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Honest question about American Sports


Geoff
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Okay, got a question that's been bugging me forever. And I think this applies to any of the major sports over there in the US - NFL, Baseball, Basketball - NHL too? I'm curious... on average, how much longer is a game/match etc. than the actual time spent on the field/court/rink etc?

 

Eg. Say a Basketball game has 40mins on the clock. Including time-outs, penalties, fouls and whatever, how many minutes (from when players first hit the court to when they leave at the end) will a single game actually be drawn out for? Is NFL the worst offender of this out of all the sports?

 

On a different scale, this is also a pet peeve of mine over soccer and rugby union. You can be watching the game and the 90 (soccer) or 80 (rugby union) minutes finish, yet the game still goes on for an undefined amount of minutes because of discrepancies previously in the game. I do prefer this method as it keeps a more free-flowing game, but it still shits me.

 

In my favourite sport - rugby league - you play and 80min game and that's it. No bullshit, no pancing around, no time-outs, minimal pauses in play (and any pauses - eg. penalties, ball going over sideline or fumbles or scrums etc. are all part of the 80min game) - just 80mins of action and when that buzzer goes at the 80th minute it's over. Nice, simple and effective.

 

Is this a nice sounding sporting concept to others, or do you just get so used to the stoppages, time-outs and delays that it becomes part of the actual sporting "action" itself?

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Well, first off, baseball is unique in that it has no time constraints. It is much more leisurely and people who enjoy it do so specifically because it moves at a slower pace and there is no clock. A typical nine inning game can last anywhere from an hour and a half to a marathon of eight or nine hours long (with extra innings being played).

 

A typical NBA game lasts about two hours with timeouts and stoppages. Not bad, and most timeouts are brief.

 

The NFL is the worst offender, because even though it uses a 60 minute clock (four quarters at 15 minutes each) the actual games usually last three and a half hours. There are team timeouts. There are instant replay timeouts. There are television timeouts. There are injury timeouts. There is a timeout with two minutes to go in each half. The clock stops when a player steps out of bounds or "spikes" the ball with less than two minutes to play or drops a pass...And the really weird thing is, the stoppages have actually become central to the game itself. Strategy and the way television covers the game have been completely altered over the years by all the extra stopping. And most fans may grumble about it, but in the end, that's just what we've become accustomed to.

 

And the NHL I know nothing about.

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Well, first off, baseball is unique in that it has no time constraints. It is much more leisurely and people who enjoy it do so specifically because it moves at a slower pace and there is no clock. A typical nine inning game can last anywhere from an hour and a half to a marathon of eight or nine hours long (with extra innings being played).

Yeah, baseball is actually my fave off the lot, to be honest. They do have time-outs, though, don't they? I just hate the concept of "time-out". :(

 

A typical NBA game lasts about two hours with timeouts and stoppages. Not bad, and most timeouts are brief.

Wow, that is amazing. How long is each quarter? Am I right in thinking it's an 80 minute game? So 40 minutes of stoppages?

 

The NFL is the worst offender, because even though it uses a 60 minute clock (four quarters at 15 minutes each) the actual games usually last three and a half hours. There are team timeouts. There are instant replay timeouts. There are television timeouts. There are injury timeouts. There is a timeout with two minutes to go in each half. The clock stops when a player steps out of bounds or "spikes" the ball with less than two minutes to play or drops a pass...And the really weird thing is, the stoppages have actually become central to the game itself. Strategy and the way television covers the game have been completely altered over the years by all the extra stopping. And most fans may grumble about it, but in the end, that's just what we've become accustomed to.

Yeah, sorry guys but that is one sport you could not pay me enough to watch. And trust me, I've tried. Two and half hours of no-play? Holy f*ck... that is truly mind-boggling. Only advantage, I guess, is imagine the amount of beer you could consume per game!!

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To be fair, all the clock stoppages in the NFL do not necessarily mean "no-play". There is action going on before the clock starts in most cases. And half-time takes twelve to fifteen minutes.

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An NHL game has 3 20 min periods but the actual game lasts on average around 2 1/2 hours. Need to give the old Zamboni time to do it's thing you know! zamboni.gif

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Well Geoff, the NBA consists of 4 Periods, which are 12 minutes a piece, it is a very fast paced game, I always have noticed I'm only a fan of sports that I played, I noticed this when my friends who all moved to Utah from Regina, tried to convert me into a Hockey fan, and no matter what I just couldn't get into it.

That being said, I don't know what it would be like being from another country and being exposed to Football as an outsider, as I was raised on it, lived breathed and drank it, I only went to college to play baseball because I didn't have the size to play anything other then Cornerback,

I always thought (usually about the Latinos) how could they not just love Football? its so violent and mean, but then trying to get into Hockey(whis is just as if not more Violent and mean)I undertood, not comparing the two, cause there is a hundred times more behind football then any other sport I can think of, its 50 percent strategy, and if you started to watch the different formations and sets, watch the patterns the the recievers run, the Stunts the Linebackers run, the Zones, the Blitz, the Man to Man, its almost endless,I think if you started to understand the Theory of Football, you would have a lot more interest then just seeing a bunch of guys in pads chasing a guy with a ball.

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An NHL game has 3 20 min periods but the actual game lasts on average around 2 1/2 hours. Need to give the old Zamboni time to do it's thing you know! zamboni.gif

Wow. Another one?! So with both NFL and NHL, there is actually less time playing sport than playing in the total duration of the game? Unbelievable.

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I always thought (usually about the Latinos) how could they not just love Football? its so violent and mean, but then trying to get into Hockey(whis is just as if not more Violent and mean)I undertood, not comparing the two, cause there is a hundred times more behind football then any other sport I can think of, its 50 percent strategy, and if you started to watch the different formations and sets, watch the patterns the the recievers run, the Stunts the Linebackers run, the Zones, the Blitz, the Man to Man, its almost endless,I think if you started to understand the Theory of Football, you would have a lot more interest then just seeing a bunch of guys in pads chasing a guy with a ball.

I agree, mate. How can you not love football?! As you say, though, you have grown up on this so it's what you've been exposed to. I'm sure if I was American I'd probably be into it too.

 

But I love football, mate. Just the kind without the pads, the time-outs and over 2 and 1/2 hours of wasted time. ;) Watch a game of Rugby League or Rugby Union and you may never look at the NFL the same way again. Those games are pure undisturbed violence. :)

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I always thought (usually about the Latinos) how could they not just love Football? its so violent and mean, but then trying to get into Hockey(whis is just as if not more Violent and mean)I undertood, not comparing the two, cause there is a hundred times more behind football then any other sport I can think of, its 50 percent strategy, and if you started to watch the different formations and sets, watch the patterns the the recievers run, the Stunts the Linebackers run, the Zones, the Blitz, the Man to Man, its almost endless,I think if you started to understand the Theory of Football, you would have a lot more interest then just seeing a bunch of guys in pads chasing a guy with a ball.

I agree, mate. How can you not love football?! As you say, though, you have grown up on this so it's what you've been exposed to. I'm sure if I was American I'd probably be into it too.

 

But I love football, mate. Just the kind without the pads, the time-outs and over 2 and 1/2 hours of wasted time. ;) Watch a game of Rugby League or Rugby Union and you may never look at the NFL the same way again. Those games are pure undisturbed violence. :)

 

I love Rugby. and played on a Rugby team wth some members of Univ of Utah's football team,( Morgan Scalley and Eric Weddle who now plays for the Chargers) Rugbys awesome and is where football came from, but unfortunatly is not really even recognised as a sport hear in America, but really Football and Rugby are nothing alike.

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If you would care for me to elaborate on the differences I will, but your view on 2 1/2 hours of not playing isn't as black and white as you make it out to be, the primary difference between Football and all the other sports except for maybe LaCross, is the stategy, the down time in Football is spent primarily for play analysis, when you go to a football game that isn't on TV it has a flow to it that you don't get when things are structured around tv, therfore it goes faster. A lot is done within plays of a Football game, the exchanging players,calling plays, getting into formation, on Offense its the same, only the offense needs that time to read what the defense is going to do, and if the Qb reads a blitz or double coverage, etc. its with this remaining time he will totally change the play, or an Audible, all before the time clock expires, it does have a pace to it, just a slower one, so its not like you make it out to be, where they just stop playing and waste 2 1/2 hours away doing nothing.

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If you would care for me to elaborate on the differences I will, but your view on 2 1/2 hours of not playing isn't as black and white as you make it out to be, the primary difference between Football and all the other sports except for maybe LaCross, is the stategy, the down time in Football is spent exchanging players,calling plays, getting into formation, on Offense its the same, only the offense needs that time to read what the defense is going to do, and if the Qb reads a blitz or double coverage, etc. its with this remaining time he will totally change the play, or an Audible, so its not like you make it out to be, where they just stop playing and waste 2 1/2 hours away doing nothing.

In rugby league they interchange players, discuss plays, get into formation and read the defence all while the clock is ticking and they're on the field amidst the action. ;)

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TV sometimes makes football unwatchable, I've never seen a televised Rugby game so I can't speak from that angle, I can only tell you what I've experienced from playing and attending live events,

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One aspect to answer Geoff's question that hasn't been focused on, though it might not be essential to any MAIN reason why US sporting events last so long, is that sports teams, venues, and advertisers, need to make money.

 

Now, obviously on the pro level, but even at smaller levels, athletes cost money (pretty decent money on each level, compared to the money brought in), so everyone wants their piece of the pie. The longer you are at an event (at least live), the better the chance you'll at least purchase some sort of concession item(s). If you are at home, all the television breaks and period breaks mean more advertiser dollars. So, one possible reason for the length of the events is to make sure everyone makes a bit of money to help keep things running.

 

Since I don't watch anything nearly as much as I do hockey, I'll speak on that specifically.

 

Regardless of how much "extra" time is spent beyond the 20 minutes of clock time, it's great. Every once in a while, during TV time outs or a repair of the glass, you happen to notice how long it is, but depending on where you are, time passes quickly (whether talking to someone at a live game or flipping channels/RR break/grabbing a drink or snack at home). And in between periods, same thing goes. Depending on where you are live, you can either go for a quick walk/RR break, or sit in your seat. It's definitely worth it to stay in your seat if the pee-wees are playing a game. I can't get enough of watching those kids skate around, barely able to stay standing, bumping into each other and trying, sometimes in vain, to get a puck into the net. It's great! My favorite intermission entertainment.

 

I've been to far more minor league hockey games (including 3 years of season tickets to the local hockey team while they were around) than NHL games, but I have to say, I've never sat at a game (really live OR at home) and thought "Damn, this is too long and boring. I wish to hell it would end." I love the speed, grace, technicality, brutality, effort, and artistry of the game of hockey. So many types of plays make for beautiful athleticism and exhibit the wondrous talent possessed by the many athletes that play. (Not that you won't catch me yelling at them for their boneheaded play all too often.)

 

And after all that is said and done, just on the off chance of watching a "knock out" hit (usually a head down play) or a heavyweight-caliber fight, is more than enough, as if the other aspect of play wasn't already enough, to keep me glued to the action in each of the 3 20+ clock (and 25-35 minute actual) periods. Overtime can be tense and exciting because you're waiting for some extra effort in those last 5 minutes. Shootouts, as much as I originally despised them, are really fun and exciting.

 

But, NOTHING in sports compares to playoff, overtime hockey. Whether a goal is scored 20 seconds into the first overtime or 18 minutes into the 4th overtime, you sit on the edge of your seat, breathlessly watching every hit, every pass, and every shot, wondering if THIS will be the one. (If you're in Game 7, all bets are off. Don't talk to me! I can't be bothered!)

 

So, I can't speak for other sports too much (and I DO notice it, particularly in basketball, near the end of the game), but hockey just flows perfectly for me 99% of the time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Jay nailed with one word: $.

 

But hey, I'm not complaining. I love football, baseball and hockey (I played rugby in college for 3 years). The longer the game, the more beer you can suck down. Hell, when I go to Braves games I pray for extra innings. :beerbang:

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Jay nailed with one word: $.

 

But hey, I'm not complaining. I love football, baseball and hockey (I played rugby in college for 3 years). The longer the game, the more beer you can suck down. Hell, when I go to Braves games I pray for extra innings. :beerbang:

 

 

You played Rugby for 3 years? so you explain to Geoff why or how it's more violent and strategic then football, I played for a spring team, my friend talked me into it, a bunch of Univ of Utah football players played on the team to stay in shape, I didnt have a clue what was going on, for awhile, it's totally different then football, but I played football my whole life, so know a little bit about it, but Rugby didnt seem like it took longer or shorter for a game to get done, it seemed about the same as a high school football game, it didnt seem to be as intricate as playing football, granted I rode a lot of bench, but the play calling and stratedgy at least with the guys I played with was no where near as mental as having to sit down and memorize 250 defensive and offensive formations and plays, maybe pro rugby players run advanced plays like that, but I know the team I was playing with didnt have shit like that, Rugby seemed more like a game we used to play in elementary, did anybody else play Smear The Queer? where everybody pursued the ball handler, only once you had the ball you couldnt pass, kick, or even drop, the ball, the only way you were aloud to rid yourself of the ball, was when you got fucked up, and somebody was able to take the ball out of your hands, then that person was automatically the Queer! fun game, seems like that's what their playing when they play Rugby, I watched a pro game the other night, it seemed like it was alot more physical then football, but no where near as mental! that's just my 2 cents, Clutch why don't you go ahead and set me straight on this one!

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