“We’re going to keep the game moving.”

The SEC, all in on keeping the trains running on time.

When it comes to halftime, Shaw said there’s an acknowledgement that there has been too much lollygagging. The concern is that officials have gotten away from starting the 20-minute halftime clock immediately, either because they’re waiting on the coaches’ walk-off interview, or the game manager says they have two bands going, etc. So halftimes have often been stretching to 23 or 24 minutes.

So now after the last play of the half, the referee will make sure there are no flags, no replay review coming, etc.

“And then we’re going to crank the 20-minute [clock],” Shaw said.

When the 20 minutes are up, kickoff will quickly follow. Hopefully within seconds of that 20-minute clock running out.

“I really believe if our officials work well with our TV partners, and we do well with the halftime component, we’ll whittle that down,” Shaw said.

Then there’s first downs, and the clock winding quickly afterwards. Shaw said there will be a re-emphasis on re-starting the clock when the center judge puts the ball down to be snapped. Research showed they had also delayed a bit there.

It’s not just there: Shaw said referees have been told to be “actively consistent” in restarting the game clock after the substitution process.

But only to a certain extent.

So what about the length of commercial breaks, which fans complain about? That’s out of the control of the officials.

If you’ve been to games, you may notice an official in a red hat who signals to the referee when TV has come out of commercial, meaning the game can re-start. The referee cannot simply end the commercial break and re-start the game.

The referee do have the discretion to keep the game going rather than going to a TV timeout, in some cases where flow of the game is important.

“If there’s a momentum play, the referee can look at the red hat and say, no,” Shaw said. “Let’s say you have a punt. The referee gets ready for play, gets his count, and I would always sneak a peak at the red hat and he would say, ‘I want a timeout.’ But we would get a big punt return and I’ll say to him, Nope we’re going, we’re staying.

“But once it goes to TV, our TV liaison has total control.”

Priorities, priorities.



Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football

14 responses to ““We’re going to keep the game moving.”

  1. Nate Dawg

    Wait…the ref controls if it goes to commercial at times or not..? So if said impartial ref is not a fan of…oh..I don’t know…the Ga Bulldogs he can help kill or keep some momentum? Damn I wish I hadn’t of read that.
    And what kind of business model is steadily cutting down the product to shorten it – ya know, the actual, like, PLAYS of a game…to get us into more of the crap we don’t want – commercials, half time commentary, pointless sideline interviews…ugh…


  2. Snoop Dawgy Dawg

    I am glad that we can shorten things that have the potential to improve the actual game, and working to strengthen their ability to do the things that no one wants.

    Granted, the $40m each school gets from the TV contracts gotta get funded somehow.

    Maybe they can start going to commercial break immediately before and after each kick like the NFL. CBS seems 98% of the way there already.


  3. Paul

    Funny how the one option that can actually significantly shorten the game, fewer commercials, isn’t an option. Even funnier how it’s the one option that’s universally mentioned by every single fan. Fewer commercials would generate NO controversy whatsoever and would actually endear the networks to their audience. Can’t do that! We don’t play these games for the fans, we play them for the advertisers.


    • PTC DAWG

      Less commercials, less games on TV. I am old enough to remember when 1, maybe 2 games were shown on local TV. I like more games myself. Beer fridge is a handy distraction during commercials. 🙂


      • Gaskilldawg

        This is not a criticism of you or any other fan who watches on television rather than attend live. Your comment highlights the difference in perspectives between the two groups. Those of us in attendance do not find the television timeouts so benign.


    • Cousin Eddie

      with Mickey starting to drop cash don’t be surprised if we go from four to five commercials during each break. Shortly followed by no studio break during the half and end of the quarter so that time can be filled with commercials.


  4. Bright Idea

    Shortening halftime will put a greater rush on those Sanford Stadium bathrooms but that only affects those of us who attend the games.


    • Gaskilldawg

      Absolutely correct. Fans in the lower north can’t get out of their seats and back into their seats during halftime now. The pedestrian jam in the aisles will be even worse.


  5. Hogbody Spradlin

    That little pipsqueak in the red jacket is a sign of societal decay. ‘You can’t play till Viagra has its say.’


  6. 69Dawg

    I know it’s pointing out the obvious but the most universal game on earth soccer has no commercial breaks built into the game except halftime. Rugby likewise. So if the sport is popular enough it can make millions and just superimpose sponsors on the field or the sidelines or whatever. I’m not saying that is necessary but to just have the damn commercials not interrupt the game is doable if they wanted to but they don’t want to. What if they take a page from NACAR and just run sponsor stuff on the bottom ticker instead of the usual Slippery Rock score. Personally, I thing the clock should run after a first down, it is just another spotting of the ball and everybody usually knows if it is a first down. That stoppage rule was put in years ago and I’m not sure why.