to the nature of exhibition football. I think the fans have seen that the quality of the games aren’t up to NFL standards, so I think that’s a factor.” An NFL executive actually admitting that pre-season games are downright awful…amazing! But Rog, you’re still going to make season ticket holders buy all these terrible games, and charge them regular season prices, right? Of course you are.

I say waive the blackout rules while the economy is down, and build some goodwill for Pete’s sake. One old guy in a purple uniform is not enough to counteract Stallworth, Burress, and Vick, but give the people what they want, like the chance to forget about their troubles for a few hours and connect with their community by rooting for their team, and they will cut you some slack.

Fantasy Fodder

Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG

[adinserter block=”2″]With their best receiver now wearing a uniform with stripes, or maybe an orange jumpsuit, Payton’s little brother is going to have to rear back his arm and throw the pigskin to someone on the downs Brandon Jacobs is on the sideline wheezing. Nicks was a beast last week, hauling in 6 balls for 144 yards and two touchdowns. I know, it’s the pre-season. I know, it was against the J-E-T-S Jets. But at 6’1″ and 215, he will get to pick on Sheldon Brown just like Plax used to, and he will benefit from teams keying in on Boss and Hixon. He won’t be a guy you can start every week, but by season’s end, you will be glad you had him stashed. Look for 35-45 receptions and 5 to 7 trips to the end zone for the Tarheel alum.

Bryan Riegel is an advertising professional with over nine years experience in print and on-line media. He misses the days that he spent announcing and commentating professional wrestling, but is happy to be here at the Came Clutch Blog. Share your views with him at bryanriegel@gmail.com.

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