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Casual Friday: How have your football viewing habits evolved?

Chicago Bears vs St. Louis Rams - December 11, 2006 Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Welcome to another Casual Friday, where we chat about things other than the Seattle Seahawks.

We’re kinda straying from that rule a bit in the sense that the Seahawks are involved in the main topic, which is our football consumption. Now I could be wrong here, but I reckon every one of you who reads Field Gulls is a football fan. Some watch the NFL only, others watch all NFL and top college football religiously, some just watch Seahawks games in full (or their favorite team), and some actually sat through the entire 2001 XFL season.

I’m a massive football fan but that doesn’t mean my viewing habits have stayed the same. I used to watch a lot of college football and it’d take up a lot of my Saturdays, but as someone who works 40+ UFC shows and boxing cards per year, I have substantially reduced my college football viewership and frankly... I really just don’t care for the college brand as much anymore. I still watch it, but not with the same level of interest as I used to have. The gap between the absolute 3-4 best schools in the country and then the next 3-4 after them is getting wider and wider, and we’re approaching the era of super-conferences where teams like UCLA will probably be playing Maryland in conference play soon.

And the pacing. College football pacing is absolutely abysmal. The college game and the pro game are both four 15-minute quarters and yet some NFL games can be done in and under three hours while every college game seems to take at least 3 12 hours without fail.

As for the NFL, it’s changed for the better. Previously I would watch whatever is airing in my market in addition to Seahawks games, as well as pretty much every primetime offering. Of course, NFL RedZone is one of the greatest television channel inventions in history and that has replaced all of my non-Seahawks viewing on Sundays. It was a life-saver in those years I lived in New York and options were limited to Jets and Giants games, which in itself should prompt New Yorkers to demand free subs to NFL RedZone.

What’s changed for both the NFL and college football for me are the pre-game and highlights shows. YouTube’s existence makes watching traditional highlight shows on television pretty much obsolete, and I’ve long quit watching the pre-game coverage, which is increasingly bloated and banal and features too many people talking. Nostalgically, Chris Berman and Tom Jackson on ESPN NFL Primetime as the bridge from the 1 PM kickoffs to Sunday Night Football is my all-time favorite memory of watching NFL highlights. Inside the NFL on HBO also ruled, and Showtime’s version of it just doesn’t hit the same.

What about yourselves? Discuss away.