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NFL Picks Week 11, Thursday Edition: 'Greek' says ...


Well, it looks like my NFL Network posting may have been put up a little prematurely.

This morning I woke up to a lively debate about the NFL Network and why it's not fair that we do not get to see tonight's game. In my neck of the woods. I am at the epicenter of an unholy alliance of Jets, Giants, and Patriots fans. Jets and Patriots fans are at odds due to natural rivalries, as well as the fact that neither team has exclusive television rights from the Time Warner affiliate.

There is generally one fan base left in the dark every weekend. However, this week, both teams are off the airwaves, and people actually are up in arms. The basic crux of the argument from Time Warner and most other non-compliant cable companies, is that they want to make the NFL Network a standard station and have everyone pay a premium, whether they want the channel or not. Obviously, this has caused issues, and the standoff has not been resolved for the majority of cable subscribers.

This all leads to the same issues raised by last week's exclusive NFL Network broadcast. Imagine if Tom Brady was healthy for this matchup. This would have been the perfect storm for the NFL, who may have finally forced the hand of the major cable companies that have held out on including the NFL Network on their lineup. Unfortunately for the NFL and the fans, the outcry will probably be more regional in nature, and we will see this battle play out for several more years.

Perhaps the worst part of this is that I am able to see the game, and there is no way to see both teams lose. If the NFL could make this happen I'd be more than willing to shell out an extra $3 a month to have the NFL Network. At least tonight's game provides easy fodder for sportswriters out there. It's the equivalent of the writers for South Park putting out a post election episode last Wednesday.

Every sports columnist can write two articles tonight and post the correct one as soon as the game is over. The first storyline, if the Patriots win, is that the system works with or without Brady. No one is bigger than the team, blah blah blah. The second storyline, if the Jets win, is Brett Favre in first place. He turned the Jets around, put the team on his back, blah blah blah. No matter who wins I will die a little inside, but at least I won't have to watch either team on Sunday, and one fan base will be devastated. So I have that going for me, which is nice.

NY Jets at Patriots (-3.5)

Last week: 6-8

Season: 78-62-4