Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NFL Coaches Asked to Call Timeout to Allow More Commercials

I have long been annoyed by the number of unnecessary stoppages during football games. Seeing the "TV Timeout" official constantly on the field holding up play made me stop going to watch them in person. But the latest in the commercial-saga that is college football and the NFL takes it all even one step further. Now, in addition to the regularly scheduled interruptions, coaches are being asked to change strategy in order to make room for more commercials.

Jeff Fisher, coach of the NFL's Tennessee Titans, was apparently asked to call timeouts late in the game so ESPN could squeeze in more commercials. Here is what he told reporters (as reported here [thanks to Scott for the link]).

"Plus, you know, my understanding was that we needed some network timeouts, so I think that's why Jack used his timeouts ... because they came over and asked me to do it, and I said, 'Well, I was hoping to get a first down and kneel on it. ' "

Fisher also said "it's the first time" he has heard of coaches being asked to call timeouts for broadcast considerations, but that comment was not part of the video highlights of the news conference that the NFL made available Tuesday.

I know, I know... the teams and the league and the networks need to make money. But in a game already set up to maximize commercial time, asking coaches to add even more breaks strikes me as beyond the pale.

Thankfully I've got TiVo....

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