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Ethelred Unraed's Journal: Die Super Bowl kommt im Fernsehen 5

Journal by Ethelred Unraed

As an addendum to my remarks on the German coverage of the Super Bowl yesterday, here are a few more things that annoyed the hell out of me. (Yes, yes, I'm whining and ranting, but hey, it's all for your amusement.)

One good thing about the show was they didn't have any ads. Nada. The bad part is that because of the many pauses in the game, they would fill the gaps with inane and often totally irrelevant commentary, and generally demonstrate how little they really understood the game. (There has been German coverage of NFL Europe for some years and there are German players who've been in the NFL, not to mention there is a German professional league, so you'd think they could have found someone who knew their heads from their asses and could assemble intelligible sentences.)

The lack of knowledge about the game was at times glaring. One example was how Indy would line up with a single running back behind the QB (which, oddly enough, is called a "single-back formation"), and the announcer would say "Indianapolis is lined up in an I formation". They did that repeatedly. They also frequently seemed to have to think of the right terminology -- "we're nearing the end of the, uhhhh, second quarter".

What made it additionally strange is they stuck to the habit of NFL Europe announcing where they don't translate hardly any football jargon into German, so a typical sentence would be "nach dem incomplete pass und dem abgelehnten penalty ist es third and eight, mit sechs Minuten to go im second quarter". Come on, either speak English or speak German. Otherwise you're just giving me a headache.

Boris Becker seems to have been included because 1) he plays a sport 2) he speaks German 3) he happens to live in Florida and 4) once played golf with Peyton Manning. (They actually mentioned the latter two repeatedly.)

They also repeatedly pronounced Billy Joel's name as "jo-el", i.e. rhymes with "Noël" and with a very Gallic "j". OK, he's not as well-known here as in America, but still.

And naturally for the singing of the national anthem, they had to make stupid editorial remarks to the effect of "and in this extremely patriotic country, singing patriotic songs is part of their strange customs". Look, you're reporting American football. You may as well remark on the arrogance of Paris waiters when covering Zidane. WTF relevance does it have?

A good example, though, of just how amateurish the whole production was: They frequently needed filler for the commercial breaks, and once in a while showed a graphic displaying a revolving Vince Lombardi Trophy.

With smeared fingerprints on one side. Somehow that spoke volumes.

Of course, I should be grateful, because I could watch the Super Bowl live. Thing is, this was on one of the state channels, which means I'm paying subscriber fees to these idiots. Thus I'm not in a very forgiving mood.

The one bit of good news: They mentioned that the NFL Europe is considering expanding, and Hannover is a leading candidate. I imagine that the successful German Bowl in Hannover last year must have gotten their attention -- Hannover's a relatively minor city, but it has a huge stadium and has a couple cities close by with German professional and semipro teams (Braunschweig Lions and Hildesheim Invaders). The bad omen, though, is that Hannover's own semipro club, the Hannover Musketeers, closed the pro-level team for lack of money and now only has youth teams...

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Die Super Bowl kommt im Fernsehen

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  • by subgeek (263292) *
    jo-el, the substantially less impressive younger brother of kal-el.

    that reminds me of wierd al's commentary on this subject set to the music of "it's still rock and roll to me."

    what's the matter with the songs he's singin'
    can't you tell that they're pretty lame
    after listenin' to a couple albums
    well, they all start to sound the same

    so he tried to change his musical style
    he tossed all his ballads in the circular file
    then he found the punk sound
    breakin' ground all around
    it's still billy joel to me

    what's the ma

  • the announcer would say "Indianapolis is lined up in an I formation". They did that repeatedly.

    Madden (the videogame) loves to repeat that voice clip.
    • Heh. Hadn't thought of that, though it is more or less the "translation" of what they said in German ("Indianapolis steht in einer I-Formation", literally "Indianapolis is standing in an I formation").

      Of course Madden also likes to say "the backs are lined up in an I".

      Come to think of it, it would be fun to try out some of the really old offensive formations in Madden as a custom play, just to see how they do, like the T formation or the wishbone. Or, for that matter, some of the defense types you tend

    • that would also explain why they didn't find "someone who knew their heads from their asses and could assemble intelligible sentences."

      John Madden is known for saying things like, "Now in order to win here today, they are going to need to score as many points as possible, while trying to prevent the other team from scoring." No SHIT, John.

      • True, Madden says inane things a lot of the time, but OTOH Madden does have a lot of insight into the game that others lack, and he can explain the ins and outs of plays better than most. I get annoyed by him, too, but I also learned a lot about the game just by listening to his commentary (and Summerall tended to keep him a bit in check by not letting him ramble so damned much).

        Believe me, I actually got to miss his analysis and color commentary when watching the Super Bowl last night. The commentators h

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