Golf takes too long, baseball takes too long, even basketball–a fast game on the surface–takes too long. Everything will get shorter in the future. The PGA Tour is talking up new rule changes to make play go faster, shaving ten seconds off the time a player has to take a shot. That probably won’t do it–and soon enough they’ll be zipping around in carts, hitting shots fast, like the first President Bush. A round will take half the time. You can deny it, but it will happen. Technology wins. Too late for Casey Martin though.
The 2014 Major League Baseball playoffs have been extraordinarily exciting–for the lucky few still awake when the games ended. Even without the extra-innings games the Kansas City Royals insist on playing, the games take 3+ hours to complete. That’s an eternity. When was the last time you saw a 3-hour movie? The NBA begins experimenting with shorter games today, cutting a minute from each quarter in a Brooklyn Nets-Boston Celtics exhibition game. The league admits it really wants a shorter season, but it’s hard to pull that off without losing money. Don’t think things will keep getting shorter? Helps to remember that Vine, the video sharing app, did a lot of research before it determined the “perfect length for video consumption.” 6.5 seconds is what Vine came up with. Don’t blink. Even big stories will be communicated in just a couple of paragraphs.