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John Hollenhorst ReportingTo some people, football is practically a religion, and no day is holier than Super Bowl Sunday. And yet, a bit of downfield interference by the National Football League forced churches across the country to cancel their Super Bowl parties. The result was an unexpected party for Utah's homeless.
Every cloud has a silver lining! In this case, worshippers at the K2 church canceled their third annual Super Bowl Party and Salt Lake's homeless had their first.
As word spread through the streets, homeless people by the hundreds lined up in Pioneer Park for catered food.
Homeless Person: "It's very excellent today, we're very happy to have it, especially the Super Bowl."
It was a taco feast fit for a Super Bowl party. People were so appreciative, even the media got some of the credit.
Homeless Man: "We do appreciate what you guys are doing out here. Thank you very much."
The food was meant to be eaten at the K2 church. They were all set up for a party that never happened. Party poopers at the National Football League issued statements saying Super Bowl parties that charge admission violate copyright laws. The K2 Church had already sold more than 300 tickets at $5 apiece to cover the cost of food.
Eric Winter, K2 The Church: "When we first heard it, we were a little bit disappointed and frustrated by it."
They canceled the party and decided to give away $2,000 worth of party food to the homeless.
Eric Winter: "Quite honestly, I think it's more fun than hanging out in our warehouse watching the game."
Beth Marshall, K2 The Church: "I am having fun, this is wonderful. This is one great thing for the community. We can love them and God loves them. This is awesome.
Even some churches that don't charge admission run the risk of being tackled by the NFL. The NFL says TV screens at Super Bowl parties can be no bigger than TV's "commonly used at home", whatever that means these days. Earlier NFL statements suggest a maximum screen of 55 inches.
Eric Winter: "It does seem a little bit odd that a church can't have a party. But at the same time, the law is the law and so we want to be a church that operates with integrity. So if that's the rules, then that's what we'll follow."
After a wave of angry email in the last few days, the NFL issued a clarifying statement that not all church parties are illegal, only those that charge admission or have screens that are too big. But for the homeless, if not for the Chicago Bears, it was a banner day.