Browsing All Posts filed under »broadcasting«

“Great Team Chemistry No Match For Great Team Biology”

March 7, 2012

0

That was a recent headline from The Onion, and as usual, the short article that followed it pretty much wrote itself.  “I’ve never seen a team work in sync with itself as well as A&M did tonight, but unfortunately, they were up against players who have bodies far better adapted for playing basketball,” ESPN’s Jay Bilas […]

What we cannot reliably learn from former NFL players about the “bounty” system (or anything else)

March 7, 2012

2

It goes without saying that most of the chatter on the sports networks comes from the mouths of former players and coaches. There may typically be one journalist or “broadcaster” moderating a discussion, and occasionally there are non-player “experts” about particular subjects internal or external to the sport in question (from folks who analyze the […]

Bounty Ethics in the NFL

March 6, 2012

3

It’s now day 5 of “bountygate” and there’s surely very little left to be said. For those not entranced by the blue glow of 24/7 sports gossip on ESPN and the NFL Network (where gaggles of pundits on retainer need something to gab about between the early-Februrary Super Bowl and the late-April draft), or for […]

Ridin’ with the King

March 22, 2011

0

It was my great pleasure yesterday to meet my long-time hero King Kaufman, who I name-checked and quoted in the very first post on this blog. King famously described his groundbreaking sports column (or we might say “sports-on-TV” column) as “Like talking to the guy on the next barstool, if the guy on the next barstool […]

Which sports are best and worst to watch live? Part I, general observations

March 17, 2011

4

At one point in the highly entertaining Champions League match between Bayern Munich and Inter Milan a couple of nights ago we were treated to an extended period in which Bayern’s back four passed the ball back and forth across the pitch. You might have thought they were simply time-wasting, except that it came at […]

What’s in it for the paying spectator?

March 9, 2011

2

I’m guessing, conservatively, that 98% of the sporting events I’ve watched in my lifetime have been on TV. And I’m guessing that this fact does not make me stand out among sports fans. Properly speaking, I am a big fan of sports-on-TV, not of sports as such. And sure, I have always enjoyed playing sports; but […]

Signaling – and Sharing – your Sports Fandom

August 28, 2010

1

Here are a few more reflections inspired by the discussion over at Overcoming Bias of nerds using game-playing to signal social messages to the world outside the game. (Robin Hanson’s original post was here, my first extrapolation to the situation of sports fans was here, and his brief comment on that is here.) This Sporting […]

What’s Wrong With Soccer Broadcasting? (Soccer vs American Sports, part 4)

July 22, 2010

9

The job of sports broadcasters is to help viewers see the order and intention where the untrained eye sees only chaos. We expect broadcasters to be experts of the game. (By “broadcasters” I mean the entire team, from the people who plan and select the camera angles and design or use replay and “telestrator” technology, to […]

Soccer vs American Sports, Part 3: Going with the flow

July 20, 2010

0

Dazzling offensive plays are the pop music of sports. Like catchy tunes, they are hard not to love. Even more, they are like the vocals and the melody of pop-music hooks. (You can sing these yourself in the shower or on the school bus, without realizing that the song was a hit because of the […]

World Cup diary #3: the beginning of the end

June 28, 2010

0

A busy travel schedule has allowed me to see most of the matches so far, to keep up on the press and bloggers, yet not to comment much myself. But now the real tournament has begun, in the second round. I’ll be blogging regularly from here on in. It’s hard to give a comparative assessment […]

World Cup diary #1

June 15, 2010

0

I love everything about the World Cup. I love even the things I hate about the World Cup. Since these things — the gamesmanship, the aristocratic governance of the sport, the nationalism, the ridiculous narratives people map onto the results, the over-looming factor of luck that seals fates, and the resulting “unfairness” and tragedy of […]

A few thoughts on the NHL playoffs

June 11, 2010

0

The NHL playoffs wound up a couple of days ago, and the World Cup starts in about an hour. Here are a few thoughts on the former, as we move from the season of the fastest “flow” sport to that of the slowest. 1. The Broadcasting. I whined at length about why hockey broadcasting was […]

The imperfect game, Part 5 of 5: The irrational quest to tame chance

June 10, 2010

1

Are the businessmen in charge of baseball trying to manage their precarious pre-modern brand by preserving its quaintest features? Or is there a recognition by the high-priests in charge that we have to reconcile ourselves with the essential element of luck and chance that is shot through the game of baseball. Those who passionately want […]

The imperfect game, Part 4: Do umps really need to be part of the game?

June 10, 2010

4

The Imperfect Game debate has revived a long-standing debate about how to treat umpires and their fallibility as “part of the game.” Everything we know about human perception and cognitive psychology informs us that umpires will  blow calls. Most of the blowable calls, including Joyce’s call last week, involve “judgments” that have to be made […]

Why is hockey analysis always so lame? Part 3: It’s hard

May 10, 2010

2

I’m obviously making this up as I go along; but if you’ve read Why is hockey analysis (almost) always so lame? Part 1 and Part 2, thanks for bearing with me. So far I have talked mostly about the ways in which hockey analysis (on TV, in the daily press) is so frustratingly superficial. I […]

Why is hockey analysis always so lame? Part 2: The Broadcasters

May 7, 2010

4

I don’t remember a world without instant replay; although I was born into such a world. After clever but misbegotten attempts to use instant replay from the mid-1950s on, it is generally conceded that the first “modern” use — and not yet slow-motion — was in the broadcast of the Army-Navy football game in December […]

Ernie Harwell, legendary baseball broadcaster dead at 92

May 4, 2010

0

One of the last of the legendary (and I think that word is appropriate here) baseball broadcasters dies last night after a year-long bout with cancer. He is most famous for covering Tigers’ games, from the late 1950s until 2002; but he already had a decade of big-league broadcasting under his belt before he arrived […]

Why is hockey analysis almost always so lame? Part 1

May 4, 2010

4

My friend Andrew Potter (author of the sizzling new book The Authenticity Hoax) tweeted a link on Friday [when I began writing this post] to a compelling contrast between the two biggest stars in the world of ice hockey, the Russian Alexander Ovechkin and the Canadian Sydney Crosby. The column in question was by Steve Simmons, who has covered hockey […]

Does watching the NFL draft qualify as watching sports?

April 26, 2010

0

3.7 million people tuned into live coverage of the NFL draft this past weekend. And that figure surely doesn’t include my father, since he was watching in Mexico. My dad never really stops following the NFL during the calendar year. The official end of the season with the Super Bowl just slightly alters his ratio […]

Why the NCAA basketball Tournament is the “American Idol” of sports

April 25, 2010

2

[Warning: What follows is an overly long post, even by the standards of this rambling blog. It is summarized over the last 3 paragraphs or so.] At some point during the month-long March Madness gabfest on sports talk-radio Mike Greenberg (on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning”) was railing against proposals to expand the tournament […]

More on what makes golf great. And not so great.

April 11, 2010

1

In the last post I sketched out some of the reasons why Tiger fans (and some Tiger haters) like golf. And by “like” in sports I don’t mean merely “enjoy” it or have a “revealed preference” for it. A true sports aficionado likes sports in the way an art-lover or wine-lover likes their thing. As […]

What can we learn from Tiger?

April 11, 2010

1

Tiger Woods could be the poster child for This Sporting Life. When I began this blog I identified four broad areas of interest for me at intersection of sports-philosophy-sociology. Thinking about sports can tell us a lot about punditry, institutional design and ethics (or sportsmanship), cultural identities, and what it is that we find beautiful […]

Meet David, the new Goliath: Butler’s victory over Duke marks the dawn of a new era in college basketball

April 6, 2010

3

Move over Gonzaga, Villanova, George Mason, and the Western Texas Miners. There’s a new Cinderella in town. Take that, Goliath: there’s a new David. Butler’s unlikely run all the way to the National Championship last night was like cotton-candy-for-breakfast in the sports media this morning. Many in the American sports chattering class routinely profess their […]

Will the NCAA Tournament become the next asset bubble? The case against 96

March 14, 2010

1

In the previous post I suggested that a 65-team tournament could be justified not because it was more likely than a more exclusive tournament to crown a worthy champion, but because it helped the NCAA meet a number of its reasonable objectives — which include providing a great experience for the student-athletes, growing the sport, and […]

Meta-bracketology, part 2: Madness by design

March 12, 2010

1

I am willing to defend the NCAA’s current system for selecting the 65 teams in the national championship Tournament. But first a confession. I am also willing to admit that I know very little about basketball. I guess I know as much as most casual fans: I can follow the ball with the best of […]

Bob Knight on How Good UConn Women’s Coach Gino Auriemma Is

March 9, 2010

0

Question on SportsCenter today: “He has 6 national titles, what are your thoughts on what Hall-of-Famer Gino Auriemma has done with this program?” Bob Knight: “I’ve said in the past, that if I were an athletic director looking for a basketball coach — I don’t care whether the team was going to be made up […]

Who Won the Vancouver Olympics?

March 1, 2010

4

I suppose the official answer to this question is, “The World,” which according to the IOC mission is supposed to be made “peaceful and better” by “educating youth through sport practised in accordance with Olympism and its values.” But of course anybody who asks the question “who won?” really wants to know which country won. The IOC […]

How to Broadcast Curling: notes for 2014

February 28, 2010

1

Most sporting events I watch on TV are broadcast exactly the way they were when I was a kid and TVs were small, square, and mostly black-and-white. And even worse, games on TV are still “called” the way they were on radio when my dad was a kid, with the play-by-play guy (yes, in the […]