INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts' first Super Bowl appearance made Calvary Temple want to party like it never had before.
The church planned a Sunday shindig for about 100 young adults, complete with snacks and a big screen TV to watch the game.
"It's just a good opportunity to get everybody together, have some fellowship and fun and watch the Super Bowl," business manager Bill Kaler said.
But temple leaders scrapped the idea after learning the NFL stopped a similar get-together at another Indianapolis church, saying it would violate copyright laws.
"I didn't realize the Super Bowl was a copyrighted thing," Kaler said.
|Roger Goodell and the NFL want separation of Church and Super Bowl. (AP)|
Church leaders say the Super Bowl has turned into an annual way to connect with their community.
In suburban Chicago, Poplar Creek Church plans to host about 100 people to watch the game on a big-screen TV in the sanctuary. Pines Baptist Church north of Miami plans to host flag football games before guests gather to eat and watch Sunday's Colts-Bears game, Pastor Luis Acosta said.
"It's nothing different than a bunch of guys coming together at somebody's house ... it's just a church thing," Acosta said.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said these gatherings are fine, as long as the churches stay within certain guidelines. That's where Fall Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis went wrong.
The church planned to charge admission to cover the food tab for its party and show the game on a big screen using a projector. It also promoted its "Super Bowl bash" on the church website.
Those are some copyright no-no's. The league's long-standing policy is to ban "mass out-of-home viewing" of the Super Bowl except at sports bars and other businesses that televise sports as part of their everyday operations, Aiello said.
Places are prohibited from charging admission to watch the Super Bowl, and the law prevents them from showing the game on a TV bigger than 55 inches.