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The Rant

NFL shafts fans with 49ers-Cardinals Sunday nighter

Posted: Thursday September 29, 2005 11:50AM; Updated: Thursday September 29, 2005 4:55PM
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It's Sunday night. We've just finished dinner after already watching almost seven hours of NFL action on the Ticket, not to mention a few hours of Yankees-Red Sox. The pre-Monday depression has set in because we know it's almost time to go back to the office -- not that I don't love coming to work at SI.com every day.

So what do we want now? What do we need now? What's the best way to finish off the weekend? To kick back and enjoy ESPN's Sunday Night Football game (as much as it can be enjoyed with Joe Theisman giving analysis). Uh oh. 49ers-Cardinals in Mexico City? What? Are you serious?

How could the NFL give us this matchup in prime time? Who thought this would be an interesting game? Who felt that the country had to see this contest? What a joke. The team's combined record in 2004 was 8-24. Nobody expected San Fran to do anything this season, and, let's be honest, the Cardinals are the Cardinals. Nobody wants to watch them play.

I guess commissioner Paul Tagliabue figured that if he made these clubs travel to Mexico City, the game needed to be seen by a national audience. Wrong.

No matter where they play this game, it's still the 49ers vs. the Cardinals. Sure, some of us, um, I mean, some of you who like to throw down a wager now and then will tune in. And if your fantasy team needs a big effort from Larry Fitzgerald, you'll watch the game. But for the rest of the free world, making this putrid battle the Sunday night game is cruel and usual punishment.

The guess here is that on Sunday night most of us will be more interested in finding out who's trapped in Alfre Woodard's basement and if Larry David is really adopted.