It was to have been a wholesome evening of fellowship and football.
And it would have been illegal.
Farmland Friends on Friday joined churches nationwide in abruptly canceling its Super Bowl party for fear of violating a federal copyright law that prohibits public venues from showing NFL games on big-screen TVs.
Sports bars are specifically exempted. Churches are not.
The law has been widely ignored for years. Churches routinely draw hundreds of fans to annual Super Bowl parties; some denominations openly use the events as tools for evangelism. The Christian magazine Sports Spectrum even markets a Super Bowl party kit for churches. This year, however, a celebration sponsored by Falls Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis caught the attention of a National Football League attorney, Rachel L. Margolies.
She ordered the church to cancel its party and remove the trademarked Super Bowl name from its website. The Indianapolis Star picked up the story Thursday — and by Friday, pastors across Indiana and beyond were scrambling to yank down their Super Bowl banners and give away their trays of burgers.
A few things about this law which was enacted around forty years ago and limits the television size to 55 inches. It's archaic. Damn near everybody goes to a Superbowl party of some sort nowadays. Secondly, wow, who was worried about TVs larger than 55 inches forty years ago. Hell, most people were still watching black and white models back then.
Lastly, damn near a billion people watch the Superbowl world wide, what the hell is the NFL doing enforcing this anyway?
Oh, and go Bears!
Found via Kevin Drum