If you think NFL studio shows are full of laughs, pats and guffaws — some of them even sincere — you should listen to a Zoom conference call with the different personalities from the various rights-holding networks.
There were a few times in the past week when CBS and NBC promoted their coverage plans for the NFL season 2021 that I almost had to keep my eyes off rolling. I think I moaned audibly on the 15th or so “Inside the NFL” key, Julian Edelman, jokingly referring to colleague Phil Simms as “Mr. Simms ”because, you see. . . well, I actually do not know why. I might have banged my head against my filing cabinet when he finally explained it.
Fortunately, there is some informative broadcast information and testimonials for me from Zooms. Here is a selection:
Jim Nantz, who has called on the spot along with Tony Romo and Tracy Wolfson from the Chiefs-Browns game in Week 1, said it is underestimated how much of an impact the absence of personal interaction affected broadcasts last season.
“Our team made 21 games last year and we did not eat a meal together, including the Super Bowl,” Nantz said. “Absolutely zero socialization. That’s a big thing. Honestly, it’s a bigger deal than being able to meet with the players and coaches in person again. I’ve never met Tony in person in five months.
“The nuance of the broadcast is what comes out of the time you spend with people on the broadcast. Discusses things face to face over a dinner, over a production meeting in person. Last year we sat in our rooms, our meals were delivered to our door, and we did nothing but insulate. I’m excited to get to know this team again, because it’s a great group of people, and it’s going to make the show better. ”
· Fred Gaudelli has been producing NFL shows in prime time for 32 years and has won 24 Emmy Awards, suffice it to say he has pretty good control over what works on an NFL show.
So it was interesting to hear him assert some contempt for the cinematic “superficial depth of field” look that gives a broadcast a distinct video game feel.
“Call me old-fashioned,” said Gaudelli, who has been producing “Sunday Night Football” since 2006, “but I just like shots that are in focus, and I think one of the problems with that camera is sometimes the subject. “will go out of focus and the background will come into focus. Not to blow up other people’s shows, but it’s just not consistent enough and it does not match the look of the other cameras.”
· CBS Sports President Sean McManus said the network’s NFL broadcast team will be on site this season, solely adjusting to the pandemic needed.
“There is no way you can argue with announcing that teams sit as well in the studio as they sit live [at the venue]. It is cost effective [to have them in studio], but it’s not incredibly cost effective.
“What you basically do is save [travel and expenses] for the advertising team, the statistician and the spotter. I do not consider it a wholesale change in our industry. I think it will be done relatively few times, and far between. We have no plans to do so in our NFL schedule in the coming year. ”
· There has been some speculation in media circles that this will be Al Michael’s last season of “Sunday Night Football”, but the 76-year-old legend, who still calls a good game, said he has not made a decision yet.
“I do not know what the future holds, and that is the truth,” Michaels said. “I mean, as we go through the season and we get to the end of it, I think there will be a little more clarity, see how I feel about certain things. But all I know is that I just want to do this, which is year 36 for me in best football, the best, and then we’ll see what happens. ”
NBC has the Super Bowl LVI broadcast this season, so theoretically it could be his last game.
· Rodney Harrison begins his 13th season as part of the “Football Night in America” broadcast team, but for the first time, the former Patriots’ safety will not be in the studio. Instead, he will be the on-site analyst before and after the game alongside host Jac Collinsworth. That means Harrison will be in Foxborough for NBC’s Week 4 broadcast of the Patriots-Buccaneers matchup.
Harrison, for the record, is already a believer in Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones: “I think when I see him play, I sometimes sit back and say, what if the zero on his [No. 10] sweater was a 2? Then he would look like Tom Brady. He would look like a young Tom Brady. The fact that they had so much faith in him early on, to put him in a noise, to give him different things, their violation was never limited to Mac Jones. ”
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