From: mazzare@primenet.com (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Subject: Timeouts? 
Date: June 12, 1995

Today I was channelsurfing and ran across the fourth quarter of the NBA finals. 
I started to watch it. During commercials, I would switch to another channel, 
then come back. 

When there were about 2 minutes [sic] to go and Houston was up by 3 points, 
one of the teams called a timeout and I went to channel 67 and there was an 
absolutely fabulous interview of Jennifer Saunders. About 15 minutes later 
[sic], I remembered that I cared about whether Houston beat Orlando, and I 
went back to NBC. There were 5.4 seconds left on the game, Orlando was down 
by 5. They inbound and sink an impossible 35 foot 3-pointer. They foul 
immediately on the inbound, call timeout. I go back to 67 and they are 
reairing some old hbo show so I go back to NBC but they still have some car 
commercial on so I go to CNN but there is a commercial there so I wonder 
whether I should just get the result via email when I go back to NBC and they 
already had the free throws and Houston is up by 3 and Orlando has the ball and 
there are 2.4 seconds left. Timeout so I go take a leak. I come back and 
Orlando inbounds the ball and they shoot an airball and go down 3-0. 

I guess that is all I will watch of the NBA finals on NBC this year. Too bad, 
I like the way that Olajouwon and Drexler play. But the most important part 
of an NBA game are its final 2 minutes, and when that becomes 20 minutes 
[sic] with 18 minutes of commercials, well... let's put it this way: you 
might do it for love, but not for a basketball game on TV. Not even the NBA 
finals on NBC. 

Fortunately, there was the usual promising game from the USA team, against 
the listless Nigerians. The game was much too close at 3-2, and those US fans 
that insist that there is a better goalkeeper in the wings should be grateful 
that Mr. Olajouwon switched sports at 18 years of age. I am grateful that I 
could watch this on Univision instead of ESPN. This choice is just as clear 
if you speak English and not speak Spanish. It seems senseless, but hear me 
out: which of the two lets you know the name of the player with the ball? On 
ESPN, you are forced to listen to the prattle if you want the crowd noise and 
'ambiance'; on Univision, if you don't like their comments, it doesn't matter 
because they are in Spanish and you don't understand Spanish. You do understand 


and of course this is the best part of the telecast. 

And then the main course, New Zealand rugby. While I was watching their 
treatment of the Scot problem, a gentleman that has seen many futbol games 
in Mexico walked by and said 'los europeos juegan al futbol mas fuerte, no?' 

I tell ya, it was good enough to be a post of the week. 

For dessert, the hapless attempt by the English to preserve some honour in 
their expected defeat to Brasil. In the first half they managed to dominate 
with the complicity of a referee that had not been informed of the new rule 
that allows a warning to be issued with a yellow card. You might recall that 
Brasil had already been kicked out of a world cup in England, and it seemed 
that the same rules were still in effect. In the second half, things were 
completely different of course, as the English got tired and played like 
fools. Only when Gascoigne entered the field did they resemble an opponent. 
One might also ask which goalie seemed more brasilero, Zetti or Flowers? 
Nonetheless, the last two goles by Brasil were perfect. 

Completely tangentially, could Nigeria beat the US in basketball? Hmmm. You 
know, when it comes to basketball, I can honestly say that Olajouwon is better 
than Pele. 

From: dolina@nyc.pipeline.com (Juan Gonzalez)
Subject: Re: Timeouts?
Date: June 12, 1995

You know the same thing happened to me only I started watching the
basketball game in the last 5 min. Who cares about the rest anyway. I
wanted to see those great match ups, and see Olajouwon play but the
commercials are much more than I can take. I surfed to MSG network and
watched some of the replay of the Yankees game. When I went back to NBC
after I don't know how long, there were 2 min left. Those must have been
the longest 2 minutes in history. I watched some discovery Channel and then
forgot about the game. When I got back there were less than 3 seconds left.
I went back to the Discovery Channel and I forgot about the game. A lot of
time went by but when I checked there was a car commercial. Well to make a
long story short, I finally found out during a commercial at Discovery
Channel that Houston had won. Marv Albert was giving the info with his
faked voice of excitment and there was that horrible loud "NBC" music in
the backround. Marv was doing a promo for game 4 and trying to make it
sound exciting and the music kept getting stronger. It was dark in my
living room and I desperatly searched for the remote that I had dropped. I
got it and pushed all the buttons. I was thinking, somebody shoot me
please. Well I got the set turned off and that was it. I thought a bit
after that. NBC and the advertisers probably lose a lot of money if Houston
sweeps the series. I felt a certain joy inside becuase of this. I'm sure no
normal human being could put up with the torture of watching that defacing
of a wonderful sport. My question is DO THE ADVERTISERS REALIZE THAT NO ONE
IS WATCHING DURING THE BREAKS. Or are there people actually sitting there
watching. I can only imagine some mental patient being able to watch all
that BS. Please no time outs in soccer or I will have to go to the park and
watch kids play. 

From: Tim Herrett 
Subject: Re: Timeouts?
Date: June 12, 1995

I absolutely agree with the last two posts. I too was watching
the NBA play-offs. Being a Brit and relatively new to this sport
I naively assumed that if there is five minutes of a game to go
that this is what it means. Oh no. This translates to about an
hour. The last time out in game one was about 0.3 seconds from
the end! And still they went back on court.

It is not only frustrating but the whole momentum of the
game is lost.Imagine watching a footie game with a 
minute to go and your team 1-0 down but pressing for an
equaliser. You are on the edge of your seat. THEN, a time-out
is called and a car or pile-ointment advert comes on

Two words spring to mind - Coitus and Interruptus. And
you all know what thats like.

Just say no to Time-Outs.

From: dolina@nyc.pipeline.com (Juan Gonzalez)
Subject: Re: Timeouts?
Date: June 12, 1995

I think those words are exactly what it's like. Maybe some people in the US
like that (no offense intended as I'm sure soccer lovers don't). If you
will notice in many American movies the phone always rings when they are
making love. What is worse is that the guy answers it. In other movies they
just knock over the phone and keep going. I think that is what seperates
football-soccer from the rest of the sports. The passion builds up because
it is non-stop and you always get to have your "orgasm" sometimes it's not
the greatest but you know when the end will come. I think real guys in the
U.S. are just tired of being jerked around by sports with no passion.
Baseball is the only true great american sport since it has natural pauses
and doesn't have a clock, no need for time outs. It's kind of like a less
intense long "orgasm", but there is nothing like soccer, it never lets you
go until it's over and that's what makes it special. I don't like to
promote violence but even if the FIFA wants time outs there is no reason
why they should be called. Whoever asks for a time out should be rushed by
the fans and promptly beaten up. I think this will teach them not to take
our "orgasm" away. 

From: moore@lts.sel.alcatel.de (Simon Moore)
Subject: Re: Timeouts?
Date: June 13, 1995

What a wonderful analogy. Timeouts are like answering the phone when having 
sex. Love it. Still, if they let managers stand at the side & shout 
"encouragement" to their poor players (a la Jack Charlton) then they'd be no 
need, would there?

I have an answering machine by the way :-)

From: bds@ipp-garching.mpg.de (Bruce D. Scott)
Subject: Re: Timeouts?
Date: June 16, 1995

I agree absolutely all the way with Ariel and Juan.  If there are any
Americans left who don't realise how bad this commercial interruption
nonsense really is, I recommend a multi-year stay in Europe.  When it
_really_ hit me was during the '88 Olympics, when I saw the first half
from Los Alamos (I'd been away almost a year then) and the second half
from here.  Although the times of day were far worse here, I really
learned to appreciate the networks (1) telling me _when_ certain events
were to occur, and (2) not interrupting them.  The TV tax is worth it if
it gets you hours of uninterrupted coverage.  In the US you got "Carl
Lewis is about to run against Ben Johnson, don't go away", before the
commercials which appeared at least a dozen times in the hour before the
100-meter final.  That is simply unacceptable.  Here, we got to sense
the emotional build-up in the stands all the way up to the event.

Here, during a football match you get no nonsense of any sort, including
the silly shrink-the-screen-and plug-the-product variety, and then
during half time you get the news.  On private channels you get some ads
during half time (but the viewers expect and get at least 50 percent of
that in game commentary), like on the Spanish network in North America,
but that is the furthest these no-minds should be allowed to go.  If
they don't want to carry the games properly, fine.  We can read about it
in the papers or watch on a reasonable network -- like the former SIN.

Subject: Timeouts (again) (Was: Rules and the USA)
From: moore@lts.sel.alcatel.de (Simon Moore)
Date: July 4, 1995

I've just thought of another reason why timeouts are such a bad idea. Can 
you imagine the effect timeouts would have on your toes* whilst sitting in 
sub-zero conditions on a dark January evening, praying that the match will 
be over soon when some stupid berk prolongs the torture by calling timeouts 
every few minutes?

And what about the poor players trying to keep warm?


*substitute your bodily part most affected by the cold.