11 Minutes. No Football.

How will you spend your Sunday?

Yeh, I know. There’s a “super” bowl on.

I know all about your Patriots and your Seahawks. And, your Marshawn Lynch. And, your “Deflategate.” I learned all about it on Saturday Night Live last night. I know about these things.

Today’s Super Bowl will take up hours and hours and hours of airtime. Yet, if you add up the actual football action? Eleven minutes.

Between the Budweiser commercials, the broadcasters jabbering, and Katy Perry, there will be 11 minutes of actual football … 67 minutes of football players just standing around … 17 minutes of replays … and more than an hour of beer and truck commercials. (And, probably a concussion or two.)

SportsGrid broke it down in this easy-to-follow pie chart:

pie chart

Fun Fact: The average baseball game? 18 minutes of action. That’s 67 percent MORE baseball, people.

I gave up on football a few years back with the ugly revelations of the game’s concussion crisis and the National Football League’s irresponsible inaction.

So, I won’t be spending my 11 minutes watching football tonight.

And, just maybe, you won’t be either. So, here are some things we can do with the 11 minutes we just freed up!

** Make Chocolate Chip Cookies for the nice fella who fixed the coat rack in your Yoga studio. (Or, for any nice person you know.)

cookie1

cookie2

cookie3

Bake for just 11 minutes in a 350 oven.

** Do Yoga.

If you’re in the groove, you’ll squeeze 11 rounds of Sun Salutations into your 11 minutes. (Cat preferred, but always optional.)

 

** Listen to Bob Dylan’s Desolation Row”.

highway 61 revisited

Einstein, disguised as Robin Hood
With his memories in a trunk
Passed this way an hour ago
With his friend, a jealous monk 

What?

When you’re done, you can tell me what the hell he’s singing about for 11 minutes. But, it’s a good song, even if I don’t get it.

** Read War & Peace.

** Read a CHAPTER of War & Peace.

read war and peace

Just 300 pages left.

** Break in your new baseball glove before heading to Spring Training.

But, if you’re going to microwave it, heed the advice of former Twin-Angel-Tiger and current Twin (again) Torii Hunter who warns you that if you nuke it for more than a minute it will start to cook. He also recommends softening it up in your hot tub first. After nuking, give it some good smacks with your baseball bat.

Just 18 days ‘til Pitchers and Catchers report. So let’s get those gloves in the hot tub, Birdland!

Riff-Raff

There’s this saying they have in North Dakota: “Thirty below keeps the riff-raff out.”  I’m sure you may have your own variations out where you are.

For the record, I did my North Dakota time. You may now consider me proof that 30-below temperatures will cause some – call me riff-raff, whatever – to flee.

So, I’m reading the new Rolling Stone (and I highly recommend the interview with Bob Dylan which is delightful and reminds you what happens when a crazy genius like Bob Dylan becomes a crazy, irascible, crabby, unfiltered old man … and I mean that in most reverent way possible).

Anyway, there is also an article about how football became America’s number one sport … and how it has completely dominated television with its constant adrenaline-rush, mad-action, carefully scripted production.

And, in a throwaway to make their point, they call televised baseball “lugubrious and soporific.”  Lugubrious and soporific? Oh my! How erudite and loquacious of you, Rolling Stone.

Sure, if you don’t know how to fill the space within the game, then you won’t enjoy the easeful, sweetly slow pace of baseball. And, with so much noise in the world today, if you don’t know what in the world to do with the blank, quiet, waiting moments, then you’ll probably be, at best, bored … at worst, sound asleep.

But, those spaces of inaction are very much part of baseball. Having the time to watch things unfold – to get into the pitcher’s eyes and his careful windup, to get into the batter’s head – can make baseball riveting.

I’m pretty sure it was the Seattle Mariners who many years ago experimented with editing games for television. Snipping out all the quiet, slow spots. They were left with an hour or so of the “action.” I don’t know how many games this lasted, but needless to say … it didn’t last long.

On the other hand, my Yankee-fan Editor/Husband (hi honey!) reminds me of this:

There were some spring-training games that were telecast with a minimal broadcaster presence. I think they had several players and coaches miked up, but no one really in the broadcast booth. And, it was spring training, so it was a game of not much importance, but there was SO MUCH going on. There was the outfielder singing to himself.  And, the first-base coach talking to the base-runner and the first baseman. And, the catcher talking to the umpire and the batter.  And the manager … and the coach. There were ALL of these little centers of activity and interest and tension, while it might seem like “nothing” was happening!

Watching baseball on television isn’t easy, because it asks you to fall into a simple, slow rhythm yourself. Sometimes, you have to sing to yourself. And, for a world that’s super-charged with energy, for a television that offers continuous wall-to-wall action, that isn’t easy.

But, maybe that’s just baseball’s way of keeping the riff-raff out.

(I’ll sing the praises of the best baseball broadcasters – and there are some great ones out there – another time.)

And, by the way, I really do love Bob Dylan. I even have his brand new one, Tempest. It’s crazy sweet.  (And, as I write this, just a $5 download from Amazon … just click here).

Oh, I suppose some would say that the title track – a 14-minute, 45-verse recounting of the sinking of the Titanic, that weirdly entwines both historical fact and fictional characters from the movie – is, well, lugubrious and soporific. But, maybe Bob just wants to keep the riff-raff out, too.