No One Knows How To Count Down A Sports Clock Correctly
01 March 2010
This has been a serious pet peeve of mine going on two decades now, and I don’t know where I could send an angry letter regarding this matter. Ideally, this blog post will go so viral that it will never be an issue again, but seriously, can we all, as a public, learn how to correctly count down a clock at a sporting event?
Whenever anyone counts down a clock – especially one that shows tenths of seconds – everyone is always a full second ahead. I can no longer take the awkward moment of silence when the entire stadium has counted down to zero, but there is still a full second left in the game. It’s maddening, does this really not irk anyone else?
Here is the problem: people only count down the first number and don’t take the tenths of seconds into account. Usually when there is ten seconds left in a game, the countdown begins, but that’s also when the clock is broken down into fractions of seconds.
Yell 3 here, not two.
This leads people to chant the number five as soon as they see the big number five, but they ignore the fact that they’re saying five when the real time is 5.9 seconds. This is actually six seconds. As soon as the clock changes to 5.9, instead of yelling five, everyone should yell six. Yet every time I yell this logic out at Madison Square Garden, no one does anything about it.
This is despite the fact that the same problem continues to occur at every single basketball game played every day. When the clock gets down to two, one, zero, everyone is off by a full second. All due to the fact that when the clock flips to 2.9, everyone is yelling two instead of three.
Because of this, there is the numbingly awkward pattern of people counting down, “Three…two…one…” and when they get to zero, there is no buzzer. They have to wait that extra second, which causes a lot of people to either yell the word, “Zero,” make a buzzing sound themselves, or just stand awkwardly with no idea what has happened to their universe. If we could all agree on counting the number three when the clock shows 2.9, the buzzer would ring when it is supposed to and we wouldn’t have this problem as a society any longer.