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It's amazing how different the television-watching experience is for various sports.
I will theorize that Bears coach Matt Nagy should actually take into account the nature of television coverage in the course of a game. What a pioneer he would be! Yeah, right.
In major team sports, NHL hockey is the best. I believe the game is stopped only about twice per period and the intermissions are great. You can't stop the game when the Patrick Kane line has one leg over the boards for a shift change.
I've always enjoyed watching professional bowling. These guys miss pins too, and they show whole games at a time. The current juggernaut is the Australian Jason Belmonte, a right-hander who doesn't use the finger holes. The five-time bowler of the year is clutch. Different from the days of Chris Schenkel and Nelson Burton Jr., Earl Anthony and Johnny Petraglia when the gallery behind them was as quiet as a funeral, now they have a few dozen fans on the side of the left lane who constantly scream and never shut up. If Tiger Woods were a bowler, he'd stick his head in the ball return and wait for the next one up the chute to put him out of his misery. If the bowlers don't mind those fans, neither do I, but the pandemic has thankfully removed them.
Of course, horse racing is the greatest. Unlike the gibberish of a quarterback going vertical - isn't that "up?" - or a guy being good "in space," (duh, he's in the open field), the racing lingo is as traditional as ever. Why change such finely honed language? Sure, there are plenty of commercials between races, but a lot of them advertise breeding services for horses we know and remember fondly. Plus, you use that down time to handicap. Constant engagement.
I watch no baseball, maybe five innings this whole season.
With the ponies in the pre-Breeders' Cup October doldrums, I've actually watched more Bears football this year than the last four combined. I even bet on the first two games and won money.
Couple years ago, I made and fulfilled my vow to watch no NFL football (I can't rationalize the college football sewer). My gut feeling was that spending so much time watching Mitch Trubisky was just such a waste. And there are way too many resources of all kinds devoted to the insidious league.
After watching the Bears beat Tampa Bay last week, I realized something was different. With the nonstop blabbering from long-in-the-tooth Bucky and Aiks, who's never seen a quarterback as good as he was, and ALL OF THE COMMERCIALS - even split screen! - I was able to detect a game in there somewhere.
With the stars of the Beachwood Radio Sports Hour calling for the Bears to run the hurry-up offense, I wondered how The Monsters can keep up a tempo with all the commercials. So I conducted my own bitch session at the water cooler near the sports desk:
It's UNWATCHABLE!! There are commercials every 90 seconds, real time, not game time. There is NO football action. They used to say 60 minutes, 11 minutes of actual football. But the ratio of actual football to the length of the telecast is as if they ran out of helium on Thanksgiving Day. Although the Rice Lake High School band is awesome.
Last Thursday, I got so pissed off, I went over to an episode of The Sopranos, watched the whole thing, and got back in plenty of time for the last-minute fireworks. I'm really sorry the NFL teams don't have fans in the stands, but, as usual, they're taking it out on the fans. They' have 99 seconds of football and then four minutes of commercials. And then, run split screen of commercials and the "game." I swear, I'm going to put a stopwatch to it.
Getting to your strategy, Nagy MUST consider the hurry offense. Not only because the Bears are more effective with it, but because the league and TV networks are, more than ever, I believe, affecting the outcomes of games. Nagy should absolutely force the action with a high tempo to minimize the stoppages. Yeah, RIGHT.
They run a four-play series. TV TIMEOUT if they get the first down or punt. There is no question that commercials are required in specific real-time intervals. It doesn't seem to have much to do with the flow of the game. The league is giving defenses a chance to rest. Seriously, I could only envision Foles and the guys twiddling their thumbs, cooling off, and the Bucs setting up.
Hey, NFL: Sacrifice, like the rest of us sonsabitches are doing. Let 'em play. They're turning and twisting fans like the key on a sardine can.
Or are they doing it only for the in-game betting? Hmmm! Conspiracy theory? The NFL is subterfuge.
Jim "Coach" Coffman disagreed. But I need to say my DVR is just about full, so I need efficiency, man, so I can watch some of those recorded shows. NFL football seems like such a slog.
But there is a solution. As Ralph Kramden pointed out, it will be just like saving four hours on the trip from Tibet to Mongolia.
Next game, I'm going to record and watch it at 1x fast forward and 3x fast forward through commercials. I've done that before. Game takes less than an hour. If the game gets out of hand either way, 4x. Great!
It will also give David Montgomery more speed than he'll ever have.
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