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TV promos deserve a penalty flag
X-rated television promos have no place in general-audience football games.

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Date published: 9/15/2002


"AND IT'LL BE fourth down and one when we come back after this brief timeout."

(Clip showing scantily clad young women bouncing.) "See babes on trampolines, babes boxing other babes, and wet, sweaty babes jumping around on the beach in the new Fox special, 'Everything Guys Would Like to See Babes Do That We're Allowed to Show,' Friday night at 8 on Fox.

"But then things turn deadly [clip of half-naked woman being chased by hatchet-wielding madman] when a crazed killer rapist sneaks out of the asylum and stalks unsuspecting supermodels in the next episode of the award-free drama series, 'Crimes That Even Make Cops Puke,' right after 'Everything Guys Would Like to See Babes Do.' That's Friday night--lots of beauties and one big, bad beast--on Fox."

"We're back live at Cleavage, I mean Cleveland Browns Stadium. Wow, Bob, looks like another night of excellent entertainment on Fox. Fox. Fox. Fox. Fox. Fox. Fox."

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to sit down with the kids and just watch a football game? Having to hold the remote control, finger poised on the channel button for quick switching at every commercial break, takes away from the fun of the game itself.

With the new NFL season under way, Fox and the other networks are taking full advantage of their predominantly male football audiences to promote other programming of interest to young men. In other words, anything involving sex and violence.

Far be it from me to advocate censorship of television programming. The fare offered TV viewers may set new standards of bad taste. It may pander to the most base human indulgences. But it may also be just what Americans want to see. Heck, maybe it's even a source of stress relief--even catharsis--for overwrought adults. OK, maybe that's a discussion for another time.

But do we need to see this stuff summed up every 10 minutes in a 30-second television spot when the actual viewing demographics of NFL football are much broader than just males in their sexual prime?

Some families may view the violence of football itself as unhealthy, and it's their prerogative not to watch football, just as it is the prerogative of viewers in general to avoid any programming they choose not to watch.

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