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Machinations of TV leave us fans out in the cold

Steve Brownlee

It wasn’t the Packers and it wasn’t the Lions, but it still had me peeved for a bit on Monday afternoon.

What was it that raised my hackles? The Washington-at-Pittsburgh game was promised to us at 5 p.m. on Fox after the game was moved from Sunday. It got moved due to the Steelers having to play on Wednesday last week with all the coronavirus positive tests the Baltimore Ravens had before that.

So I flip over to Fox-U.P. promptly at 5 o’clock and there’s no game. Just to be safe, I tried Fox Sports Detroit, then Fox Sports Detroit-Plus, then FS1 and finally FS2.

Nothing! Instead, I switched over to my usual late-afternoon Game Show Network fare, though I kept coming back to those Fox stations just in case they interrupted “Mike and Molly” with Joe and Troy (that’s Buck and Aikman).

Still nothing came up by about 6 p.m., so I thought I’d do a little internet search to see if there was a hue and cry rising from the masses.

And ESPN already had a story on it. While I couldn’t find it again a day later, I remember most of it — while finding some other stories about the same subject.

The gist of it was that since Steelers-Washington matchup was a Sunday afternoon game, the rescheduled game would only be available to Fox stations that originally were going to carry it on Sunday.

Apparently it has something to do with Sunday Ticket and DirecTV and stuff I don’t remember most of the details about. The main point was that it was out of Fox’s hands on this one — which makes sense, because I imagine if it was up to Fox and they’re already going to have their entire crew there for a broadcast, why not show it to everyone?

There was no way that our Upper Peninsula station would’ve been showing Steelers-Washington on Sunday, since the Lions-Bears game was also a Fox game in the same 1 p.m. time slot.

That kind of leads into an explanation of why we didn’t have a problem getting Tuesday’s Dallas-Baltimore game on NBC. That game was originally a national game to be played last Thursday night, so it remained a nationwide game when it was rescheduled.

Ah, the machinations of TV — dontcha love it?!?!

Onto Week 14, which doesn’t have any earth-shaking changes to the original schedule, except that the Packers-Lions game was moved from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.:

Today, 8:20 p.m.

New England at Los Angeles Rams — Each of these teams had big wins last week, but in different ways. The Patriots blew the doors off the other L.A. team, the Chargers, 45-0, while the Rams took out a much higher-regarded Arizona team, though only 38-28. The Rams seem to have a better track record this season. Rams, 29-24.

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Denver at Carolina — I would think a late-season bye like Carolina had last week would be so precious they might consider offering it in trade for, say, a second- or third-round draft pick. Betcha the league would shoot that down in the blink of an eye, though. Balancing between the bye and the Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey coming back vs. the Carolina placing eight players on the COVID-19 reserve list, I’ll have to take the Broncos, 27-23.

Houston at Chicago — Working on a six-game losing streak, the Bears have so much “reverse” momentum, I think the reverse has reversed itself. In other words, seven doesn’t seem like too big a number for Chicago’s losing streak, not against a Houston team that’s won three of five. Texans, 20-17.

Dallas at Cincinnati — Dallas should feel a kinship with Cincy. Both are teams without their original quarterback and any semblance of a defense. Cowboys, 34-28.

Tennessee at Jacksonville — No matter how hard they try, the Jaguars just can’t seem to “catch” the Jets for the No. 1 draft pick. But they are trying with their 11-game losing streak. Titans, 31-20.

Kansas City at Miami — As dominant as KC was early in the season, I see they’ve won their last four games by a combined total of just 15 points. They usually score that in the first five minutes of a half in a lot of games. Still, I’m sticking with ’em until they fail. Chiefs, 29-26.

Arizona at New York Giants — As mentioned with the Chicago and Jacksonville, there’s a difference between bouncing back after a loss and building a losing streak. For Arizona, it’s four of five losses, while the Giants have won four straight. New York’s wins are a bit thin, with only Seattle a playoff contender if you don’t count any of the crummy teams in the league’s amateur division, the NFC East. Still, it’s a late-season run. Giants, 24-17.

Minnesota at Tampa Bay — An old NFC “Norris” Division matchup. Tampa has lost three of four, but the worst of those three teams they lost to was the Rams. Coming off the other bye last week, I’ll take the Buccaneers, 30-24.

Sunday, 4 p.m.

Green Bay at Detroit — The Lions got the “bounce” last week that teams supposedly get when changing coaches. I understand it only lasts one week for most. Packers, 38-27.

Indianapolis at Las Vegas — I see the Raiders as an outfit that takes advantage of teams that aren’t “buttoned up.” It worked in the Cleveland game when they went there and won. Only thing, though, is I consider Indy as having all of its buttons done up nicely. Colts, 24-19.

New York Jets at Seattle — Even if the Seahawks had won 45-0 last week, this one would be easy. However, you don’t want to face these “angry birds” coming off that upset to the Giants. Seahawks, 42-3.

Atlanta at Los Angeles Chargers — Two of the worst NFL teams when it comes to protecting a lead. At least it was that way early in the year for Atlanta before changing coaches to Raheem Morris. Any chance he’ll be available for the Lions to hire? Falcons, 28-27.

New Orleans at Philadelphia — You know you’re bad when you’re only a half-game out of the basement in the NFC “Least.” No matter which QB Philly trots out, Carson Wentz or Jalen Hurts, he’s going to be under siege against one of the best defenses in the league. Saints, 34-13.

Washington at San Francisco — Sing this to “Jingle Bells”: “Reverse momentum all the way …” Case in point — the “Football Team” (Washington) should be sky high after beating the previously undefeated Steelers as part of a three-game winning streak, while San Fran has lost four of five, all five of those games against teams leading or tied atop their divisions. Give me the team on the skids! 49ers, 27-16.

Sunday, 8:20 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Buffalo — People a lot smarter than me are saying this is the beginning of the end for the Steelers. I won’t argue with them. Bills, 27-23.

Monday, 8:15 p.m.

Baltimore at Cleveland — The Browns are like Lucy in the “Peanuts” comic strip when she holds the football for Charlie Brown to kick. Run up for the kick, and whoops, there she goes pulling the ball away again. I’ll bite on Cleveland anyway. Browns, 24-19.

Last week — 12-3, 80 percent (best of the season!). Season — 122-69-1, 64 percent.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

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