In case you missed it, there is a pretty big event happening in Minnesota tonight. After 162 games, the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers are tied for the AL Central Division title. They will meet in a one-game playoff to determine the winner of the division and the right to go to the 2009 ALDS against the New York Yankees. The Twins will host the Tigers in what could be their final game at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. This will be the 9th time in MLB history that two teams had to play on the day after the regular season ended in a one game playoff. Wait a second, what's that? The game is not being played the day after the regular season? It's being played TWO days later? I'm confused. Did Detroit need a travel day to get from Detroit to Minneapolis? This is unprecedented. No, obviously that's not the case. What happened here was that the NFL's 4th game of the regular season took precedent over a one-game playoff to determine a MLB division champ.
Now, don't get me wrong. The NFL was well within their rights to not move tonight's Media Hype Bowl. The game as it read on the schedule was Green Bay at Minnesota, Monday, October 5th at 8:30 pm. So the NFL has first rights of refusal here. And that's exactly what they used. They trumped a one game playoff for their precious media darling game. A game that will be watched by what is being estimated as the most televisions ever for a regular season game. Can't move that. Too much revenue to be made tonight. Or could they? Anyone who follows the NFL at all knows that the Packers and the Vikings both reside in the NFC North. That means that they play each other twice each season. Once in Minnesota and once in Green Bay. They actually could have spiced up Media Hype Bowl by moving the game to Green Bay tonight and creating an even bigger stir for Ryan Longwell's homecoming (that is who this is all about right? The ex- Green Bay Packer, turned Minnesota Vikings kicker, right?). But the NFL said no. They said no to flip-flopping the home games for the two teams (which I find quite ironic, considering the fact that this game is all about the biggest flip-flopper this side of John Kerry). And they naturally said no to moving the game to Sunday Night or Tuesday Night, for revenue issues.
So, now, the Tigers and Twins can take in the football game Monday Night and wait until Tuesday to play their one game playoff. Of course, this creates problem number 2, and a potential controversy. The Tigers/Twins winner will play the New York Yankees. The Yankees owned the best record in baseball this year. That gives them the privilege of deciding if they want the ALDS to begin on Wednesday or Thursday (theoretically, to better help them set their pitching rotation). Never, in the over 100 years of baseball has a team not had a day off before starting the playoffs. If the Yankees so choose, they can force the Tigers or Twins into this scenario, while a team that didn't even win their division - the Red Sox - gets an extra day of rest while travelling out west. Somehow, that doesn't seem right.
So, while I am only one person, and I am quite certain that the NFL won't miss me all that much tonight, I am boycotting tonight's Packers-Vikings game. There are fantasy football implications for me (go Percy Harvin). But I am sure I can find something else on to kill those three hours. Oh look, the Rangers and Devils are playing tonight on versus. I think I'll tune into that rivalry game instead.