November 27, 2006

Football on TV

by psu

I've been watching some football in HD on my big TV this year. Since all HD broadcast options at this time in our history are about as appealing as drinking sewage for lunch, I've been doing it over the air. Today my antenna would not pick up FOX, so I watched the game on my Tivo instead. As a result, I missed much of the experience of the live broadcast.

1. The 10 minutes of commercials on either side of a score as they cut away after the extra point and after the kickoff.

2. The interminable video reviews due to challenges or "booth" reviews. The replay rules in the NFL are the dumbest thing to be added to a sports rulebook since they made zone defense illegal in the NBA. They fixed the zone rules in the NBA, the NFL should fix this too.

3. The "reporter on the field" segments. Who are these reporters on the field? This has to be the dregs of the dregs as far as a position in sports broadcasting is concerned.

4. Promos for intellectually offensive series TV on Fox (or CBS). The best are the ones that involve decapitated bodies and bloody stumps in the promo during "family" viewing time.

5. The dozens of on-the-field time outs. The recent fashion here is to call a time out milliseconds before the opposing team snaps the ball for a field goal, so they have to set up and run the whole play again. In the future, doing this should result in an automatic 3 points for the team kicking the field goal and they should be able to run the play again.

6. Bud light commercials.

7. Random booth chatter between plays and after the TV timeouts.

8. The two minute warning. What is this for? Are we really saying that 60 grown men can't figure out that there are two minutes left in the game?

9. The endless animations of the some combination of the NFL logo and the network TV logo.

10. Those touching "get to know" the player segments where we find out that the quarterback's favorite band are the Dixie Chicks and he hangs out in leather S&M clubs with his wife and mistress in his spare time. I made that up.

All of this probably accounted for an hour out of a 3+ hour broadcast. It's really too bad that I lost all of this because my antenna didn't work right. I wonder if it's working now. I wonder when there will be an HD Tivo solution that doesn't require a budget the size of the Department of Defense to acquire.

Capitalism has failed me again.

Posted by psu at November 27, 2006 09:47 AM | Bookmark This

I used to work for the UK TV company which produced the NFL games for Channel 4 in the mid 80's (aka "The Fridge era"). My interest in NFL dimmed as I moved jobs and the AFC teams in general and Denver in particular continued to lose the Superbowl by rediculous scores. Having just moved house to an area with poor TV reception I bit the bullet and signed up to Murdochs SKY. So Ive started to watch the NFL matches on a Sunday night and already I can agree with almost all of your comments. The only difference, that I discovered last night, is that I can select to watch "the alternative game" , in this case Washington v Carolina , where the adverts are replaced by a 45 second montage (err..I wasnt counting)of Cheerleaders doing their stuff. In the old days I used to think that the weekly 3 minute summmary of the previous weeks nfl action was the best compact sporting broadcast around - our football ((soccer)) had nothing like it. Now Im not so sure... Mind you I knocked it down a point or two because the clips were on a loop.

Posted by Keith S at November 27, 2006 11:06 AM

I have the Comcast DVR box in Portland, Oregon. It has two tuner HD support. It's $10/month on top of my other monthly cable charges. I can record and watch two games at once, flipping back and forth.

Time synching a game involves a lot more conscious intervention on my part if I'm not actively involved with the game though. I find it's less relaxing and that I'm not as free to read or do other things I might normally do during a game.

Posted by Greg at November 27, 2006 05:05 PM

Minimum requirements in a Tivo-like device include the fact that the UI has to be essentially identical to the current Direct-TV Tivo that we use... otherwise Karen won't touch it.

Posted by psu at November 27, 2006 06:10 PM

good point, the ui on those moto hd pvrs is pretty raw. 'though I did like the dual tuner action - one for the HD channel worth watching (hbo) and a hot spare =)

Posted by r. at November 28, 2006 01:56 PM

It's almost all sadly true. The only thing worse than football on Fox is baseball on Fox.

For me a very annoying thing is the pre/half/post game shows with their talking heads. It's amazing that you can gather 4-6 men, often formerly known to be outspoken and articulate, who have spent most of their lives around football ,and somehow not glean one single bit of interesting insight from them over the course of two hours of talking. It would be interesting to hear what Jimmy Johnson really thought of someone's coaching performance. He's known to be brutally blunt, insightful, funny and profane around friends. I'd like to see some of that, once in a while.

The two minute warning doesn't bother me. It often adds an interesting element of strategy to the end of games where time is precious in a comeback attempt.

You forgot to mention the mawkish bathetic John "Cougar" Mellencamp song that goes with Chevy ads. It's from Hell.

Also, last year's football graphics on Fox were worse, as they featured a football metamorphosing into some sort of gooey stringy alien spore/pod.

Posted by Will C at November 29, 2006 02:23 AM

Oh yeah, the DirecTV store brand HD-DVR will make you weep bitter tears of rage and frustration if you're used to Tivo. I'll just leave it at that.

Posted by Will C at November 29, 2006 02:27 AM

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