Potentially Historic Football Politics

Senator Patrick Leahy
Wordnet defines monopoly as:

“a market in which there are many buyers but only one seller”

Based upon that definition, the National Football League became a monopoly in 1969, when it merged with the American Football League. There is one league, which owns everything, so they have no competition. You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand this.

33 Years of Ignorance

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), shown in the photo, who has been a Senator for an astounding 33 years (since 1974), and also happens to Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, has just figured this out.

Senator Leahy, apparently learned of the NFL monopoly recently, when his constituents complained that they couldn’t watch the Patriots and Giants play on December 29, in the final game of the regular season. This game will only be shown on the NFL Network, which is owned by the NFL, and is not included with a standard cable TV account.

Was Last Night Potentially-Historic For You?

Senator Leahy, looking for some leverage, decided that this was a “potentially-historic” game — I guess because the Patriots could finish the season unbeaten.

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), another member of the Judiciary Committee, has constituents with the same problem. They could not watch the Steelers — Rams game last night (Dec 20), and they did not care if it was “potentially-historic” or not.

Extra Exemption for Patriots and Steelers

So Senators Leahy and Specter pooled their brain cells, and expressed their outrage, by sending a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, which included:

Now that the NFL is adopting strategies to limit distribution of game programming to their own networks, Congress may need to reexamine the need and desirability of their continued exemption from the Nation’s antitrust laws.

We ask that you take prompt action to make games like the Patriots-Giants and Steelers-Rams games more broadly available than just on the NFL Channel.

You can read the entire letter at: http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200712/121907h.html

What About the Giants?

If the Patriots win this week, their following game with the Giants is definitiely “potentially-historic” — If they beat the Giants, we might see a rerun on network TV.

Since the Patriots are the NFL’s hottest commodity, I would like to see how the NFL schedules their games next year.

Sadly, New York’s Senators, Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton had no potentially-historic comments, about this potentially-historic game on their potentially-historic Web sites.