Putting together a highlight reel
How many times have you watched a highlights clip? OK how many times have you REALLY watched one? As in, think for a moment about all the work that goes into putting one together.
And I am not just talking about the touchdown highlight reels, but the ones of big hits, big runs, great catches etc. How do you think these get put together?
Welcome to the world of the VT editor. The person who has to go through a three-hour programme and find the key plays and moments that will make future highlight clips.
The first step is to chart a game. I did this for Sky a couple of times where you mark down the time of a key play so an editor can quickly search for the clip and extract it. Even on a small level such as I did for the Browns' game to open this season, you are looking for any key play and seeing if the replay shows better images than the original wide-angle shot.
On my level, the clips will have the Fox or CBS logos on the screen, together with whatever scrolling score images were shown at the time. Replays have less of these but you are still limited to these images and whatever commentary was going at the time.
For the true professionals out there and that most definitely includes Bucs UK Hall of Fame member Adam Ryan of NFL Films in that category (it's just his fantasy team that is crap!), they will have three or four camera angles and pure footage without any overlaying images. They would also have the option of Gene and Dave's Buc radio commentary which they could match up to the images.
The Cleveland game left me with 25 different highlight sections that I have pulled into WMV format for future use. There are the touchdowns to Mike Williams and Micheal Spurlock, but there are also one or two big hits and good runs. And this took me the best part of an evening to do. Multiply this by 16 games and you start to see the idea of the project of increased video footage on BUCPOWER.COM.
One day I would like to have a video clip for every player in Buccaneer history in the way I have action pictures for 90% of them. Mel Carver's two touchdown runs, Dave Warnke's legendary fieldgoal attempt or even Sabby Piscitelli making a tackle. The raw data is there if I can find the time to try and pull them together.
I was intending to try and get a complilation of all of Michael Clayton's dropped passes or Rod Jones' blown coverages in the 1980s but ran out of storage space on my PC.
But next time you watch even a brief compilation clip on ESPN, NFL.com or even Buccaneers.com, take a minute to think how many different games and scenes were put together to make it happen. And the time involved to pull it all together. And then you have an idea of the job done by the people behind the scenes who you never see in the coverage of this great sport.
NFC game watching
NFL Redzone airs on British TV this weekend which has the added bonus of three hours' less of Nick Halling. But I am the one person who really has no interest in this as outside of the Bucs, I watch no other live football at all.
But this does not mean that I won't be scoreboard watching this weekend as events in other games over the next three weeks will have a true bearing on the Bucs' playoff chances. OK so the Falcons may be out of range now and they are only up against the Seahawks but there are four other key games that all Tampa fans should be looking out for.
The Eagles and Giants go head-to-head for the NFC East title and the loser is of course right in the wild card battle. Both are 9-4 so one will be tied with the Bucs come Sunday night assuming things go right against the Lions.
The Bears are 9-4 too and are in Minnesota college stadium to say goodbye to Brett Favre. Time there to be a purple fan as to be become a Patriots fan as the all-conquering Bostonians entertain Green Bay who sit 8-5. The Packers have QB problems with Aaron Rodgers' concussion so New England could well do the Bucs a favour too with an expected win Sunday.
New Orleans have the hardest game on paper with a road trip to Baltimore and we can only hope for the Falcons to beat up on Seattle so much that the Seahawks are wounded birds by the time they fly across to Tampa on Boxing Day.
The Jets' special teams coach
The clip of the Jets' coach tripping up the Dolphins' gunner last weekend might have been funny to some people but in my eyes is the worst thing I have seen in the sport in 30 years. It was downright cheating and unacceptable.
If it had been in the likes of The Replacements or the Waterboy, fine. But this was in the NFL and was just plain wrong. The coach should be barred from the NFL for life and the Jets seriously fined either financially or with draft picks to ensure it never ever happens again.
You've been great, enjoy Madness.