Saturday afternoon, the Houston Texans and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicked off the first of three games that would be aired exclusively on NFL Network. This is an annual holiday season tradition for the network, which marks the end of Thursday Night Football and sets the stage for the playoffs. However, the overwhelming response to the slate of games was frustration.
Saturday morning and into the afternoon, NFL fans on Twitter voiced their frustrations with multiple aspects of the Saturday schedule. For many, they were dealing with a video feed that cut out as Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston was throwing his third interception. Others couldn't handle the announcing team.
NFL Network used a unique trio for the first game that featured host Rich Eisen, Good Morning Football co-host Nate Burleson, and former Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas. The trio provided differing opinions on the game, as well as the players, but the fans weren't paying attention to this aspect. Instead, they were frustrated by Eisen calling both quarterbacks by the wrong name.
"[NFL Network] how many times is Rich gonna get the QB names wrong," one user wrote on Twitter. "He keeps calling 'Watson' 'Winston'...turnovers on the field and in the booth!!"
Eisen was aware of his mistakes during the first half of the game. He said that it was possible that fans were having a drinking game based on his mixups. The announcing trio even voiced concerns that those ingesting alcohol may not survive beyond halftime.
That being said, there were far more fans that weren't concerned about the announcing quality. Their frustrations were caused by the lack of availability for these games. NFL Network is a cable channel that isn't readily available for a portion of football fans. Those that subscribe to Hulu Live TV or YouTube TV don't have access despite paying a monthly fee north of $50.
"guess I won't be watching the games today — they're all on NFL Network, and I don't get that channel with YouTube TV," one fan wrote. Another voiced their frustrations with some added NSFW language.0comments
Those that subscribe to streaming services were not the only ones frustrated by the lack of NFL Network given that a large portion of America does not subscribe to cable or satellite TV. There were many fans unable to watch football on Saturday, and they were very angry about that fact.
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