Aug 212017

As well all know, the war crime known as “soccer” is just about the dullest thing in the known universe (“it’s worse than watching paint dry, it’s like watching paint play soccer”). However, it’s hardly the only crashingly dull sport to watch. I’ve never been any sort of fan of football (“American,” not “weeny”); it doesn’t interest me at the best of times, but it seems like every time I’ve turned on a football game, they weren’t actually playing football. Turns out there’s a reason why I have that impression:

An average NFL game: more than 100 commercials and just 11 minutes of play

The 11 minutes of action was famously calculated a few years ago by the Wall Street Journal. Its analysis found that an average NFL broadcast spent more time on replays (17 minutes) than live play. The plurality of time (75 minutes) was spent watching players, coaches, and referees essentially loiter on the field.

An average play in the NFL lasts just four seconds.


 Posted by at 2:57 pm
  • Adam

    Why is it that most of the rest of the world only likes “weeny” sports?

    • Scottlowther

      Because soccer is *so* dull that violent outbursts are the inevitable result. And “violent outbursts” are humanities favorite pastime.

    • Edohiguma

      Well, to be honest, it doesn’t appear that rugby or hurling are very big in the Americas either.

  • Edohiguma

    Well, 11 minutes of play for 100 commercials, not really worth watching some grown men carry around an egg in a weeny variant of rugby.

  • Paul451

    Having grown up watching American baseball movies, where the entire season, plus associated off-field drama takes less than 2hours, when I sat down an actually watched a game, it was one of the most boring things I’ve ever done. And I grew up in a country that plays a version of stickball where a single match can last five frickin’ days.

    Fake wrestling does seem to be the purest of “sports”, at least the way people actually enjoy watching them. A couple of minutes of actual match surrounded by several hours of soap-opera.

  • KellyFromMesquite

    That’s why I watch rugby union games but not rugby league. League is like watching T-ball. Used to watch Aussie football but the constant whistle blowing just got on my nerves. CFL is OK.

  • 11 minutes of play for 100 commercials… hell, that sounds like marriage.

  • Patrick

    I see where you’re coming from, and I agree there’s not a lot of action going on for most of the time, but a huge part of football is the tactics and mind games of play calling. This is sort of an unfair way to look at it…. That’s like saying playing any strategic card game is only 5% playing (physically setting down) cards and 95% holding and looking at them. Or boxing is 80% light jumping and 20% punching. Just because there’s not constant “action” doesn’t mean there isn’t stuff going on, although you do have to have somewhat of an understanding of the strategy involved to appreciate it (I certainly don’t, which is why I can see where you’re coming from)