The Sky Cam Gimmick Sucks

As I watch Thursday Night Football, I find myself very irritated by this whole “sky cam” concept. Just because the technology exists to do something, doesn’t mean you should do it. I’m not saying that I’m opposed to every change in the way networks present the games we love, but I definitely hate a lot of the gimmicks they attempt.

In this particular case, I think it’s extremely presumptuous to assume that everyone sitting at home wants a video-game like experience. They’re probably not trying to say that we’re too dumb to understand the game any other way, but it kinda feels like it. In that regard it reminds me of the 1990s when Fox got the rights to NHL games and introduced a system to mark the puck using state of the art digital graphics. The idea was to help TV viewers locate the puck and therefore better interpret the on-ice action. As I remember it, the puck glowed red all the time and grew a blue-ish, comet-like tail when shot at the net. Needless to say, this was not well received and did not last very long.

I will admit that some of the changes over the years have made the on screen product better. The yellow first down line for NFL games was a good move. The score/clock graphic remaining visible at all times has made things better, although I do remember some initial backlash when that feature was introduced. I know a lot of people hate the strike zone being displayed on the screen during baseball games, but I don’t really mind that too much. I think the popularity of shot tracking in golf is kinda ironic because it’s very similar to the hockey puck marking debacle mentioned above, but people seem to enjoy it.

I think the Sky Cam (example below) is terrible and represents a misguided attempt to pander to a generation of fans who play/played football video games. I will admit that Madden ’94 for Super Nintendo was a revelation to me. Having been a HUGE Tecmo Super Bowl fan, I couldn’t believe the depth of game play the Madden games added, but that doesn’t mean I want to watch football from that angle. If you like the Sky Cam, state your case in the comments!

skycam view of NFL game action