A Cup of Coffee and...: Do Sports Teams Understand the Economic Crisis?

Chris WilkinsonContributor IDecember 2, 2009

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 1:  Head coach Bo Pelini of the Nebraska Cornhuskers yells to his team during the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl against the Clemson Tigers at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium January 1, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Thanksgiving week is a time to be thankful for things that God has given us. I spent the week with family and trying my best to keep up on all the football and basketball.

Beyond the turkey and other great food, my family and I enjoyed internet radio calls of football and basketball from Thursday till Saturday; that is, except for the broadcasts I couldn't receive thanks to some NFL and college roadblocks.

Due to the economic crisis I have had to make sacrifices since July; one of the first was my dish tv. In this part of the country that left me with NBC and the internet to get my fix of sports news. I have no problem in finding sports news, but internet radio broadcasts are hard to find.

Let's start with the NFL. If you go to NFL.com and want radio calls, right off the bat you have to pay a monthly subscription. The price tag for the year is a little over $20.00.  You might say why complain about that. Well, I have 2 reasons why I complain.

First, go to NHL.com and NBA.com. All you have to do is sign up for a free account on both sites and you get free internet radio broadcasts for all the games. How does the NFL justify charging when two of the other big four pro sports give the same item out for free?

Second, I hate to say it, but you can find other websites that not only give free radio broadcasts, but if you work hard enough, you can find tv broadcasts for all pro sports.

Then you turn to the collegiate level. More than a handful of schools (I have counted at leats 40) have signed up with this CSTV.com online. Again, you are charged a monthly fee of $15 a month to get all the radio broadcasts.

What is wrong with this picture? Go to a Big 12 or PAC 19 school. For the most part, you can get a basic deal for free giving free internet radio calls for the favorite school of your choice. I am lucky: so far Nebraska has not gone for the "pay to listen" deal.

But I am not like Congress, pointing out the problems without offering a solution. I like the way the NHL and NBA have done it. You sign up for a free account, let them email you once a week and you get free internet radio broadcasts. If the NFL did this, I would be all for it. It would be much easier to find the radio calls. I am already paying for my internet, why charge me more for a simple radio call? Heck, if you want to, load the email you send me with promos and ads. I am sure a few fans will buy.

The colleges that signed with CSTV.com, either tell CSTV to give a basic deal of letting the internet radio calls be free or dump CSTV. I'm sorry, I have found sites that have free radio calls for all college athletics. What does that do? It keeps me away from the schools' websites. I think the schools want me to take a look at their websites while listening to the radio call. CSTV can get me to sign up for a free account; it'll be much easier to find all my favorite college sports and I might even find another game to check out some time when my favorite school has an off day.

America, we are suffering enough with this economic crisis. Do we need to suffer more where even the simplest of our escapes, radio calls of sports, are being charged and the Big Boys are trying to get more blood from a stone? America, say no, we want free internet radio calls and we want them easy to find.