Monday, December 29, 2008

This Just In: Chase Daniel's Mother Is Rooting For Him

Tonight's matchup of Missouri and Northwestern in the Valero Alamo Bowl was a very good game--a 30-23 overtime win by Mizzou. However, a few things in the ESPN telecast marred what should have been a purely entertaining contest:

First off, play-by-play man Ron Franklin was dreadful during most of the broadcast. He had countless errors identifying players, was way behind in calling the game, and said things like "it's a turnover and it'll be 4th down." Of course, you can't have a turnover AND 4th down. Franklin is normally better than this, but tonight was definitely a bad night for him.

The bigger problem was the constant fixation the director had for showing the family of Missouri QB Chase Daniel. During the final two minutes of regulation and the overtime, ESPN showed Daniel's family no fewer than a dozen times...including when Daniel wasn't on the field at all.

Not only is showing a player or coach's family repeatedly during a game become a broadcasting cliche, but it's also completely unnewsworthy. Is it remotely interesting that Daniel's family was rooting for him? Do we need to see that? Do we need to see it more than 10 times?

Here is what the audience was treated to, almost between every play in the final 2 minutes of regulation and the overtime:

When Northwestern had the ball, trying to get in position to win the game in regulation: Daniel's family cheering when the Missouri defense forced a punt.

When Missouri got the ball back and drove down the field for a potential game-winning field goal at the end of regulation: Daniel's family nervous and excited.

When Missouri's field goal kicker missed the field goal at the end of regulation: Daniel's family shocked and in anguish (what was funny is that other people near them were cheering initially, thinking the field goal was good).

When Missouri scored the go-ahead touchdown in OT on a pass from Daniel: Daniel's family celebrating (another funny thing was his mother yelling "Shit!" when Daniels got hit as he threw).

Is this getting old yet? I'm sure it did for anyone not related to Chase Daniel who happened to be watching the game.

Also, what about the other players' families? Are they not rooting for their kids? In this case, was there no one from Northwestern's team worth showing? In my opinion, it's in very poor taste for a telecast to focus on one player's family and ignore all of the others--especially in a college game. It's as if the director is saying, "fuck the other players and their families--we only care about Chase Daniel."

Perhaps it's too much to ask, but could television sports producers and directors focus more on the game on the field, and less on the stuff off of it? Please?

I won't hold my breath.

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