Deep Thought

One of those writing projects I mentioned in the previous post is a book review I’m doing for the New York Post of Allen St. John’s book about the Super Bowl called The Billion Dollar Game. Really good book, by the way, and I’ll link the review here when it runs. But something in it is driving me absolutely crazy.

In Chapters 8 and 9, St. John talks to the FOX Sports director and executives in charge of the Super Bowl broadcast. They all make a really good point: despite the Super Bowl being the biggest game in the world, from a broadcast perspective, you simply can’t add 50 cameras over and above what you’d have in a regular season game even though everyone expects you to. It’s expensive for one thing in that if you add a camera, you have to add a tape machine, and a video editor, etc. etc. It’s also technically complicated, in that you still basically have a single director in charge of calling the show, and he can only see so many shots at a time. The better rule, the FOX guys believe, is to keep things relatively simple and go with the approach that got you through the previous 20 weeks or so. All of the extra cameras, bells and whistles “are really the meringue,” one of them says. “We need to make sure the pie is right, and the pie is a production of the game where everyone can see what goes on and knows what the hell just happened.”

Here’s a question: is it possible for these guys to get switched off of FOX’s football crew and reassigned to baseball? Because 90% of FOX baseball broadcasts are meringue, and I would really like some freakin’ pie next October.

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  1. Kelly said...

    “Because 90% of FOX baseball broadcasts are meringue, and I would really like some freakin’ pie next October.”


  2. Scott Simkus said...

    I couldn’t agree more. With all the extreme close-ups, cut-aways to the dugout, sound effects, graphics…We learn more about a guy’s nose hair issues and freckles than the action on the field.  I miss watching baseball on TV, and on FOX, we’re not seeing much baseball…

  3. Pete Toms said...

    I think HD is driving some of this.  HD is all about the close up.  Anybody else think cheerleader shots are up the past year or two?  ( I’m not objecting ) Anyway….anybody seen sports in 3D yet?  It’ supposed to be the next step…

  4. Daniel said...

    And give us some freakin’ cheesecake while you’re at it.

    Wait, what were we talking about?  I think it’s lunch time.

  5. Michael Prater said...

    Having enjoyed MLB’s Extra Innings package this past season, I know there are plenty of good candidates who can more than aptly fill Buck and McCarver’s seats in the broadcast booths, both for regular and postseason games.
    One I particularly was Dwayne Stats of Tampa Bay. He began in the 1980s with the Cubs, teaming with Steve Stone on WGN TV from inning 3 to 6, while Harry Caray was on the radio portion. He has broadcast with other MLB teams at various times, but it was a joy to listen to him call the Ray’s triumphant AL season. I’m sure there are others that my fellow fans can reccomend as well!
    One things need to be prime for the lead broadcaster and the analyst – Youth. McCarver was good in his prime, but that past when CBS lost the MLB package, and Buck, it seems, thinks that MLB is more of a hindrance from his time devoted to watching “reality TV”. Whomever Fox might replace them with needs to know the HISTORY of the game, know the records and great players, AND also know today’s game, its players, and ESPECIALLY its fans. Were it not for him being 80ish, I’d loved having Vin Scully back on the Saturday games, and the Fall Classic. Just my opinion, but you get the idea, a pro’s pro, a class act and a true gentleman.
    Here’s hoping Fox has the good sense to make the change so badly needed!

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