12 October 2007

NFL + CSI + ED = I Heart My DVR

I'm an NFL fan. I've been watching football more or less since I was five. Some of my most fond memories as a child were watching Browns games with my dad and brother. After watching Brian Sipe throw numerous interceptions in yet another loss to the Steelers, we would console ourselves by having a good ol' game of Tackle in the backyard. Living in Europe in the late '80s, we would stay up until midnight to watch the Browns live in the playoffs. (Long Live Bernie Kosar!)

My wife, thankfully, is also an avid football fan. So, like we did when we were kids, we sit down with our own family now every Sunday and watch the games. [With the exception of the Cowboys. I will not subject myself to three and a half hours of T.O.-this and T.O.-that. Spare me. The Cowboys are banned in my house until that prima donna gets retired, sidelined (though I do not wish him any harm), or traded.]

The problem we're finding, though, is that TV is no longer rated G during football games. Not even PG. The games themselves are fine. I realize it's arguable whether 22 men knocking each other around for the sake of moving an oblong projectile 30 feet is G-rated material, but it is a sport. A contact sport, but a sport nonetheless. Young kids play tackle football - I did - and I'm fine with that. AFAIC, it's rated G. (Unless the announcers start talking about certain players' questionable extracurricular activities. Then they get muted.)

So why does my family, and other families like mine, have to watch Viagra ads during a Sunday afternoon football game? Why the ads for R-rated movies? Why the ads for CSI: depicting the dismembered body of next week's victim? Can we not have some respite from this on Sunday afternoons? It is Sunday, after all. And I live in the Midwest fer cryin' out loud. I can walk out my door, throw a rock in any direction, and hit four churches. Why the need to air ads for the latest gorgy slasher shoot-em-up sex film? Seriously.

The latest in technology - our DVR - now lets us pause live TV. Which is exactly what we do everytime the Sunday game goes to a commercial break. I think that (a) more parents should start doing this during afternoon football games and (b) said parents should spread the word that they do so. Eventually, it might get back to the advertisers and they can realize how much money they're wasting on that post-kickoff spot on Fox or CBS.

Don't get me wrong; I love a good horror movie, CSI: episode, or sex drug as much as the next guy. (OK, maybe not so much on that last one. And CSI:Miami needs to get a clue. What forensic scientist shows up to a crime scene wearing pumps?) And I'm certainly not in the "don't expose your kids to anything even remotely salacious" camp. But the line has to be drawn somewhere. If they're going to run these types of ads during the games, the NFL should go strictly primetime. At the very least, they need a "Viewer Discretion Advised" message right before they cut to commercial break. How sad is that?


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