This Eastern Time Zone is Killing Me!

OK, I survived the college football bowl season and the championship game. I also survived Monday, Thursday and Sunday night football. Prior to that, it was the major league baseball playoffs and the World Series.

I’m exhausted — too many games starting on the East Coast at 8:30, and finishing after midnight — sometimes well after. I mean, we have things to do the next morning — got to get up and get going. Bleary eyed, I ask myself on those mornings why they are doing this to me — can’t they start the games an hour earlier? Surely, they would hold on to more East Coast viewers in the later stages of the game.

The conventional wisdom, though, suggests that the late East Coast start is to avoid a West Coast start at 4:30 in the afternoon, prior to many people getting home and having the chance to tune in.

But how many people are we talking about? As the sports guys would say, I looked it up.

The four continental U.S. time zones contain the following percentages of the American population:

Eastern – 47%
Central – 33%
Mountain – 5%
Pacific – 14%.

I think I personally know almost all of those viewers in the Mountain time zone, and they don’t care what time the games start — they’re all about hunting and fishing.

And the vaunted Pacific time zone? All of 14% of the U.S. population — Are you kidding me?!? For those few dozen surfers and Hollywood types we are forcing 80% of the population (Eastern and Central) to stay up that late?

Ok, back in the days of George Allen and the Over the Hill gang, when Congress wanted to see Redskins home games, they forced the lifting of the TV blackout rule. Although against big government, I am willing to make an exception — come on, guys, you need your sleep in Washington DC also — let’s crank out a regulation or two, and fix this mess.