Yes, Armed Forces Network did play the NFL this weekend

 
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Yes, Armed Forces Network did play the NFL this weekend

It started last week and has unfortunately persisted, despite the fact that the threatened act never took place.  So, let's back up.

First, Stars and Stripes announced that there would be no NFL for deployed troops:

So long, Dodgers and Red Sox. Sure gonna miss ya, Broncos and Crimson Tide. Even NASCAR and the President’s Cup golf are nowhere to be seen.

The American Forces Network, reduced to just a news channel this week by the government shutdown, says it has no plans to screen football, baseball or other sports until things get back to normal.

The hopes of sports fans — raised this week when AFN started showing ESPN’s "SportsCenter" on the news channel — were dashed in an email from AFN on Friday that ruled out screening actual sports events during the shutdown.

Navy Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist John Harrington, an AFN spokesman, said in an email that the broadcaster’s lawyers had determined there is no sound policy or legal basis to air sports.

In an update though, they apparently found one:

Military sports fans got great news when the American Forces Network began screening football on its news channel over the weekend. It expects to have other channels — off air since the government shut down Oct. 1 — back up within days.

AFN’s lawyers had advised there was no sound policy or legal basis to air sports during the government shutdown since they were “not deemed critical to accomplish essential aspects of the DMA (Defense Media Activity) mission in direct support of excepted military operations and activities.”

However, the announcement, by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel over the weekend that Defense Department civilians who support “the morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of service members” can return to work means AFN’s sports network and other channels will return soon.

Navy Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist John Harrington, an AFN spokesman, said in an email Monday that AFN has been cleared to start restoring services that were cut.

Yes, there are still a million (and counting) reasons to be unhappy about the shutdown.  Like putting out traffic cones so that people can't stop and look at Mount Rushmore, and people being thrown out of their houses, and the Government closing the parking lot at Mount Vernon.  Just replace "no football" with one of the existing issues and continue to complain until out government decides to act like grown-ups.

 

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.