I just tried to sit down and watch a bit of the 49ers play the Eagles with Ana. I was trying to explain to her how American football works, but it was impossible. Why? Commercial breaks.
My god. In the half hour we sat there watching the game, there was at least 5 commercials per play. I couldn't believe how bad it was. I couldn't even have a flow of conversation with Ana it was so bad. They'd have a play, and then a series of commercials. Another play, another series of commercials. Any time before and after punts, kick-offs, touch-downs, extra points, interceptions or anything other than the most basic play there were commercials.
Then *during* the game, there were the constant replays, swooshing graphics, graphs, charts, clips from different games and other nonsense, I couldn't actually explain to Ana what was going on. The actual game of football itself seemed quite secondary to all this crap. (As an aside: Is it my imagination or has FOX television just completely destroyed all concepts of News and Sports coverage?)
Compare this with European Football (Soccer): almost 3 2 hours of uninterupted play. Only 3 people allowed to substitute for the entire game, and once you come off, you stay off. Real athletes playing in a real game. And the coverage in Europe is near religiously pure: The only major problem I would have in Spain is sometimes the channel covering the match would only put the score up every 20 minutes or so, so in case you missed the first bit of the game, you pretty much had no idea what was going on until half-time.
There's "unique" and there's "weird". For much of my life I thought Americans were just always unique. Baseball, I've decided is definitely unique. I brought my wife to a live game years ago where we sat outside with Cokes and hot dogs and leisurely watched a long summer game and she realized why Baseball is pretty neat and still with us today. American football, I've decided, is just fucking weird. Helmets and fat guys and 20 minute long commercial breaks? Why do I care about this sport again? Remember when you first saw Aussie Rules Football and you thought, "Wow, that's fucking weird..." Well, that's really how the rest of the world views the NFL, I promise... I'm just noticing it now myself.
I want my Real Madrid back.