Monday, September 15, 2008

Broadcast wrap-up: Johnson vs. Como Park

As I expected, I came in not feeling too intimidated about having my every word recorded for television Friday. Broderick and I have found our chemistry and it can lead to some humorous conversations. You could say we mix summary and bar talk. One of my co-workers thought I came down too harsh on one of the Como Park coaches after he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct (he was arguing a poor choice by the referee to allow a Johnson punt return for a touchdown after a penalty was called for an illegal block, something I saw on the replay). I call things as I see them, but am working on the balance between judgmental and constructive criticism. On that note, I do appreciate feedback, even if no one thinks I did anything wrong. I got used to play-by-play after a while, but always want to improve.

There were several new crew members and it showed in the production from what I saw on the monitor. The replay transitions were choppy and the camerawork wasn't on par at times. I understand SPNN is trying to spread the opportunities to people, but I feel sports crews should at least have some familiarity with the sport they're televising. That way, if they are learning a new skill, they don't have to try and remember how the game works and work the equipment at the same time. It's very difficult to pluck people at random and hope the program will turn out.

For the record, Johnson won the game 35-6. The botched call turned out not to make any difference in the game, although it's not a good sign when controversy dominates the game recap. Central lost last weekend, so Johnson looks like they will re-establish themselves as the team to beat in St. Paul, but there's still a few games to go. Johnson's running game is their strength; five backs carried the ball against Como. Their passing game needs work, they followed a 148-yard passing game the previous week with two interceptions against Como and lost the turnover battle. One-dimensional offenses are always at risk of being shut down easily, but Johnson's depth at running back is a plus.

Todd and Coley take the helm this week with the Harding-Arlington game.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Broadcast preview: Johnson vs. Como Park

Greetings everyone. There hasn't been much to blog about in the sports or broadcasting world for the last month. There was some audio problems with the NC Heat-Minnesota Stars game and at this point, I doubt I will be posting it online. Someone on my YouTube page said no one would care about audio distortion. Trust me, in television, people are much faster to point out your mistakes than your accomplishments. That's why we fall on the old cliché, "No news is good news." The last thing I want to do is broadcast a piece of junk with my name on it; people who take this seriously know doing so hampers credibility.

On the plus side, I got a new computer and upgraded to Adobe Production CS3 Premium. In short, I have the latest versions of all the software I use to create my own games. I still need to figure out how to install a plug-in or two. Also, the video encoder on Adobe Premiere Pro improved significantly. What that means for you are full-length games in high quality. No more trouble reading graphics or watching a spectacular play develop.

As you may have guessed, the title refers to tomorrow's high school football game featuring Johnson and Como Park at James Griffin Stadium on SPNN, channel 19. This will be my first football play-by-play assignment. Unfortunately, the coaches aren't too quick about posting stats on Maxpreps or any other site this year, so I can't tell you too much about the teams statistically. Como Park is hurting offensively after Greg Morse's departure (graduation). They're last in the conference for points scored and bring an 0-2 record this weekend. Johnson is 2-0 and give up the fewest points in the conference. On paper, it looks like Johnson will coast to victory, but I'll find out more when I visit with the coaches tomorrow. If any of you have dreams about a St. Paul school going to state, no existing St. Paul City Conference team has qualified since 1981 when Johnson got to state.

Broderick Bell is my partner. This is the only game where I'll be in the booth for SPNN. I'm their primary graphics designer, so I imagine it won't be long before they ask me to return to graphics. After calling basketball the last two years, I'm excited to try another sport.

Programs available for DVD purchase

Autism Part 1 DVD cover

Autism: The Wall That Knows No Limits - Award-winning documentary series providing insights on autism rarely seen in contemporary media. Produced by someone on the spectrum, this series is a wealth of information for anyone seeking to learn about autism.
$15 for one episode, $50 for the complete series (4 episodes)

What Are You DVD cover

What Are You? A Dialogue on Mixed Race - Originally a school assignment, this one-hour documentary explores a population that existed for many years but didn't get much focus until recently. This program examines how a small but growing segment of the population could shift racial and cultural identity. Screened at the 2009 Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival and will be screened at the inaugural Critical Mixed Race Studies conference at DePaul University. $15

Vices to Verses promo

From Vices to Verses: Featuring Voices Merging - From Vices to Verses: A New Era of Hip Hop and Action is a biannual conference held at the University of Minnesota. The goal is to promote the culture and history of hip-hop, which is often lost in the corporate mainstream representation. In this program, you'll see how the Voices Merging student group absorbed what they witnessed and how their experience will transform them as a group and as individuals. DVD copies come with 14 minutes of bonus footage not seen online or on TV. $15

Machine 2010 highlight promo

Minnesota Machine: 2010 - Geared for Greatness - Join the professional women's football team in their historic 2nd season. Despite several injuries that depleted the roster, the Machine finished 2010 with a 6-3 record and their first division title in franchise history, edging the Iowa Thunder in the Midwest Division of the American Conference. This highlight reel includes clips from the 2010 season and their interview on the cable television show Rollin' and Tumblin' - $15


Silhouettes by RZI Couture - The inaugural breast cancer benefit fashion premiere took place in St. Paul and was met with a fabulous response. All the models were breast cancer survivors or relatives of someone affected by breast cancer and all the clothing was designed by Rosalyn Smaller, owner of RZI Couture and currently fighting breast cancer herself. The TV version features testimonials from the models and co-host Miss Georgia of KMOJ. $10 of every purchase will be donated to RZI Couture to help the breast cancer fight! $15