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The Ridiculously Huge and Ostentatious Gridiron Spectacle

Dave Randall

Posted on January 28, 2018 18:32

3 users

Corporate fear of potential copyright infringement makes referencing the Bowl ... not so Super

Were it not a professional sporting event, I'm certain that after 51 years, some up-and-coming opportunist in Congress would have introduced a bill by now that would make Super Bowl Sunday a national holiday. As it is, serious or casual fans (just the partyers) often take the following Monday off to nurse their overindulgences.

Here's the thing: the NFL is a multi-billion dollar corporation that protects its copyrights with the ferocity of a mama bear. Any entity or persons who want to use the term "Super Bowl" must pay for rights, or pay in court. 

I'm aware of this intimately. Radio companies receive annual memos from their lawyers detailing what can and cannot be said on air about the Super Bowl, Olympic games, etc., as well as any sporting event where rights to promotional tie-ins must be purchased from the rights holders, for a fancy, seven to eight figure fee. Should TV/radio stations or retailers without rights plan events or sales around the game, expensive litigation would then ensue. Corporate lawyers advise (sometimes admonish) each entity with the seriousness of a coronary infarction. To a cautious, paranoid, arse-covering extent.

Is it necessary? For those ignorant of the laws, yes. Will the NFL sue if you mention that Justin Timberlake is performing at halftime at the Super Bowl? No, although there is a breed of programming supervisor in radio so sensitive to pleasing higher ups, that any reference at all is verboten. "The Big Game" is how you will hear the Super Bowl referred to when an on air performer works for this type of unthinking apple-polisher.

Finding myself in this very predicament between 2006 and early 2013, I came up with a series of unique ways to acknowledge the game without saying "Super Bowl."

The headline, for example: "The Ridiculously Huge and Ostentatious Gridiron Spectacle."

"The Massive Excuse for Binging, Purging and Spewing Light Beer Sunday Soiree" was a good one.

"The Knee Deep in Nachos Ground-Acquisition Game" worked.

"The Guzzle-That-Keg-to-the-Bottom Kick-Off Classic," and "The Arrest-Me-Now-So-I'll-have-a-Place-to-Sleep-It-Off Extravaganza," were two I enjoyed.

Five will get you ten, the NFL would rather I'd just said "Super Bowl."

 

Dave Randall

Posted on January 28, 2018 18:32

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