BLOCK: Is Football A Sissy Sport?

Say what? Is the title of this op ed some sort of typographical error? No. Then, am I some sort of commie? Am I un-American? No, football is indeed a sissy sport. Let me explain.

The average NFL game takes three hours and ten long minutes. And, all during that interminable time guess how long the ball is in play. If you said 11 minutes, go the head of the class. This accounts for a mere 5.79% of the time.

I don’t have the figures for Taylor Swift, just to choose a random performer out of the blue, but from the time she first sets an elegant leg on the stage, until she is finished belting out songs, what percentage of the time do you think she is doing just that, rather than just sitting or standing around, doing nothing but looking pretty? I don’t know. They don’t keep statistics on things like that; at least none that I was able to find. But I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that her percentage in actual entertainment time is a gigantic multiple of that covered by the effeminate football players.

How do the other sports stack up against football? Lots better. Even boring old baseball whups football’s behind. The average game there takes two hours and fifty minutes; the ball is whipping around, and/or players are on the move, for a relatively full 18 minutes, that is, 10.21% of the time.  That is just about double, for those of you who are keeping in this new sport of keeping track of which athletes are doing what.

The other major sports leave both national pass times in the dust. The basketball is in action 34.78% of the time, the hockey puck for 42.86% and the soccer ball clocks in at a whopping 50.09%. But all these are as nothing compared to races. The hundred meter dash takes only some 10 seconds, but guess what? Legs are pumping for a full 100% of that competition. Ditto for every other track or swimming event. The marathon occurs for the very best runners in a little over two hours, and for every second of that splendid duration, the competitors are giving it their best.

But duration of effort only begins to establish football’s sissyness.

What occurs between the center and the quarterback when the play begins is downright disgusting. It really should not even be mentioned in a family newspaper such as this one. Ditto for the huddles where grown men, horrors, grab each other by the shoulders, in a circle. Who knows what goes on there? People with sensibilities such as you, gentle reader, simply do not want to know. And what of the fact that they are continually hugging each other, and patting each other on the rear end to celebrate some accomplishment or other. You are not going to believe this, but when they score a touchdown, whatever that is, decent people do not want to know, they jump up in the air and embrace each other. These are grown men I am talking about. If they did this in the privacy of their homes, I would not complain (well, at least not too much). But they do this in public, in front of tens of thousands of people in the stands and millions of tv viewers. You know that aphorism to the effect that you shouldn’t scare the horses? Well, it is lucky that there are no horses at such events, otherwise they would surely be scared.

Yes, football is a sissy sport.

Hey, of course I’m kidding about all this. We each have to celebrate the Super Bowl in our own way. I’m a weirdo. This is my way.


Sport       Total duration   Live action    Percent of action     Commercial time     # of 30-second TV spots (per hour)


Football    3hr 10min         11min              5.79%                        75min                         150 (47)

Baseball  2hr 56min           18min             10.21%                      43min                         85 (29)

Basketball   2hr 18min       48min           34.78%                      45min                          90 (39)

Hockey    2hr 20min           60min           42.86%                      30min                         60 (26)

Soccer     1hr 55min             57min             50.09%                     19min                         38 (20)



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