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MrJames
07-02-2010, 06:32 PM
First off, I do believe that you are the best color guy in the business and outside of John Gruden it's not really close.

My question is going into any given, what is your goal as a commentator and how do you balance your analysis so that it is both appealing to the hardcore fan yet not over the head of the casual channel flipper?


As a side note, please pass this along to whoever has the power to suggest this. I know that John Madden is retired. But why not have him do 1 game a year: THANKSGIVING. Wouldn't that make the day memorable and a must see? At the very minimum its a reason to tune in to the annual "Lions are embarrassing Detroit on national TV again" game

Cris Collinsworth
07-05-2010, 02:54 PM
Love the Madden idea, but if he is coming back it is with Al and Me. We begged him last year, but he didn't want to do it. I hope this year he will change his mind.

As far as what we do, I follow Al Michaels lead. He is the best I have ever worked with at setting the proper tone for the broadcast. I always have to guard against doing too much football. I would break down every play if they let me. Al and producer Fred Gaudelli protect me from myself.

Wordsworth
07-05-2010, 03:23 PM
I would love for one day to have an alternative broadcast that is for the sports nerds in all of us. A broadcast that is built solely for those who love everything broken down and analyzed. It would not be realistic, but I think many athletes and hardcore fans would jump at the idea of listening to an entire game that has them in mind rather than the casual fan.

giantsfan97
07-05-2010, 04:26 PM
Totally agree with Wordsworth.

For someone like myself who loves the game of football but never played to the point of learning a lot of strategy, I always love hearing expert tactical analysis of why plays were called and why they worked.

I also wish we could watch games from a camera above and behind the QB so we can see what's happening down the field.

Andy Freeland
07-05-2010, 04:43 PM
I also wish we could watch games from a camera above and behind the QB so we can see what's happening down the field.
You're right about that. In the booth we have separate monitors for the 'all 22' and the cable cam and it makes a huge difference.

Ninernightmare
07-06-2010, 10:08 AM
Not to try to butter you up Chris, but I love your booth with Al Michaels. Other then Gus Johnson and Jeff Van Gundy/Mark Jackson. I have a great dislike for commentary, The Dead air doesn't constantly have to filled with talking! Let the game shine! Perhaps Al Michaels and your Producer can go around and help some of these other guys like they helped you.

Another thing, Wheres Pat Summeral? That mans voice was designed to do play by play and I miss him!

Cris Collinsworth
07-06-2010, 06:42 PM
If you ever get an alternate broadcast to break down every play, I'm in. I wish I could put my break-down of the game film on this site. I take a couple of minutes on every play of prior games. It would even break the spirits FPL football junkies.

Pat Summeral I think is still in Dallas. He is doing a lot of charity work. Recently I saw him at his St. Judes' fundraiser. Quick story, the only time I ever saw Pat hit a golf shot, he made a hole-in-one. He is the best.

ScottDCP
07-07-2010, 08:34 AM
I am curious about the thinking on what goes into football programming. I have come to accept that some of it is part of the Sell - creating exposure for players who can further the marketability of the brand and such. And it is a nice thing to see a profile on one of your guys in the hour before the game, but how does it get decided during the game? I'm generally with Dr. Z, in believing that the game is the story, and I find the Storyline Above All approach to broadcasts tedious and sometimes distracting. (I also figure I'm in the minority on that one). On the occasions where the broadcast turns away from broad Storylines that are determined before the game begins, is it the producer's call? Al? Or does it ujust happen naturally?

jeffwaytowich
07-07-2010, 11:22 AM
Can we all agree the Joe Buck is the most overrated announcer in the NFL (and all sports in general). And can someone please check if Aikman even has a pulse anymore? We may have a Weekend At Bernies situation with him...

Adrenaline
07-07-2010, 11:52 AM
I'm excited to see where the internet can take us towards interactively watching NFL games. I'd love to see something similar to Sunday Ticket where you could subscribe per season, be able to stream games, and have access to all the various camera angles, and maybe some interactive commentary (beyond just chatting) on previous plays and potential upcoming plays. I think the football/madden nerd in some of us would really find great joy in something like that.

MrJames
07-07-2010, 01:01 PM
Can we all agree the Joe Buck is the most overrated announcer in the NFL (and all sports in general). And can someone please check if Aikman even has a pulse anymore? We may have a Weekend At Bernies situation with him...

I actually will disagree with you. I like that group better than Nantz/Sims.



I do think that it is odd that the NFL doesnt have a subscription for fans to get the coaches tape angle. They make it anyway to distribute to each team. It just seems like a rare missed revenue opportunity for the NFL.

Cris Collinsworth
07-07-2010, 01:17 PM
Doesn't NBC have that already? I remember watching different angles on-line.

Jdemuesy
07-07-2010, 01:24 PM
Cris, I think the fans would be interested to know what happens behind the scenes: how often do you use the talkback mic? I had an opportunity tio sit in on the Big Ten Networks broadcast of the Ohio State Scarlet and Grey game, and a lot of those shots of random people on the sidelines were actually called for on the talkback mic by the color commentators. Similar process in the NBC booth?

Dave Lapham
07-07-2010, 06:47 PM
Chris, I know you see more than one thing every play that has a bearing on the success or failure of a play. How do you and the truck decide which element to focus on? Is it decided by best shot for replay? I agree with you, it would be fun to break down every play during a broadcast but it would have to be a sophisticated audience.

Wordsworth
07-07-2010, 06:52 PM
If you ever get an alternate broadcast to break down every play, I'm in. I wish I could put my break-down of the game film on this site. I take a couple of minutes on every play of prior games. It would even break the spirits FPL football junkies.


Who is to say you can't? Would it require licensing from the league or is there a way you could do it without ruffling any feathers?

Cris Collinsworth
07-07-2010, 06:57 PM
It would take big cash, the league controls all game film. I'm not sure they would let me do it for any amount of money. Coaches would not like being second guessed. It would be so popular with the fans. I wish you could see the game from the angles of those tapes. Pretty awesome.

Wordsworth
07-07-2010, 07:11 PM
Ah I thought you might say something like that. I do think the NFL is missing out on a revenue stream and a way to pique the interest of more hardcore fans by offering up alternative angles. The cable cam and the all-22 cam are excellent options for people that have digital cable services. There are already packages like that for The Masters, the tennis majors, et al that show multiple cameras on more than one channel. Even if it was only offered to NFL Ticket providers at first, at least move in that direction. Or offer them up online for a small price. I think it could be a great feature. I've always thought the cable cam could be used much more than it already is. I would enjoy if at times during the game the entire presentation would shift to that angle for perhaps a possession or a segment between commercials. Just to mix it up and offer a fresh look to an already solid product.

BayouBoys
07-07-2010, 09:33 PM
Does the NFL have different angles online? Anyone know? I know during the NBA playoffs sometimes online they would have about 6 different camera angles with no commercials. One main one that had the game and some just followed Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. I would love to watch specific games that focused on certain players on key plays. I guess this would be named the "play maker CAM". HA! There was another camera during the commercials that just panned the audience looking for celebrities (game was in LA). I really did enjoy it.

Does this exist? If so, now I have another thing to look at while I'm watching the game!

TrojanScott
07-07-2010, 10:26 PM
Is there a way to throw in some more advanced football knowledge in a game - like different teams' run fits, how Pit covers for Troy P's improvising (does it swith from a cover 2 to a 1 or 3) - or do we have to wait for the breakdown shows (nfl matchup and playbook)?

FessJL0861
07-08-2010, 10:25 AM
I have always wanted to watch a game on HBO with a couple of regular guys commentating. It would HAVE to be on HBO because the idea would be to have a fan from each team. drinking beer. allowed to drop "F" bombs. commentating on the game. Disclaimer: That would be perfect for a Thursday night Jags-Chiefs clash, not Colts Chargers or something good.

FessJL0861
07-08-2010, 10:26 AM
Does the NFL have different angles online? Anyone know? I know during the NBA playoffs sometimes online they would have about 6 different camera angles with no commercials. One main one that had the game and some just followed Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. I would love to watch specific games that focused on certain players on key plays. I guess this would be named the "play maker CAM". HA! There was another camera during the commercials that just panned the audience looking for celebrities (game was in LA). I really did enjoy it.

Does this exist? If so, now I have another thing to look at while I'm watching the game!

If I'm not mistaken NBC has that for their Sunday night broadcasts online during the game. Freeland, you may want to check me on that

InNOutBurgler
07-08-2010, 10:43 AM
You're right about that. In the booth we have separate monitors for the 'all 22' and the cable cam and it makes a huge difference.

You didn't address this...but why are the game tapes protected like the Holy Grail? All NFL people have access to them anyway right? Why can't there be a alternate broadcast with the ALL 22 view? It's the best thing about going to games live, watching the play develop...

atnelson928
07-08-2010, 10:48 AM
I have always wanted to watch a game on HBO with a couple of regular guys commentating. It would HAVE to be on HBO because the idea would be to have a fan from each team. drinking beer. allowed to drop "F" bombs. commentating on the game. Disclaimer: That would be perfect for a Thursday night Jags-Chiefs clash, not Colts Chargers or something good.

My friends and I have agreed for years that this would be a great idea. I think Simmons has floated it in his column at different points as well.

One suggestion for Chris or other columnists here that I think would be really interesting to fans on this site would be to break down an important series or two from a game of interest each week with respect to offensive formations and defenses, audibles and (potential) reasoning behind them, defensive coverages, and then a general description of how the play went down with your insight into each of these and other stuff. By limiting it to a single series or so you could really get into individual battles as well as the larger coaching strategy.

I remember Mike Lombardi used to do a clock management breakdown on National Football Post last year which was sort of similar, but it usually degraded into him (rightly) pointing out the idiocy of many head coaches in the league when it comes to play selection and time outs.

atnelson928
07-08-2010, 10:55 AM
You didn't address this...but why are the game tapes protected like the Holy Grail? All NFL people have access to them anyway right? Why can't there be a alternate broadcast with the ALL 22 view? It's the best thing about going to games live, watching the play develop...

I thought about this a bunch when I was watching the World Cup these last couple of weeks. I know very little about soccer, but when a team was setting up a play, you could really see it develop with the camera height and understand why it worked. As you say, the same thing is true of watching games live - after a great play action fake where the entire defense is crashed into the line of scrimmage and you see a WR with three steps on his man right as you see that the QB still has the ball... just awesome.

mjchefer
07-08-2010, 11:17 AM
Very interesting stuff... One question regarding the "nerd commentary"... How come no-one had thought of this??? Is there that FEW people that would actually like serious, in-depth tactical analysis of each game? I mean, someone should realize that there is a market for this out there. Here's my idea: A closed, subscription-only network oriented towards players (all ages) and coaches. You can have a decent host, and then invite 3-4 different coaches or former players each week. You could start doing one game a week... I think it would be awesome! In Argentina, we are actually starting to see more and more TV shows with SERIOUS tactical analysis of soccer games: talking about things that playbyplay and color guys would never dream of discussing because it would bore the audience. I can think of one tv show in particular that's been on the air for 4 years now. When I watch it, I usually think to myself... Wow, this must be very boring for most people out there... But it is extremely entertaining and informing for me. Obviously, there IS a market for this.

giantsfan97
07-08-2010, 11:21 AM
I think getting to see some in-depth analysis from Cris and the other contributors would be so fun and educational to watch. What if readers of this site voted each week on a game they'd like to see broken down, then a video of it gets posted here?

InNOutBurgler
07-08-2010, 11:57 AM
I think getting to see some in-depth analysis from Cris and the other contributors would be so fun and educational to watch. What if readers of this site voted each week on a game they'd like to see broken down, then a video of it gets posted here?

Chris has said he is going to do just this...but we can't see the game tape...you'll turn into a pumpkin

Wordsworth
07-08-2010, 01:10 PM
I think getting to see some in-depth analysis from Cris and the other contributors would be so fun and educational to watch. What if readers of this site voted each week on a game they'd like to see broken down, then a video of it gets posted here?

The issue is that the NFL won't allow anyone to use video of the games without paying out the ass for it.

BearThruThickNThin
07-08-2010, 04:02 PM
I think Collinsworth is one of the best in the business. The goal of color commentary should be to add knowledge that is not obvious from the visuals presented. As such, television color commentary (and play-by-play) should differ a great deal from radio commentary (and play-by-play). Here are some additional random thoughts on television color commentary:

1. It should not explain the obvious to us in obvious terms. For example, if there is a 50-yard run, we don't need to hear that the offensive line did a great job, that's assumed. Instead, good commentary should point out which player made the key block, or why the defense was not in position to make the play. These things may not be apparent to the viewer at home.

2. It should not be afraid of silence, particularly in the immediate aftermath of a great play when the visuals, including crowd shots and noise, can stand alone for a few moments.

3. It should not be overly eager to report who the commentator spoke with leading up to the game. This often just sounds like name-dropping.

4. It should not be afraid to criticize lack of effort, lack of concentration, or poor clock management. Collinsworth is strong here.

5. It should not use a telestrator for its own sake.

Wordsworth
07-08-2010, 05:48 PM
Agreed that Collinsworth strong at identifying lack of effort/concentration, poor clock management, bad fundamentals. Also Jon Gruden excels at this.

Cris Collinsworth
07-11-2010, 10:55 PM
I hate it too. If I win the lottery one day, I am going to buy weekly game films and put the break-down on this site. The rest of the internet would go out of business.

Colts01
07-11-2010, 11:02 PM
Chris has said he is going to do just this...but we can't see the game tape...you'll turn into a pumpkin

Im not one to correct spelling because mine stinks...but its Cris...not Chris,I finally realized it today lol

Colts01
07-11-2010, 11:04 PM
the NFL could have a pay per view with the all 22 cam.My wallet would be lighter because id totally buy that sort of package

MrJames
07-12-2010, 11:15 AM
Doesn't NBC have that already? I remember watching different angles on-line.

Well yea, NBC does have something like that where you can watch a game from multiple angles. I am talking about the coaches tape that NFL Matchup has access to. This footage is already distributed to each team. So the NFL could sell this footage (after the season if need be).

This would not be appealing to "hardcore" fans? High school/college coaches?

Ill even do the pricing for them

$10 per game
$150 Season pass for a team
$1000 All access.

Cris Collinsworth
07-15-2010, 02:29 AM
You might have something there. What if I bought all of it and had local players break down the prior week's game for the local market, and you could buy the all access pass to watch the tapes outside your market. The show would be huge in local markets and could run prior to the pre-game shows. That has always been my dream, but I need a sugar daddy partner to make it happen. Do you know any really rich guys?

BigDerf
07-15-2010, 03:00 AM
Love the idea Cris. I devoutly stay up till 330 AM just to get a glimpse of the brilliance that is NFL Matchup with the Coaches tape.

giantsfan97
07-15-2010, 10:13 AM
Do you know any really rich guys?

Aren't you friends with Tiki Barber from your Sunday Night Football show? I'm sure he still has some money left, it's not like he's getting divor- oh wait nevermind.

Wordsworth
07-15-2010, 02:47 PM
Aren't you friends with Tiki Barber from your Sunday Night Football show? I'm sure he still has some money left, it's not like he's getting divor- oh wait nevermind.

Ooohh sick burn.

FessJL0861
07-15-2010, 04:17 PM
Aren't you friends with Tiki Barber from your Sunday Night Football show? I'm sure he still has some money left, it's not like he's getting divor- oh wait nevermind.

That is one guy that doesn't need to be anywhere near a mic. I realize Cris you can't join us in this, but WOW would I like to smack the crap out of him. He just seems easy to dislike. What is NY's general view of him giantsfan?

giantsfan97
07-15-2010, 06:00 PM
LOVED him as a player, but the way he departed left a bitter taste in our mouths.

I didn't even have a problem with him announcing his retirement during the season, but I think he left without a sense of loyalty to the franchise that made him famous and gave him a shot (which he seems to have blown) at a post-football career in the media.

Can't emphasize enough how great it was to have him on our team though. Great runner, receiver, and blocker. Played hurt. Couldn't have asked more from him on the field.

Wordsworth
07-15-2010, 07:24 PM
Once Tiki learned to hold the ball differently he was great.

FessJL0861
07-15-2010, 08:20 PM
LOVED him as a player, but the way he departed left a bitter taste in our mouths.

I didn't even have a problem with him announcing his retirement during the season, but I think he left without a sense of loyalty to the franchise that made him famous and gave him a shot (which he seems to have blown) at a post-football career in the media.

Can't emphasize enough how great it was to have him on our team though. Great runner, receiver, and blocker. Played hurt. Couldn't have asked more from him on the field.

You know he really did seem like a nice likable guy until that last year. Then throw in his personal issues lately and he really has been the biggest detriment to his own career.