Rams rookie receiver Nelson Spruce got most of the HBO ‘Hard Knocks’ Episode 2 exposure based on his exhibition game performance against Dallas last Saturday at the Coliseum.
The existence of dinosaurs and mermaids, the prospects of an injury caused by a remote-controlled robotic tackling dummy and the ridiculousness of allowing players to drive dune buggies on a college campus – you couldn’t see that accident coming? – could be the immaterial takeaway from Episode 2 of the HBO docuseries “Hard Knocks” focused on the Los Angeles’ Rams. But those kinds of things are beginning to come off as just colorful distractions from the real storylines that have ramped up as exhibition games are played, cuts have to be made and, in case of rookies Nelson Spruce and Austin Hill, careers could be launched or crushed in one otherwise historic Saturday night.
Bill Seward is enclosed in a sound booth in Stamford, Conn., calling an Olympic men’s rugby game off a TV monitor that’s going on in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last week. (Photo: NBC Sports)
The secret isn’t dirty, nor is it very little. But we’ll let you in on it anyway if you hadn’t noticed by now.
The fact that about half of all the 6,700-plus hours generated by NBC and its platforms during its 19 days of Summer Olympics coverage are being delivered by broadcasters and technicians based in a super-sized studio in Stamford, Connecticut, telling us what they see off a monitor, instead of being situated onsite in Rio de Janeiro, might raise a red flag.
But as much as it reveals itself as a sign of the times, it’s also providing a road map to the future of sports coverage. Someone watching at home, or glued to a smartphone or computer screen at work, might not even know, or care, about this dynamic, but it’s probably worth asking once these Games end next week. More at this link. …
Spooning. All for it.
Mugging. Only for a camera.
Cupping? Stick a fork in it.
Sir Michael Phelps may endorse this ancient form of suction therapy – which also seems to have inspired some guy to scale the outside of a Trump building in New York the other day before police pried him off.
But night after night of seeing large purple spots all over him causes us to flash back to the days when our kids endured a rather painful episode of the chicken pox and were simultaneously in need of therapy after having continuous nightmares they were going to turn into Barney the Dinosaur. More at this link …
The background Fred Roggin has at the CNBC Olympic desk shows a Rio de Janero visage. But the studio is in Stamford, Conn.
Did you know: While all the NBC prime-time coverage of the Olympics comes out of Rio, about half of the total 6,800 hours of NBC-generated Olympics TV time is actually based on announcers calling the action off TV monitors in a giant studio in Stamford, Conn.
And more than half of the 30-odd sports covered are primarily a Stamford-generated broadcast.
While there are some 2,000 NBC employees in Rio, another 1,100-plus are at a 300,000-plus square foot facility about an hour south of ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., including anchors like CNBC’s Fred Roggin, above, and rugby play-by-play man Bill Seward.
We’ll talk to the two L.A.-based broadcasters about the experience, whether they’re just as happy being there instead of in Rio and how they mentally gear themselves into the task at hand, whether the viewers at home realize what’s happen and/or really care that much.
“So many of these sports, you’re calling it off a monitor anyway, and the technology is such that it’s a lot easier and it comes at no expense to the viewer to have these people in Stamford,” said NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell. “So for us it’s just a much smarter proposition overall if it doesn’t impact our quality in any way and we can manage things more efficiently.”
As sure as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West – a fact that Rams rookie quarterback Jared Goff still may unsure about and will likely become an on-going punchline – HBO’s “Hard Knocks” shined as promised for the launch of a five-part series Tuesday night, somehow compacting several months’ worth of franchise relocation, UC Irvine training camp arrival and the team’s first Coliseum appearance into one enlightening and entertaining hour-long episode.
Touching on all the advertised story lines and more, starting from Goff’s journey on a Goodyear blimp ride above the South Bay, to center Eric Kush’s eclectic collection of tank tops, the one piece of news that came to light from Episode 1 is Rams head coach Jeff Fisher’s no-nonsense policy that led to receiver Deon Long’s release from the team on July 31 as the result of having a female visitor in his dorm room.