NFL's stupid 'must carry' rules


A lot in life ain't fair. Consider football on TV.

Last weekend -- the second weekend of the National Football League season -- the big game of the morning featured the N.Y. Giants against the Denver Broncos. It was the "Manning Bowl" some said because the quarterbacks on the teams are brothers Eli and Peyton, respectively.

But because of the unfair rules of the NFL and the TV stations that carry the games, not everyone enjoyed the "Manning Bowl." The poor devils in Orlando, Fla., were forced to watch the Oakland Raiders play the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Why?

Because Orlando is a "secondary market" as defined by the NFL (Orlando's TV signals reach within 75 miles of the Jacksonville stadium). So by rule, as they say, football fans in Orlando get screwed -- that city's CBS station must carry all of the Jacksonville's road games.

And it must carry every agonizing minute. No cutting away during blowouts to show more competitive games.

The unfairness of it all to Orlando viewers was so apparent that the Orlando CBS affiliate sent a crawler across the bottom of the screen to "apologize for any inconvenience" and to "clarify" why they had to show the Jacksonville game, instead of the "Manning Bowl."

The Orlando station might want to get that crawler ready again. This week, instead of seeing great young quarterbacks Andrew Luck (Go Stanford!) and Colin Kaepernick (Go Reno!) square off against each other, Orlando football fans will get to see the pathetic Jaguars get crushed by the unbeaten Seattle Seahawks.

All this misery is caused by stupid NFL rules that define markets in crazy ways.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is just plain unfair.