Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The blame game.

Since the NCAA last week announced that they had planned a few change of rules the CFB Blogosphere has been pretty adamant against it.

The Wizard of Odds

The main thing talked about was the clock issues. The other things are fairly inconsequential except for maybe the facemask rule.

Here are the new rulings involving time:

The first is the implementation of a 40/25-second play clock, similar to that of the
NFL. At the end of every play, the 40-second clock will start, which is the rule in the NFL. The old college rules featured a 25-second clock that did not start until the officials marked the ball ready for play. On a change of possession, the first play will be run on a 25-second clock.


After a player runs out of bounds and the ball is made ready to play, the official will start the game clock. Under the old rules the game clock would not start until the ball was snapped. This new rule will not apply in the final two minutes of the first half and the final two minutes of the game.

You know the NCAA doesn't give a flying flip about if a game goes to long. It affects them in no way, whatsoever. The only people that are raising heck about this are the networks. We mean the big ones. What's going to happen to ESPN? They have to push back the repeat of Sports Center for 45 minutes?

What you have is the larger networks that want to get their three to three and a half hour games done and through in time to get to your reruns of Grey's Anatomy and evening news. I don't want those people to be denied their shows either. Personally, there hasn't been anything worth cutting away to on a Saturday night on network television since CBS dropped Walker, Texas Ranger. I digress.... (that's a whole other article)

That leads us to the elephant standing in the room that nobody wants to look at or talk about. Well at least the networks don't.

Our problem is that the networks wants to have their cake and eat it too. They want to have the millions tune in to see the big game see, all of their advertisements pop up on the field, get in all of the contractually-obligated commercials, have Grissom from CSI come up from the bottom and let me know that CSI has changed nights, hear the announcers tell us about how great Samantha Who? is going to be, get a great game in, spend 45 seconds on an intro coming back from the commercials telling us who this game was brought to us by (after having seen their commercials just 20 seconds ago, and hopefully end the game exactly in time to get us to our regularly scheduled program.

It just doesn't work that way. College football is the only television program where I can actually tell that they haven't run the new Dodge Nitro Rock 'Em Sock 'Em robots enough times during the three hours. I swear, I've seen them cut away just to show it one more time (and only that commercial) just to make sure we saw how tough that new SUV is supposed to be. I can say with a straight face that I have seen that commercial 4 times in 5 minutes of commercials.

Now the networks want to point a finger at college football and tell them to shorten game times?

How about this if you really want to speed up the game:

- don't spend the first 30 seconds back from a commercial break telling me that the game was just brought to me by the same companies that I just saw the commercial of.

- don't tell me about the new soon-to-be Emmy winning 5 times in 3 hours. Let me decide if it's a hit new show.

- don't feel the need to cut away to commercials every time there's a fumble, time out, score, interception, big 3rd down coming up, punt, big first down play, or coach scratching his butt.

About this point in the post you should be thinking "That's true, but these games aren't shown for the passion of the fans and goodwill of the networks bringing it to us."

You would be right. It's about money and it always will be. I don't expect differently from a
sport that has a PapaJohns.com Bowl or a Jones SBC AT&T Stadium, or even the Rose Bowl... you know... presented by Citi. The blow to me is that every time I heard the MNC game referenced it was the Allstate BCS National Championship Game.

Money is why we have sports teams and that's OK. I know that we can't have the games on TV for free and that free tickets don't keep pads on the players.

The problem is that you can't regulate a game. You can't stop a QB from spiking the ball on a 2nd and 10 on the 15 with 20 seconds left. You can't stop a team from delaying to the last possible second to run a play when they hold the marginal lead with five minutes to play. Do you think the running back streaking down the sideline is going to think, "I'd better not step out... CBS needs to get to their next show?" Teams are going to do everything possible to get the win and if that involves making the game last an extra twenty-five minutes they are going to do it.

People have to make their money, but the networks are going to have to stop whoring themselves and the marketing department out to everything under the sun for extra pennies.

If the networks want this fixed they need to realize the same hand that is pointing the finger at the NCAA has four more pointing back at themselves.

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