In recent years, there has been a great increase in the use of web services for the storage, annotation, and sharing of sports video by athletic teams. Most of these web services, however, do not provide enhanced functional- ities to their users that would enable, e.g., faster access to certain video moments, or reduce manual labor in video annotation. One such web service specializes in American football videos, supporting over 13,000 high school and college teams. Its users often need to fast- forward the video to certain moments of snap when the corresponding plays of the football game start. To our knowledge, this paper describes the first effort toward automating this enhanced functionality. Under a very tight running-time budget, our approach reliably detects the start of a play in an arbitrary football video with minimal assumptions about the scene, viewpoint, video resolution and shot quality. We face many challenges that are rarely addressed by a typical computer vision system, such as, e.g., a wide range of camera viewing angles and distances, and poor resolution and lighting conditions. Extensive empirical evaluation shows that our approach is very close to being usable in a real- world setting.