Almost every live play in the NFL is presented from one sideline. Unfortunately, this is a relic of broadcasting originating in an era when only a single camera was used and the 50-yard line gave the best view of the entire field. This was fine when running the football was the norm and downfield passing was extremely rare.
But in 2012, the NFL is a much more vertical game that uses more of the field. On almost every passing play, the viewer has absolutely no idea what is going on because all we can see are the quarterback and the linemen.
Here is one example of how the sideline camera hurts the viewer at home. Where are the wide receivers? Are they open? Are any of the receivers running deep routes? We have no idea. Even with the widescreen view, we can still only see four yards beyond the line of scrimmage.
Instead, networks should present the game in what we’ll call the “Madden View.” This is the angle we often see in replays and is the angle that is used in most football video games. We can now see all four receivers and know exactly what is going on. Why should we have to wait until replays to see the most important aspects of a play? This is the angle that gets the fan involved in the play…
Photo: NFL Network
The downside is that it is more difficult to see when ball carriers have made a first down or scored a touchdown, something fans won’t want to give up. However, the networks could still use the overlaid first down line. And if needed, could even present the side-angle as a picture-in-picture…
Photo: NFL Network
As sports fans, we are creatures of habit, and presenting an entire game in this format would be jarring for most. But in the age of video games, it would ultimately be an easy transition. But more importantly, it is a needed change that would help the networks catch up with the modern game.
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