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05 Dec 2013
Peter King gets unprecedented access to the behind-the-scenes lives of Gene Steratore's officiating crew.
Posted by: Rivers McCown on 05 Dec 2013
8 comments, Last at
21 Jan 2014, 9:52pm by
Even though these first two parts have King's standard pro-NFL slobber all over them (after all, there's no way the NFL would have allowed access to anyone who was going to write an objective piece), it's still very interesting.
I particularly liked the stuff about the crew members talking about how they figure out what players to watch and some of the thinking as to whether or not to call penalty.
Thanks for posting this.
I thought this bit from Part 3 was interesting w.r.t. how replay works:
Meanwhile, the replay assistant and replay official are gathering the television angles seen by however many cameras are working that game. When Steratore, accompanied by Waggoner, reaches the replay booth behind the Bears’ sideline, he puts his headset on and says to replay official Paul Weidner, “Pauly, you have any good angles for me to see?” Weidner does, and—here’s another ref phrase—he “dumps the bucket” of all the plays he has for Steratore. Once Steratore goes inside the curtains in the portable booth and the screen turns on, a timer begins to run: 60, 59, 58, 57 … . At zero the screen will automatically go black.
That probably explains why the "Under the Hood" video that's shown at the stadium is 1.33:1 rather than 1.67:1 (or whatever the HD ratio is) - so they don't show stuff like the clock that's off at the sides.
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