View Full Version : The Hardest Job in Football

Kaiser Toro
02-10-2009, 02:19 PM

If you were one of the millions of Americans watching NFL football on Sunday afternoon, September 21, 2008, you might have caught the humdinger of a finish to the New York Giants–Cincinnati Bengals game. At the two-minute warning, the winless Bengals were up by four points, but the Giants were threatening: they had the ball inside the Bengals’ 10, poised to score what looked like the winning touchdown.

Most of the people who witnessed this seesaw battle were watching on CBS. The capacity crowd in Giants Stadium was 79,276 that afternoon, but was less than 1 percent of the game’s total audience. More than any other professional sport, football is primarily a television show. Many die-hard fans have never even attended a contest in person. For them, a football game is something that unfolds on their screen in a smooth and familiar way, so commonplace that few give it a second thought. The broadcast arrives in their living room, packaged in stereo sound and in full-color high-definition, shown from constantly shifting angles, from stadium-embracing wide shots to intimate close-ups, all of it smoothly orchestrated and narrated, and delivered up as though from the all-seeing eye of the supreme NFL fan, God Almighty.

But let’s give it a second thought. Consider for a moment the complexity of a mere snippet of what you might have seen on the tube that Sunday afternoon:

In the seconds between the return from the two-minute-warning commercial break and the snap of the ball to Giants quarterback Eli Manning, as play-by-play man Greg Gumbel quickly oriented the audience—It has been a dandy here at Giants Stadium. Two minutes to play. Bengals by four. Giants at the six-yard line. Second and goal. The Giants have one time-out remaining—the following scene-setting images flashed past in rapid succession:


02-10-2009, 02:25 PM
I'm stressed out just reading the article. Nice find, amazing just how much work goes into putting a game on.