Starting next year, the NFL's policy will be to let churches show the Super Bowl on large screens if they like, under certain conditions, without throwing lawyers and threats at them.
I can't quite figure out why the league still thinks it can tell churches where they can hold their Super Bowl parties, but at least the new policy is a step or two in the right direction.
Sen. Orrin Hatch led the charge on this, apparently. A Feb. 20 press release from his office is here. At the bottom of the press release is a link to a pdf file with the letter from Hatch to the NFL, followed by the letter from the NFL in response.
Hmmm. Wait a minute (she says, as she reads the letters). If the info from the NFL is correct, they might have been misrepresented in the press leading up to this. Aw, you mean that at least some of the brouhaha was built on nothing, or next to nothing? (Sigh.)
Anyway, the league is now on record as to what it will allow without squawking. I hope that helps.
Only semi-related: I'm going to show my age here, but I helped put on the Super Bowl XIV halftime show. It was a squeaky clean and wholesome, fun show starring Up with People, and back then the NFL went out of its way to reassure us how family friendly they wanted to be for all time. I guess maybe new guys took over or something, eh? (Up with People kind of changed its standards and focus later, for that matter. Very sad. It went out of business for a while, but has been restarted, at least after a fashion. I have no connection to or experience with the current UWP.)
Back in 1979-1980, I was just a minor, junior member of the production team, but I have to say I was treated like a lady by the NFL people I did meet. And I got to drive an official NFL car, too. That was an adventure. I'm afraid, however, that it was more of an adventure for me than for people on the street. Time and time again I saw someone see the logo on the side of the car, and swing his head for a look at who was inside. For some reason, seeing a short, petite young lady who was definitely not a player, a coach, or a cheerleader seemed to cause acute disappointment. I've never seen so many fallen faces in my life. Sorry, folks. I was working on the halftime show. Really.
For the record, I had nothing to do with the exploding palm trees.
For the record, when the announcer with the gorgeous, clear as a bell voice introduced the halftime show, he did say "Up the People" instead of "Up with People." It's awfully hard to put on a show when you've just been misintroduced, and in such a way, but somehow everyone managed. You gotta be able to roll with the punches when you do live shows. :)
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