There are plenty of reasons not to go to an NFL game. The traffic. The elements. The fact that your HDTV gives you crystalline picture from the comforts of your well-worn couch, as you surround yourself in a cocoon of pigskin technology that keeps you updated to the second (REAL TIME!) on the goings-on across the NFL landscape.
Well, no more. At least on that last front. While Roger Goodell cannot decree away gridlock or control the weather (yet!), the league office has mandated that all 32 NFL stadiums will follow the example of the Ravens and Patriots, and broadcast the NFL RedZone channel during games next season. Now fans at the games will be able to catch every touchdown from every game while soaking in one live. Or, as we call it, football nirvana.
The real winners here, of course, are clear: fantasy owners. Instead of having to constantly fumble in their pockets to check out updated scores and game streams on their smart phones (and hope that they don't lose their signal *cough* AT&T *cough*), nearly every meaningful play will be brought to them in a visual smorgasbord of fantasy football goodness.
The real issue, however, is that it will put fans' loyalties to the test. Will there be a series of discordant cheers throughout the game, as pockets of home fans erupt when Adrian Peterson crosses the goal line or Andre Johnson snags in a bomb? Or will real world allegiances trump fantasy ones? And will that change late in the season when the fantasy playoffs are upon us and half of the NFL teams are eliminated from contention?
Still, hats off to Roger Goodell for making it finally safe to go to games and play fantasy. Bravo.