Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Watch It

TigerBlog spent a considerable amount of time in the car yesterday, which meant a considerable amount of time listening to sports talk radio.

It used to be that TB would be 95% FM radio and 5% AM radio, and the AM part would consist of listening to a game or a traffic report.

These days, those numbers are reversed. Why is that? Is TB finally tired of hearing "Take It To The Limit" or "Dream On" on a classic rock station? Is it because if he wants to hear music, he has 600 songs on his phone that he can go to?

He's not really sure what the answer is. He's not tired of hearing most of the songs that filter through his iTunes all day at work - even if his coworkers who can overhear them might be.

TigerBlog has six songs that have played more than 200 times on his iTunes. This is out of the 1,411 songs he has in total.

In other words, his iTunes must be playing a lot to have six songs come up 200 times each already, with 11 more having reached 190 or more.

Of those 17 songs, seven are by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, led by the overall leader "The Land of Hope and Dreams," which has played 211 times. The song, the live version from the 2001 concert in Madison Square Garden, runs 9:46, which means it that one song itself has played for more than 34 hours on TB's computer.

And TB still hasn't gotten tired of that song. So why does he prefer the chatter of AM talk radio to music these days?

He has no idea.

Of the non-Bruce songs, by the way, the only group represented more than once is Train. 

Anyway, he spent much of yesterday listening to sports talk, which in New York City was dominated by four items: the Auburn-Alabama ending, the terrible Jets offense, the resurgence of the Giants though it's a little too late after an 0-6 start and lastly how bad the Knicks are.

Oh, and the funniest moment was when Mike Francesa ripped into a caller for being completely uninformed about how great Louisville's quarterback is and what a great pro he will be, all while calling him "Terry" Bridgewater more than once.

His name is actually "Teddy."

Back at the Auburn-Alabama game, it was fairly universally hailed as the greatest ending ever, and maybe it was.

One fascinating part of it for TigerBlog is that the postgame coverage was dominated more by videos that people made of the celebrations either from inside the stadium or inside their houses than it was by written analysis.

Yes, there were thousands of words written about the game all over the place. But really, how many different ways were there to say it was a great ending?

The best way, really, was to watch all the videos. And this comes from someone who's background is the newspaper business and who considers himself to be a writer first and foremost.

And they were everywhere.

On Twitter. On SportsCenter. Everywhere.

Of course, most of these videos were made on people's phones. Some were done by kids, since basically anyone, oh, fifth grade and up has a phone with a camera.

This was really the first sporting event where TB can remember homemade videos as the dominant postgame medium.

This isn't to say that there's no place for the written word. Hardly. There's nothing that will ever compare to something that's well written.

It's just that there are two things at play here.

First, there's the declining need for a postgame story. By the time the game ended, everyone either had already seen it or was able to find it on a phone or tablet, let alone a TV or computer. It didn't need to be described by someone else. It was obvious from watching it.

Second, there's the whole idea of contemporary American society, with its lack of attention span (so fewer people want to actually invest the time to read) and overindulgence in "me-ism," hence the need for reality shows and ultimately their logical extension, where the videocamera in the phone can make everyone a reality star.

So TB doesn't need to see video after video that people make and post to Twitter or someplace else about themselves.

But in the aftermath of a dramatic ending to a football game like that, yes, TB admits it was interesting.

Maybe Princeton could try something like that.

Fans can make their own video from a game or from watching a game and Princeton could post it, pick out the best ones. That kind of stuff. Maybe have kids make their own and send those.

Hey, could be something to it.

It's all part of the undeniable reality that in today's world, you can't have enough video content. It's just a fact.

When Princeton abandoned media guides and went down the path of making videos, TB thought it was an idea with potential and that it was a necessity in the new world. He never imagined just how much it would grow and how much demand would exceed supply.

John Bullis starts today as Princeton's first, well, TB isn't sure what his exact title is. Basically, his job is to create original video content. He's a filmmaker, not an athletic communications person who learned to make videos - though the OAC staff has done a beyond remarkable job doing so.

It's been maybe 12 or 13 years - TB can't remember exactly when - that the OAC added a publications person. Back then, it was exciting to have someone whose full-time job was to do publications.

Now? It seems like having a publications person would be like buying a new fax machine.

Nope. It's all video now.

John Bullis has gotten here at the perfect time.

It also makes TB wonder what's coming 12 more years down the road.


Anonymous said...

I like reviewing video of Auburn fans watching the end of the Iron Bowl. It reminds me of how I felt at the end of the 2012 Princeton-Harvard game: a delirious combination of ecstasy, disbelief and hyperventilation.

CAZ said...

Not "Thunder Road"? Shocking!