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.
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.