Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


The Game That Shall not be Named is Finally Here

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

Vague language is the name of the (big) game.

There's a sports game on right now. The Big Game. You know, the championship game between two conferences of a league that specializes in playing the sport with a football.

But hey since I'm not an advertiser, I can call a spade a spade: It's the Super Bowl. Super Bowl Super Bowl. Super Bowl. Between the New England Patriots and New York Giants.

Support for LAist comes from

See, I just said all that without fear of infringing on any of the copyrights owned by the National Football League. Unlike my neighborhood Ralphs or the area's mom-and-pop restaurants trying to boost sales today, I can write things like "NFL," "AFC," "NFC," "Super Sunday."

Thank goodness the NFL dropped their bid to copyright "The Big Game" last year because then we'd all be subjected to vaguer language in advertising and mailers in the weeks leading up to Super Sunday -- which would be even more annoying than it is now. But unfortunately, the NFL is still carrying the trademark rules a little too far. We read in the Wall Street Journal yesterday that churches were getting cease and desist orders from the NFL for planning public viewing events around "The Big Game."

The league, which owns both the Super Bowl name and the broadcast, has restrictions that limit TV screens to 55 inches at public viewings, except at venues like bars and restaurants that regularly broadcast sporting events. Airing the game at events that promote a message, including a religious message, is forbidden...

I'm not violating any NFL rules this afternoon because my friends who are hosting their "super party" don't have a 55'' television. Besides, the league isn't cracking down on home viewing parties. Not yet, anyway.

Photo screen captured from