My Weekend, Part 2

Attending a football game that is being televised is exasperating.  There is no continuity.  The game proceeds in fits and starts, with the broadcaster in absolute control of the pace.

Before the game, players from each team stroll out onto the field in preparation for the kick off – then stand around for three or four minutes until some little guy standing on the field wearing a headset signals to an official that he is now permitted to start the game.  Then there is a kickoff and a player on the receiving team catches the ball and runs until he gets knocked down.

Once again, out comes the little man signaling that the play is to be stopped for three more minutes of TV commercials.  The players stand around awaiting permission to resume the game that has barely begun.  This scenario is repeated (1) every time after a team scores, (2) every time after the ensuing kickoff play is concluded, (3) every time a team calls a time out, (4) when there is an injury to a player and (5) whenever that little man determines that too much game time has expired without a time out for more commercials.

Well, enough of my rant.  It won’t be changed.  TV pays huge sums for the rights to televise the games – they make the rules.  Convenience of the participants and paid spectators be damned.  I was just glad that the game wasn’t being played in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in below freezing temperatures with snow and howling winds.  I was also glad that there were two bands that alternated playing during the time outs.

I took lots of photos, a few of which I’ve uploaded to my Flickr site.  For some strange reason the following photo in just a few days has been viewed more than 50 times making it the 24th most viewed of the 1,078 photos I’ve uploaded.  Frankly, my arms start to tremble when I look at it.   😉

This photo is amusing.  Looks like these college students are in need of a remedial reading course.

Here the Troy quarterback, with outstanding protection  is preparing to pass.

Here, a player decides to take a nap in the middle of the game.  😀

This is a test. Can you find the ball in the following photo?  You have to click on it twice to make it large enough to actually see the ball. One clue: both the passer,number 6 white jersey on the far right, and the intended receiver, number 16 white jersey near the far left, are looking directly at the ball in flight.  Tomorrow I’ll show a  blown up portion of the photo highlighting the ball for anyone who can’t find it.  I was really surprised how long it took me to find it, even when looking directly at it.

More to come.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “My Weekend, Part 2

  1. naturgesetz

    Found it. Then it’s possible to see it even in the size in your post.

    I agree about those “official time outs.”50 years ago a televised football game usually ended about two hours after it started. Last time I checked, it was more like three.

    Well, how could they pay the athletes a fair wage if it weren’t for the revenue from commercials?

    • Ed

      Of course you are referring to professional sports! Perish the thought that the purity of amateur sports would be compromised! *wink* *wink*

      Regarding the ball – it was weird that for a while I was unable to locate it even though I knew approximately where it should be – and actually was looking right at it.

  2. That behaviour of the television company is amazing to us in the UK. Our UK-based commercial broadcasters who show soccer games (the big thing over here, of course) would not dare interrupt the two 45 minute halves of the match. I believe this is because the BBC does not carry advertisements (being paid for by a national licence scheme, meaning that you must pay for the licence if you have a television set).

    Therefore since the BBC can show any match uninterrupted our own commercial networks feel they have to do the same. Much better!

    Incidentally there seem to be lots of empty seats. Did few people go because they could watch it on television?

    • Ed

      Hmmmmm…….. How to keep this reply shorter than the original post – That is the question! You may have noticed that I have a tendency to get carried away. 😉
      First, the easy one. There were few people in the stadium; only 11,400 in total, but almost all were on the side where I sat. I don’t know what the custom is in the UK re: school sports contests, but here in the US one side of the stadium is designated as the “home” side and the other as the “visitors”.
      You can buy a ticket wherever you like, though. Notice the “home” band was seated on the visitors side – obviously because they got in free. Why fill up salable seats with freebies, eh? Also, all band performances and other ceremonies face the home side.
      Why so few people? Well, several reasons. The stadium is a dump. It is located in another county from the FAU campus. The team was having a dreadful season. Plus, FAU’s football program is very new (10 years) and has yet to develop the traditions that other major universities have. Next year their new 30,000 seat on-campus stadium will open and they will begin to draw capacity crowds.
      Finally, re: TV ads. We in the US have been conditioned to commercial interruptions from the start, there being no government channels. Initially they were quite convenient – time to grab a snack or hit the loo. Breaks were at first limited to one minute, and were relatively infrequent. With the explosion in the number of channels available the advertising dollars are more thinly spread. Individual channels have to sell much more time in order to cover costs. We don’t like it much, but there is no viable alternative .

  3. naturgesetz

    @ Micky — One difference between the two types of football, if I understand soccer rightly, is that there are fewer stoppages in the action in soccer. I suppose they could stop for commercials whenever a ball has to be put in play from the sidelines, but it would certainly seem weird. In American football, plays end after a few seconds, and there is a break in the action while the team in possession of the ball huddles to set the next play. And there are bigger breaks when a play results in a first down (and the markers have to be moved) or when there is a touchdown or other change in possession. So I think it was a lot easier for “them” to get away with lengthening the stoppages for commercials.

  4. Almost design the football to suit the advertising need. Ha ha!

    Anyone for tennis?

  5. I never know that about football games, although I suppose if you think about it and if watching a game on tv, it makes sense.

    I once went TO a football game to take pictures -part of the “entry” involved the use of a giant cannon, which naturally was, unbeknownst to me, located directly behind me, and nearly gave me a heart attack from shock, literally.

    I don’t ever watch (or go to) sporting events, but now that makes me think of it – fascinating how everything in the world seems to boil down (or forced to) to one-hour tv show segments. Life is TV Guide.

    :/

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