My stomach gave a decidedly strong vote against my attending Saturday's Spring Game, so in lieu of watching from the press box I took in the Big Ten Network's telecast. This may have been less informative than skipping the Spring Game altogether.
Granted, it's difficult to make a glorified practice very interesting, even for Michigan die-hards. That said, the BTN totally missed the mark with their broadcast, failing the viewers in almost every regard to a comical extent.
Know Your Audience (Or: Show The Dang Play)
Let's take a look at some catching drills...
...or not, I guess.
Instead of showing or explaining the first hour of drill after drill, the network decided to show a whole lot of stuff like the video above: completely useless angles with a heavy dose of cutaways to coaches, current players the announcers happened to be discussing—even if they were just standing around—and former players on the sideline.* Click on those GIFs. It's as if an ADHD-stricken toddler hit buttons at random in the control booth.
Even when the cameras stayed focused on the field, it was obvious the BTN director had no idea what he was watching, which seems like it should be a prerequisite for directing a football telecast. If I had to boil down the BTN's effort into one video, it's this one:
In that same vein, check out this spectacular run by Justice Hayes.
The director also filled time with sideline interviews with Charles Woodson and Desmond Howard, two players who are instantly recognizable to any college football fan who's graduated elementary school. That didn't stop the BTN cameras from staying locked on the interviewees while actual football happened on the field.
We know what Michigan's last two Heisman winners look like, and yes, it's possible to play audio of an interview without actually showing video of the interview. This may come as a shock to some, namely whomever was in charge of this broadcast.
The actual scrimmage stuff wasn't much better, though they at least caught most of the plays on camera. Well, one camera, at least. Jourdan Lewis's impressive interception of Devin Gardner on the first play got one replay angle—a slow-motion version of the original broadcast angle, which failed to show anything in the secondary until Lewis caught the ball.
If you watched this for the purpose of learning about the team, you have my sympathy. If you watched this for any other purpose, you've made me very confused.
"People in charge of things are just in charge of them for no reason" tag deployed with vigor. Well done, BTN director.
*The GIF at the top of the post features the back of Charles Woodson's head, if you can't tell, which is quite understandable.
[Hit THE JUMP for the only quote Doug Karsch needs to make his case for the vacant play-by-play spot, the quarterback "controversy" in one highlight package, and the end of the scrimmage that wasn't actually the end of the scrimmage.]