Friday, November 30, 2007

An open letter to NFL Network

Hello NFL Network. I sure do hope you can actually read this blog. I have my doubts which stem from your obvious lack of technical knowledge and ability. When you were counting down to the big game last night, you seemed to have been baffled by the concept of "focusing" a "camera" on the "players" on the "field." Speaking of camera work in the pre-game show, let me recommend my ear, nose and throat doctor. He's great and he's super cute too. I say this because I worry that at least two of your cameramen have severe inner ear infections that cause them to wobble unsteadily while holding a camera. Some antibiotics should clear that (and any other lingering "issues") up quickly and help out with your cameramen's ability to stand upright and hold a camera steady.

Now, another thing I noticed during the pre-game show is that a lot of the time the people that were on camera and supposed to be talking were blissfully unaware they were on camera at any given moment. As much as I love seeing Deion Sanders looking up through the hole in the roof of Texas Stadium or seeing him catch up with buddies on the sidelines, maybe instead of that you should give him a cue and he can look into the camera and offer some pre-game commentary. It's an idea.

So then the game started. After the first field goal the Cowboys made, you decided to show us the drive using some very unique graphics. If I recall correctly, there was a golden arch that showed us completed passes. Then an odd red and black nod to Communism sort of graphic that may or may not have indicated yards gained by running. But then you knocked it out of the park with your illustration of the field goal. There was an orange streak that showed the trajectory of the football on the kick. But if that's not overt enough, you added the classy touch of giant yellow flashing letters that took up the entire end zone reading "FIELD GOAL" as if you were trying to teach the viewers the names of the most basic elements of football. Which strikes me as odd because presumably anyone willing to pay or watch something called the NFL Network probably can probably identify a field goal when they see one.

Now, I will admit that we started off awkwardly last year. Last year's Cowboys v. Falcons game featured some neat commentary by the disembodied and sickly head of Carol Channing. Oh sorry, that was actually just a miserably hoarse Dick Vermeil. So hoarse that half of his words were indecipherable and every moment that he spoke was torturous for both him and everyone forced to listen to him. You guys finally pulled him off the broadcast near halftime. Which left us with Greg Gumbel. You know Greg Gumbel, he's the guy who last night repeatedly referred to the Cowboys quarterback as Rick Romo.

But since Jerry Jones tells me that the NFL Network is the Little Network that Could (choooo chooo!) I was totally ready to be your #1 fan. Was last night a dress rehearsal? I feel like you sent out invitations to a fancy dinner party and cooked an elaborate meal to impress the boss to try to get that promotion (Time Warner and Comcast). But then when the boss showed up, you had a Crock Pot with scorched bean and cheese dip sitting on a card table and a few mismatched plastic plates. And you forgot to put on pants.

I see that the Cowboys v. Panthers game on December 22 will also be on your network. I can only imagine the tricks you've got up your sleeve for us on that one. Perhaps have Deion Sanders wear a panther-in-the-jungle themed dashiki? He will probably appreciate it if you decide to shoot him from behind and slightly below while he's talking again. I just hope you take a refresher course on the basic tenets of covering a live sporting event between now and then. Just think of it this way....

Your boss is almost here. Are you wearing pants?