Super Bowl Television Review

Fox On Target

As sports media bloggers it’s our collective obligation to never credit the mainstream media. They represent everything we’re not, right?  We’re supposed to serve as their Internet checks and balances.  I’ve never subscribed to that adage.  I try to keep my eyes and my mind open.  So here goes.

In what will go down as one of the most exciting and historic Super Bowls of all time, the people at Fox matched the intensity of the game with Grade A coverage.  Saying otherwise would be a case of bitching for the sake of bitching.

Listen, I’m not saying last night’s telecast was groundbreaking or historic.  I can always do without a four hour preview of a game that has already been over-analyzed for two weeks.  I also have never had any interest in the halftime shows…Janet Jackson’s breast not withstanding.

What Fox did yesterday was to provide a solid product.  They let the game tell the story. That’s what we should expect from every sports telecast.

The duo of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman has had its fair share of detractors throughout the web.   I’ve never felt that way.  Buck consistently underplays the description of the action.   That’s a good thing.  The play-by-play man should never be bigger than the game.  Jack Buck learned that.  So did his son.  He gets it.

Since retiring to the booth Aikman has taken his experience on the field and breaks down the plays in a way the provides insight without too much minutiae. 

I’ve criticized the use of sideline reporters in the past.  Often they tend to get in the way.  Yesterday Fox used Chris Myers and Pam Oliver sparingly yet effectively.   They kept their reports brief and on message.

Technically Fox had all the angles covered on the field.  I can’t think of an instance where they did not have a camera angle of a play at their disposal that left any doubt of its result.

The impact of the game will likely serve as the impetus of the anticipated ratings bonanza Fox will see when the early numbers come out later today.  Their work will unfortunately go unnoticed.

Even in its 14th season Fox is still viewed as the new kid on the block in its coverage of the NFL.  They do not have the pedigree of CBS, NBC, or even ABC.  Although after yesterday’s Super Bowl telecast, the kid has definitely matured.