Mike Beversluis

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The man behind the curtain

The Hardest Job in Football

If the production crew of a televised football game is like a symphony orchestra, Bob Fishman is its conductor. He sits front and center in the dark trailer, insulated from the sunshine and the roar of the crowd, taking the fragments of sounds and moving images and assembling the broadcast on the fly, mediating the real event into the digital one. He scans the dizzying bank of screens to select the next shot, and the next, and the next, layering in replays, graphics, and sound, barking his orders via headset to his crew, plugging into a rhythm that echoes the pulse of the game.

I do wish they'd show more of the field each time they snap the ball - they are always too tight to see what the secondary's doing. If I ever really want to learn what's going on, I think I'll have to buy a NFL game - I suspect they're pretty close to the real thing in terms of formations and whatnot.


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