Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hook and Lateral

You've heard of it, but have you actually seen it? Here's some of the most exciting 4 mins in NFL broadcasting history.

When you absolutely, positively have to score a touchdown.

Watching that vid, one thing I notice is how different the modern NFL-watching experience is. In this clip they do a good job of apprising you of the situation: but don't you find yourself glancing up at the corner for the score-and-time box? The networks have made real strides in the last 10 years, in improving the game-watching experience.

Another thing that stands out is how aware the announcers (Don Criqui and John Brodie) seem to be, that they've got something special. Is it my imagination, or are they much better than the run-of-the-mill we have today? Maybe it's just because they are part of what I grew up with. (Also of course they represent the network's top or #2 team of the time, not the "average" at all.) Brodie makes an obvious mistake about 15 seconds in, saying the Dolphins have "plenty of time" to throw a quick out to try to improve their field position for a FG attempt; but he seems to catch himself, and ~20 seconds later he's saying something more reasonable. (It is live TV.) Criqui nicely captures how stunning the play was. When he yells "Hall of Fame play! That goes to Canton!" I find myself nodding "Yep". It was jaw-dropping in the moment.

Do the players look a little small to you? It's been 27 years, a few lifetimes in NFL terms. I wince at the thought of some of these guys getting crunched by (say) the Ravens defense.

If you don't know how the rest of the game went, Wikipedia has a nice entry on it, with some good external links.


  1. They DO look smaller-- it's amazing to see the effects of the physical arms race that's been going on in the NFL all this time.

    I like the crazy screen wipes they use, like between the replay and kicking the extra point, etc. Were they in place during the broadcast, or added later?

  2. That clip is exactly how it was broadcast! 27 yrs ago.


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