NFL Access Replay is pretty cool

The NFL network is re-playing the Broncos-Cowboys game from week 5.

  1. That was a great shootout.
  2. The replay program cuts out a lot of the delays.
  3. Knowing how things turn out, one can observe the subtle biases of the commentators or really appreciate key turning points.
  4. They include most of the slow-mo replays from the broadcast, only they re-touch those such that the colors are faded as if the game took place 30 years ago. It’s a really cool effect.

I wouldn’t think I’d be the type to watch a football game twice, but this particular Replay program makes it worth it!

I don’t have any hard words for the mods for moving this to The Game Room- it just isn’t a big deal- but I originally put it in Cafe Society because I felt like I was appreciating things about the NFL Access Replay program beyond just the game itself.

The main thing was their obvious attempt to create ‘instant nostalgia’. The re-touched broadcast replays were the most overt attempt at this- the flat, washed-out colors and razor-sharp lines between the light and shadow, along with the half-assed slo-mo almost make the film resemble old WWII footage, even though the game took place only 3 months ago.

And since we all know how things turn out, they don’t bother keeping the viewer in suspense. Before breaks they’ll show the highlight from the next drive, whether it is Manning’s interception, Romo’s touchdown pass or whatever it is. It changed the whole way I viewed it. As they approach the key moments, the program intersperses the footage with audio clips of post-game interviews from the coaches or key players. The hushed, ultra-respectful tone of their selections could make you think you’re watching some kind of religious event if you didn’t know any better.

And then there are the obvious attempts to over-dramatize the key events. The commentators, on second viewing, seemed biased toward one team or another, but again in this ultra-respectful manner in which they never say anything negative about the other team, but instead try to out-do each other in subtly making the case the team they’re for is better than the other one. When the climaxes of the drives arrive (and there were an awful lot of them in this particular game), the program cuts away from the national broadcast to show clips from a local one so you can hear the southern-drawly commentators freaking out about Romo or whoever it is making the big play. The effect was like a different kind of zoom- the national broadcast observes the thing from a distance while the local guys are taking it very personally.

Add it all up and it seemed to create an effect like they were revealing something about human nature, or at least the human nature of the key players through their particular victories and fuck-ups, overlaid with their own post-game crowing or guilty admissions. And who knows, maybe this game really was a kind of turning point where Romo’s career is permanently set as second to Manning’s, dramatized to the nth degree.

Maybe all this is because I am kind of paranoid about the effects of propaganda. Run a great game through the most advanced propaganda machine that ever existed, and suddenly I wish I could watch every game this way. Bravo!