For most NFL fans, Super Bowl Sunday is a holiday treated as such. A spread of wings, chips and dips even the Last Supper can't hold a candle to. An endless supply of beer. Debauchery spent with family and friends. The hangover from hell the following Monday.
Even those who don't give a rat's ass about the Philadelphia Eagles or Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 57 will tune in to see Rihanna's highly-anticipated halftime show. Those same "fans" have probably wondered, though, just how long the game will take before everyone can return to their humdrum lives.
The Super Bowl is a full-fledged corporate-infused marathon these days. Just how long is it from start to finish and what are some ways it could be shortened?
How Long is the Super Bowl?
The Super Bowl usually lasts about four hours long, including a halftime that lasts around 30 minutes. The actual game time is about three and a half hours.
Last year's matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals clocked in at three hours and 26 minutes of game time. In the case that we're gifted with overtime, that number could approach four hours, but the only time a Super Bowl went to overtime was at Super Bowl LI, when the Falcons and Patriots battled it out for three hours and 47 minutes.
The game is broken down into four 15-minute quarters, plus a halftime that averages between 20-30 minutes. The Weeknd's Super Bowl LV halftime performance reportedly took 24 minutes. But last year's performance featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar lasted nearly 14 minutes. This year, Rihanna has said she's planning her show to take 13 minutes.
And for those wondering when Rihanna will take the stage, you should probably tune in sometime around 8 p.m. ET considering the game starts at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Ways to Shorten the Super Bowl
OK, we get it. The Super Bowl is loooooong. Some might say too long, especially for those who've got to be up early the next day for work. Here are some ways the Super Bowl could be shortened.
Here's a scary stat: 46 minutes of the Super Bowl LIV broadcast were just commercials, according to Statista. Some 25 percent of the average NFL broadcast is ads in between play. Worse, the average NFL broadcast features just 18 minutes of football action, per FiveThirtyEight.
When there's more commercial time than there is actual football, maybe it's time we switch things up. Less commercials would speed the game up. I know they're worth a lot of money, so maybe the NFL should consider making up that money putting company logos on jerseys, on the field or on the broadcast. Considering Super Bowl commercials are released a week before the big game, there isn't any excitement to them anymore anyway.
Run. The. Ball.
Last year's Super Bowl was pass-heavy. The Rams and Bengals combined for 75 passing attempts to just 43 rushing attempts. Everyone knows running the ball keeps that game clock ticking, so here's a message to coaches: run the damn ball. Kansas City is one of the biggest pass-happy teams in football, while Philadelphia prefers to run the ball — only the Falcons and Bears ran the ball more this year. If the Eagles take a commanding lead, you can expect this Super Bowl to be much shorter.
Spread Out the Halftime Show
Hear me out for a second. What if instead of a 30-minute halftime, where teams have to wait for stages and equipment to be set up and taken down on the field, Rihanna had a stage away from the field that she could perform ALL game long? What if instead of a commercial break the camera cuts to Rihanna singing "Umbrella" for two or three minutes and then we return to the game? Wouldn't you be more likely to stay glued to the TV, never wanting to miss football action or Rihanna Rihanna-ing? Sure, it's a crazy idea, but stranger things have happened.
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