As the NFL and NBC try to figure out the plans for the season-opening game between the Saints and Packers in light of President Obama’s plan to address a joint session of Congress on the same night, the good news is that Obama apparently plans to steer clear of the start of the football game.
Though an official announcement has not yet been made by the White House, Obama’s speech apparently will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET on September 8, one hour before kickoff of the kickoff to the season.
And so, assuming the absence of any filibustering (a big assumption, given the precise location of the address), the speech should be over before it’s time to play the game.
But plenty of football fans will still find that outcome unacceptable. The speech is still encroaching on turf that had been reserved for the game, potentially interrupting the pregame coverage on NBC, including the musical acts and the other stuff aimed at getting folks properly lathered up for the official start of the football season — and at permitting Packers fans to properly savor the celebration of their most recent Lombardi Trophy.
It remains unclear whether NBC will preempt the pregame coverage for the purposes of covering the speech, and whether the pregame coverage will be exported to another NBC/Comcast channel.