Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Watching the Super Bowl

I watched the Latin America broadcast of the Super Bowl on Sunday.  It was entertaining, but mostly for reasons outside of the actual game.

To start, there were 3 announcers in the booth, and they all wore the same outfit - black suit, white shirt, diagonal striped red tie.  The clothes were identical, down to the distance between the gray pinstripes in the black suitcoats, and shades of red in the tie.  Watching this, I pictured some insane latina fashion advisor to the network demanding this outfit, and all of the men uncomfortably going along.  And thanks to her, they looked like three middle-aged children who had to get dressed according to their mother's wishes before the yearly Christmas card photo.

Also, the camera was panned a little too far back in the booth, and we could see that one of the commentators was clearly much, much shorter than the rest of them (his seat was raised up a couple inches higher than the other 2).  I will forever think of him as Latino Mike Tirico.

The pregame consisted mostly of highlights of the 2008 Super Bowl where the Pats and Giants...er rather, the "Patriotas y Gigantes" met before, and the Gigantes ruined the Patriotas perfect 19-0 season.  I turned up the volume on my TV set during this part, expecting to hear the announcers drop some names of players who were still there from this game, or at least some sort of hacky soccer-esque analysis.  However, once the volume was up high enough, I realized they were explaining the RULES of the game to the viewers #facepalm.

The game started, and it immediately became clear that the Latin American broadcast version was merely a formally pirated version of the American broadcast.  Every time a play would end, we would be treated to about 0.5 seconds of a replay or player bio before the cameras cut away to the latin american announcers, or a shoddily produced segment of their own.  At one point there was a "12 men on the field" call against the patriots, and the cameras went from a high-def picture of the field of play to a much lower-def picture, and Latino Mike Tirico quickly counted to 12 before moving on.  Great analysis, LMT.

I've never been a huge fan of the commercials at the Super Bowl - a good commercial is still just a subversive message to buy Doritos or Bud Light.  However, after I watched the same Spanish commercial for the Euro soccer league superfan TV package, I was dying for any sort of semi-intelligent 30 second spot.  It was a sad statement on how few people must watch this game in South America - that Euro league TV broadcast company clearly got a "buy 1, get 30 spots free" deal from Fox Sports LA.

Truthfully, I found the game itself to be quite exciting.  I thought both sides played exceptionally hard, and that the Giants were just a little bigger and tougher than the Patriots.  Their WRs were able to separate from the Patriots CBs well, and aside from a few hard Patriot hits, they dominated the field of play.  Manningham had a great catch for the Giants in the 4th quarter that reminded me of his Michigan years.

After the game, the Latin American crew on the field had the cameras on them the majority of the time, and it was high comedy to me watching them run around trying to get interviews.  Obviously, the big networks in the US garnered all the high-profile stars of the night's game, but the Latin American crews were just looking for anybody who spoke Spanish.  They found one on the Giants, Victor Cruz, but he had too big of a game to speak with them for more than 30 seconds.  They also found Justin Tuck, but he brushed them off within 10 seconds by saying "I need to find my daddy."  Their biggest get of the night was the white D-lineman from the Giants who intercepted Tom Brady in the first half.  He talked about his family and Jesus for a while, completely ignoring the questions from the reporter.  Clearly he was just happy to have a camera on him.

Also, did you see the halftime show?

Ridiculous.  Almost as ridiculous as the show I was treated to for the other 4 hours.

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