Jan 20th 2010 By Brett Smiley
Ever wonder why John Madden used to ramble so much during NFL games? The Wall Street Journal may have part of the answer.
According to a WSJ study of four recent NFL broadcasts
, there's only about 11 minutes of real action during each game. Meaning, broadcasters must fill up the rest of three-plus hour broadcasts with guests, replays and banter.
"As many as 75 minutes," says the report, "is spent on shots of players huddling, standing at the line of scrimmage or just generally milling about between snaps."
Networks have different strategies for filling the empty space, especially during blowout games. But some filler segments -- like Jimmy Kimmel's 2007 appearance in the "Monday Night Football" booth during a Giants/Falcons game
-- go terribly wrong.
Officially banned by ESPN afterward from future "MNF" broadcasts
for "classless and disappointing" comments, Kimmel asked, among other things, if co-host Tony Kornheiser had gotten his predecessor Joe Theismann fired. He also needled Kornheiser and Ron Jaworski for betting on games.
Stay tuned for a study from the WSJ revealing that 98.7 percent of baseball broadcasts consist of players grabbing their crotches, fans falling asleep and Tim McCarver not making sense.