Sadly, those in charge of directing sports broadcasts seem to be more interested in the arts than sports. (Perhaps sports’ fans only recourse is to send our athletes in to direct their operas.)
THE ARTFUL SPORTSCASTER SERIES:
I couldn’t have said it better myself in my April 2011 blogging, THE ARTFUL SPORTSCASTER I: EMPTY NET WORK, when I noted that sports broadcasters sometimes let their yearning to be artistic (and to use all of their broadcast toys) block the subject they’re supposed to be covering.
For instance, some hockey broadcasters enjoy showing us exciting events of the game from a camera positioned behind the defending team’s net (instead of the standard and all-illuminating side-overview shot).
Now, if the hockey game were an art show, I would tip my sherry to the broadcast poets, as their keyhole view offers us an unusual, mind-bending visual. The problem is that, for earnest hockey fans, this perspective-shifting angle corrupts our ability to follow the play, itself (which may, in fact, have been the basis for our viewing in the first place).
As I have pleaded with the hockey broadcasters many times, I wish they would save those unique shots (and disruptive close-ups of players with the puck) for replays and special after-game compilations, but during the game, relax, and let me watch my favourite sport from the perfect vantage point and leave me alone about it.
But it gets worse. I’ve recently broken open my copy of the greatest hockey ever played, the Canada Cup 1987 tournament, featuring the Great Wayne Gretzky, in his prime, setting up the Magnificent Mario Lemieux in his early-career awakening. The first game has already left me hollering at the director, who in the heart of the play, enjoys stepping away from the action to show us live shots of the Canadian coach watching on! Now I’m not particularly interested in watching someone else watch a game at the boringest of times, but in the middle of the greatest hockey ever played, I certainly don’t want to be staring at someone else staring at what I would in fact like to be witnessing!
All of this is relevant to our current New Year’s Eve moment in time, because today is a day in which many sports broadcasters enjoy presenting to us their “plays of the year.” Unfortunately, those assigned to put together said plays are not necessarily sports fans, but seem instead to be music video and editing specialists, and so they pack the imagery—that would have entertained on its own—with stops and starts and assorted effects to wow our artistic eyes, while leaving our sportsfanship disrupted.
I know that it is too late to stop this year’s exhibition of sports broadcasting artwork, but I would like to make a New Year’s Resolution by proxy to sports broadcasters to excommunicate this distracting editing from all future sports presenting. This request carries with it the same obligations (and guilt in failure) as a resolution made for oneself.
(Actually, now that I consider it, I think New Year’s Resolutions by proxy are going to be the next big thing: this way one can make plans to better the world without having to do the work on the other side of the resolution.)
Merry Nearly New Year from all of us at Sethblogs!
For more Sethblogs discussion of Broadcasting interference in the future, see THE ARTFUL SPORTSCASTER III: ALL-STAR BABBLE.
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