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Sundays and Football

This past fall, I spent (or wasted depending on your outlook), at least four hours every Sunday watching football. In the heat of the moment, the time only felt like a waste if the team I was rooting for didn't win. Since my team (Chicago Bears) didn't win enough games this year, the season felt like a complete waste of time. Sure, there were some moments I enjoyed, but I could have just seen them on replays after the games were over. This coaxed me into reexamining how this time is being spent. The following summarizes what I found and why committing to watch this many games in 2014 isn't likely to happen.

The regular season lasts 17 weeks, so if we take 17 * 4 hours it looks like football took 68 hours from me. This estimate of 68 hours is likely to be extremely conserservative when I start to account for pre-game shows, postgame shows, highlights, reading articles throughout the week, extra games with teams I don't even care about, the preseason, etc. If I added all of that in, the total is probably somewhere north of 100 hours... That's just too many. Studies from the Wall Street Journal have shown that there are only 11 minutes of action in a single game of football. The majority of each telecast is actually commercials. To commit three or four hours for a single game with 11 minutes of action and 75 minutes of advertisements is truly a terrible return on investment.

In the weeks since the Bears' season ended, I've been making the most of that time. I've played guitar for at least two hours each Sunday. I spent one Sunday finishing up George Orwell's classic book 1984. Tomorrow I'm going to spend some quality time at the keyboard hacking on a new idea I have for a web app. It's going to be a good day.

With football almost over until next fall (only the super bowl is left at this point), lots of time has been freed up for doing other things. Take advantage of it. I know I will.

[1] 11 Minutes of Action

Published on 1/25/2014 10:04:26 PM

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