The NFL can’t seem to catch a break these days.
The Federal Communications Commission did away with the sports blackout rule Tuesday. That means cable and satellite TV providers can begin airing games regardless of how many tickets have been sold. The NFL says the blackout rule is necessary to ensure attendance at games remains high.
In a unanimous 5-0 vote, the commission eliminated the regulation that was implemented in 1975. Regulators and many lawmakers say it unfairly punishes football fans.
“It’s a simple fact, the federal government should not be party to sports teams keeping their fans from viewing the games — period,” Democratic FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said. “For 40 years these teams have hidden behind a rule of the FCC. No more. Everyone needs to be aware of who allows blackouts to exist, and it is not the Federal Communications Commission.”
With the NFL’s highly publicized problems with domestic violence among some of its star players, and a renewed focus on the leagues tax status and anti-trust exemption, the FCC ruling is the equivalent of a sack that sets up a 4th and long. But if the NFL’s statement immediately following the ruling is any indication, the league intends to stay on offense.
“NFL teams have made significant efforts in recent years to minimize blackouts,” the NFL responded in a statement Tuesday. “The NFL is the only sports league that televises every one of its games on free, over-the-air television. The FCC’s decision will not change that commitment for the foreseeable future.”
With all of the nonsense surrounding the NFL and the Washington Redskins lately, there is one story with a direct link to both that deserves some attention. Former Washington Redskin, Clint Didier, is seeking a new title, “Washington Congressman.” He is running for the seat in the 4th district of Washington state against “moderate” Dan Newhouse. It is one of the few congressional races in the country that does not involve a Democrat, as both Didier and Newhouse are running as Republicans.
Last week, I was privileged to join a conference call with Clint Didier and learn more about his positions and the challenges he and many other conservative candidates are facing from the establishment GOP and their “hired guns” like Karl Rove. Anyone who will not tow their line is a target, and Didier is definitely on their radar.
Clint Didier grew up on a farm near Eltopia, Washington. Anyone who knows anything about farm life knows it is hard, physical work. It is also a way of life that teaches stewardship and perseverance.
Clint Didier would go on to play tight end with the Washington Redskins, after being told that he did not have what it takes to play professional football. He would collect two Super Bowl rings and wrap up his career with the Green Bay Packers before retiring from the NFL in 1990.
After football, Clint Didier returned to farming in Washington with his wife and family, and he also created his own excavating business. As a farmer and a business owner, Didier has been directly impacted by big government. He is a strict Constitutionalist and he espouses the conservative philosophy that so many in the Republican rank and file want to send to DC, which is why the GOP is sending out their goons. They know Didier won’t carry their water…but Dan Newhouse will.
During the call, Didier, who is a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment, contended that Newhouse approves of allowing a judge to determine if someone is mentally fit to own a gun. Upon doing further research, I came across a debate between four of the WA-4 candidates that took place before the August primary whittled the race down to two. Not only did it confirm Didier’s contention (at the 12:05 mark), but it raised some alarm bells in other areas as well.
Newhouse says that, if you have been determined to have mental issues by a judge, your right to own a firearm should be restricted. While that might seem like a sensible policy on the face of it, what happens if the government, under either party, uses the judiciary to declare conservatives, libertarians or self-described Tea Party activists mentally unfit? The Feds have already placed various “right wing” groups on the Terrorist Watch List and used the IRS to target private citizens who have conservative leanings.
The candidates were also asked whether they would support a more progressive tax structure to address “income inequality.” Clint Didier said “If God can live on 10%, I believe our government should be able to live on 10%” (16:42). While Dan Newhouse said that the tax code needs to be simplified (15:05), he also said “We need to make sure that everyone pays something, according to their ability.” Perhaps Mr. Newhouse would agree with Karl Marx who said, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” This is the guy that the GOP supports? While addressing the tax code, Didier noted that the number of agencies within the federal government has ballooned from 100 in 1960, to over 1300 today. Big government advocacy is no longer exclusive to the Democrats, and the establishment GOP knows that Clint Didier wants to shrink the size of this massive behemoth. That cannot be tolerated by those who profit from the system.
The power players in the GOP are expected to throw all of their resources behind Dan Newhouse because he is the perceived “yes man” for the Republican establishment. Clint Didier knows he has a hard fight ahead, but he has seen hard fights before. During the call, I asked him who could be compared to Karl Rove, in terms of his opponents on the football field. He said that Lawrence Taylor was always a formidable foe, but we all agreed that Rove was not worthy of a Taylor comparison, as Didier pointed out that Rove has not been an effective “architect” at all for the Republican Party. He may have successfully engineered the re-election of George W. Bush, but his failures were also instrumental in the Democratic takeover of the House and Senate in 2006, and his influence within the Party has driven a wedge between moderates and conservatives at a time when the GOP cannot afford to spare a single vote.
Recall what happened in the Mississippi runoff between Chris McDaniel and Senator Thad Cochran. The Republican elites, including Karl Rove, were so desperate to prop up Cochran, a senile old fossil who has held office for more than 35 years, that they were willing to smear conservatives as racists and buy Democrat votes to push him over the top. It was a move that could very well cost the GOP that seat if the conservative base remains angry enough to stay home in November.
John LaRosa, who is the co-founder of FourTier Strategies, LLC, and who hosted the conference call, is also a long time football fan. He had a great line when he said, “Karl Rove is an architect like Garo Yepremian was a quarterback” (for those saying “Garo Who?”, click here to watch him stink it up against the Redskins). As of February of this year, donations to Rove’s fundraising machine have literally dried up. If Rove had been an actual architect, his buildings would have been condemned by now.
To be a successful tight end in the NFL, as Clint Didier clearly was, you not only have to catch the ball and make yards after the catch, but you also need to throw some good blocks for your teammates. We need Didier to advance the Constitutional principles down the field, but we also need him to throw a few crack-back blocks on bad policy. Obstructing legislation that further increases our debt or impedes our liberty will help the conservative ground game across the nation.
But before any of this happens, Clint needs to make the roster. That’s where “We The People” come in. Let’s draft Clint Didier, support him, make him a starter, and help him rip a gaping hole in the establishment Republicans’ Party line.
Daniel Defense, a gun manufacturing company from Georgia recently submitted a commercial to be aired during the Superbowl this year. They sent it to FOX where they were told the commercial could not be accepted. According to the statement from the NFL they received, “Unfortunately, we cannot accept your commercial in football/Super Bowl spots due to the rules the NFL itself has set into place for your company’s category.”
The category being firearms and had several guidelines to follow for ads featuring alcohol, video games, movies, prescription drugs, and obviously, firearms. The thing is, Daniel Defense’s Super Bowl commercial does not violate the NFL’s policy. The policy states:
“5. Firearms, ammunition or other weapons are prohibited; however, stores that sell firearms and ammunitions (e.g., outdoor stores and camping stores) will be permitted, provided they sell other products and the ads do not mention firearms, ammunition or other weapons.”
Daniel Defense has a brick-and-mortar store, where they sell products other than firearms such as apparel. The commercial itself does not mention firearms, ammunition or weaponry. This is a commercial that solely focuses on family, personal protection and individual rights and very well could be promoting home alarm systems. For the NFL to ban a commercial such as this is very telling where we have come as a nation. Individual rights and to live free in the greatest country on Earth while being a responsible individual mean nothing today. A very tasteful ad that promotes standing up to protect your family by exercising your rights to do so is obviously un-American today.
So, sit back, relax and enjoy all those ads promoting violent video games and movies that showcase armored tanks and machine guns. We will be sure to get our dosage of unlimited beer ads as well. Beer is great, make no mistake about it, but more people die every year from alcohol than they do handling a firearm. It’s not even close. At all.
Watch below the newly banned commercial, then watch below that for an epic response to the NFL’s decision:
This type of selective censorship is really bordering on the line of social lunacy, where the idea of self protection is considered offensive, but I can watch Beyoncé (happily I might add) hump the stage during the halftime show. – Colion Noir
America is a country founded on guns. It’s in our DNA. It’s very strange but I feel better having a gun. I really do. I don’t feel safe, I don’t feel the house is completely safe, if I don’t have one hidden somewhere. That’s my thinking, right or wrong. – Brad Pitt