(The Sports Xchange) – NFL commissioner Roger Goodell claims he has heard the average fan’s discontent about the pace of the game and intends to do something about it.
In an email addressed to the fans on Wednesday, Goodell wrote that the NFL will make a series of changes that will help improve “the flow and pace of the game, and commercialization and the number of necessary disruptions to the game on the field.”
Case in point, Goodell told the USA Today that “it drives me crazy” when he’s watching a game that shows a kickoff sandwiched around a pair of commercial breaks.
“We call those ‘double-ups.’ They actually occurred 27 percent of the time (on kickoffs last season). And that’s still too high for us,” Goodell said.
Goodell promised in the email that the league will tweak in-game timing and replay reviews, with next season to feature starting of a clock after a player goes out of bounds and the duration of halftime. A play clock also will be instituted after extra points.
A vote is expected at the league meetings next week in Phoenix on a replay system in which referees review plays on tablets, rather than a fixed sideline monitor. The referees will provide input to the officiating headquarters in New York, which will make the final decision.
“What we’re looking to do is take that down time out, which is not entertaining,” Goodell told USA Today. “And in our research, we had biofeedback, so we could see what they were watching and you could tell when they’re not as interested in what’s happening in the broadcast.
“In today’s day and age, we have to give our fans every reason to watch what’s happening, find what they see on television and in the stadium as compelling. Don’t give them a reason to turn away.”