Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Spiraling of TV Programming

There is a rumor going around now....that the History Channel folks....are looking for the next Duck Dynasty.  The story goes....the executives have balanced the timeline and general life of such programs, and think "DD" has peaked, and might be on the last year or two of it's life.  Some folks would argue with the idea.....but this takes us to the next drawing board and replacement series.

So, as the rumor goes.....they have this weird idea of a show that would draw the DD audience and have a religious connection of sorts. But there would be a twist.

The suggestion....faith-swap.  Some minister of some church.....would be sent over to another radically different church.  Hindus, Islam, Church of Christ, Mormons, Baptists, Pentecostals, Seventh-Day Adventists, rock-worship folks, Buddhists, etc.

You can sense....like Duck Dynasty....there's bound to be a fair amount of fakeness involved.  I hate suggesting a program like Amish Mafia.....but it's likely to have three fake congregations, and three fake radical ministers.....with various fake dramas built into the show.

You can imagine some snake-handling Pentecostal minister being sent over to a Methodist Church, and folks freaking out once some one-foot long non-poisonous snake is pulled out of a burlap bag.  Or some Buddhist minister has shown up at a Baptist church....getting a fair lecture by three deacons over the need for fire-and-brimstone sermons.  Or how about a Seventh-Day Adventist minister showing up at a Islam cultural center.....emphasizing clean living, devotion to family, and forgiving folks when necessary.

The problem is.....most churches won't desire any radical changes in their personal beliefs.  This gimmick of a new prospective isn't what they signed up for.

There's another issue in this creative concept.....you will likely find gay-friendly ministers somewhere in the mix, and the work of the minister to convince his new congregation that all is good, and acceptance is the Lord's work.  Course, you can imagine some old guy thumbing through his Bible, and telling the new minister that there's various texts in the Bible which note this sort of thing isn't acceptable.  He'd then turn to the new minister and ask if the Bible was wrong (it's a bad question for any minister to take on....you can only lose this discussion).

Duck Dynasty opened up a wide-door.  Christian values got put on display.  Christian ethics were routinely discussed.  Southern wisdom was always a theme on the show.

Taking the next step, and running up a fake religious show?  Well.....it's probably the way this trend will go.

Who knows.....maybe a Buddhist might step in and really challenge folks a good bit.  Maybe we need a Pentecostal minister with five rattlesnakes.  Maybe we need a Baptist minister who talks big on the evils of alcohol and lusty trailer-park women, but then gets arrested the next week for buying dope over in some seedy part of town while drunk.  Stranger things have happened.

Beginning of the End for College Football?

A couple of players for Northwestern University.....have put the paperwork up and are progressing toward forming a union.  There are steps left, and it might collapse at some point.  You can figure judges might step into the way.....a court episode with the NCAA.....and even the university itself might fight this tooth and nail.  But there's some fair odds that the union will form.....and spread.

So, you need to ask yourself.....what would be the goal of a college football union.  They'd want healthcare of a better type.....guaranteed....and likely to extend for years after they finish at the university.  They might seek some non-financial compensation....going past tuition and room & board.  They might just go after the authorities at the NCAA, and make some demands that would toss them upside down.

Strikes?  Yeah.  They could stand up on a Friday evening and indicate a twenty-four hour strike for Saturday.....where a big game might be on the line.  Networks upset over the cancellation of a scheduled game?  Probably so.  Fans upset over purchasing their tickets and arranging hotel reservations.....only to discover the game will be cancelled?  Fans might be real upset.

Expanding the union beyond just one team or one university?  I'd take a guess that it'd only take seven days after they are confirmed as a union....for at least two more football teams in the NCAA to announce they will do the same action.  You could have forty teams unionized within a year.

The folks who will suffer?  The NCAA would have to hire an entire branch of new legal guys to handle the various negotiations, and they never come cheap.  University presidents might sit and ponder over the cost of the entire program....and wisely say it's not worth the pain or financial incentive for the college....thus disbanding the whole football program.    Big name high school players avoiding unionized teams?  It's more than likely.....you'd certainly want a non-union school to display your talents.  It'd work just like car plants being established in southern states today.

The issue here......is that NCAA football has become something that is more of a business than a sport.  Coaches make millions, and state officials just grin and bear the pay requests.  Agents sneak around and work up secret deals while guys are in the first year at some college.....pushing secret money toward the kid....paying for cars....and helping the family while Johnny plays tight-end for Texas Tech.  Nothing much in NCAA football is ethical....except the rules for good conduct on the field.

For some reason, I like this idea.  Yeah, it might dissolve the NCAA in a decade, and turn college football into a business operation (which it always has been).   Yeah....tickets might go up another twelve bucks.  Yeah....strikes might occur with various teams and screw up future TV contracts.

Changes.....might be coming.