Last Saturday, when tornadoes were carving up more of our fair state, Fox 9 interrupted their coverage of the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) Champions League finals to allow meteorologist Tim Blotz to give weather updates.
What resulted was a bevy of angry fans calling the studio to complain, which in turn made Blotz go off on them during his reportage.[jump]
...we are going to continue in our weather coverage and show you the soccer game there in the double box, so you can at least watch the action going on. Now, a lot of you are calling the studios right now... folks, I'm hearing... I'm going to tell you, it does no good to call us. We're going to continue with our weather coverage, all right? I'm going to end the debate right there. We are going to have our double box, we are going to continue with our weather coverage until this tornado warning is over with for the southern metro at which portion we will join back the coverage in its entirety and you can watch it there. But in the meantime, we're going to have it in the double box, so don't call us, don't write to us on Facebook, and cheese us off because you know what? We're sticking with this. [sic]
A local soccer fan complained to the good folks at Deadspin (and you really need to stop there more often, let me tell you) that "the Twin Cities FOX affiliate reduced the whole second half of the CL final to a small box without sound to cover a rainstorm in the farmland south of the cities."
Now, I know everyone's first reaction: There was a freakin' soccer game on Fox 9 the other day? Who knew? I certainly didn't, but then I'm a fair weather, root-for-Holland-in-the-World-Cup type of man (who only does that because he had a great vacation there many years ago.)
To be fair, I can see both sides. On one hand, the dude who tipped off Deadspin seems to forget that we're still reeling just a bit from tornadoes that laid waste to good chunks of the Twins Cities. He also forgets that this channel reaches that "farmland south of the cities", and it's not as if Fox can separate the two, broadcasting tornado warnings just to those areas affected.
It also strikes me as especially important since if you live in the sticks, you probably don't have tornado sirens blaring. All you can do is look out your window, see something weird in the sky, and turn on the news. So you probably want to know if a tornado's on its way, soccer be damned.
On the other hand, it's probably true that if this were a Vikings game, you can bet that Fox 9's weatherman wouldn't have silenced the game (as you can see from the clip below, there's no audio), nor made snarky comments about the fans calling in to demand that Fox at least let them hear what's going on.
Undoubtedly, Fox would have also made the weather box smaller than the game if we're talking American football. Just sayin'.
For even I know that the Champions League final is huge for fans of European soccer. And if Fox is bothering to broadcast it, well, doesn't it make sense to give the viewers a product that they can actually enjoy?
You be the judge. Here's the video clip. Thanks, Deadspin!