I Want to Be Astonished

Too much of a good thing can be bad.
by Jim Fair | Source: Catholic.net
Let me begin with a disclaimer: I like to watch football on television. It is fun and exciting. It is real reality programming because the outcome is unknown.

I also like chocolate. However, experience and common sense tell me that eating five pounds of chocolate in a single sitting could be a negative experience. Too much of a good thing can be bad.

So it is too much football on television. Just do the math: When the national championship game ends January 7, there will have been 32 college bowl games on television in the course of just two weeks.

A football game has only 60 minutes of actual playing time. But it takes about four hours for television to air a college bowl game because there are lots of timeouts for commercials, you need time for analysis and replays and the bands need extra time during the halftime break to strut around the field.

So…four hours times 32 games adds up to 128 hours of college football coverage in the course of the holidays. Yes, that is five-and-a-third days. And I have not included the professional football games played during the same period: that’s at least another day of coverage.

With a little creative use of a video recorder, a dedicated football fan could spend the entire holiday season doing nothing but watching football, eating and sleeping. There might not be time to open presents or walk the dog. There certainly wouldn’t be time for that extra-long Mass on Christmas Eve with the nice music and altar boys parading around with candles.

But like I said, I enjoy watching college football. So I’m not suggesting that it be eliminated from the airways. I don’t think people who watch too many football games are necessarily evil pagans.

I just want to challenge the television networks to do better. Take some of that wonderful sports-coverage technology, high-definition cameras, big-name commentators and five-and-a-third days of football games and devote it to telling the world the real story of Christmas.

Tell me about Joseph, Mary and Jesus. Do it with style and drama. Do it with all the production values of the national championship football. If Mel Gibson can show me the Passion of the Christ, you ought to be able to show me a baby born in a manger, the shepherd, the wise men and crazy Herod.

Come on, guys, really knock my socks off. The world deserves to be astonished.

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