NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote an open letter today, and he wants you, loyal football watcher, to know that he cares about Making It Right. That’s why the league claims it plans to deal with the game’s glacial pace and interminable commercial breaks.
Goodell writes that he hopes to use the play clock to speed up the breaks in the action after certain scores:
Regarding game timing, we’re going to institute a play clock following the extra point when television does not take a break, and we’re considering instituting a play clock after a touchdown. We’re also going to standardize the starting of the clock after a runner goes out-of-bounds, and standardize halftime lengths in all games, so we return to the action as quickly as possible. Those are just a few of the elements we are working on to improve the pace of our game.
That sequence of a team scoring->ads->kickoff->ads can get really irritating. Goodell doesn’t like it either:
Together with our broadcast partners, we will be working to meaningfully reduce down time and the frequency of commercial breaks in our game. We will also be giving our broadcast partners increased flexibility to avoid untimely breaks in the action. For example, we know how annoying it is when we come back from a commercial break, kick off, and then cut to a commercial again. I hate that too. Our goal is to eliminate it.
Watching the NFL attempt to embrace fun improvements is like watching a dog try to speak Portuguese, or a high school principal’s dab. Their effort is visible and desperate, but the outcome is always underwhelming.