The Mountain Time Zone: The Best Time Zone In America

The oft forgotten Mountain Time Zone is the best time zone in America and it’s not even close.  I use a single but very  important factor to make this determination:  1) what time live sporting events air on TV.

The Mountain Time Zone is the best in the land is because of the time of day or evening that live sporting events air live on TV.  Because live sports is the single hold out from the DVR era, this is a crucial factor.  I avoid recording sporting events as much as I can.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  First, in the smart phone age it is almost impossible to not know the result of a recorded game before you can sit down and watch the recording.  Text messages, ESPN alerts, etc. are all enemies to watching recorded sports and it becomes more work to avoid the result than it is to find the time to watch the game live.  Second, there is something special and unique about watching something on TV not just at the same time that others across the country are but as it is actually happening.  Live sporting events are live across the country, not just live on the east coast and then aired tape delayed in the other time zones.  Everyone gets their sports live, no matter what time zone you live in, but not all time zones are created equal.

Live sports air in the Mountain Time Zone at the most convenient times of day and evening.  The Pacific Time Zone is close, but the Mountain Time Zone is the clear winner.  The reason is best demonstrated in a few examples.

1.  “Prime-Time Football” – Whether it is Sunday Night, Monday Night or Thursday Night NFL football or Saturday Night college football it is hard to beat the 6:00 to 6:30 kick-offs in the Mountain Time Zone.  An argument can be made for the 7:00 to 7:30 kick-offs in the Central Time Zone but if there are any delays or overtimes involved the games get over too late.  5:00 to 5:30 kick-offs in the Pacific Time Zone are just too early, especially on Monday and Thursday nights when you are trying to get home from work.  And forget about the 8:00 to 8:30 kick-offs in the Eastern Time Zone.  Too much waiting for the games to finally start and you have to stay up way too late watch the entire game.  6:00 to 6:30 is a perfect kick-off time for evening football.  Easy to get home for, easy to combine a big game with dinner time and easier to go to bed when the game is over at a time that is suitable to actually waking up and making it to work the next morning.

2.  College Football Saturdays – The typical Saturday slate of televised college football begins at 10:00 a.m. in the Mountain Time Zone and ends around 10:00 p.m.  That is a perfect window.  Not too early to prevent a productive early morning round of chores before games kick-off and not ending so late that Sunday is beginning.  Pacific Time Zone kick-offs at 9:00 a.m. are too early and Eastern Time Zone kick-offs at noon are too late, leaving no football to watch the entire morning.  A fall Saturday morning void of football (ESPN Game Day does not count) is a bad use of a Saturday morning.

3. NFL Sundays –   This is very similar to College Football Saturdays.  In the Mountain Time Zone the NFL Sunday kicks-off at 11:00 a.m.  The afternoon game starts around 2:15 p.m. and then Sunday Night Football at 6:20 p.m.  Again, the Pacific Time Zone is a tad early, the Central Time Zone a tad late and the Eastern Time Zone?  Who wants to wait until 1:00 in the afternoon for the first game to start on Sunday?  Not I.

Even though it is the most forgotten time zone (how many times have you heard a broadcaster say that a game starts at noon eastern, 11 central and 9 pacific making it sound like it does not begin anywhere at 10?) and is home to only 5% of the nation’s population, there is not a better time zone in America for a sports fan than the Mountain Time Zone.

Posted by Hatch


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