The Canadian Football League (CFL) kicked off its 2017 season with a game between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Montreal Alouettes this past Thursday. Unless you are a football fanatic like myself or a Canadian with a vested interest in the two teams on the field, you probably didn’t ever know the game was going on. My hope is that someone at the NFL office or at one of the NFL TV partners was watching so that they could be reminded about an angle that they are missing during their broadcasts. The wide angle or as they call it in America, the ’22’ angle.
For the uninitiated, the CFL has 3 downs, 12 men aside and unlimited motion. Which means that at least three of the receivers get a head start on their routes before the ball is ever snapped. This requires the TV cameramen to get a wider shot of the field because you don’t know where these guys are going. It’s not a genuine ’22’ angle but you have a better view of what the receivers are doing and how the defense is lined up to defend them.
Why would the NFL or college football widen out the camera shot and show more of the field? Well it could be a source of revenue. Most of us, believe it or not, don’t care about the close up of Tom Brady or the coach on the sideline. We care about how the formation and who is on the field.
The down side is that you may reveal a bunch of empty seats at the stadium caused in no small part by a teams performance and high ticket prices. The upside is that nerdy football fans like myself would pay a fee to get just this angle.
The reason why a portion of us would pay for this is that we want to see for ourselves how the defense is lining up, who is coming in and out of the game and have a visual representation of where our team is on the field which let’s guess what our team should or should not do. We don’t want an analyst telling us after the fact or being burden by replays when a team goes without a huddle and we miss the beginning of the next play.
Eventually, having graphics overlay that one could turn on and off would be nice as well. I don’t mean your stats of total yards, etc but a marker on a player so that while viewing the ’22’ angle, a mark or flag can pop up over a player as they come on and off the field which is turned on and off automatically by when they cross the sidelines into the field of play.
While there is a lot of talk about how to improve the in-game experience for fans (none of this talk includes lowering ticket prices or beer mind you), very little is talked about improving the home viewing experience. These are two things could improve the viewing experience immediately. While the graphics overlay may take some doing, it’s hard to believe that having a camera zoom out would be much of a technological feat. Extra costs, I think I pointed out earlier that there are plenty of us who would give you money for this.
While many point to the end of the calendar year as the ‘most wonderful time of the year’, those folks are clearly not sports fans. While the yule log, spiked eggnog and massive amount are nice, they do not compare to the last week of October and the first week of November.
Several years ago the World Series got kicked back a little bit. Now the baseball season overlaps with the NFL,college football, CFL and MLS for a two solid months. Add in the start of the NHL and NBA regular seasons and you have got sports on seven days a week.
After Halloween, the Mid-American Conference (MAC) starts playing football games during the week which means that there is football on seven days a week. Add this to the NFL games on Thursday, Sunday and Monday and it can be easy to see why some people get ‘football overload’ and turn to something else.
While the Holiday Season is great, it does not compare to this time of year. From the World Series to pivotal college football games to the MLS playoffs. The games this time of year are more important than the ones during the Holiday’s. So enjoy the Indian Summer some of you are getting and enjoy the sports overload.
New York Mets at Detroit Tigers – 4:10pm MLB.TV: Awesome pitching match up between Noah Syndergaard vs Justin Verlander.
San Jose Earthquakes vs NYCFC – 8pm UniMas: NYCFC are turning into the club that their Manchester City overlords want them to be. For the Quakes, they are in a dog fight for the final playoff position in the western conference.
Saturday August 6th
Edmonton Eskimos at Ottawa RedBlacks – 4pm ESPN3: A rematch of last seasons Grey Cup.
Colorado Rapids vs Vancouver WhiteCaps – 6pm MLS LIVE: The Rapids suffered their first loss in like 15 matches last weekend. Can they find their winning ways against a team fighting to stay in the playoff picture.
Sunday August 7th
San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals – 10:30am TBS: Get away game for two possible playoff teams.
Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers – 4pm MLBN: Dodgers may be without Kershaw but they are proving to be a better team without him. Red Sox look to keep place in the AL East after a west coast swing.
Green Bay Packers vs Indianapolis Colts – 5pm ESPN: At this point we’ll take whatever NFL game we can get….even if it is preseason.
Los Angeles Galaxy vs New York Red Bulls – 6:30pm FS1: It’s your classic east vs west match Sunday evening in SoCal.
PGA Championship – 10am TNT: Interesting leaderboard and some big names may not make the cut at the last major of the year.
Colorado Rockies at New York Mets – 4pm MLB.TV: Don’t look now but the Rockies have some pitching behind them. Tyler Chatwood heads to the hill to slow down the Mets who sit six games out of first in the NL East.
BC Lions at Calgary Stampeders – 7pm ESPN2: A good ole fashion western Canadian rivalry.
Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants – 7:15pm MLB.TV: Max Scherzer vs Jeff Samardzija. Not bad for two first place teams.
Saturday July 30th
Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays – 10am MLBN: Big series for the top spot in the AL East.
PGA Championship – 11am CBS: The guys in contention tee off and coverage runs until 4pm PST.
NYCFC vs Colorado Rapids – Noon MLS.TV: The Rapids have more points than NYCFC but they sit in second and NYCFC sits a top the East. Interesting match up for a Saturday afternoon.
Sunday July 31st
Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays – 10am MLB.TV: Rubber match of this series and a solid pitching matchup.
PGA Championship – 11am CBS: Final round action.
Philadelphia Union vs Real Salt Lake – 4pm MLS.TV: The Union are in a dog fight in the Eastern conference and RSL is in the same position out west.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban may go down as the greatest college football coach in history. In order to do that you have not only have to be a great coach but you also have to be able to own the media. Saban can does that and did it again at the SEC Media Days. A mic was hot later and you can hear the the ESPN panel pointing this out.
It’s becoming a very odd Tour de France. While the stages have been exciting, sometimes they have been exciting for other reasons. Fans are on top of the riders at points during the race and when that happens that means that the motorcycles carrying cameras and photographers. Well a bottle neck occurred this week and caused a crash. This meant that leader Chris Froome was without a bike and just started running until his team car could get to him.
The British Open – 1am Golf Channel: Lefty got off to a hot start shooting a 63 to put him -8. Martin Kaymer and Patrick Reed are tied for second but only three strokes back. Don’t worry, coverage goes until 1pm.
Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees – 4pm MLBN: Baseball is back from the break and there is no better to start it off but by having the Red Sox vs the Yankees from Yankee Stadium.
Hamilton Tiger Cats at Montreal Alouettes – 4:30pm ESPN3: Remember how the Al’s had a bunch of quarterbacks in camp? We’ll they are already starting their backup, Rakeem Cato.
Saturday July 16th
The British Open – 4am NBC: Third round from Royal Toon in Scotland.
Tour de France – 5am NBCSN: It’s a 208km run with a couple of climbs. Lets’ see if Chris Froome ditches the bike and just runs it.
Texas Rangers at Chicago Cubs – 11:20am MLBN: This could legitimately be a World Series Preview. Yu Darvish takes the mound for the Rangers against Jason Hammel for the Cubs.
Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers – 4pm FS1: The defending World Series champion Royals are seven games back of the division leading Cleveland Indians. They are only a half game back of the Tigers which makes this series hugely important.
The British Open – 4am NBC: Final round of the 145th Open.
Portland Timbers vs Seattle Sounders – Noon FOX: While both are not where they’d thought they’d be at this point in the season, it is still the best rivalry in MLS. The Sounders will be without Clint Dempsey in a game where they have to get at least a point.
Montreal Impact vs NYCFC – 2pm ESPN:Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard square off for the first time in MLS. The once Chelsea teammates are now battling for position in the eastern conference. NYCFC is in the lead due in small part because of Lampard’s recent form. They sit four points in front of the Impact.
Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees – 5pm ESPN: The rubber match and it’s David Price vs Masahiro Tanaka.
…and some that were intended and were just massive failures. Like this San Francisco Giants fan who tried to catch a foul ball with a tray full of food and booze.
Out of the Way
Crowding the road and running along with the cyclists is as much a part of the Tour de France as the cycling. However sometimes people can put themselves and the riders in jeopardy. So the riders have to fight back like Chris Froome did.
It may only be the MLS regular season but don’t tell that to Tim Howard who came up big last night for the Colorado Rapids against Vancouver.
Legendary basketball coach Larry Brown has left yet another job. What’s not at all shocking about this is that he made a team relevant (SMU) only to have sanctions and suspensions come down on the program. Cause that has never happened before with Brown.
The Ins & Outs of UFC 200
Being a former UFC employee, I know first hand how exhausting an event can much less three in three days capped by one of the biggest shows in the organizations history.