A lot of people like professional football on television.
There's no accounting for taste.
At times last season, devotees could see four National Football League games a week.
There's a report now that the NFL may add two more nights of games.
The Associated Press says the NFL is considering the sale of a package of games on Thursday and Sunday nights. And th AP says all three major networks have reason to buy the deal.
Then we would have football available on Monday night, Thursday night, Saturday afternoon, Sunday afternoon (a doubleheader) and Sunday night.
Oh, the pain.
Phyllis George is beautiful.
Howard Cosell is brilliant.
Don Meredith is engaging.
Tom Brookshier. Pat Summeral, John Brodie, Jim Simpson, Curt Gowdy and Brent Musberger are probably fine men who have never kicked a dog.
But six times a week?
There ought to be a defense against this assault on sanity.
A guy could tunr off his television set.
But what would his buddies say?
They'd say O. J. made the greatest touchdown run is history on TV last night, and if a guy says he didn't see it, he was reading a book, well, his buddies won't be his buddies long, because nobody likes somebody who's strange. It may be catching.
Only strange people do not watch the NFL on television.
The NFL is everywhere. At department stores, you can bu NFL bedspreads and toilet seats, NFL beer mugs and wrist watches. The TV brings up pre-game shows, filmed highlights, homemade banners, sideline cameras, post-game shows, bench mikes, and Bud Grant and his headset, George Allen and his thumb, instant replays of George Allen and his thumb, isolated action, O.J. panting and Namath in pantyhose.
Six games a week?
A lot oof people will love it. Teased by a single game for years, strung along with two later, hooked by three and rendered incapable of independent thought when a fourth was put in front of them, these addicts would love six games.
That way they's see everybody, you know? Get a line on who's doing what, you know? Might drop George a not and let him know Lynn Swann is hearing footsteps. Cosell said so, you know? And ain't Phyllis a looker?
Some benighted gentlemen write about sports and get paid for it. At least one is so strange he does not watch NFL games on television.
He has three reasons.
He doesn't get paid to do it. (Do plumbers go home and sit under the sink looking at a drain pipe?)
His wife would hurt him real bad if he turned on a football game. (She thinks footballs is a violent game and is ready to break heads to keep it out of her house.)
And he thinks every NFL game looks alike on the tube, and if he's seen one, he's seen them all. (It's "I Love Lucy' with shoulder pads.)
That is the worst part.
Football is a great game.
Without it, the world would be full of 250-pound bullies driging taxis.
Without it, husbands would be putting themselves in danger on weekends by mowing the lawn.
Seriously, folks. Wer there no football, we truly would be the worse for it, for those 250-pound bullies can do marvelous things.
Few moments in sports were the equal of a Green Bay sweep. The power and precision of Jerry Kramer and Fuzzy Thurston, leading Paul Hornung around end, were beautiful. So was a Johnny Unitas pass to Raymond Berry down and out. And nothing was better than Harlan Hill going deep.
Those were the old days.
A 17-inch screen, only two announcers, neither a comedian.
One game a week.
Each wonder, then, was filed away in memory.
Now a guy is lucky if he can remember which teams he saw, NFL football on TV today is a bewildering kaleidoscope, all color and no sense. Did O.J. really gain 200 yards? Or was that a filmed highlight? Or did Phyllis really mean O.J. might gain 200 yards someday? If we see one sweep, we see a hundred a week. The marvelous is made routine. Too much football.