NFL Network, video choice minor issues

I was reading through the Wheeler Report when I came across an interesting collection of letters to the Wausau Daily Herald. There are a multitude of issues that affect everyone in the state. But I zeroed in on the NFL Network and the “video choice” bill.

Even though Wausau is in a less-populated area of the state, I agree at what these citizens wrote. I especially like Mr. Duffy’s comment: “the royal screwing the NFL is giving its loyal fan base hardly calls for government intervention – although a fan boycott of the NFL Network would do wonders.” That should be the first step of those of us who love football. If the NFL was really here for the fans, it would not have become so greedy as to create a cable network and limit access to the real fans.

I also agree with Mr. Lawrence: “As for Packer fans, they have been around since long before there was any TV coverage. As a matter of fact they have been around since before there was an NFL. If they could survive under those conditions I’m sure not seeing one game from the comfort of their recliner is not going to bring Western civilization as we know it to its knees.”

Instead of sitting my recliner during last Thursday’s Packers-Cowboys game, I went to my favorite watering hole and did something I hoped to achieve, and then some: I reconnected with some old friends and made new ones. Although it was unfortunate that the Packers lost, I still had a good time with over 200 fans. The atmosphere was almost as electrifying as Lambeau Field, and people were in good spirits. I didn’t need the NFL Network in my house to enjoy the game. I spent less money spent the local bar than for a special digital tier or the increased fee from my cable provider.

So when I read what the Wausau Herald readers had to say, I instantly agreed. State government needs to focus on the bigger picture, not what the deep-pocket lobbyists want. The video choice bill will only make things worse for the state; the local cable companies will find it more difficult to survive from the crushing blows of big cable and AT&T. And the state will be powerless to do anything about it because it didn’t write consumer protections into the bill.

My advice to legislators: get the big companies out of your pockets. Focus on the important issues, not the so-called “quick fixes” that will get you elected. Show substance, not glamour.

My advice to Governor Doyle: fix the state’s fiscal problems first. Veto the video choice bill. Fix campaign finance.

As for the NFL and its network, I hope it eventually sees the light… or, at least, the fans start talking with their wallets.

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