No "Super Bowl" Party at Area Church
There wil be no "Super Bowl" Bash this year at Fall Creek Baptist Church. But the congregation will have the next best thing--"Fall Creek's Big Game Bash!"
"It's legal," says Pastor John Newland. "We're very carefully worded in our statement."
The NFL called a foul when churches across Indiana announced their Super Bowl gatherings in the days leading up to Super Bowl XLI in 2007, when the Colts were preparing to meet the Chicago Bears.
The rules, stemming in part from the league's contract with the television networks, prohibited such gatherings. When you watch a game away from home, you're not counted in the television ratings. Some of those same rules still apply.
"You can't charge admission, you still can't take up any donations for snacks or anything like that," says the pastor. "And you still can't use the words Super Bowl." The league dropped a prohibition on big screen televisions.
This year, there will be no admission fee. The church has been taking a "snack collection" in advance and guests are encouraged to bring a canned food item to be donated to the Baptist Relief Center downtown. The church web site advertises the "Big Game Bash" from 6:00 p.m. to the game's end.
Cynics might still call the NFL the "No Fun League." This year, tee-shirt makers in Louisiana are being told that they can't use the New Orleans Saints "Who Dat" slogan.
After a conference call with the NFL's general counsel, Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell says it's okay to sell the shirts if they include no reference to the team or the NFL. The league says it only contacted retailers using other pro football trademarks.
» Zionsville Mom Goes After NFL's Policies On Super Bowl (2-2-07)
» NFL Halts Church Super Bowl Party Plans (2-1-07)