SCOPE - WEEK 3
by David Hershorin
September 14, 2002
Florida State vs. Maryland - ESPN at 7:45pm
Coverage Team: Ron Franklin, Mike Gottfried, Adrian Karsten
games on ESPN at 7:45pm each Saturday seem to be establishing
a trend of overproduction. The pitfalls of these broadcasts
seem to revolve around trying to cover too many other games,
which overburdens the announcers. Many problems become directly
traceable to this factor - the announcers just can't call
a great game with all the distractions. Most of the replay
problems (in non-penalty situations) come from the producers
trying to run excessive updates. A possible fumble at 4:30
in the first was never re-approached - instead, we got an
update on the Alabama/North Texas game. Gee, I'd rather see
a replay myself
oh well. This happens endlessly as the
network tries to be 'college football central'. The game at
hand suffers. Penalty replays are a major problem each week,
too. Each and every call must be replayed/scrutinized
game full of college kids pivots on little (any) mistakes.
Some they breakdown, some they don't. So by making these points
clear, you know how much some of us suffer when the game we
watch isn't in sharp focus. The booth was on, seeing most
action and conveying it efficiently. The booth's dilemma was
their FSU-heavy comments. Maryland didn't have many highlights.
But still, give 'em some airtime, they deserve it too. Once
it was 30-0, I pretty much took this one off my radar. Some
keen insights render these guys a B. The production's inability
to focus on the game, though, isn't offset by quality cut-aways.
The truck needs to get it in gear
a C is generous for
lofty primetime expectations.
State vs. Nebraska - ABC at 8:00pm
Coverage Team: Brad Nessler, Bob Griese, Lynn Swann
guys prove my point from earlier
if you focus on the
game you are showing, it makes for better coverage, period.
ABC (which should teach sister ESPN) isn't trying to spread
itself too thin. A few updates a half enabled this booth to
get into the nuances needed for a great broadcast. Some of
how PSU should avoid the option on this
team especially (Nebraska practices against it perennially)
knew PSU QB Mills' 21 rushing yds at halftime outweighed the
impact of his 207 passing yds
relayed Paterno's "franchise"
tag for Mills before the highlight package ensued to prove
his point. If you read this weekly, you know of my love for
Griese's competent approach - he is the prototypical color
man. He was more laid back than usual, letting the action
speak for itself. The great camera work made this broadcast
seamless - Happy Valley looked beautiful cutting away for
each break. Also, play-action/fakes never fooled these cameramen.
It made for the most consistent broadcast of the school year.
Unfortunately, the 33-7 mark never allowed for possible perfection
(as we all knew Nebraska ain't coming back, and there's nothing
the chatter can do to change that). An A- earned for both
parts, production and banter.
vs. Colorado State - ESPN2 at 9:30pm
Coverage Team: Jeff Hullinger, Todd Christiansen, Heather
commentating crew was modestly glib, embellishing when needed
and backing off the same. Insights include identifying CSU
RB Sapp' s goal line fumble before (timely) replay was cued,
accurately labeling a second quarter Louisville lateral before
even the Cardinals could figure it out, and noticing Van Pelt's
lack of running ominously one play before his first carry.
One faux pas occurred at 4:45 of the first. A penalty flag
thrown stuck in the facemask of a Cardinal lineman. The entire
announcing team had a good laugh at this, obviously insensitive
to eye injuries often incurred. But for the most part, these
guys held their own well. Statistics readily displayed helped
compliment good replays, even of penalties. A B+ gives these
guys the incentive to reach their potential, which seems to
be higher than what we saw. A big thumbs up none the less.
The biggest problem I have with ESPN2 has to do with their
cut-away style. They send it back to the broadcast center
and we see highlights of something that just happened. The
follow up then is a box-score graphic of an entirely different
game, without introducing it first. By the time they do talk
about the on-screen score, I have realized I shouldn't be
listening to this part of the broadcast unless I like confusion.
This brings down an unfortunately good production flow that
informs and entertains. B- is buoyed by an otherwise great