New England Patriots Have A Tapeworm? Huh? What?

The Lion admits right off the top that he has long been disillusioned and bored by the National Football League’s product. Fifteen minutes of actual football play in a three hour television broadcast is boring. Utterly, completely, absolutely boring.

Now we have this thing with the Patriots to spice things up. Something about some staffer videotaping the Jets defensive signals.

Yeah? So?

The Lion supposes it would be okay for a guy to do the same thing without the camera. Just do it from memory. What the hell, if the Lion can memorize a deck of cards in a minute, surely they’ve got somebody who can steal signals without using technology.

Be that as it may, the point of the Lion’s diatribe is that the NFL has become so rule-bound, so determined to make rules about every tiny aspect of the game, that it has turned football into one of the single most boring sporting events on the face of the earth.

The only reason viewers don’t leave it in droves is because the TV guys keep the cameras busy. They put up graphics. They show us guys walking across the field. Walking to the huddle. Throwing up. Sitting on the bench. Replays five or six times of the most mundane plays. They keep the eye and brain so busy that very few people realize they’re being swindled.

Football plays take a few seconds, maybe seven for a long play. You get about 12 to 15 minutes of genuine football during a three hour broadcast.

The rest is commercials, replays, fluff and nonsense. And penalties. The Lion started watching a game a couple of years ago that opened with four or five straight penalties. That was the last straw.

Professional rugby and soccer are the Lion’s choice now. Constant action. No commercials during live broadcasts. No promos. No bullcrap. And one referee on the field. One.

Don’t believe the Lion? Use a stopwatch the next time you watch an NFL game. Add up all the play time of all the plays, from the moment the ball is snapped, until the ref whistles it dead.

See you on the Rugby channel.


3 Responses

  1. I thought about the “actually playing time of football” problem before and YET…

    I still LIKE football. It’s not my favorite team sport. Basketball is. But I LIKE it.

    Football has ALWAYS been like this. It’s not like it’s gotten worse over the years. I’ve been watching it since before the first Super Bowl (a time when it wasn’t the most popular game in America) and it was always about 3 hours long. So it has gained this massive appeal even in the face of what you accurately describe.

    You aren’t just pissed because it was your Pats, are you?


  2. In baseball it’s expected to steal “signs”.

    I watch one football game each year, the Super Bowl.

    I watch it because I have watched all the Super Bowls

    and don’t want to break my streak.


  3. John, watch what happens between ‘actual’ play. There’s no play going on, but there’s lots of action.

    In a game like pro rugby (playing for the world cup is going on now) there is a continuous flow of game action. For forty minutes a half you can fully engage in the game, the actual game, not the nonsense that fills football’s three hours. Football breaks up its action so often and in so many ways that I find it impossible to enjoy the game.

    I used to like football. I used to play. And if they just played the game end to end, it would be tolerable. But the product the NFL puts out now doesn’t work for me. Same reason the Republican schtick doesn’t work for me. I know when I’m being swindled and manipulated and lied to.

    And of course I’m breathlessly awaiting the world ping pong championships… 🙂

    And they’re hardly my Pats. My anti-authoritarian streak leads away from having home teams and suchlike. Yesterday in the Rugby Cup I was cheering for the Tonga team against the U.S. Literally cheering. Those Tonga guys are some tough. And their pre-game war dance… now that would throw a scare into these namby-pamby NFL teams! 🙂


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