Category Archives: Football

The SkyCam Sham

Last night’s telecast of Thursday Night Football featured the presumed innovation of showing the majority of the game from the SkyCam angle. With a few exceptions, most of the plays were shot from the perspective of the camera floating above the field on a couple of wires.

This was supposed to be a good idea.

So how’d it go? Admittedly, I only watched brief stretches of the game–there was a Dubs game on last night, plus, seriously, who wanted to look at a Broncos-Colts match?–but I saw enough to form something of an intelligent opinion.

The early returns are not encouraging. Continue reading The SkyCam Sham

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Monday Spites Football

It’s halftime of the Kings-Warriors game as I write this. Tonight’s Dubs game represents the fourth out of the last five Mondays to see the defending NBA champions play a game. The three most recent of those games were home games for the Warriors, meaning they had at least some say in the scheduling of those games; start times for sure, if not the actual dates.

A quick look forward at the schedule shows that the Warriors will also be playing each of the next four Mondays; that is to say, each Monday in December, including the Christmas day matchup against the Cavaliers. That means the team will be playing on all but one Monday in November and December.

So what? So this: the Warriors, and a lot of other teams in leagues other than the NFL, almost never used to play on Monday nights in November and December. This scheduling intrusion indicates that the assault on the NFL’s elevated status continues apace. It means, quite simply, that no one is afraid of the NFL anymore. Continue reading Monday Spites Football

Look Beyond The ‘Unity’ Label

Another Sunday, another round of NFL players and assorted others kneeling, linking arms, raising fists, and doing who knows what else as a demonstration of their belief in…

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Aaron Rodgers and the Packers: Unified, or “unified”?

Well, you see, that’s the thing: it’s actually somewhat difficult to tell what all these players believe in; or, rather, what it is that they are demonstrating through their actions.

The motivations behind the various and sundry national-anthem-time actions appear to be as varied as the colors of the uniforms on those sidelines–not to mention the colors of those players themselves.

The overarching theme of the NFL actions seems to be centered around a vague concept of “unity.” But it is an open question as to just how far that idea of unity actually goes.

Continue reading Look Beyond The ‘Unity’ Label

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Say ‘Que?’

There’s been a lot of surprising and puzzling things going on early in this NFL season, but maybe the most surprising and puzzling thing is happening not on the field, but on your television.

Why exactly is ESPN broadcasting Monday Night Football in Spanish on ESPN2?

The standard bilge from the network will undoubtedly tell you that it’s a move intended to further build viewership in that oh-so-important demographic, but I suspect there’s more going on here than meets the eye and ear. And it’s at least as much about what’s going wrong with ESPN as it is about courting Spanish-language viewers for the network and its NFL partner.

Continue reading Say ‘Que?’

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The First Great Call Of The NFL Season

It seemed like a crazy thing when Tony Romo decided to bow out of the NFL and head into the broadcast booth. It seemed even crazier when CBS decided not only to hire Romo, but to also shove Phil Simms aside and install Romo next to the network’s no. 1 announcer Jim Nantz, thus making him the channel’s de facto top game analyst. No one has made a move like that since John Madden left the sidelines to jump into the broadcast booth–and even Madden needed a little seasoning before he became The Guy.

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Nantz, Wolfson, and newcomer Tony Romo: the new guy makes a great call

After Sunday’s season opener, none of it seems all that crazy anymore. Continue reading The First Great Call Of The NFL Season