Tag Archives: Church of the NFL

Don’t Come To My Door Holding A Clipboard


directv

I don’t like door-to-door salesmen.  In fact, hate is not too strong of a word here.  I absolutely hate anyone coming to my door who is holding a clipboard.  Maybe it’s the clipboard, I don’t know, but when I approach the door and see a clipboard it immediately sets me off.  I’m in a foul mood before the intruder even opens their mouth.

Lately it seems that cable TV, or more specifically, satellite TV is a ripe opportunity for the door-to-door salesman.  Okay, salesperson.  Whatever.  I’ve been intruded upon now by three different satellite TV sales persons in the last month.  Two of them were with major providers, Comcast and DISH, and the other guy a few weeks ago was with a local satellite company out of Albuquerque.  The DISH representative actually made it into the house and was sitting at my dining room table when I walked in from the backyard and saw the clipboard.  My wife was responsible for letting the intruder in.  She wasn’t “in” very long.

I tell them all the same thing.  I’m not shopping for satellite TV.  I’ve been with DirectTV since the service was available to me in the early 90s in Tucson AZ.  I wanted DirecTV for one reason, and one reason only: “NFL Sunday Ticket.”  I pay way too much, I have 400 channels that never have anything on worth watching, but I get pretty much fail-safe HD reception on my 70″ LCD Samsung television.  And believe me when I say this, it’s all about football.

The guy a few weeks ago, actually said to me that he doesn’t have “NFL Sunday Ticket” but he has something similar.  No you don’t.  Get off my porch.

I would like to pay less for satellite TV, of course I would, but until “NFL Sunday Ticket” is available on other services, that isn’t going to happen.  My DirecTV bill is currently $197 a month.  Sixty dollars of that amount is the six monthly payments for “NFL Sunday Ticket” that I start paying every September through February.  Sounds like a lot of money, but I get to see every game, every Sunday, up to six games at the same time, and most importantly, I get to see my team.

broncosWell, that’s how it all started anyway.  When I moved to Tucson in 1991, the local market for network TV was the San Diego Chargers, and, of course, the Arizona Cardinals (Known as the Phoenix Cardinals at the time.)  My team, the Denver Broncos, weren’t on unless they were playing San Diego or Arizona.  So I had to find a bar that was telecasting Denver games.  I finally did, but I wondered how they were able to get those games out of market.  The answer was satellite.  How was I going to get me a satellite setup?  Where was I going to put a 10 foot diameter dish in my backyard, and where was I going to get the more than $5,000 I needed?  The answer to those questions was, I wasn’t.  So for two years I hung out in bars on Sunday to watch the Broncos play.

Then on June 1, 1994 the NFL began its “NFL Sunday Ticket” satellite TV service.  The package was offered through DirecTV and it was being offered for free for the first year.  Of course you had to sign a contract for two years, but I didn’t care.  I was at the consumer electronics store the first payday in June.  DirecTV was absolutely unbelievable.  Hundreds of channels, more hours of television than there were in a day, and you could record shows you didn’t have time to watch, so you could watch them later when you didn’t have time to watch.  They installed the dish for free, and starting in September, I was able to watch every game on one screen, most importantly, watch my team every Sunday.  I was in football heaven.

I probably wasn’t the first subscriber of “NFL Sunday Ticket,” but I’m sure I was in the top 100.  I’ve paid over $7,500 over the last 22 years to watch my team, watch your team, watch teams I don’t even like, and I almost never miss a Denver game.  When we moved to Reno, NV in 2001, “NFL Sunday Ticket” was a requirement.  Again, because the Denver Broncos were not televised in that market.  The hated Oakland Raiders were on every Sunday, and the San Francisco 49ers, and, secondly, we were now able to go to the local sports book and bet on the games.  You can’t bet on the games if you aren’t able to watch all the games, because you need to know how the teams are doing if you want to place logical bets.  At least, that was our argument.  We would sit every Sunday, watching the “Red Zone Channel” and checking scores, as we watched our parlay cards dissolve into unprofitable slips of paper.  Yeah, we didn’t get rich betting on football, but we won some.

We call Sundays at our house “The Church of the NFL.”  Services start at 10:00 am and last until 9:30 pm every Sunday.  I go to church religiously.

So if you’re a cable or satellite TV salesperson, don’t waste your time ringing my doorbell.  I know you see the DirecTV dish on my house.  It’s clearly visible from the street, and unless you somehow manage to get the exclusive contract for “NFL Sunday Ticket” it’s staying right there.  WTF.

 

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Close One Door And Another One Gets Slammed In Your Face.


This could be "Weber's Grocery" but it wasn't stucco, or white and the doors were in a porch opening and it wasn't as wide in the front and it wasn't called "B-Line." But this could be "Weber's Grocery."

Today is one of those days when you close the door on a chapter in your life and open up another.  Usually, I close a door and the other one gets slammed in my face, but that’s just me.  It’s my last day on my current job.  Been behind this door for the longest of any jobs I have had, nine years, almost to the day.

The desk is cleaned off.  The computer files cleaned up.  The personal items packed away until they are needed again.  We met last night for the farewell happy hour, and it was attended by those most important co-workers, the ones you will miss the most.  I’m pretty sure, at this moment, I’m not going to miss the job though.  I’ve had a lot of jobs over my working life, and I’ve quit most of them.  I’m going to take that as a good thing.

My first job was as a stock clerk at a neighborhood grocery store.  Weber’s Grocery.  It was across the street from the house on Burkitt Street where I grew up.  I was twelve at the time and it was the last day of school.  I was on the losing end of a water balloon barrage and Bernie Weber was driving by the school at just the right moment.

“Help, Mr Weber, give me a ride.”  He told me to jump in. 

This could be Bernie's car, but it wasn't yellow, and I think it was a '59, and I don't think it was a four door, but this could be the car Mr. Weber rescued me in.

“Thanks,” I told him.  The back of the Chevy station wagon was loaded with boxes of food and produce. 

“You want to make some money?” he asked.

“Sure,” I said.  What kid didn’t want to make a little extra money. 

“Good, you can help me unload this for the ride home.”

I worked at the grocery store for 4 years.  I didn’t quit.  I was fired.  Yes, I was fired from my first job.  But it is a long story involving a setup, a divorce, and alcohol.  All fodder for a future story.

I moved on to a fry cook at a drive-in restaurant, then washing dishes and pans in the college cafeteria, then a summer back at the drive-in as a manager.  Next I got the Service Representative job at the Mountain Bell Business Office in Santa Fe.  Next stop was the transfer to Laramie and then the promotion to Commercial Instructor in Cheyenne.  I quit that job and went back to school where I worked full time, at first, the grave-yard shift at a convenience store, and then as a night desk clerk at a budget motel.  The next job was  a collector and then collection manager for a major bank collecting delinquent VISAs and MASTERCARDs.  That was the second time I was fired.  That is a long story, involving a setup, a divorce, and alcohol.  More fodder.

From there I moved to Tucson and worked for a commercial collection agency, mostly collecting pager bills.  Remember those, pagers?  Then as an AR clerk and later Credit Manager for a major lock manufacturer.  That job ended with a merger with a Canadian company and a layoff.  I ran my own remodeling business for a year and a half, what I call my self-unemployed period, and then went back to work in a small town as a manager’s assistant and later a Deputy Clerk.  I later became the Town Clerk and am a Certified Municipal Clerk.  I quit that job, and moved to Reno, Nevada because my wife was transferred.

In Reno, I’ ve worked as a credit manager for a gaming manufacturer (they make electronic bingo machines), and for the last nine years as a leasing consultant for a telecom company. 

That wasn’t intended as a resume really, but just a recap of the jobs I’ve held over  four decades and a half.  I didn’t take any of these jobs because I wanted them.  Really, you say.  No, it was always determined by economic circumstance.  I needed the money, and when offered a job, I took it.  Of course I applied for jobs that I wanted, but they always lacked an offer.  I was never able to draw unemployment for more than a couple of months either. 

I have a degree in Journalism and I used to joke that the only thing I got out of it was that I write damn good memos, and now emails.  I’ve never worked in the journalism field, and would truly like to find something where I could use what writing skills I have.  Making money at it would solve that economic issue as well.

Professor Lawrence asked us on the first day of Journalism 101 class why we wanted to write.  I answered that it was something that was easy for me to do.  I found writing easy.  He said it was the best answer he’d ever heard.  I’ve always remembered that.

So I’m looking for an open door out there.  I’ll be out on the road driving U-Haul trucks for the next few days so I probably won’t get to post anything for the rest of the week.  Don’t give up on me though.  I’ll be back at the keyboard by Sunday just before church starts.  At 11:00.  The Church of the NFL.

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