NFL tells church “You can’t show the game”

 With the NFL,  sports bars are in – churches are out.  

INDIANAPOLIS (BP)–The National Football League has told a Southern Baptist church in Indianapolis it will run afoul of federal copyright law if it hosts a Super Bowl party this Sunday, even though the league makes a major exception for such large-scale viewings at sports bars…

Here’s the full article.  Sr. Pastor John Newland is thinking absolutely right.  You’ll appreciate his comments.   There’s an NFL attorney listed too.  Would be nice if her Email box was full to overflowing first-thing Monday morning.  (My attitude’s showing, isn’t it?)


It sounds to me like it all comes down to  Control  and The Dollar. 

Or maybe it’s control OF the dollar.

Let’s see, a congregation and guests of their families can’t gather together at church, creating a wholesome place to watch one of the year’s biggest events (and hopefully some of the year’s best commercials) so the NFL maintains control of how people see the game.

While sports bars around the country can?  and do?  With the  -[ahem]-  alfluences of incohol all around?!! 

UNsportsmanlike Conduct!


I wonder if there’s a way to make sure that 10% of the NFL’s gross income each year goes to benefit organizations like the one trying to serve its community Sunday (and the other 51 Sundays of the year).   Since we can’t watch the game together at church (not even on multiple screens).

People need to KNOW about this!
Then pray.  Ask God to do something.
He just might, last I checked He was bigger than the NFL.  And the FCC.  And the networks.

Some of His followers are playing Sunday; devoted believers on both teams.  Coaches with outspoken testimonies will be across the field from each other.  (Look for the links in Ann’s comments)

This may have taken the church in Indianapolis by surprise but it certainly didn’t catch God off-guard. 

Let’s ask Him: “For the sake of Your name, Lord,  turn this selfishness into an opportunity of some kind!  Help us be gentle but bold about You when the subject comes up!”

OK. I’ll get down off this soap-box.  Just makes me mad, that’s all.  


Pass the word.  I think America needs to know about this.  

7 Replies to “NFL tells church “You can’t show the game””

  1. annkroeker

    Hi, Phil! I’m enjoying getting to know you a little bit and certainly appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by!

    This story is fascinating, aggravating, surprising, and several other “ings.” I’m here in Indy, so it has a local interest for me as well.

    I was hoping we’d find a place (other than a bar) to watch the game with my kids other than home. We ended up watching the AFC championship game on a 30-year-old 9-inch mini-TV that we set on our kitchen countertop. It was a pathetic sight. But what a shame that we won’t be able to go over to the Baptist church on Sunday….

  2. Phil

    How gratifying that these coaches and others are speaking out, directing fans’ curiosity toward the Savior’s love — for THEM!
    The height of competition is a great place for Christ-likeness to reveal itself; I believe it will be.

    So maybe God wants more Christians in Indy scattered around in homes where there might be people who need to know… instead of all gathered at church? ( I’m not trying to figure God out – there’s no way – but… )

    Thanks for sharing these links! Impressive!
    We need to pray for Christians to be winsome witnesses this weekend, don’t we?

    curious – how did you see jersey numbers on a 9-inch screen? [ 😆 ]

  3. Phil

    Now that the game is behind us, I wonder if we’re a little less emotionally engaged and are prepared to ask “Which is more important? Compliance, living as law-abiding sojourners, representing our Savior well? or getting to do what we want.?”

    I tip my hat to you, Pastor Newland!! Being willing to comply though you disagreed showed Christlikeness.

    We’ve a year now to see what we can do about convincing the NFL to change its policies, but you and the leaders at Fall Creek did the right thing!


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