Once or twice per generation an invention comes along that completely changes society as we know it. The Telephone. Electricity. Indoor Plumbing. Cool Ranch Doritos. You get my point. When I looked around me I assumed that the computer would be my generation’s innovation. Then something came along that made the computer’s influence on the masses seem minute in comparison. This brand new invention has altered the very fabric of mankind and how we approach life. I for one will never be able to see the world in the same light after experiencing the wonder and majesty of what will prove to be the pinnacle of human existence. I know this is obvious by now but I’ll spell it out for you anyway, I am talking about the Red Zone channel.
The Red Zone channel is an amazing development by the NFL that is custom designed for the short attention span of today’s sports fans. Instead of focusing on just one game the Red Zone channel flips around to whatever game has a team within the 20 yard line. When there are two games where it looks like a team is about to score Scott Hanson, Red Zone’s host, gleefully announces that they will switch to the double box which shows both games at once. It takes a little bit of adjustment when first watching the Red Zone. Studies have shown that in a pro football game that here is less than 11 minutes of action. This leads to a lot of downtime. There is more than ample time to get a beer, talk about how the AFC pro bowl roster on Tecmo Bowl seems to be disproportionately full of Oilers or to take a piss. With the Red Zone they’ll just flip to a different game where something is happening while the other game is at commercial. There is football all of the time. ALL OF THE TIME. It’s amazing. It’s like being at a sports bar without having to arrive 4 hours early to get a seat where you can see all the TV’s. Before I immersed myself in The Red Zone I knew that it would be pretty cool, I had no idea that it would be this amazing. Here are some of the highlights of my day, all times are central since I’m too damn lazy to add an hour for all of you on the East Coast.
11:54 am: I turn to the Red Zone channel for the first time. I figured they might have some sort of pregame show or at the very least a feed from the NFL network pregame show. Instead I’m greeted with something far superior: A countdown timer. And as this time ticks down the 6 minutes until kick off it plays that awesome music from the background of any NFL films production.
11:59 am: I am standing up and counting down the last 10 seconds. Oh boy oh boy oh boy.
Noon: I am welcomed to the Red Zone channel by Scott Hanson. He brings me up to speed while putting great emphasis on the fact that Red Zone will show every single touchdown of the afternoon. You know who loves tuddys? Me.
12:05: Ironically the first game that they cut to is the kickoff of the Jets/Packers game. Little did I know that this would be the only game without a touchdown.
12:12: We are in the Red Zone for the first time! Dallas has the ball against Jax.
12:13: Our first points of the afternoon are scored by David Buehler with a 34yd FG. Booooo! Field Goals are for pussies.
12:15: TOUCHDOWN! The first tuddy of the day is scored by TO. Could we have chosen a more insufferable prick to score the first TD of the day?
12:18: While the Red Zone loves scoring they also have love for the defense as we are shown a nice pick of Mathew Stafford by D’Angelo Hall.
12:21: Mike Sims-Walker gets a TD grab for Jax. The significance? This is the first score where I’ve actually celebrated because of a fantasy player. I believe this is the real brilliance of the Red Zone channel. Instead of ignoring whatever game you are watching to try and read the bottom of the screen on CBS (which scrolls slower than molasses) you get to see every TD right away on Red Zone. Hells yes.
12:33: The first appearance of the double box. It gave me a half pole.
1:00: That was a whirlwind of a first hour. 6 Tuddys and 6 FGs. I got to see someone score every 5 minutes. This only makes me greedier, I demand more points and I demand them NOW.
1:55: Red Zone cuts to Foxboro for the first time to show Brett Favre limping into the stadium.
2:12: In the last 30 seconds there were two TD’s and both ended up being taken away. I get a little teary eyed over the touchdowns that couldn’t be.
2:20ish: We have our 20th tuddy of the day scored by Stevie Johnson of the Buffalo Bills.
3:07: We have our first points from an afternoon game. Is it a touchdown? No. A field goal? No. It’s a safety by Tennessee. 2-0. This game would have my favorite score of the day later on when the Chargers led 7-5.
3:21: The Pats game is shown for the first time. I’m sure you can guess what they showed and I don’t need to go into detail. To give you a hint it involved someone who couldn’t score with Jenn Sterger not scoring with his football team.
3:40: We have our 30th TD of the day! Larry Fitzgerald is still alive apparently. I thought he had died, or at the very least had retired. Who knew? Also the Cards are wearing black uniforms today because of Halloween. Yep.
3:44: The last early game ends as the Bills have their hearts ripped out as KC kicks a game winner as overtime ends.
4:03: THERE IS NO FOOTBALL HAPPENING! With only 4 afternoon games active they are all at commercial at the same time. For 4 beautiful hours my football was uninterrupted. What the hell am I supposed to do now? Read a book? Talk about feelings?
4:05: Thank God. Football came back. I was worried.
4:30ish: TD #40 is scored by Tampa’s Hakim Talib on an interception return. Nice.
5:50: Foxboro. My eyes see the most beautiful sight they have ever seen, even though I very politely asked you to not hurt Favre he appears to be dead on the ground and I couldn’t be happier. Oh damn, he moved. He’s out of the game though. Yay.
5:52: TD #50 is scored by Darius Heyward-Bey of the Oakland Raiders. What the hell is going on with the Raiders right now? If they aren’t terrible I don’t get to bet against them every week.
6:47: All of the games have wrapped up and we’re done for the day. LaGarette Blount, the punchy running back for TB, scores what will prove to be the 54th and last touchdown of the day. Along with those 54 TD’s there were 26 FG’s and 1 safety. That is a lot of points and I saw every damn one of them! How many TD’s did you see last weekend? 5? 10? That’s fucking amateur hour. Fifty four touchdowns. Aww yeah. And what is the best way to recap a day’s worth of touchdown watching? How about a 5 minute montage of all 54 tuddys in chronological order? Yeah, you heard that right. If they had played Battery by Metallica in the background it would have been the single greatest moment of my 30 years. Call your local cable company and order Red Zone immediately. If you don’t you’ll have to live with the cruel reality that all of your friends are seeing infinitely more touchdowns than you are.