Watching a football in the last five, or so, years has become more and more like a Madden NFL experience. The screen fills with stats, cameras swoop in from wires suspended above the field, and coaches and players are wired up with mics. This is definitely not the Knut Rockne era. Heck, it’s not even the John Elway era.

Yesterday the NFL announced that it will offer a free stream of the Super Bowl, wild card games, and the Pro Bowl. You can watch them online or on the mobile device of your choosing. NBC has been streaming its Sunday Night Football program for the last four years with, according to them, great success. The USA Today reports, “The NFL and NBC will do extensive research to find out exactly how many people are watching the streams and how they're using them. What number of fans want to watch the Super Bowl each year but aren't in front of a TV for whatever reason?” Advertisers worry that too many options will draw eyes away from their coveted, high-priced, commercials. In NBC’s case, however, people use the service as a supplement to the game they’re already watching (commercials included).

Let’s all play nice this year and turn on the Super Bowl stream. Stream it, even if you don’t  watch it, just to send the message that this is the future of television. The sooner networks and cable companies embrace this fact the better.