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60 Minutes or 11 Minutes: How Soccer compares to Football - WSJ

As a soccer fan, I can't tell you how many times I've had to argue that the game is as action packed as American football to my friends. While I agree that the scoring isn't quite as high, the constant movement and build up, followed by a goal is one of the best parts of the game. It wouldn't hurt if every goal counted as 6 points. In fact, the Chelsea v Sunderland game today was 7 -2, which is 49 - 14 in American football terms. None of my arguments ever seem to help those who are not inclined to give the game a chance, but I'll keep trying and the Wall Street Journal has given me a great counter argument to the "soccer is boring" argument.

Next time someone says it's boring, your response should be, "11 minutes."

11 minutes? That's how much actual playing time occurs in your average NFL game. A game will air for 3 hours. You'll see 11 minutes of play. How is that possible? Here's an excerpt:

"In other words, if you tally up everything that happens between the time the ball is snapped and the play is whistled dead by the officials, there's barely enough time to prepare a hard-boiled egg. In fact, the average telecast devotes 56% more time to showing replays.

So what do the networks do with the other 174 minutes in a typical broadcast? Not surprisingly, commercials take up about an hour. As many as 75 minutes, or about 60% of the total air time, excluding commercials, is spent on shots of players huddling, standing at the line of scrimmage or just generally milling about between snaps. In the four broadcasts The Journal studied, injured players got six more seconds of camera time than celebrating players. While the network announcers showed up on screen for just 30 seconds, shots of the head coaches and referees took up about 7% of the average show."

11 minutes or 60 minutes? Soccer wins.

WSJ Article
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