I’m Bringing Sexy Back

OK, I didn’t think I would ever say this and I certainly never thought I would say this in public (if the only one who reads your blog is your wife, does it count as public?), but I’m beginning to appreciate both Rosie O’Donnell and Justin Timberlake. Note I didn’t say that I’m a fan. But they are definitely off of my “celebrities that need to go away” list.

Although I still don’t consider O’Donnell “funny,” I am continually impressed at her honesty on The View. Just days after questioning the logic of spending $6,500 a day on the search for two missing climbers in Mount Hood, Oregon — a question that, insensitive as it may seem to the families of the climbers, certainly needed to be asked — O’Donnell took on the boorish, conceited, humorless, and altogether worthless Donald Trump for anointing himself morally qualified to allow Miss USA Tara Conner to retain her crown even after reports surfaced that she had been drinking while underage and taking drugs. Trump didn’t appreciate the comments and threatened to sue, calling O’Donnell “disgusting,” and a “loser,” and saying he was going to sue her to take money out of her “fat-ass pockets.” I love a good celebrity feud, and these days no one is better at starting them than Rosie O’Donnell. I’m not sure if being so antagonistic is good for her ratings or her psychological well-being, but I don’t care. I love it when celebrities go after each other. Good stuff.

As for Timberlake, have you heard “Sexy Back”? Enough said. Plus, have you seen or heard “**** In A Box” from last week’s SNL? It’s obvious that this guy has a good sense of humor about himself and he’s actually producing music that doesn’t make me want to drive my car off of a cliff when it comes on the satellite radio.

What does this have to do with sports? Nothing. So let’s talk about the whole NFL Network thing. For me, the NFL is to blame. Not for not allowing Charter or Time Warner to put the network on its “digital tier,” but for the idiotic decision that only Milwaukee and Green Bay constitute the “home markets” for the Green Bay Packers. You see, the NFL allows local stations, like WISC-TV, in a team’s home market to pick up games that are otherwise not available on broadcast television. This means that when the Packers play on ESPN, local network affiliates in Green Bay and Milwaukee pick up the game. That’s not the case in Madison, but it hasn’t been much of an issue, because ESPN is readily available in Madison.

It’s a much bigger issue with the Packers/Vikings game airing on the NFL Network on December 21, since more people subscribe to Charter than subscribe to either DirecTV or Dish Network, and the NFL Network is only available on the satellite services and not on Charter. But no one would care if the NFL simply designated the state of Wisconsin as the Packers home market, which would be much more logical and reflective of reality than deciding that people outside of Green Bay and Milwaukee don’t care as much about the green and gold.

The NFL does admit to the statewide love for the Packers in another way: When WISC-TV gets a Packer regular season game (not often since CBS has the AFC package), the station is always designated a “constant” station, meaning that no matter how uncompetitive the game gets, coverage on WISC will not be switched from the Packers to another game. Usually this “constant” status is saved for home markets of the teams playing. So if Madison is seen as a home market in this way, why isn’t it seen as a home market for a Packer game on the NFL Network? It simply doesn’t make sense.

Having said that, I don’t have a ton of sympathy for people still complaining about not being able to see the Packers/Vikings game at Lambeau. The announcement that this game was going to be available only on the NFL Network was made months ago, giving people plenty of time to find a friend with DirecTV or Dish, make arrangements to go to a bar or restaurant with televisions tuned to the game (not like it will be hard to find one), or even to switch from Charter to one of the satellite services. Because even if you’re a Packer or Viking fan that sides with Charter in this dispute, the bottom line is Charter is not providing programming that you want to see that you can easily get elsewhere. And there is no end in sight to either Charter’s dispute with the NFL Network nor with the NFL’s plans to continue to air exclusive games on its network. There are a lot of losers in this battle over who gets to keep the most money in their pocket, but ultimately you don’t have to be one.

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