armchair cultural observation since 1995

Long stretches of nothingness


As a born-and-bred Midwesterner, I never questioned the constant action of the game my family watched every Sunday … until I caught games from the 1998 World Cup on TV. When the NFL season began a few weeks later, I couldn’t stop noticing, and being hopelessly bored by, the long stretches of nothingness that actually characterize the American game. Not that I became some huge soccer fan, but American football, with its endless committee meetings and appellate court proceedings and “athletes” who often play only a few dozen seconds per week, quickly became too boring for me to watch. When I kept a stopwatch of actual game-playing action a decade or so ago, I kept coming up with a figure of about 1/8, or about 88% downtime.

Don’t get me wrong – a football game is great background noise for a party. But to sit down and spend three hours paying attention? Give me a baseball game any time, or hockey, or even, yes, the one-and-a-half soccer games that can be played in the same span.

-From a Dish reader commenting on the thread “The Static Sport”

Image via Wikimedia

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