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    by Randy Ooney     

My Nickel’s Worth                     by Randy Ooney


 Got a Minute ?


Got a minute? Or maybe 200 – There is a baseball game tonight. In some cases, it’s about the money.  After all. Major League Baseball added 30 seconds to the time between each half inning just to sell more advertising.  I went to many Twins games in the 60s and 70s.  Back then, the games started at 8:05 and we were usually on the way home before 10:00 PM.  Now they have sneaked in an extra 5 minutes after the top of the hour so we can listen to Dick Bummer and Bert Blyhead talk for two minutes and then view eight minutes of ads.  Then there are the players.  Whatever company supplies batting gloves must deliver a defective product, because nearly all players need to step out of the batter’s box after each pitch and refasten the Velcro.  Except for our own number 7, who feels the need to smooth the dirt in the batter’s box after each pitch.  Years ago we had a pitcher named Pete Filson.  I swear you could clip your toenails TWICE between each of his pitches.  Now we have Mike Pelfrey who takes forever between pitches, especially when there is a man on base, which is usually by the second batter each inning.


The NFL isn’t much better.  I cannot remember the actual statistic, but in a 60 minute football game, there’s something like 11 minutes of action.  Then to add insult to injury, they have installed “TV timeouts” where everyone just stands around while they sell commercials to the home viewers for thousands of dollars per second.


We just finished tearing up our brackets in the NCAA tournament.  The games move along fairly well until the last two minutes of a close game.  Then we get to watch 8 timeouts and fifteen foul shots, between commercials of course.  The NBA isn’t much more time efficient in close games.


Remember when a round of golf used to take four hours?  Good grief, now every shot requires a four minute conversation with the caddy, a minute or two to check the wind, seven or eight practice swings, and that’s just for a shot from the fairway.  Get to the green and mark the ball.  Then count every blade of grass between the ball and the hole and make a note of which way the grass is leaning.  Then crouch down and see which way the green is tilting.  Then place the ball back on the mark and go through the moves all over again.


Bowlers are also guilty.  Centers used to have a 7:00 league and a 9:00 league.  Now the 7:00 leagues are not finished until 10:00 PM.  There seems to be way too much thinking  on approaches these days.  On the PBA telecasts, I believe the pros only get around 25 seconds between shots.  Seems adequate for almost every pro except Sean Rash.


So that leaves only hockey.  That game seems to move swiftly with a lot of action without interruption.  Television must sneak in commercials when a whistle creates a stop in play, and I think the refs are asked to dawdle before a face off so TV can get the commercials into the broadcast.  I have heard few complaints on facebook.  Good luck to the WILD!!        


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