If 3 Hour Football Games Are Good, Would 6 Hour Games Be Awesome?

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It amazes me that many sports fans are either indifferent to the increasingly slow pace of our sports, or even outright hostile to those people like me who keep railing on how ridiculous it has become.

This weekend alone, the Alabama-Auburn game went 4:15 minutes. It was a good game. It would have been even better if delivered in a 3:15 minute window. The early CBS game in my “market” (Bal-SD) easily busted through the jerry-rigged 4:25 start time for the game everyone has been waiting for all long-weekend: Pats-Pack.

I remember easily the days when NFL games went off at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. sharp every Sunday, and there were only occasional overlaps, and usually the direct result of overtime.

The usual response I get from the “Tedium Deniers” – as I call them – is something like: “So what? It’s football!!!!!! DURRRR. GRRRRR! Don’t you LOVE football?”

Or a more pithy: “What did you have a date that night?” Or even the more cynical “Well, only idiots bother to watch ALL of the game! Pick it up in the 2nd quarter!”

The logic on this line of thinking is beneath childish. I am not arguing the philosophical difference between the relative perfection of a football game that’s 3:00 or 3:05 in length.

This is a crabcake with 20% more breading, the same amount of crab, and cost just as much.

Or as most consumers would say: “A rip off.”

Sadly, there’s no competing crab shack to the NFL. So they have us there, I admit. But maybe if more people would scream bloody murder about it, perhaps the league would listen.

Going along sheepishly only encourages more of a rip-off.

Because the next thing you’ll see is game routinely lasting 3:30 in the NFL and routinely 4:00 in college.

At that point, the leagues will conclude that “something must be done.”

And what will they do?

Shorten the game. Reduce the actual PRODUCT we get.

Hell, the NBA has already floated this trial balloon of an idea by suggesting 44 minute games, instead of 48. But because nobody really gives a shit about the NBA and we get plenty of it anyway (thanks ESPN!) it is probably the easiest “beachhead” for leagues to land the idea upon before spreading it far and wide on land.

The NFL won’t likely reduce the four 15 minute quarters, because it would cause a shit-storm. Instead, they will tweak the clock rules to make the clock “bleed” in more circumstances.

Fewer plays.

You didn’t think they would give up ad time, or mandate faster replays, did ya?

Games stabilize around the 3:30 mark, or maybe roll back a few minutes on average, and league takes victory lap for “fixing” a problem wholly of their own making.

You get less football, that takes longer to enjoy, at the same full price.

And this is happening right under your nose, dummies.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Only reason i’m surprised soccer hasn’t cought on. 2 hours, continuous clock, in an out. I guess for 16 Sunday’s a year, people don’t mind making it an all day event.

  2. College football is fine – just because it doesn’t fit into your schedule doesn’t mean it’s broken. DVR the sonovabitch and use the fast-forward button.

  3. Agree 100%. I have found that I am watching less and less football because of the stoppages. I usually open the laptop sometime in the first quarter to kill time during the incessant stoppages. The next thing I know I miss whole chunks of the game because I was checking email. I am giving serious thought to dropping The Sunday Ticket and its not because of cost. Its because there have been whole weekends where I don’t even use it.

  4. Czabe, agree 100%. Every time I sit down to watch a football game I inevitably crack open the lap top sometime in the first quarter to kill time during all the stoppages. The next thing I know I get caught up in an email or a story and miss an entire drive. Quite often I bail on a game because, not matter how good it is, I realize I have no idea what is going on. This may be the last year for the Sunday Ticket. Not because its too expensive, but because I am hardly using it.

  5. First off. .. I got a new phone so I need to the morning show’s text number.

    Second. .. I have a dvr… if i fast forward through all the commercials & half time, I can watcha full game in less than two hours.

    If I am running behind, I can use the thirty second skip ahead on the DirecTV remote to quickly go to the next play. I’ve watched a game like this in less than an hour. No inane commentary… it’s beautiful.

    Or I can watch two games at the same time using a combination of the above. .. it is like football concentrate. .. delicious and nutritious.

    I have to give up Facebook just incase someone posts about the game, but that is a pretty small sacrifice.

  6. Czabe, I agree with you. Unfortunately, I believe a lot of fans under 40 have become desensitized to all of the additional ads. They are part of a generation that doesn’t know any other way. It’s probably a lame analogy, but growing up I never had a problem with that fake margarine crap (chiffon?), but that was only because I’d never or rarely been exposed to real butter. Yes, I can and often do DVR games to fast-forward accordingly, and yes I realize I don’t have to watch a long, drawn out affair (this is always such a lame response — if I could so easily walk away then I probably don’t care enough to give a shit either way). I just hate that either option is almost always necessary when it wasn’t always that way.

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