Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The great CBJ-Hurricanes opener from Fox Sports Ohio

I mentioned this sequence in the recent Columbus Blue Jackets - Carolina Hurricanes telecast by Fox Sports Ohio and wanted to share it with a little analysis of why I think it's so great.  Here's the footage, with my commentary following:

  • :06 - I get shivers any time an announcer pulls the Brent Musberger line, "You are looking LIVE..."
  • :05-:17 - The locker room shot brings us into the inner sanctum.  We're with the team, stretching, full of nervous anticipation for the game to come.
  • :47 - The team marches out onto the ice, and the FSO cameraman hops right in.  Note the players, staff and fans offering encouragement and fist-bumps along the way to the rink.  It's better than the intro in my NHL 10 game.  Oh, and did you catch that it was RJ Umberger and Jason Chimera offering the player fist-bumps?  Folks, that's a sign of leadership that we don't always see.  
  • 1:13 - The Jackets storm the ice.  Camera shot comes from down low and looks up as these imposing hockey players file out for pre-faceoff warmups.  And they just keep coming.  Are you pumped yet?
  • 1:27 - The angle switches to head-on, and we can recognize a few of the players leading up to the entrance of captain Rick Nash.  
  • 1:34 - The lights are turned down, the music is turned up.  You can feel the excitement in the arena.  Also, we get our first exposure to the opposing team.
  • 1:40 - Rick Nash gets his solo treatment, with voiceover from Rimer and Davidge talking about his place in the league point scoring standings and extolling his leadership.  We know who to root for, and why.  Dude is a MAN.  Nice to show him go all the way to the bench, where he settles in and waits for the game to start and his number to get called.
  • 2:10 - Switch to the Hurricanes preview.  Zach Boychuk gets the star treatment, which is fair.  We fans want to know who we're up against.  
  • 2:31 - Camera switches to the starters taking the ice.  The ice level shot gives a sense of the size of the arena, the lights and excitement surrounding the start of the game.  I also like the panning back to the bench.  Our boys are ready to rumble.
  • 2:53 - The National Anthem and Columbus' Leo Welsh.  For those who haven't gone to a game, note that the entire arena shouts, "LEO!" before he starts.  The only thing that would be better in this sequence would be to show Jake Voracek shouting along with the fans.  
  • 3:06 - Love those long bench shots...
  • 3:32 - OK, this I REALLY liked.  The dark lighting, the anthem playing, and the spotlight on the 5 starters.  Nervous, excited, ready to play but taking the important pause before facing off.  The light bar off the upper bowl plays to great effect in this shot.
  • 3:48 - Sammy Pahlsson taps his stick on the ice.  He is ready to go...
  • 3:59 - The long draw back from Leo, to our starters, to their starters.  All standing in honor of the flag and the country, alone on the floor of this packed arena.
  • 4:07 - Another dramatic long shot from the CBJ bench up at the flag.  Great angle, slowing zooming in toward the flag.  Not a lot...but just enough.
And that's it.  Drop the puck and get the game started!  

Kudos to Fox Sports Ohio for showing a great regional sports telecast in that opener.  Keep at it, folks!

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