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Old 01-29-2014, 08:39 AM
Amateur Barbarian is offline
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: F.O.S.O.N.E.
Posts: 19,905

Don't call it the S-p-rb-wl...


I find it bizarre that the Big Game Stupidbowl Ad Bowl Superbowl can't be called by its right name without licensing permission.

I mean, I guess I can understand why stores might be barred from having a "Superbowl Sale" since that would be trading on the precious protected term and benefiting someone other than the NFL.

But when newspapers and news reports have to use - or feel they have to use - The Big Game in things like countdowns, feature articles and even straight up news reports, there's something very whack here. Certainly the NFL is allowed to protect its trademark as jealously as, say, Disney or Apple, but outside of egregious commercial use I can't see how my local paper having a "Superbowl Countdown" on its web page being any damaging act to the NFL or its fat wallet.

I mean, I could write a novel in which the protagonist mentions his Mickey Mouse® t-shirt in every chapter and has a three-Big Mac™ rumination every two pages, and neither Disney nor MacD's is likely to care (as long as I get the capitalization, spelling and trade marks exactly right).

Why does the NFL get to guard this "Kleenex" word so rigorously that you have to get a validated license to even say it, and what possible benefit is there from so intently policing its use in noncommercial settings?

I should note that the last fifteen minutes of S-p-rb-wl I saw was Jerry Rice making The Catch, which was thrilling, but absolutely nothing could make me turn on a TV or go where one is on that day. I don't much care for football, other than a vague regionally patriotic interest in the status of the Niners, and the entire spectacle of the SUPERBOWL SUPERBOWL SUPERBOWL THERE I FUCKING SAID IT COME AND GET ME YOU TRADEMARK-COPPERS! is just about the most sickening example of mass hysteria/psychosis I can imagine.

But being forbidden to say The Word without permission... is positively Soviet if not Orwellian.

(I should note that this is my third attempt at posting this; the two before vanished unrecoverably when I tried to enter the little trade mark symbols. Hmm.)