Unless you own a satellite dish or want to visit a sports bar, you won't see the San Francisco 49ers-Dallas Cowboys game today.
Instead, WBAL-TV will be showing the game between the Washington Redskins and the Phoenix Cardinals. If that weren't bad enough, it has to switch from the New York Giants-Philadelphia Eagles game promptly at 4 p.m. for the start of the Redskins-Cardinals game even if the other game has an exciting finish.
WBAL-TV program director Emerson Coleman said the station has no choice. CBS counts Baltimore as part of the Redskins market. He has complained in the past to no avail to the network. He's been telling fans who have called to complain to write CBS Sports at 51 West 52nd St., New York, N.Y. 10019.
CBS' answer is that it is just following the rules (nobody can figure out who's responsible for the rules), but the most astonishing comment came from Val Pinchbeck, vice president of broadcasting for the NFL. He was shocked to hear that Baltimore fans don't root for the Redskins. He compared Washington-Baltimore being Redskins country to the way Buffalo-Rochester, N.Y., is Bills country.
"You're the first person to really raise this issue," he said. "It sort of surprises me that people in Baltimore don't follow the Redskins. It's the first time any fan group or media group has made an issue out of Washington road games coming into Baltimore."
You can write Pinchbeck at:
410 Park Ave.
New York, N.Y. 10022
The league office apparently assumes Baltimore fans either root for the Redskins or should root for the Redskins.