A Powerful Pause, Then MSU Beats Wisconsin

Posted on October 25, 2011


I was lucky enough to be at the Michigan State game this past weekend when they upset number four ranked Wisconsin on a last second hail-mary throw to the end zone.

It was an incredible back-and-forth game that included blocked punts, double reverses and more.

There were an unbelievable number of momentum swings in the game.

Then came the last play.

You can see the pivotal highlight in this video courtesy of ESPN:

Of course, the video is edited.

Here’s how it felt in the stadium:

The Spartans quarterback heaved the ball toward the end zone. It was caught by a Spartan receiver.

We all watched for a signal from the refs.

They finally ruled him down at the one-yard line with no time left on the clock.

Then, the referee announced that the play was, “under review.”

And time stopped.

For that moment, an entire stadium paused to wait for the outcome.

That moment — the time between the announcement that the play was under review and the referee coming back onto the field to announce the outcome — was so incredibly powerful it’s almost impossible to describe.

Remember that the next time you are trying to capture a listener’s interest.

While a pause might feel like dead air to you, at times it can actually be more powerful than words for your audience.