until Texas vs Kansas

Monday, November 7

 

In praise of skycam

As if watching Virginia Tech get exposed on Saturday wasn't fun enough, college football fans with ESPNU had the pleasure of watching the entire game from the perspective of skycam.

Skycam has been used before for some replays and on Monday Night Football (Donovan McNabb had a memorable scramble and throw last year against Dallas captured by skycam), but the Miami-VT game was the first to be shown in its entirety this way.

How was it? In a word: fantastic.

Since my living room has three TVs side-by-side, I was able to watch the game simultaneously on ESPN (traditional view) and ESPNU (skycam) to compare the two, and everyone at my house agreed the skycam view was better.

It's like watching a game of Madden on XBOX, as you see what the QB sees. I found myself yelling at the screen telling Marcus Vick to throw deep to the tight end streaking down the middle when I saw the safety creeping up (he didn't listen), while also seeing the holes open for the running backs.

The only downside to skycam is you can't see the outside receivers and the camera doesn't rotate 180 degrees after the punt returner catches the punt, like the camera does in Madden. Still, the view was great and something that should be offered for every big-time telecast.

I also have the NFL Sunday Ticket, and if the NFL is smart (it is), it should start offering two feeds for every game, one with traditional camera views and another shown exclusively from the skycam perspective. Think of it like an alternate commentary on a DVD.

Side note: watching commercials on ESPN and ESPNU at the same time is hilarious, because they obviously target different audiences.

For example, at the same time ESPN's ads were for:

Nissan
Niva for men
Allstate
Under Armour
Taco Bueno

Meanwhile, ESPNU's ads were for:

Bryan Adams Greatest Hits CD (seriously)
Folicare ("Hair loss treatment without the sexual side effects")
RV Trainer (A Joe Montana-endorsed football with a string around it so it comes back to you when you throw it)
Bowflex (Guy in ad tells how he stays in shape at age 41)
Magicfundamentals.com (Learn basketball from Magic Johnson)

In summary:
If you watch ESPNU, you're a 40-something, balding Bryan Adams lover hoping to teach your kid how to play sports, with the help of your heroes. If you watch ESPN, you're younger and cooler, becuase you work out, dress up for the ladies, drive a new car (with insurance) and eat fast food.

--TR--

Comments:
Odd that a network devoted to college sports would have an older target audience.
 
That Chad Johnson Fatheads commercial wasn't on there? It's hilarious when he says toward the end of the ad..."Don't I look good?"
 
Is the U worth getting?
I was thinking of getting it just for the first couple of rounds of the Gaurdian classic.
 
I don't know what cable/satellite system you have, but I get the U with the sports package on DirecTV for $12 a month (which also includes NBA TV and every regional Fox Sports channel, as well other sport-related channels). It sounds a little steep, but considering all of the Pac-10 games I can watch in basketball and football instead of spending money at a sports bar, it is worth it. Obviously, you could probably give a rat's ass about the Pac-10, but it also includes NBA TV, and if you live outside of Texas, you can get all of the Fox Sports regional channels (including Fox Sports Southwest).
 
Yeah I have DirecTV too and I get tons of regional sports channels. I never watch ESPNU, though, so don't get it just for that. However, the U may have a better selection of college basketball. Football-wise, it seems to show a lot of low-level games that I don't care about.
 
I have Dish, and they have the regional foxs, which I get from August till March. I would have to upgrade packages, which would cost about $10 bucks more a month, but I would get a bunch more channels that I dont care about.
Ranjit, I am in DC, so I also must subscribe to the regional channels.
 
Wells I use to have DISH but swapped for DirecTV to get the NFL Sunday Ticket. I think DirecTV is better, but not overwhelmingly so. Still, if/when your contract is up you should consider switching.
 
i can't agree with you more travis. i have been singing the praises of the skycam since the NFL came out with it. i was really convinced when we started seeing it on HDTV. i have to say it is the way football was meant to be watched - from the qb's view. you really see how a play develops and how the defense reacts and what decisions the qb is making. the traditional angle only works well for running plays, and even then it has its faults.
-MH
 
Dish has no contract.
I will have to compare prices, I dont care about the NFL so that doesn't drive me to change. I just get the Gameday package, the multiregional FSN and the NCAA Hoops packages.
 
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