Super Bore XLIII

February 2, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Posted in Football | 10 Comments

So I made the mistake of watching the Super Bowl last night.  I’m still wondering why I even bothered.  I can’t imagine a matchup that I’d be more apathetic about than the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the Arizona Cardinals.  But like most Americans, I feel some sort of obligation to watch the Super Bowl every year.

I used to really like the Super Bowl.  I’ve watched every one of them going back to Super Bowl XX when the Bears beat the Patriots.  It used to be a really exciting and entertaining sporting event.  But now I’m starting to realize that my interest in the NFL has been slowly declining for years to the point where I can’t even watch a game in real time without falling asleep…

Yes, I was so bored that I fell asleep during the beginning of the third quarter.  I woke up briefly when the Cardinals were ahead with two minutes left in the game.  I went back to sleep and assumed they had won, only to find out hours later that the Steelers came back.  Woop de do.  I couldn’t possibly have cared less.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t hate football.  I’m still very entertained by college football.  But the NFL has become completely unenjoyable and unwatchable for me.  There are many reasons for that…

First, I’m a Buffalo Bills fan.  With the obvious exception of the Detroit Lions, the Bills have been the worst team to be a fan of over the last 10 years.  The Bills last made the playoffs in the 1999 season, and ever since then they’ve alternated between being horrible and mediocre.  They have hired the most inept coaches in the NFL, and they’ve consistently made bad personnel decisions.  The front office isn’t even trying to build a winning team.  They just try to field a team in the cheapest way possible every year.  The fans deal with it because of all the good memories that we have of the Bills from the early 1990s.  We hope that those glory days will come back some day, but they won’t.  Nobody in the front office or on the coaching staff has any desire to win, and it’s just a matter of time before the 90-year old owner (Ralph Wilson) passes away and the team relocates to a bigger market.  Sadly, I’m almost looking forward to that, so that I can end my suffering.

Despite all of this, I still subscribe to the NFL Sunday Ticket package on DirecTV and I watch every Bills game.  Some of the games are even mildly entertaining.  However, I absolutely cannot watch a game live.  I DVR every game, and I start watching from the beginning a couple of hours after the game starts.  I do this so that I don’t have to sit through the constant stream of commercials and stoppages in play.  While an average NFL game lasts 3.5 to 4 hours, I’ve found that I can easily get through the whole game in 60 – 90 minutes by fast-forwarding through the commercials, play stoppages, and half-time.

If the NFL would just let the players play the game, I’d actually be able to watch an entire game in real time.  But instead, we have to endure commercial timeouts after every couple of plays, constant instant replays, and incessant overanalysis by the announcers.  Look, football is a very simple game.  I don’t need to see replays of every play from five different camera angles, and I don’t need to have my intelligence insulted by analysts like John Madden who seem to think that they need to explain the most mundane details of the game as if it were rocket science.  Then there are the constant penalties that shine the spotlight on the referees instead of the players and take time away from the actual playing of the game.  And then of course, there’s half-time, which is nothing but a huge waste of time.

I really don’t understand why all of the wasted time is considered necessary by the NFL, but they really need to find ways to speed up the pace of the game if they want to keep me interested as a fan.  Each year that goes by, the problem gets worse and worse, to the point where I can’t even watch it anymore.  At this point, it’s very unlikely that I’ll watch any of next year’s Super Bowl.

I think that another part of the problem is that there are so few interesting stars in the NFL today.  There certainly weren’t any on either team last night.  Sure, there are good players on both teams, but they’re not interesting.  In the NFL, players are penalized for celebrating and showing any emotion.  For example, as talented on they might be, what on earth is interesting about Ben Roethlisberger or Larry Fitzgerald?  In recent years, the only team that I’ve been interested to watch in the Super Bowl has been the Patriots, only because Tom Brady and Bill Belichick win so consistently in such a boring way that I enjoy rooting for them to lose.  And because I know that most Red Sox fans are Patriots fans too…

Anyway, I can take comfort in the fact that this year’s NFL season and the Super Bore is now over, and there are only 12 more days until MLB pitchers and catchers report for spring training, and then 63 days until Opening Day.  And I have the MLB Network to tide me over until then.  I would much rather watch any baseball game on the planet than an NFL game.

What does everyone else think?  I know that I can’t possibly be the only one who was bored out of their mind during yesterday’s game…

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  1. I am a significantly bigger baseball fan than football. However I understand football fans and while I may sometimes think that they can be overzealous, I will not knock somebody elses hobby.

    A lot of folks can argue baseball games have endless replays and dead time and the games are too long too. And there are certainly more games then any other sport. But I find every last game interesting. I don’t watch every World Series games – there on too damn late, but usually catch most of the eliminations games.

  2. Well….I feel the same way about baseball!

  3. Football is far, far, far from a simple game. I feel like many people would agree with this point. I also feel like the NFL has its fair share of personalities. In the last several years, we have seen a large migration to the NFL fan base, as exemplified by TV ratings and revenues.

    It is baseball that fails to captivate the average viewer. There is no salary cap. Baseball’s biggest star is in the tabloids more than he is in the playoffs.
    Baseball was marred by steroids and false home-run kings. Sure, I love the tactics and strategy of the MLB game, but this is far from gripping by comparison to the Super Bowl(a myriad of pomp and circumstance, exceptional fan support, and a globalized market of advertisements(which were actually very poor this year). But, to each its own. The question of what is more interesting is up to the individual. I do know one thing, MLB certainly has better card blogs!

  4. It is the same discussion (argument) that Chicago baseball fans have; you either bleed Cubbie Blue or smell like southside beer.
    You either are a baseball fan and love the intricasies, personalities and “pureness” of the game and dont like the constant replays, penalties, time outs, reviews of football or . . .
    Well, lets just agree to disagree, baseball fans appreciate football but can live without it. Cubs fans can “appreciate” a Sox victory but can live without them. The best thing about “super” sunday is that baseball is soon to follow . . . the Cubs will (might) shine in two thousand and nine.

  5. Night Owl here — I got a wordpress account with a different name 😉

    I have a lot of the same problems with football as you do — the endless nonsensical breaks in the game, the massive overblown hype of the NFL in all of its many forms, the constant bombardment of television commercials that is much more apparent in football than any other sport, and the fact that too many games can turn on an arbitrary penalty flag.

    That said, I don’t know how you can think yesterday’s game was boring. I’ve been less interested in the NFL this year than in any year since I started following the game. Yet I found this year’s Super Bowl immensely interesting. Great plays. Drama. Very interesting.

  6. Personally I have not watched a football game for years…I mean, years. It’s just personal preference I guess.

    Two things I’ve always loved about baseball:

    1) The action is more focused. In football, 100 things are happening at once. In baseball, most of the action is centered around two players — pitcher and batter, or fielder and runner.

    2) Being at a ballpark can be a pleasant experience (well, depending on where you sit). You can hold a conversation with a friend and still soak in the game. By contrast, being at a football stadium is very crowded. It is usually a lot harder to carry on a conversation.

    There are a thousand other reasons that people love/hate baseball/football, but I personally come down on the side of loving baseball and feeling indifferent toward football. I understand that some people love it and that’s cool — to each his own. I just happen to love baseball.

  7. I love both football and baseball and can’t get enough of either sport. It’s fun to watch as they are a release and a chance to put the stress of life aside and just watch some very talented people play a game.

  8. good post dave…i think the idea of the superbowl is better than the actual game.it is so over hyped in every single aspect thats it borders on insane.it’s one giant sale’s vehicle and nothing else.did you see the interview with bruce Springsteen pregame??he was asked why it’s taken so long for him to do the superbowl(he’s been asked 10 times)and he said i have a new album to promote,also when he was asked who was gonna win he said he didn’t really follow football but liked the giants cuz he’s from jersey.the national anthem was lip synced?!?!?!!?it is so over produced and over hyped no matter who plays it’s kind of anti-climatic.it’s all about the money.

  9. I thought it was a great game. Tit for tat plays in the fourth quarter, the longest scoring play in Super Bowl history, by a DE no less, the comeback player of the year and an exceptional role model in Kurt Warner returning to the Super Bowl after starting the season as the proverbial broken down veteran back-up. 2 coaches in their second year as coach, with one in Tomlin younger than I am. A competitive close game till the last play. What more do you want?

  10. I love that you said “couldn’t” have cared less. I never understood why you guys say “could care less” because that doesn’t really make sense. If you could care less it doesn’t really get across how little you care about it.

    Nice to see another person who uses a DVR to watch sport. None of my friends understand why I wouldn’t want to watch it live, but if I wait an hour to start it I still finish at the same time and with the added bonus of not wasting an hour of my life on stupid ads


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