Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Jason Wins

In a result surprising to no one, Jason wins the tourney game.  The final standings are as follows:
  1. Jason - 714 points
  2. Me - 700 points
  3. Daniel - 648 points
  4. Poseur - 646 points
  5. Rollie - 619 points
  6. Jroberts - 540 points
  7. Scott - 390 points
In another result surprising very few people, Memphis lost because they didn't hit free throws.

Alright, that's not really fair.  Over the course of the game, they hit 12 of 19 free throws, which is a 63% rate.  That's not terrible.  Not great, but not terrible.  They just missed a bunch down the stretch, and it was one of their best free throw shooters missing them.

For a random thought of the morning, I have two observations about televised sports that I think are interrelated:
  1. Television executives reportedly complain about how long sporting events last, and how they go on beyond their scheduled times, and
  2. Television stations air seemingly interminable pre-game segments, even for routine events, getting longer as the games get more important.
I truly believe that thanks to the internet and 24 hour sports channels, there isn't a whole lot of need for the networks to catch me up on the news before they start their broadcast of the games.  Yet, they spend a lot of time telling me things that I already know, and that anyone could easily find out if they are really interested, delaying the starts of games and having them run long.

Last night, the broadcast started at 8:00 and the game didn't begin until after 8:30.  This problem is not limited to basketball.  This weekend I watched the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Yankees (yay!) on Fox in an early season match that is ultimately almost irrelevant to the final results of the season.  The pre-game lasted over 20 minutes.

When I watched World Cup games in 2006, I was at first very put-off by the fact that when a game was set to start at 1:00pm, they went to the arena at precisely 1:00pm and the game was set for kickoff.  It was jarring not to have any pregame, but then I got used to it, and ever since I have wondered why soccer is the only sport that does it this way.  

If there is anything that needs to be said to set up the drama of the game, it can usually be said between the action of most major sporting events.  Surely baseball is such a slow-moving sport that you could have an entire slow moving, tear jerking SportsCenteresque human interest story about the survivor of some rare disease between pitches.  

As pregame activities expand, networks bristle at the fact that televised sports take up greater than their allotted time.  Networks like ESPN, ABC, and CBS have lobbied for (and gotten) changes in the rules to shorten college football games, all while clogging up the television set at the top of their broadcasts with extraneous material that delays the start of the game.  If CBS want to shorten their broadcasts, then they should start their 2:30pm football game precisely at 2:30.  If they want to have pre-game, then have a specially set 30 minute pregame show.  I assure you, after the initial jolt, fans will get used to it.  They will even come to like it.

OK, so that random thought actually took up most of this post.  Sue me.


Anonymous said...

I realize it's a bit late, but my first initial is F, not J. Regardless, congrats to the winner, Jason. Well done, sir.

uberschuck said...

Pittman, you could write another blog on annoying sports broadcasts. If there is anyone who hasn't had enough of the human interest stories, just wait a few months for the olympics.

And how did you like the on-air commercials from the commentators? They said it wasn't possible for 4 #1s to make the Final Four...insert ad here.

Thanks, froberts! I had played this game a long time without winning. Now I'm convinced it is a crap shoot.