Miracle / Heartbreak In Ann Arbor…. Through the marvel of modern technology, more eyes have seen “that play” than saw Jack Ruby shoot Oswald in the parking garage of the Dallas Jail in November 1963. Which explains a lot about where we have evolved as a society over those 50+ years.
Was it better than “Kick 6” or “Stanford Band” or “Hail Flutie”? I say better than “Hail Flutie”; not quite equal to “Kick-6” but close; and not better than “Stanford Band”. You are entitled to your own opinion. IT was certainly an OMG moment regardless!
If you wondering what about “Gio’s Punt Return” or “TA’s Knee”…. only two fan bases on the planet even know what those are. Every rivalry has dozens of those moments.
My personal evolution as a non-partisan observer of competitive sports allows me to enjoy such Miracle / Heartbreaks for what they are – Totally Unexpected Coincidences and Consequences.
Rabid partisans, of course, see them as (1) Proof that WE are God’s chosen team and therefore divinely-protected….. or (2) Commissioners, referees, umpires, and play-by-play announcers are all conspiring against US because we are so wonderful.
My first thought as the Michigan State kid stumbled across the goal line in Ann Arbor was: “on-line death threats against that guy (the Michigan punter) will begin in 10-9-8-7-6 …“.
Of course I was right. Its 2015. Every errant ball bounce and misplay call must be blamed on someone and that someone MUST immediately be skinned alive in the public square.
My second thought was whoever was operating the “find a disbelieving geek” camera gets an atta-boy as this column’s top photo proves. He had that kid already picked out and nailed him in the moment of ultimate heartbreak. There was this back-up heartbroken Michigan girl too.
They had a little hedgehog M-State guy picked-out too.
Do you know what a “honey camera” is? You do but you didn’t know it was called that. That is the cameraman whose only job is finding “pretty girls” in any sports crowd. The most famous in the modern era, of course, was Katherine Webb and Dee Dee “Cougar” Bonner.
In an earlier era there was Jenn Sterger – a/k/a The Seminole Skank.
A good “find a honey” – “find a schlub” camera guy is like a nature photographer for National Geographic whose job is “find a puffin that looks like Shirley Temple”. On a remote beach in The Azores surrounded by 10,000 puffins, that ain’t easy.
Cliff Clavin was always looking for vegetables that resembled obscure American Presidents. Since no one knows what Martin Van Buren looked like – there are no “selfies” of Martin on the Internet – it’s pretty easy to find a squash with random indentions and declare it “a dead ringer for Martin Van Buren”. Millard Fillmore and Benjamin Harrison are other popular “vegetable POTUSes” for the same reason.
“Find a honey / schlub” camera guys also develop a 6th sense for good subjects. They roam the crowd with their all-seeing eye and note the seat locations of likely subjects. Usually they have their who/where lists complete by the first quarter or fourth inning in baseball. As dramatic moments happen in the final minutes they can zero in exactly on the right subject. There is nothing random or happenstance about it.
The “guy out in the truck” is in constant communication with the “honey camera guy”.
There are actually three categories of subjects – (1) the hottie / honey…. (2) the schlub / geek / goober ….. and (3) the cute kid.
For reasons I don’t know, a Busch Stadium baseball game is a treasure trove of “cute kids”. The sleeping baby totally unaware of the chaos all around him/her is a favorite as are twins. 4-5-6 y/o “moochies” with their ball caps and gloves to catch a foul ball are always “money shots”.
The hottie / honey selection is tougher than you might think. “The Seminole Skank” – Jen Sterger – was controversial because she was obviously “a skank”. Highlight a skank and there WILL be “HOW DARE YOU” emails and phone calls. Katherine Webb and Dee Dee The Cougar were more acceptable pulchritude. Viewers could still have “unclean thoughts” but such is not the network’s obvious intent.
Along those same lines….. it’s OK to use plenty of college cheerleader shots (and every college telecast does) but you see very few NFL cheerleader shots. Almost none at all except in sideline background pans. That’s because “college cheerleaders are wholesome” versus “NFL / NBA cheerleaders are skanky”. If you want to droll over an NFL cheerleader you need to be “at the game”. It’s effective marketing.
NOTE: Maybe I should suggest to Bubba that skankier cheerleaders might mean less aluminum in Kenan ??? The “empties” for the Wake Forest game had to be disappointing. A high-scoring quick-strike offense against a traditional regional rival on a nice Fall evening ??? If that doesn’t sell….. whatchagonnado?
Speaking of the UNC v Wake game…. Imagine if that “phantom fair catch call” had been against the NC State University football team !!!!! OMG! There would be a bloodthirsty mob of Brickyarders on Swofford’s front yard.
If its always been your ambition to be selected as a “crowd hottie”, a “crowd schlub” or a “crowd cute kid” be advised that intentional auditions are NOT the way to go. As with that puffin that looks like Shirley Temple, the “Hey look at me, I look like Shirley Temple” puffin NEVER gets chosen.
You all saw the schlub drapped over the wall at UVa when Notre Dame “Hailed Mary” them earlier this year. Now at every game, schlubs drap themselves over walls hoping to be the next Internet sensation. It doesn’t work that way.
Remember Colt McCoy’s girlfriend – a Texas blond who was a local TV reporter – who, of course, sat politely with Mom and Dad McCoy watching Colt lead the Longhorns to many victories? She predated Katherine Webb. That new Colin Cowherd sidekick gal – Kristine Leahy – looks like her. She isn’t (that I know of) but could be. “Wholesome Hotties” ALWAYS get noticed by the “scan the crowd” camera guy.
Speaking of crowd characters….. the first guy to do that “D-and a piece of fence” thingy 20 years ago was cool. The 10,000s since then…. Pathetic. Would you want someone who carries “a D and a piece of fence” to a game to cut your hair or sell you a Hyundai? Probably not.
Speaking of “would you want” ….. ever how many U of M sickos sent death threats to that punter…. Do those “people” then brag to their friends that they did that? Same with the sickos that death threatened Holden Thorp when he fired The Butcher.
If a friend of yours told you he “sent a death threat” to an athlete or public figure who made a controversial decision…. Would you still hang out with that guy? Would you discuss the wisdom of doing that with your friend?
Do sickos who do that even “have friends”? Should they be allowed to vote or to breed?
Ohhhh, I meant to talk about Bautista’s “bat flip”. Next time ……