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NFL Strikes Down Church Party

By February 1, 2007

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The No Fun League strikes again.

The Fall Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis planned to host a Super Bowl party Sunday, charging a small fee to cover the cost of snacks. Their plans, which included broadcasting the game on a 12-foot screen, were designed to give fans a more wholesome option in venue over the traditional sports bar. The problem is, in doing so, they would be violating copyright laws.

According to the Indianapolis Star, the NFL caught wind of the church's plan through its web site last week, and issued a letter demanding they cancel the party. The church offered to drop the fee and absorb the cost for refreshments themselves, and to quit using the term Super Bowl to promote the party. But that wasn't good enough. The NFL says the church can't project the game onto a 12-foot screen. In fact, it can't use anything with a screen larger than 55 inches. And only one viewing screen is permissible.

So, seeing no point in having a Super Bowl party they couldn't promote as a Super Bowl party, and in which many of their guests would not be able to see the game itself, the party likely will not happen.

Of course, the NFL doesn't have a problem with you going down to your local pub and watching the game. You know, the place where you can pay for beer and food while viewing multiple big-screen shots of the big game.

Pastor John D. Newland told the Star, "It just frustrates me that most of the places where crowds are going to gather to watch this game are going to be places that are filled with alcohol and other things that are inappropriate for children. We tried to provide an alternative to that and were shut down."
The NFL is well within its rights in shutting down Fall Creek, but I have to wonder if they should maybe choose their battles more wisely. It doesn't appear the church was using this as an opportunity to profit on the NFL, unlike all the bars, pubs, and restaurants that host annual events do every year. So what kind of message are they sending by shutting down this particular get together? They're saying it's better to go to a bar and watch the game with a bunch of drunks than to enjoy it as a family activity.

Perhaps this philosophy is part of the reason the NFL rarely goes a week without having a player arrested.


February 2, 2007 at 2:32 am
(1) CD213 says:

So….would it be ok if the church served Beer. LOL

February 2, 2007 at 12:14 pm
(2) Southerner says:

What a joke. Instead of cancelling the party, I wish they would advertise it and run it exactly like the sports bars do (but without the alcohol). Then, if the NFL threatens them, sue the heck out of the NFL for religious discrimination. All they would have to do is drop the fee to get in, and charge a small fee per item consumed. Better yet, they could not charge at all. I was going to pull for Indy, but I guess now I won’t. Shame money has to be at the root of everything.

February 2, 2007 at 1:35 pm
(3) victor says:

You are right. I heard some awful things this morning about how the NFL does not take care of its former disabled players and Mike Ditka is in the forefront. Maybe if some of these negative things keep coming people will want to start boycotting the NFL.

The NFL network is trying to take away free football, little by litte. This year a New York Giants game that meant the playoffs for them was only on their network and not available to the fan willing to watch hundreds of commercials.

I’ll never pay to watch and now after watching every Super Bowl since it started I’m thinking of going to the movies instead!!

February 2, 2007 at 1:43 pm
(4) joe spencer says:

I’m not sure I get the logic either. How would the NFL profit either way? At best it seems that the organization gained ill will for what?

February 2, 2007 at 1:48 pm
(5) Lisa-Marie says:

I don’t see how they can tell someone they can’t have a party. They are the NFL- but it’s not like these people are trying to sell tickets to a game or merchandise. The rev. can have any party in his church he wants and We The People can watch whatever size screen we want.

February 2, 2007 at 1:59 pm
(6) Michael says:

Well I watch all the games on my projector onto a screen that is 8ft by 8ft and run the sound through my surround system. So when is the NFL coming to my house, I want my lawyers present.

February 2, 2007 at 2:27 pm
(7) Karen says:

I think the NFL is getting too big for its britches. They sure put the screws to New Years Eve, making it just a regular night–nothing special.

February 2, 2007 at 2:29 pm
(8) margie says:

they want to hog every thing ,tats why they all stay in trouble, shame on them

February 2, 2007 at 2:32 pm
(9) Jim says:

What? They will let Janet Jackson reveal her breast, but a church cannot give a healthy alternative to a bar, where children cannot go anyway, to watch the game. This is a disgrace!

February 2, 2007 at 2:43 pm
(10) Laura says:

I think the Church shhould go ahead and have theparty as ariginally plaaned, Let the NFL respond to it after the game. There will be so much negative reaction, they will have to backdown. It is pure religious discrimination, and if the Church can’t show the game, the bars should not be able to show it either.

February 2, 2007 at 2:44 pm
(11) John says:

Hello, I haven’t ever heard of the NFL doing anything that would hurt it’t reputation like this before. I wonder how they will evaluate the damage ?

February 2, 2007 at 3:32 pm
(12) pupdaddy says:

What would the NFL do if the church would have insisted on running its party? File a frivolous lawsuit? As if the dockets weren’t already overloaded with such lawsuits. NFL stands for Not For Long, which is usually how long one lasts when he gets too full of himself.

February 2, 2007 at 3:32 pm
(13) JOSEPH says:

shame shame shame on the NFL
discrimination against the church no less!

February 2, 2007 at 3:50 pm
(14) ila says:

that go’s to show you just how far the deivl will go.some of you say just the right thing.if the fans said something to them and refused to go to the game just maybe they would change their minds.

February 2, 2007 at 3:50 pm
(15) MEL says:

My Grandmother always said Money is the root of all evil but I didn’t know that she knew anything about the NFL untill now. I wonder if Mr.Dungey knows whats going on here I know he would be appalled to find out I’m not that big of a sports fan but I am a christian and have been very impressed with the way Mr. Dungey presents himself as a christian and a coach. I think the NFL OFFICIALS must be a bunch of Atheist. I hope the officials never need God. Shame of you.

February 2, 2007 at 4:04 pm
(16) dan says:

they should have just picked up the flag and looked the other way. pure stupidity and way too much time on someone’s hands….

February 2, 2007 at 4:42 pm
(17) Elizabeth says:

I think it is horrible that they shut down a family activity who wants to sits with people who drink what happened to having Sunday family time I think all the NFL and the Superbowl cares about is making money and having kids pay 100.00 for thier Jerseys to wear they don’t have a problem with that or those 200.00 Nike shoes they promote for the kids to wear none of those NFL players have any problem making a profit off of those teen-agers who buy all of those clothes and shoes NFL step up your game plan and let the church have the Super bowl for thier families.

February 2, 2007 at 4:49 pm
(18) Paul Ruppert says:

Well this is a surprize, it confirms my suspicions about the NFL and pro ball all together. It is not a corporate it is yes organised crime in disquise. A church, I was going to watch since I like one of the ball clubs, but not now. From now on, I am going to boycot anything to do with the NFL, and I am going to encourage the persons I know, including yes the church I go to. I see the sponsored links below, not a good thing, find something else. I won’t sell my soul for anyting.
Thank You
Paul Ruppert

February 2, 2007 at 5:03 pm
(19) Don says:

Maybe everyone who cares about this should call their local CBS affiliates and tell them they will boycott the game and drink wine instead of beer unless the NFL gives in.

February 2, 2007 at 5:15 pm
(20) Fishi3 says:

I think the comment being made is that the NFL’s major advertisers are Beer, booze and cars. That those advertisers don’t want a venue that doesn’t promote the carefully crafted advertising campaign that those advertisers are pushing. Basically that Football is the excuse to sell a product. That product is a lifestyle where Football and Church are at odds.

February 2, 2007 at 5:25 pm
(21) Bob says:

Maybe the NFL is ashamed about some thing in the telecast that they know it is not appropriate to be seen in church.

February 2, 2007 at 5:30 pm
(22) JOE MANUEL says:


February 2, 2007 at 5:54 pm
(23) Edwin Olivera says:

This is very upsetting to my stomach. But what’s more upsetting is the Church allowing the NFL to get away with this! And I see why the NFL is against this. It is because they are sponsored by BEER COMPANIES, and fear that the Church will CUT FROM THEIR REVENUES…

February 2, 2007 at 5:55 pm
(24) N. G. Hooper says:

I will never tune into another NFL game on my TV and will make it a point to avoid such coverage wherever I go.

February 2, 2007 at 6:17 pm
(25) Ben says:

I am cancelling my NFL Ticket. Jerks.

February 2, 2007 at 7:03 pm
(26) LHale says:

Since when does the NFL get to dictate our Super Bowl viewing activities? The article states that the NFL is “well within its rights in shutting down” the party. What exactly are the NFL’s rights and who bestowed those rights?

When the church dropped the fee, that should have ended the NFL’s interference. All these folks want to do is have a family-friendly party, in a church, instead of in a home. I hope the church has their party. If the NFL thinks taking a church to court will help brighten their increasingly tarnished image, I’ve got some ocean front property, here in Tennessee, that I’d love to unload.

February 2, 2007 at 8:30 pm
(27) T Reagan says:

I think all Christians all over the world should get down on our knees and join together in praying for all the NFL and pray that if by chance there is one or two christians amoung any of the NFL that God will open all their hearts and give them back bone to stand up for Jesus Christ once and for all!! I think everyone involved in the NFL should stop for 5 minutes and think about Family, and America and relize everything we are and come from is God!! Family needs to be put back where it belongs and that is God first,Family,friends and last self!!! Just think if it where not for God There wouldnt even be a NFL or players!! God makes everything happen not noone else!! I hope the church goes ahead and host their party because this is truely a great gift for families that enjoy spending time together and with other loved ones and dont have to worry about drunks or bad mouths. I urge every Christian everywhere no matter what religion you are to join together and truely pray for everyone involved in the NFL after all God does answere prayers and he will surely answer this one and I just hope the NFL gets it together and relizes whats most important before they lose everything!!! Without fans what are they anyway?? I am starting the circle of prayer right now so please join me and may God bless you all!!

February 2, 2007 at 8:32 pm
(28) Kathy says:

Perhaps showing a list of Sponsors and TV Networks on the wall instead of the SB (no longer allowed to write full out!) would be appropriate. But, I agree with others. They (and the other churches) should go ahead with the Party. Publicity will get them their legal fees.

February 2, 2007 at 8:59 pm
(29) Beth says:

Goodness gracious…. when will it end? We pay for the cable and satillite tv to be pumped into our homes… What is the Church but a big family… so when I have my family over (which is more than 100 imediate family memebers) is the NFL going to come into my house and say no?
It is too bad, I just started to watch the game… Not any more
How did the saying go… we don’t discriminate we just don’t allow certain individuals to join in…

Have the party, I think that this church will have the support they need to bring this big ugly business to its knees.

Oh…no pun intended….

February 2, 2007 at 9:47 pm
(30) Jerry says:

Shame on the NFL. Really makes you want to continue watching their games

February 2, 2007 at 10:01 pm
(31) todd says:

Things like this are the reason I refuse to watch NFL games, and haven’t watched the Super Bowl in years.

February 2, 2007 at 10:08 pm
(32) David says:

Everyone who believes the NFL has gone too far needs to boycott the Super Bowl and the NFL altogether! What rights do the bars have that the churches don’t have? The NFL cannot allow one group of people violate it’s precious rules and condemn someone else for doing the same!This is clearly discrimination against a certain select group of people! I would love the church to proceed with it’s plan and tell the pious bunch of idiots at the NFL to go jump in the lake! Bring it on NFL…I double dare you! You will be the one praying to God for help when it’s all said and done! God and America will not allow you win this one! Shame On You NFL!!!

February 2, 2007 at 10:56 pm
(33) Sandy says:

Look what happened to our school system when they took God out of schools. We have troops in Iraq, not to mention World Wars I & II, Viet Nam, etc., who gave their lives so that we may have freedom here. Perhaps someone would have gone to that Super Bowl party, got involved in the church, and give their life to the Lord had it been allowed to have the party there. How sad God must feel.

February 3, 2007 at 12:23 pm
(34) Victoria says:

Someone left a comment on this earlier that needs to be examined also: What about the occasional, non-family-friendly, half-time activities? The church group would probably have to turn off the TV during half-time just in case there was something offensive. (Oh, what are the odds…) The SuperBowl isn’t exactly known for discretion when it comes to some of the acts (lyrics and dancing).

February 3, 2007 at 12:44 pm
(35) Ronda says:

I will NOT be watching the superbowl this year due to that reason and that reason alone. When the NFL decides to shut down a family event in a church and allows it to happen in bars that promote drunk driving and death to families on the streets after such events, this mom will find a family activity to do that supports good wholesome family fun. NFL, shame on you! I think you all have been hit in the head a few too many times!!!!

February 3, 2007 at 4:01 pm
(36) GOLDIA says:

I think the NFL’s lawyers haven’t thought this one though. Their knee-jerk reaction could and should cost them public opinion–worth much more than they seem to realize. If they thought to keep everything for themselves, they have lost more money that they will make in the Super Bowl. I would encourage everyone to pick out their favorite player, or coach and e-mail this web-page to them. When they see how THEIR PAYCHECK could suffer, they will make more of a fuss to management.

February 3, 2007 at 4:30 pm
(37) charles says:

I believe the church should have the super bowl part and collect donations and then let the nfl sue. i will donate to the church if this happens.

February 3, 2007 at 7:43 pm
(38) Garcias says:

Hay una frustracion en mi familia por no poder resolber esta injusticia contra DIOS.

Es obio que el mundo esta corrompido por la codisia y abaricia, que de malo hay en tratar de veer el SuperBoll en una iglesia que solo pretende que las familias esten en un ambiente sano y sin peligro. Pero aun asi nosotros estamos con ustedes COTSL….CHAMPIOS…CHAMPIOS… GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

February 3, 2007 at 9:12 pm
(39) Connie says:

Satan takes further hold. And NFL doesn’t even realize it.

February 4, 2007 at 12:25 am
(40) Chuck Flinn says:

I love god,church,family and football. I think what the NFL has done is wrong. We live in the United States…… The United States!!! I will watch what I want to, with who I want to, on however big screen I want to..,.. period. But before blame is cast we need to know the reason for the action of the NFL so, you and I may decide if the reason is just.

February 4, 2007 at 1:08 am
(41) Mac McLaren says:

As an athiest and a football fan (Go Colts), I think the CHURCH ought to crucify the NFL for being A** HOLE*

February 4, 2007 at 3:57 am
(42) Pam says:

The NFL is not known as the “No Fun League” for nothing. They have also banned all tailgating at the Super Bowl, so that the patrons will have to buy their overpriced food & drinks inside. When all NFL games become “Paid viewing only” (their ultimate goal, I think), they will wonder what happened to the huge fan base they USED to have.

February 4, 2007 at 12:55 pm
(43) Paul says:

Of course, this is the same league that fined Jon Kitna for wearing a hat inscribed with a Bible verse to a press conference because it wasn’t NFL merchandise, yet countless times this season, T.O. and others could wear Michael Jordan’s image on a hat without any fines forthcoming. What football team did Jordan play for again?

February 4, 2007 at 12:56 pm
(44) granny says:

Let me guess – a new word for NFL is stupidity! Makes sense.

February 4, 2007 at 1:03 pm
(45) T. says:

Hmm….I agree with the NFL on this one.

February 4, 2007 at 3:47 pm
(46) Carrie says:

What a farce! The NFL should be concentrating on bettering their program instead of censoring a wholesome party. I for one, wish I could go to a party like that at my church. Sounded like a great idea.

February 4, 2007 at 6:56 pm
(47) John Fischer says:

This whole incident confuses me. How can the NFL tell anyone what they can do with a TV broadcast that is sent openly over free broadcast channels? What legal right do they have to tell anyone how many they can have at a party, how much or little they can charge for food and what is the maximum size screen that can be used. This is insane. Their explanation was that things like this would adversely effect their ratings. Poor babies. If they’re ratings drop a point they can only get 1.49 million per thirty second commercial. They need to pay more attention to their players illegal activities and stop worrying about innocent fans.

February 4, 2007 at 8:15 pm
(48) KITTY says:


February 4, 2007 at 8:46 pm
(49) cali says:

what about my new 103 inch TV? They are telling me I can’t watch my own tv IN MY OWN HOUSE???

February 5, 2007 at 2:11 pm
(50) lamplighter says:

I like the idea of churches having a party for the Super Bowl.
What a better way to get people together for some good clean fun.

February 7, 2007 at 7:45 am
(51) Dave Cisara says:

Im not sure the NFL has it right here. Man Im just a fan of youth football and the younger kids anymore. Its football in its pure sense,well maybe the backyard would be even better but youth kids playing football is more funto watch.

February 7, 2007 at 7:47 am
(52) TC says:

Let the churches do what they want, let the kids come in and have a yotuh football game of their own, thats how we do it in Nebraska

February 7, 2007 at 1:22 pm
(53) ha ha says:

I think you have all been taken for a ride.
And another urbin ledgen has been born..
The NFL has bigger fish to fryyyyyyyyyyyy. lolololol

December 29, 2007 at 3:38 am
(54) tony says:

dallas won5 49ers won5 steelers won5 super bolls right

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