So I would like to take off early today (by my standards) to watch the Rose Bowl. I look in The Gazette and see that the game starts at 6 p.m.
What does that tell me about when the game actually starts? I think it means that it starts no earlier than 6 p.m. Based on actual experience with televised start times, the actual start could be anywhere from 6:05 p.m. to 7 p.m., depending on the quantity of pregame foofarah the network decides to air.
So how do I avoid the foofarah and still see the game? Has anybody figured out how to tell when a televised football game actually starts? Or is it like rock concerts and speed limits, a sort of minimal guideline that you can never really pin down until the band starts to play or the cop pulls you over?
UPDATE: In this case, 6 p.m. actually meant approximately 6:25 p.m. Who knew?
2ND UPDATE: Some commenters note that the game was worth the wait. Certainly true. It was a terrific game, justifying every inch of hype, and, as an old college football beat writer, count me among those who find college football more interesting in every way than the stereotyped pro game. But why does every bowl game have to last four hours? Four hours! I could have gone to see "King Kong" and still caught the last quarter.
3RD UPDATE: A commenter says that waiting through the pregame show was worth it to hear Keith Jackson. I'm one of Jackson's admirers, but it seemed to me last night that he has slipped a notch or two since the last time I heard him (which may have been a few years; I don't watch much football any more). He seemed confused about what was going on more often than I have ever heard him, including expressing apparent surprise at one point that no time had elapsed during an extra-point attempt. It wasn't an embarrassing performance, but it didn't seem up to his standard. Jackson is one of the all-time greats, but I couldn't help but wonder how close he is to hanging it up.