CFL games too long; challenge system to blame

After watching the Grey Cup that point became more obvious, though it was pretty obvious all season. But there is something a little different about the Grey Cup.

The number of eyeballs fixed on the television for the Grey Cup dwarfs the number of eyeballs who watch a regular season CFL game.

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It has been well documented that ratings have been going down and these challenges are not going to help.

I saw a question posed after the Grey Cup game asking whether the high excitement of the game might help increase ratings and that is a good question.

But on the flip side, how many people are going to look forward to watching a game if they know that the game is going to last four hours and they are going to have to sit through challenge after challenge?

In the last five years the average rating for the Grey Cup has dropped by 1.9 million viewers and the average viewership for a regular season game has dropped by over 171,000 people, although it did recover by more than 24,000 after last year’s five year low.

I am sure there are quite a few reasons for the fall in ratings, including the National Football League being easier and easier to watch, but

I would hazard a guess that people are also tuning out because they do not have the time or the attention span to sit through a four-hour game.

Most sports have been going though the fall in television ratings and most of that has been attributed to the games just being too long.

Major League Baseball has been working on rules to shorten the length of time taken between pitches, tennis has been shortening the

length of time taken between serves, there have been rumblings among the viewing audience that they would like to see golf shorten the number of holes from 18 to as low as 12, fans of the National Hockey League have been complaining about the challenge system that was recently brought in for off sides and goalie interference and for the CFL they need to cut down on the number of challenges.

The booth review on scoring plays and turnovers make sense.

Unless there is a legitimate question the review is over before anyone even realizes they are reviewing it but to be able to challenge penalties it goes too far.

There are referees on the field for a reason.

If the league trusts their refs so little that they feel that there is a need to be able to allow coaches to challenge penalties during the game why do they pay them to be out there at all?

I know this is crazy and not plausible but why not save that money and let the referees police themselves.

If something happens that the teams feels there is a penalty they can challenge it and someone watching in the replay centre can rule there was indeed a penalty.

Sure, the games would be longer and it would be utter chaos but at least the calls would be made correctly.

The league either needs to trust their officials to make the proper call or not, but if they do not trust them, do not pay them to be there.

I favour on the side of trusting the officials to do their jobs.

Are they perfect?

No.

But neither are the players.

There is a human element to sports, from coaches to players to officials, that is what makes it fun to watch.

Cut back on the ability to challenge.

It will speed up the game and it just might increase viewership in the meantime.

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