>> Monday, January 25, 2010
Tired of the field goal/commercial break/kickoff/commercial break tedium of NFL broadcasts? You don't have to be a football hater to think televised pro games are boring. A few years ago, a writer for Wired Magazine took a stopwatch to a Chiefs-Broncos game, and found there were just 12 minutes and 8 seconds where the ball was actually in play--from hike to down. Twelve minutes!
Now, with the Super Bowl two weeks away, the Wall Street Journal has done an even more exhaustive breakdown. By their count, a three-hour telecast has just 11 minutes of action. Here's their breakdown:
Players standing around: 67 minutes
Commercials: 60 minutes
Replays: 17 minutes
Actual playing time: 11 minutes
Yep. According to the article, "As many as 75 minutes, or about 60% of the total air time, excluding commercials, is spent on shots of players huddling, standing at the line of scrimmage or just generally milling about between snaps." Yawn. And can you imagine how much more boring it must be for fans who actually watch the games in the stadium, sitting through all those commercial breaks without anything else to entertain them? Cheerleaders can only do so much.
And lest you think the broadcasts are spending a lot of time on the cheerleaders, consider this: most telecasts show them for just 3 seconds. "We make it a point to get Dallas cheerleaders on, but otherwise, it's not really important," says Fred Gaudelli, NBC's Sunday Night Football producer. "If we're doing the Jets, I couldn't care less." (Sorry, New York Jets "Flight Crew.")
I'm sorry, but the next time somebody tells me baseball and soccer are boring, I'm going to have a little ammunition.