For the past three years I've enjoyed the hell out of DirecTV's Sunday Ticket NFL package. But after watching week one this season I just couldn't stomach coughing up a few hundred dollars for the ability to view more than four games on any given Sunday afternoon.
Here are the reasons why.
1. There is more football on than I can handle as is
Now that there are games on Thursday, Sunday and Monday nights that means I'll get five games a week which is about 15 hours of pro football. I don't know about you, but that's a lot of pro pigskin for any dad of two pre-school aged kids. Even as a football junkie I'm not sure how many games one brain can process after a few Miller Lites.
2. The Miami Dolphins Suck
The reason many, many people get Sunday Ticket is to watch their favorite team every week even though they may live across the country. Well, I live in Chicago and my home town team is the horrible excuse of a franchise that graced Hard Knocks this season. I tried to hang on last year and even if Ryan Tannehill becomes Dan Marino I don't mind missing his first season of mediocrity.
3. The mix channel is impossible to watch
You would think a channel that displays 8 games at once would be awesome but it's really impossible to see what's going on in those little squares... even on my 50-inch plasma TV.
4. I'll still get the Red Zone channel
I watch a lot of the red zone channel on the iPad app (which is awesome) and will likely keep that on most Sundays if the primary broadcasts games aren't worth watching. I'm looking at you Kansas City Chiefs. Not sure why they are the "home" AFC team in Chicago but it's annoying.
5. Sunday Ticket is expensive
We're not swimming in money but I could afford the few hundred bucks spread over four months of satellite bills that Sunday Ticket costs. But I could sure spend that money elsewhere in terms of "dad entertainment." Maybe that cash could go to a new iPod Nano or a pair of concert tickets.
6. I have two fucking kids
My son is four and a half and my daughter is three. I'm lucky if they both nap for two hours on a Sunday let alone give me peace to focus on a football game. I'm not complaining, this is just my reality. I kicked a soccer ball to the two of them for an hour last Sunday afternoon in the most tedious fashion but it was terrific bonding for the three of us. Did me missing the Packers - 49ers game really ruin my day? No way. I'd rather see the two of them bicker over who kicks harder than watch Jim Harbough yell at a replacement ref. Plus, they're way cuter.
So the deed is done. I called up DirecTV and cancelled the package on Thursday and I want to add one important note here. The customer service for DirecTV is truly amazing. I’ve never had any cable, Internet or utility company with such great service. The woman on the other end was as sweet as could be considering she was talking to a dissatisified customer. She offered me a slight discount on the package too to keep me but it wasn’t enough to alter my decision making process above. She mentioned the only other fans who called her to cancel the package were Vikings fans right after their Sunday game, which I thought was pretty funny.
Besides the rare strong storm a few times a year, reception with DirecTV is terrific. The technology of the DVR receivers, iPhone and iPad apps is top notch. I have no idea why anyone outside of big cities wouldn’t go with DirecTV over traditional cable. We’ll just have to see if I miss Sunday Ticket enough to re-up next year.