Letters to the Editors
Commercials make game secondary
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 29, 2002
I sat before the tube on Monday night, bearing a grin of superiority as my Buccaneers admonished those nasty Rams before a national audience.
The continuity of the game and the overall presentation of Monday Night Football, however, were far less memorable. I threw my "image interference" penalty flag about 100 times. The reason: annoying, redundant commercials.
Even the 65,000 at Raymond James Stadium had to endure TV timeouts, during which the players stand around as the stations frantically attempt to make money. The commercials even cut short the national anthem.
Is there no limit?
Every time the game began to build, it quickly dissipated as the audience had to endure TV's requirement that it memorize Ford's and Budweiser's latest sales pitches. Even when Jon Gruden challenged a takeaway call, the viewer was left hanging until after commercials. I had to find a radio to get the ruling.
Portions of the game are truncated. Gone are the days when advertising space followed the natural course of the game. Now it's "the audience won't notice if we cut out a play or two so we can get the Zippy's doughnut commercial in."
Even commentary and analysis have taken a back seat to commercials. John Madden and Al Michaels spoke contemporaneously with the action and had little time to pontificate the finer points during breaks.
The Bucs may have dominated the Rams, but commercials dominated the teams, whose performances were nothing more than filler to hold the viewer in a comalike state while the inevitable onslaught of commercials was repeated. What advertisers do not know is that most, myself included, who are forced to view the same commercial 20 times in three hours become annoyed and begin to hate the product.
Note to marketing professionals: If you want to sell something, don't jam it down someone's throat. I implore the NFL to not permit television to continually show such poor judgment in the presentation of a game. Don't let them destroy the game we all love.
-- James M. Thomas, Palm Harbor
The Bucs looked a little better Monday night, but the offense has a long way to go. Gruden seems to want to throw to the tight ends and forget about his wide receivers. With Keyshawn Johnson and Keenan McCardell catching passes, you would think that more balls would go their way. Also, Mike Alstott seems to be the forgotten man. I was happy to see him score a touchdown.
-- Tom Jurkowski, Tampa
It really tickled me to see the photos of rabid Bucs fans in Tuesday's paper. I think they disprove the sentiment that the Tampa Bay area won't support major-league teams and should give the Rays and the Lightning ownerships something to consider.
Regarding the Bucs' prospects for this season: Six home games remain. Win them all. Seven away games remain. Win those you should (Cincinnati, Detroit) and do your best in the rest. You'll finish at worst 12-4. The talent is here.
-- Randy Malone, Spring Hill
Back to the Bucs
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No new facility no surprise
High profile -- Al Singleton
Chucky's Chalk Talk
You can't take country out of Dilger
Commercials make game secondary
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Winn moves atop the Rays' hit list
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Last season's backups now think they have all it takes
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Captains gambling on the lineups
Azinger tries to keep chin up on the bench
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Zook on special teams: 'I'll get it corrected'
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Florida: By the numbers
OU tricked but mistake wipes out TD
South Florida: By the numbers
Bulls defense makes improvement
Around the state
Big East: Hokies run to victory
C-USA: Longhorns hold Tulane scoreless
SEC: Gary's return keeps Georgia on a roll 41-10
Pac-10: Washington State rallies behind QB in second half
Big Ten: Hawkeyes withstand comeback, win in OT
Big 12: Iowa State takes charge
ACC: Unfocused Wolfpack defeats I-AA UMass
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Holmes wins over Patriots
NFL Game Day: Week 4
Theodore stops 25 in 4-1 victory
Jeff Burton beats Kerry Earnhardt
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NL: D'backs roll to another West title
AL: Wells keeps Yanks on track for homefield
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Masterson, Mustangs win Red Mule
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