Schultz: Breaking down the length of today's football games

Chris Schultz
9/18/2012 6:39:59 PM
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One of the things I like about my job is you just never know.

One of my many bosses is Brett Bailey, a good guy and as a boss has the role and authority to tell where they need you to go, what to cover and when to go.

About 10 days ago I received one of those Brett Bailey calls saying, "How would you like to go to Week 2 Monday Night Football, Denver at Atlanta and cover it for SportsCenter."

Well after some "deep thought" that lasted less than a second, I said "Sure" and come Monday morning off I went. 

After checking into the hotel, and having a fast production meeting, by 2pm there I was in the Georgia Dome (my favorite dome) getting ready to make my contribution to SportsCenter.

After my contribution it is time to stay on the sidelines until game time and then watch and learn from two of the best - Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan.

The build up for a Monday Night game is something to see and by the time kickoff finally arrived I was more than ready. But then the game started and the first penalty was called, then a second, a third, a fourth, a challenge, a discussion, a re-evaluation of a discussion, another penalty, an explanation, a new challenge, another penalty and around and around and around we go.

When I looked at my watch the first half took over two hours to play. Now I am not 100 per cent sure why the last refs are not today's refs and I am not going to comment on the ability of the present refs, but this has to change.

If I was a ticket holder that particular September night in the Georgia Dome, I would want my money back.

In the first half there was no flow, no sequence, no created anticipation within the game. Just a consistent and constant series of arguments and confrontations that had everyone waiting and waiting and waiting.

With two teams that had so much success in the high play repetition of no huddle offense, this one I would describe as stagnant in every way.      

Yes you have to get it right, and yes you have to explain it right each and every time, but if I had just tuned in to watch my first football game, or paid money to go to the Georgia Dome to see my first football game in person, I would have to say this is not for me.

The second half was better than the first half as Manning did lead his team to a possible come back and therefore created drama. But for many on the East Coast with a new work day pending on Tuesday, the thought of rest was more exhilarating than the thought of football on a Monday night.

I will be the first to admit that sometimes a football game drags on to long. Teams concentrate on not losing as opposed to trying to win, and there are commercials, timeout and injuries. But when you add these elements and new referees and their desire to always make the right call at just the right time and with explanation. Something has to change.

Time outs are not going to change. Injuries will always be a part of football and the delay is logical and inevitable. Commercials, never. They are revenue generating monsters.

I know what can change. Bring the old referees back. With that change there is a chance if I am ever in the Georgia Dome again the first half will not take over two hours to play.

Chris Schultz

Chris Schultz


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