Goodell suggests enhanced use of play clocks

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The NFL often routinely uses a play clock throughout each game. However, it’s not as universal as it soon could be.

In a Wednesday letter to fans, Commissioner Roger Goodell suggested expanded use of a play clock in order to keep games moving along.

“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,” Goodell wrote. “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.”

Goodell also emphasized a point that is coming up too often to not happen — an effort to eliminate the kind of lulls that can get folks in this short-attention span society to change the channel or to otherwise find some other shiny object on their phones, tablets, or wherver else distractions currently come from.

“Together with our broadcast partners, we will be working to meaningfully reduce down time and the frequency of commercial breaks in our game,” Goodell wrote. “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.”

It’s smart, and to the extent that it came from last year’s ratings panic (which seemed to have subsided by the end of the year), the short-term dip in viewership could help make the game much more watchable in the future.

43 responses to “Goodell suggests enhanced use of play clocks

  1. Goodell also suggests visitor tds only count as 3 points in Foxboro if Kraft invites him to his parties to drink with the referees and Judge Berman…..just like the old days.

  2. I’ll believe it when I see it. watching one game on tv is unbearable these days.

  3. . 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.”
    ———————

    And that ladies and gentlemen is why they want to get rid if kicks altogether. It’s not the heads getting injured they are worried about it’s the heads turning away.

  4. “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. ”

    Just as annoying as when WCW and WWE used to do that during their “main events” back in the day.

    I must admit, though, that even though it’s a revenue stream for the networks; I get really annoyed by the Commercial-Kickoff-Commercial too. It happens far too often and it needs to be eliminated.

  5. I ‘m still going to be watching Red Zone when my team is not playing and during commercials when it is. Waiting for a commercial crawl on that. Those idiots haven’t figured that one out yet.

  6. jamaltimore says:
    Mar 22, 2017 7:03 PM
    I’ll believe it when I see it. watching one game on tv is unbearable these days.

    ———-

    I guess you long for the good old days when you only got one game a week and you could barely make out the players on the TV.

  7. jchipwood says:
    Mar 22, 2017 6:59 PM

    Goodell also suggests visitor tds only count as 3 points in Foxboro if Kraft invites him to his parties to drink with the referees and Judge Berman…..just like the old days.
    *************************************************
    You know it’s an unhealthy obsession when you start articulating scenarios where Judge Berman, who opposed Goodell’s ruling, is in cahoots with Goodell.

    Maybe type less and read more?

  8. Not much positive attention for the Commish these days, but this is spot on. My team plays a lot of games at 4:25. The 1 o’clock games kept more and more frequently running over into the 4:25 games.

    Extremely annoying to get excited for your game to come on, only to have to watch the Rams and 49ers battle out a 7-3 score while you miss the first quarter of your game.

  9. Sounds like a lot of good proposals coming from the NFL today, I’m actually pretty shocked. Hopefully they actually go through with everything that they talking about doing.

  10. Fact is, NFL Redzone is the only way to go. No matter who your team is, you can watch Redzone from 1-7ish and see every scoring play.
    Its like using the Jedi Mind trick to turn the channel when needed…
    and much better than watching all the damn commercials.

  11. jchipwood says:
    Mar 22, 2017 6:59 PM
    Goodell also suggests visitor tds only count as 3 points in Foxboro if Kraft invites him to his parties to drink with the referees and Judge Berman…..just like the old days.
    ___________________________________

    You got your 5th SB, now shut up man.
    #sorewinner

  12. wagon151515 says:
    Mar 22, 2017 7:50 PM

    Not much positive attention for the Commish these days, but this is spot on. My team plays a lot of games at 4:25. The 1 o’clock games kept more and more frequently running over into the 4:25 games.

    Extremely annoying to get excited for your game to come on, only to have to watch the Rams and 49ers battle out a 7-3 score while you miss the first quarter of your game.
    _________________________________

    Get off the funky koolaid wagon151515. I highly doubt Jeff Fisher’s Rams ever scored 3 points, let alone 7.

  13. I DVR the games that I want to watch. Don’t start watching for 45 minutes. Fast forward through commercials and Hochuli filibusters….AND I STILL CATCH UP TO LIVE ACTION BY HALFTIME!!!

  14. The only games I watch are the Thursday, Sunday and Monday night games. Sunday day games are all red zone until the Hawks and then redzone on commercials. That’s the way to watch football especially when you’re into fantasy.

  15. This is kind of a dumb idea but, why not just have a few less commercials overall? Or quicker, shorter commercial “blasts” that only last for a couple of seconds or something? Why give the Ref’s even more stuff to worry about with the clock stuff? Why not cool it with the excessive graphics animations all the time, which also kind of interrupt the flow of the game and distract. I don’t need a Transformer robot or whatever to lead me through the broadcast. I just watched a re-broadcast of a Patriots-Vikings game from 1994 and it was a LOT easier to follow the action. They just don’t know when to stop jamming stuff down our throats and just show the football game. It sucks.

  16. Bring back the old kick off rules.

    Starting a game with Kick that goes out of the back of the end zone, followed by a commercial break is not a good way to start the game.

  17. These networks pay absurd amounts of money to air these games. So they need the commercials to help cover some of the costs. The NFL is one of the few tv shows that are dvr proof. People watch the games live so the commercials actually get seen for the most part. Even though sunday ticket and fantasy football has viewers skipping to other games now when commercial breaks come up. There will come a time where everything during a game is sponsored. The Doritos kickoff, The Chipotle Red Zone, The Tostitos 2 minute warning, The Applebees end zone etc etc etc

  18. You think the commercials are bad on tv…. try being at the game. It’s like “Why the heck are they all just standing around? Oh… yeah.” I’m sure the UK fans just love it.

  19. It’s not that we have short little spans of attention, but suffering psyche, Herc, there’s only 60 minutes of game and it takes over 180 minutes to play out…. Sunday morning games aren’t too bad, afternoon games are a little better, but the prime-time games, Sunday and Monday night, are just so brutally packed with commercials the games go well over 3 hours with 3:30 not uncommon. When was the last time Sunday Night Football actually ended within it’s scheduled time-frame? ten years ago, maybe? Less available commercial time ought to drive the price per commercial minute up… win win

  20. You would think that a league that has the time to fiddle with rules about starting the play clock after an extra point might get around to coming up with an understandable, unambiguous, and sensible definition of what is a catch. But maybe that’s just me

  21. Also, how freaking impotent are NFL fans to need reminding of their limp witching rods every five minutes by a Viagra commercial? It makes it rather clear how Trump got elected: all the wilting willows banded together. They could start a movement of their own: WWLM (Wilting Willows Live’s Matter).

  22. Climate change is also a factor. In the midwest, northeast, and mid-atlantic states, when it’s 60-70 degrees in late October/early November, who wants to stay inside for the commercials?

  23. I have NFL GamePass-Europe. Was watching the “1 O’Clock” lineup of games last year.

    I kid you not….at one point (not during halftimes) ALL SEVEN games were in commercial “breaks.” I just turned that crap off.

    There’s your problem, Goodell. Address it.

  24. Cut out all the NFL self promotion stuff at 1:00. “This is the NFL” with all the leading up to the game. Start the game at 1:00!

  25. “Together with our broadcast partners, we will be working to meaningfully reduce down time and the frequency of commercial breaks in our game,”

    Translation…

    “We’re going to have fewer commercial breaks, but each break will be substantially longer because we’re not going to reduce the actual number of commercials.”

  26. I am not really against making the breaks longer if there is less breaks. The issue for me is not length, it’s flow. The NFL is really hard to watch because the flow of the game is interrupted so much. Only do breaks after a touchdown and limit those breaks to whatever a half and I think they will be a lot better off. Perhaps 4 breaks and the 2 min warning per half..

  27. That will shave off 1 min in the game. Meanwhile, 1.5 hours of TV commercials is still ok.

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