Saturday, November 10, 2007

90 seconds of your time well spent!

While we're all getting set to work this weekend's slate of college and pro games, enjoy this NFL on CBS open from 1970, especially the scene set and on-camera.

Wow, just think about it. 37 years ago. A time in our history when Dick Stockton worked NFL games, helping to entertain and distract a nation stuck in a war it couldn't win and couldn't get out of.

Hey, wait a minute...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Cubs swept from playoffs but sexy Cubs fan reaches Series!

He certainly got our vote! McCarver may have gotten his nautical terms mixed up though.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mountain Mobile may avenge Rox Series showing as MLB GMs vote 25 - 5 to add instant replay

Denver-based mobile unit company could affect who wins & loses future games, pennants

"No replays today fellas, it's a dual feed."

You can see it now can't you?

Or can you?

A drive down the left field line scores the tying and go ahead runs late in a game one summer night. The home team manager and half his team screams in protest that the ball was foul. The 3rd base umpire looks to his colleagues for help. They huddle together and look toward the press box. The call will be decided by replay.

An MLB official views the play again. From high home there's no way to be certain precisely where the ball landed. The shot is too wide. High 1st was iso'd on the trail runner, who scored from 2nd. Low 1st scored the lead runner. Low 3rd was in the home dugout on the starting pitcher who may have just lost his chance for a win. Tight Center was on the batter all the way. Center field? Stayed with the relief pitcher as he backed up the play.

What about the visiting feed? Their high camera was on their dugout. Their tight center was on the batter too. And their low camera? Well the studio kit & 20X lens wouldn't have seen much in the outfield even if the operator had shagged. Or if he was being recorded.

Oh, the X-MO! Well there's no telling what the fuzzy image was that floated through the screen, or even if that image was shot in the same stadium.

Perhaps there would have been a conclusive replay if it was 1999, back when both teams had full shows of 5 or 6 cameras and at least 4 replay machines each. But in 2009, the risk that dual feeds fail to provide enough looks to make a correct call may be very real.

What are the chances that MLB will envision such a scenario? Not so good.

Will producers & directors have to alter their shows just to increase the odds that they have tight shots of the ball in case a controversy arises? Will reaction shots give way to golf shots?

We can see it now.

Or maybe we can't.

Prudential Center: Insured against terrorists?

Photo: Richard Perry/The New York Times


We're all used to working in new arenas and ballparks that have forgotten, or missed something during planning or construction. It seems many of these mistakes occur in areas where media work:

Busch Stadium, St. Louis: Writers press box that can't see the field. Rain from elevated I-64/40 drains directly onto TV compound.

Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington, TX: Tunnel for TV trucks to enter enclosed TV compound built too small for TV trucks.

Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, CA: No camera positions at all. No cables either.

Coors Field, Denver: All original triax connectors in ballpark are female.

But those things don't matter much to the Average Joe who just wants to go to a game.

Well THIS mistake may make anyone working OR just attending a Devils hockey game at the new Prudential Center in Newark, NJ think twice...

According to an AP story published on October 11, 2007, Newark's new Prudential Arena is too close to the street to shield it from a terrorist attack. Neither Mayor Cory Booker nor Police Director Garry McCarthy will say who is to blame for the oversight. McCarthy tells The Star-Ledger of Newark as far as he can tell, a homeland security survey was never done.

Never done?

For a new arena with a capacity of over 17,000?

Never done?

For a multipurpose building that will host over 200 events a year?

Never done?

For a large public gathering place only 9 miles from Ground Zero?

Never done?

What will go through your mind the next time you're asked to work a Devils or Seton Hall game?

Never done!

Upcoming post: An insider review of the new Prudential Center.