In other words, here in Lancaster, Pa. -- just 60 miles from Center City as the crow flies -- the Eagles game is not on TV. Nope, it wasn't "blacked out," nor was there a technical glitch. Simply, it was not broadcast in this area.
This is despite the Eagles thinking that Lancaster was fertile enough ground for their fandom to open one of their Eagles' Stores in the touristy row of strip malls outlining the outer edge of Lancaster proper and the Amish/tourist zone. This is also despite the notion that Lancasterians believe their town is a de facto suburb of Philadelphia and within the Philly media market.
But the reason for the Eagles snub of the Lancaster viewing area isn't because the cable company or TV networks are mean or have it out for the good folks in the Garden Spot. It's simply the fault of geography, which can be a kick in the pants sometimes.
You see, CBS is the network in charge of carrying the Eagles game vs. Jacksonville on Sunday. Unfortunately, the TV station in Lancaster -- WGAL -- is an NBC affiliate. The CBS affiliate is in York or Harrisburg, which just over the Susquehanna River from Lancaster, is technically the Baltimore viewing market. That means the affiliate is bound by the NFL's rules and regulations to show the Ravens-Saints game.
See, what did I tell you about geography?
The funny thing is that Baltimore is closer to most of Lancaster. In fact, a drive from my house to Camden Yards/Inner Harbor is much easier and quicker to make than one to Philadelphia... not to mention much more pleasant than battling traffic on the Schuylkill or Blue Route.
Yet there is no real connection with Baltimore here. Sure, there are a handful of Orioles' fans, but they seem to have diminished considerably during the Angelos reign in the so-called Charm City. The Ravens? What are they? Where did they come from and what happened to the Colts?
The football team in that city is called the Baltimore Colts. You know, Johnny Unitas, Art Donovan, Don Shula, Lenny Moore, Bert Jones, Gino Marchetti, Earl Morrall and Raymond Berry. The name and colors should have remained locked up in Memorial Stadium when the Irsay's packed up that Mayflower truck and snuck out of town in the middle of the night.
The Baltimore Ravens still have a USFL feel to them, and yeah, I know they won the Super Bowl a few years ago. The opposing quarterback in that game, Kerry Collins, is a former basketball and football standout in the Lancaster-Lebanon League.
Lancaster is Eagles and Phillies country, and it used to be the pre-season home for the 76ers, whose training camp was held at Franklin & Marshall College. Nevertheless, that doesn't do anything for the folks who are bummed out that they cannot watch the local football team on Sunday afternoon.
So what's the remedy? Maybe the NFL can start broadcasting their games on the Internet like every other major and minor sports league? Or, better yet, maybe they can allow the local affiliates to decide on their own which games they want to televise to their viewers?
Then again, it's Sunday. Turn off the tube and hang out with the family.