Like most males and many females living America I’m a football fan and always will be.
I did not grow up near a major college so my focus has always been on the NFL. Somehow, I recently got settled in front of a TV with a World Cup game on. Not sure how that happened but I watched the whole dad gum game.
Changed me forever. Big surprise, the game was riveting. I learned that I did’nt need to see a score every ten minutes to make it interesting. Not only the game but the pageantry, wacky spectators, music, good grief, party central.
OK, I don’t know the rules, the players and have no feeling for the “grand history”. Who cares? The days of me making fun of soccer and soccer fans is over.
In some ways comparing football with futbal would be like comparing apricots with bourbon. No resemblance. For one thing futball players play a full 90 minutes. Full bore, no timeouts, no TV timeouts, no stoppage after a play, nothing. They play for a full 90 minutes. If for some reason there is a stoppage during one of the 45 minute halves that stoppage time is added to the play time at the end of the half.
Futballers also do not wear pads. Granted they don’t run into each other on purpose but they do collide, they also get airborne and hit the ground real hard. When they do it’s bone on bone or bone on ground. No cushion, no helmets. When somebody gets hurt they haul em off and get on with the game. Never saw anyone left on the field more than a minute or two. Seems like if they have a heartbeat, off they go. If they don’t have a heartbeat, off they go.
Since there are no timeouts and minimum stoppage of play there is also a distinct absence of lard bellies. Soccer players and body fat are mutually exclusive.
I can only imagine what would happen if one of those 360 lb NFLers had to get out there and try to keep up. After 10 minutes it would be over one way or another. Quit, pass out, die. There is nowhere to hide, no way to take a break, it’s run, run, run for 90 full minutes.
Compare that to what we see in the NFL. This might be hard for y’all to accept but it’s true so brace yourself. The average professional football game lasts 3 hours and 12 minutes. The Wall Street Journal and several others did studies a few years ago. Of that 3 hours the amount of time the ball is actually in play is a mere 11 – 15 minutes.
Don’t believe it, check for yourself. Something else. Offense and defensive players only play around half that time. If you’re keeping up here you already know that the typical player only plays about 6 minutes actual playing time per game. The game clock runs for long periods when the ball is not in play. The offense has a maximum of 40 seconds after the end of the play to snap the ball and a typical play only lasts 4 seconds. Three two minute timeouts are allowed per half. They can be used to plot strategy, ice a kicker, avoid a penalty, take a break, plan happy hour, whatever. In soccer there are no timeouts.
But wait, there’s more … The average NFL game also includes 20 commercial breaks containing more than 100 ads. The study concluded that commercials took up about and hour or 33% of game time.
Soccer games have no TV timeouts, advertisers must insert ads creatively during actual play or in the 15 minute half. As a result there are far fewer commercials. Add in another 17 minutes of down time for replay analysis. Yes, more time is spent of replay analysis than actually playing the game.
But wait, there’s more… Those poor soccer players actually have to tie their own shoelaces, get their own water, fan themselves, if they get hot there is a bucket of water they can splash on themselves. In the NFL there is somebody to do everything for the dudes, including tie shoelaces.
Good grief, wonder what happens in the men’s room. I did not see any ventilation fans on the sideline either, no air coolers, no oxygen. Of course with no stoppage of play there would be no need. The players are always on the field.
But wait, there’s more…. I keep hearing talk about the NFL’s no huddle offense. Folks, including commissioner Roger Goodell are getting concerned that those big large body lineman are getting too pooped.
Maybe a rule change to slow the game down, give those large bodies a chance to rest up. Hmmm, maybe that should be changed to Lard bodies.
Some of those Lard buckets haven’t seen there toes in years. Maybe instead the game needs to speed up a bit. Give those lardies an incentive to loose some of that baggage.
Just one more thing. Brazil in late June is a furnace. They do not have indoor stadiums. Think about it.
Anyway, that 11 minute, six minute thing bothers me. Maybe I should never have watched a Word Cup Soccer match. Probably be happier if I hadn’t.
Jim Arber is a freelance writer, leisure professional and Cumberland County resident. He can be reached at [email protected] if you wish to comment. Comments are very welcome. Intelligent comments are best but it they get too intelligent he may not understand.