The Best 11 Minutes of the Day

Several items from Friday’s Wall Street Journal were passed along by readers. Which probably tells you a lot about my readers. First of all, there are about 11 minutes of action in a typical NFL game.

According to the story, a televised NFL game also includes 17 minutes of replays and 67 minutes of players standing around. And here’s the funny thing: Football still is, by far, the most entertaining of all sports.

Here are a couple other stories from my well-read readers:

—Some economists have determined that a professional sports team has $530.65 worth of intrinsic value to its fans. At least, that’s how much value the Minnesota Vikings provide to their fans.

It would be interesting to see a study of the Blazers’ value to their fans. Portland has a rabid fan base and is in a one-team market. On the other hand, sports simply aren’t taken as seriously here as in other parts of the country. And that’s a good thing; I think we keep things in perspective.

It also would be interesting to see a study for, say, Ohio State football or Alabama football or some other place where the fans are utterly irrational.

—”Boost Mobile has drafted some of the 1985 Chicago Bears to star in its first Super Bowl commercial as the prepaid-wireless company tries to raise its brand awareness in an increasingly competitive market.”

Yes, a team from 25 years ago, a team that reached only one Super Bowl, still is so famous that a fledgling wireless company is re-creating the “Super Bowl Shuffle” for a commercial.

Being a sophomore at Northwestern University, I witnessed the 1985 Bears up close. And I have never seen anything like it. Chicago’s obsession with the Bears utterly permeated every facet of life that fall and winter. Even on campus.

My favorite story: The campus newspaper at one point did a story about the Bears, and some student was quoted as saying, “I’m so sick of them; I hope I never hear ‘Super Bowl Shuffle’ again.” Um, bad idea. Because some jokers I knew (no, I was not one of them) took it upon themselves to call her something like 20 times a day and play “Super Bowl Shuffle” when she came to the phone. As harmless college pranks go, it was a pretty good one.

— And finally, here’s one from You can find out how long it takes Mark Teixeira to make as much money as you do. For example, if you make $70,000 a year, it takes him 1.79 at-bats, and you will need to work 321.43 years to make his annual salary. Just in case you wanted to know.

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