New TNF Amazon Alternative Broadcasts Revealed!

Amazon Thursday Night Football Crew
Amazon Thursday Night Football Crew
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 3 - Tired of ordinary television? Don't touch that dial! Amazon Prime's alternate Thursday Night Football broadcasts are on the air! Why watch the same-old NFL production, whether of the Week 3 Pittsburgh Steelers-Cleveland Browns matchup or any other Thursday nighter, when you could be watching…

Amazon Deluxe ADHD/MDMA Vision

Finally, a telecast for the NFL IPA snobs who appreciate football on far deeper levels than the rest of us!

Start with a wider angle which shows more of the secondary and less of the backfield, which is admittedly rather cool. Then, shrink the screen by about 30% by adding info-bars along the right side and bottom. Cram those info-bars with fantasy stats, gambling nuggets, and real-time "analytics" (actually just inscrutable microdetails), often simultaneously.

Does the wider angle and smaller screen shrink the actual players to about eight pixels on even the best televisions? No worries! Fantasy-relevant players are identified on screen with name boxes and arrows, and their routes are traced by brightly-colored trails like the hockey puck in a 1990s NHL broadcast.

If you think it's too much, you're too old. ADHD/MDMA Vision is the perfect option if you want to wake up on Friday morning certain that Diontae Johnson had a 61.7687% efficiency rate on drag routes but uncertain about who won the game. Oh, who are we kidding: you won't be waking up on Friday morning after the ADHD/MDMA Vision telecast, because you will be too hyperstimulated to sleep for days!

Amazon Bruh Bruh Bruh Bruh Bruh Vision

Ever sit at a bar on an NFL Sunday surrounded by backwards-baseball cap dudebros you have never met bragging at the top of their lungs about their Saturday night conquests/pukefest while occasionally making erroneous/obnoxious comments about the games? Ever think, "Golly, I need an egomaniacal billionaire to assemble my nephew's five favorite YouTube sensations to replicate this experience in my living room every Thursday night?"

If so, the Amazon Bruh Bruh Bruh Bruh Bruh Vision is for you. After all, why merely watch the game when you can watch a guy performing a kegstand while watching guys dunking basketballs on a kiddie hoop while watching guys trying to pick up college sophomores (confirmed by legal department) watching the game?

Tune in this week when Da Bruhs eat chicken marinated in NyQuil, fill a slow-cooker with cherry bombs, and spend the third quarter explaining why Deshaun Watson is AOK in their book.

Amazon Traditional Boxing Stills Slide Vision

What, you haven't splurged for an Internet connection powerful enough to simultaneously host a League of Legends tournament and control multiple weather satellites? Shame on you for attempting to maintain some semblance of an offscreen-life balance, you Luddite freak!

Fortunately, Amazon has you … covered w—glitchy … still frames and vid … whichspeedsupforafewseconds but … then … crashesssss if anyone else in your household is trying to send an email or something.

If you don't like it, go build a barn, Brother Ezekiel.

Amazon Latinex Interest Vision

Not to be confused with a traditional Spanish language telecast, this alternate viewing experience focuses on what the NFL thinks folks of Latin American heritage want to see: Ryan Fitzpatrick wearing a sombrero he bought for a Harvard Cinco De Cuatro rager in 2003 and saying things like "Holy Frijoles!" after touchdowns while Tony Gonzalez clutches a giant wad of Bezos-bucks to his chest and repeats, "It's OK folks. This can't be problematic if I'm here."

Rest assured that a focus group of Jeff Bezos' closest friends and Dan Snyder thoroughly vetted this telecast.

Amazon Alternate Latinex Interest Vision

It's a soccer game.

Amazon Confirm Your Priors Vision

In case you missed it, the Chargers won the Week 2 Confirm Your Priors Vision telecast 26-15; Justin Herbert's pick-six was deleted because viewers just couldn't cope with their prince making a mistake.

In tonight's edition of Priors Vision, Kenny Pickett will replace Mitch Trubisky after his third interception and lead the Steelers to a comeback victory. And make sure you tune in for next week's Priors Vision, when a dude wearing a dolphin mask will kick down your door while you are watching and start beating you over the head with a two-by-four screaming, "Stop (whap) giving (whap) Tyreek (whap) credit (whap) for Tua's success! (thwap thwap thwap)."

Amazon Fourth-Down Bold Vision

For $8.99 per month, Jeff Evilmoby will order coaches to go for it on fourth-and-short for you. It's not the capitalism we need, but it's the capitalism we deserve.

Amazon Deluxe Platinum Customizable Prime Vision

For $29.99 per minute, Amazon allows you to control everything via sliders accessible by your video game controller or television remote. Tilt the camera angles any which way! Toggle fantasy/wagering data off and on! Choose your announcers! Add or remove graphics! It's the bespoke NFL broadcast you deserve!

An estimated 99.5% of Amazon Deluxe Platinum Customizable Prime Vision beta users, after hours of tinkering, chose a traditional broadcast hosted by Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit.

Amazon Alternate Telecasts We'd Actually Like to See

OK, enough wisecracks. Amazon is at least trying to be innovative with that busy, cluttered Prime Vision broadcast and the weird Dude Perfect stuff. Past broadcast improvements, like the on-screen score and switch to high definition, were vast, almost universally accepted improvements. And the ManningCast has been breaking new ground on Monday nights for a few years on ESPN networks. Change is good. (He repeats, clutching a pillow and rocking). If Walkthrough could design the ideal alternate NFL telecasts, what would we choose?

An X-and-O Cast: The wider angle used on the Prime Vision is indeed pretty sweet. It's not really coach's film, but it adds at least 10 yards of the secondary to the frame while taking away the negative space behind the quarterback that comes from centering the line of scrimmage in the middle of the screen.

So let's start with the wide angle and add some tactics-minded broadcasters. Dan Orlovsky would be good in a role like this. So would Jason Garrett. Maybe a coach, a quarterback, and an ex-lineman to talk about the trenches, all of them focusing on strategies instead of storylines. This broadcast would adopt the best elements of the old college football BCS Championship Coaches Film Room—deep dives into plays, a chummy low-key atmosphere—while improving on all the weaknesses of that production: too unfocused, endless discussion of 2-yard runs while missing touchdowns, too much screen time devoted to middle-aged dudes sitting around a table. Our X-and-O Cast experts would be instructed to only break out the clickers on big plays, and we would only cut to see their faces during breaks in the action.

It's worth noting here that actual real-time coach's film, popular as that might be among some of my friends, would be unwatchable for about 99% of the target audience. The players would be unappealingly small on screen. The midfield angle is great for deeper passes but terrible for running plays. The end zone view has the opposite issue. Coaches don't use coach's film to analyze games in real time, because it takes multiple rewinds and replays to process all the information. And it's easy in my line of work to forget that most viewers want to enjoy the game, not micro-scrutinize it.

A Fantasy and Gambling Cast: Or perhaps one FantasyCast and one GamblingCast; each audience is large enough to sustain itself. Here's where the sidebars and crawl along the bottom of the screen belong. This is also a place to use some quirky announcers or personalities. A simple paradigm for fans more invested in their overlaid gaming experiences than the game itself.

A Post-Game Condensed Telecast: The NFL has a muddied relationship with condensed games. They used to show them on NFL Network midweek but stopped a few years ago. They offer them on NFL+ but go out of their way to make them viewer-unfriendly. Someone at league headquarters must think millions of fans would rather wait for Tuesday and watch a one-hour cutup than spend three-and-a-half hours watching football games (and playing fantasy, wagering, tailgating, sharing a thrilling live experience) and all those sweet, sweet commercials.

In reality, condensed games appeal to a niche market, and I'm part of that niche: those every-play-but-no-filler cutups make Walkthrough possible. But I'll wager that Eagles and Bills fans would happily watch a one-hour cutup of their Monday night victories on Tuesday evening if it was just sitting atop their Amazon feed. And if there's a late comeback on Thursday Night Football? Plenty of fans who would never re-watch a full-length broadcast would load up a condensed replay.

So start with an intro by a pair of hosts ("Here's what to look for"), then make sure the cutup features every play, replays of big plays, perhaps snippets of postgame interviews in little boxes, some quick inserts from the hosts at halftime, and key turning points. It would end up getting more viewership than Dude Perfect, and it would have a longer shelf life.

No "AnalyticsCast," Please: Look, analytics are wonderful, but they don't work very well in real time. Attempt to craft a data-driven live telecast and you will end up with:

  • A barrage of meaningless stat tidbits;
  • Folks spouting off barrages of decimals and percentages, which (trust this old math teacher) are almost impossible to digest during the flow of a game; and/or
  • Braying self-promoters getting arch and snippy about fourth-and-short punts, goal-to-go fades, and the other predictable analytics bugaboos.

Don't get me wrong: I think there should be analytics-heavy elements to pregame shows, midweek programming, and so forth. But data needs to be baked, curated, and carefully presented. I can appear on radio shows explaining that the Denver Broncos rank 31st in goal-to-go DVOA, and the segments work because I can remind listers about the fumbles and field goals, emphasize certain words for maximum impact (second-to-LAST at the GOAL LINE) and, critically, do it all knowing that they won't score a 1-yard touchdown the moment I am done speaking. Also, that's one stat-heavy talking point among two or three in a 10-minute segment. Spread that out across three hours and even my best friends would switch to Dude Perfect.

Ripping short-yardage punts on Twitter or the Football Outsiders Discord is also lots of fun in real time, but that's an interactive experience: you make a joke, I make a joke, some stranger makes a better joke and we share it, and so forth. Peyton, Eli, and Shannon Sharpe losing their minds over poor clock management is hysterical, but none of my peers have the charisma, bona fides, or breadth of football knowledge of two Hall of Famers and their kin. An analytics-focused telecast would devolve quickly into two or three beardos or beardo-adjacents waiting around for coaching decisions to roast. As a beardo who roasts coaching decisions, I can assure you that would be horrendous television.

Maybe I am turning into an old coot (hush), but all I really want from a football telecast is a clear picture of the action, a chance to see the formations instead of the quarterback's face before the snap, announcers with clear diction, several angles of key plays, few commercials, scaled-back mythmaking, and a feeling that I am part of energy and excitement in the stadium. I get most of that by turning the volume low and ignoring most color commentators. I get my analytics here and my wagering thrills on my second screen. It's great that folks who want diagrams and spreads and Nickelodeon slime on the screen are finding it easier to get their fix. Just tell me what channel/service the game is on, don't make it expensive, and please keep giving me the option to watch what I have been watching for decades.

Comments

68 comments, Last at 24 Sep 2022, 7:33pm

1 I just want the old Romo…

I just want the old Romo back, where he would call out "that's a TD" before the play and then explain what he saw on the replay.

14 I would totally watch Romo…

I would totally watch Romo and the Mannings cover a game where each tries to guess the play before it happens.

\I would love to have gotten to see Andy Reid and John Madden cover a game, mostly discussing TE and line play.

3 Coaching decisions are *the…

Coaching decisions are *the least* interesting part of analytics, in general. They just are so minimal. Most of the time it's like a 1-2% improvement and that's on average (and you don't get enough of them per game). As opposed to *the plays themselves*, which are far more.

Formation and route statistics and analysis is way more impactful.

25 not the only thing

It's not the only thing they see: I think fans just don't realize how many times short gains/dumpoffs/etc. are actually "well, that wasn't what we expected" responses from the offense to the defense. You can't call "deep bomb for TD" every play because it's not there every play.

Hackett's screwups would at least be understandable if his play-calling was good... but it's not good, either.

42 No, that's half the problem!…

No, that's half the problem! Even if Chase does get open every play, the protection has to hold up like that every play. And it won't. That's not the OL's fault unless the defense is horrible. You're going to guess wrong on blitzes and have stunting linemen that you don't account for correctly.

Grossman and Favre were both like that too: they held in too long, and every once in a while they mistimed it, got hit when throwing the ball, and hey look, nice little interception for you.

I feel like that's what Kirk Cousins was doing on Monday night too with Justin Jefferson. Rush comes in, he just chucks it in the direction of where Jefferson's supposed to be. It's kindof hilarious that Slay got such high marks on Monday because by the end of the game he must've been like "dude this is easy." He waved off going out because he was probably like "nah I can do this even on one foot."

43 I think it's less "what they…

I think it's less "what they see" and more "the easiest thing to have an opinion on." The question of whether to go for it or punt it is much easier to have an opinion on and talk about than whether the route design of the offensive scheme is making the QB's life easier or more difficult.

47 Totally agree. I mean, there…

Totally agree. I mean, there's a friggin' Twitter bot that pops out opinions on decisions like that because you can do the math for stuff like that with freely-available data. But there's just no data out there to be like "this 2-high shell approach just isn't a great choice here: with the QB having XX time to throw, offenses average YY yards per play versus defenses like this."

 

50 Part of it is, I'm not sure…

Part of it is, I'm not sure half the audience would know immediately what a 2-high shell IS and trying to explain takes to long to keep up. 

Even the bot picks is based on averages and doesn't account for game situation. If your the Chiefs...yeah, you can probably go for almost anything. If your indy and loaded boxes have been stuffing Johnathan Taylor all game and you can smell the toast on the sidelines....it's not so clear.  Although your probably not winning anyway so doesn't really matter.  

51 You know what the funny…

You know what the funny thing is? Aaron started FO as a response to all of the buzzword-y hype-speak drivel that announcers spout out ("team X wins Y% of the time when they run the ball Z times! you gotta commit to the run!")

But, of course, saying "you gotta go for it here, it'll take your win chance from 45 to 46%!" is... exactly the same thing.

64 The only decision I really…

The only decision I really disagreed with Reid on in that game was the 4th and 1 field goal from the 1. The other short attempt (4th and 1 from the 38) doesn't bother me because at that point you do get the full value of a punt, and it worked out exactly as you'd hope - punt, pin them deep, quick stop, get the ball back in significantly better field position.

They should've gone for it on the 4th and 1 and if it failed, you just play a little riskier on defense to try to force them into a short punt.

5 Cry me a river

Is this what $1 billion gets you these days?

6 X and Os broadcast would be nice

So let's start with the wide angle and add some tactics-minded broadcasters. Dan Orlovsky would be good in a role like this. So would Jason Garrett.

Jason Garrett already brings nothing to the table as a broadcaster, putting him on such a broadcast would make that broadcast DOA.

22 Jason Garrett would be best…

Jason Garrett would be best suited to a Running Back Vision broadcast that focuses solely on running backs and casts them as the real heroes of the day as they dodge, weave, and get tackled for a loss behind the line of scrimmage.

7 For Gondor

But what about a broadcast where every single player and coach is assigned a character from Middle Earth and Tolkien metaphors are shoehorned for all plays and narratives.

”I’ll say, that goalline stand was like Helm’s Deep with the safety coming in at the end like Gandalf!”

”That misdirection with fullback sneaking out the backfield for the easy score reminded me of Beren sneaking into Angband and stealing the Silmaril.”

68 Sorry, wrong fandom

In reply to by DocPossum

Pre-game: "Rapunki, when he joined the Seven.  Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra."

...

Play-by-play: "Uzani, his army with fists open."

Color analyst: "Arnock at the race of Natara.  The river Temarc in winter!  Mirab, with sails unfurled!"  [enormous collision resulting in a fumble]

"Shaka, when the walls fell." 

 

[for translation, see https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Tamarian_language]

10 Dots version

I want a version where every play is shown as dots in real time.

12 It took me awhile to realize…

It took me awhile to realize this was satire. (Stupid Poe's Law)

https://twitter.com/NFL/status/1570397029452455936 <-- good lord, NFL. Words don't begin with Ñ.

Latinex sounds like either a form of satin-backed latex, or like a condom. Or both.

And make sure you tune in for next week's Priors Vision, when a dude wearing a dolphin mask will kick down your door while you are watching and start beating you over the head with a two-by-four screaming, "Stop (whap) giving (whap) Tyreek (whap) credit (whap) for Tua's success! (thwap thwap thwap)."

What would be the porpoise of that?

(I'll show myself out)

\Ñ functions as a doubled N. Unlike W (a doubled V), Spanish generally lacks works starting with an 'Nn' form. Although probably for convenience sake, the uppercase form does exist.
\\Alternatively, the NFL is supporting the Crimean Tatars.

13 control multiple weather…

control multiple weather satellites

Aren't those basically controlled with 80s-based technology?

I could probably steer one using a 1200-baud connection over an RS232 port.

16 All-Time Broadcast Booths

Pat and John on channel 1

Al and Tony on channel 2. Tony moonlights with Pat and John when Al misses a week.

18 Bragging

“backwards-baseball cap dudebros you have never met bragging at the top of their lungs about their Saturday night conquests/pukefest while occasionally making erroneous/obnoxious comments about the games? ”

Also:
“. I can appear on radio shows explaining that the Denver Broncos rank 31st in goal-to-go DVOA, and the segments work ”

19 Mike you have spent too…

Mike you have spent too little time on the mandated Jeff Bezos fellatio from the cast members. Last week I heard Al Michaels respond to video snippet of their dear leader with the statement "Jeff Bezos one of the best mathemeticians of the last 20 years". You are a math teacher. I work in Data Science my wife asked me why I was laughing so hard after that comment, which lead to a long explanation about guys like Bezos, Jobs, and Musk not actually doing any of the interesting technical work that made them rich. Did I just phantom hear this or did it actually happen? It seemed almost too perfect for Tanier to miss.

20 If broadcasts are going to…

If broadcasts are going to incorporate analytics, it should be in how they frame the upcoming play.  Amazon's shifted focus for likely passing downs, traditional LOS-centered framing for likely running downs (or passing downs that are as likely to result in a sack as a completion more than 5 yards downfield).

 

26 Ambient noise only

Announcers are good. Many people like them. I find them awful most of the time. All I want is to be able to hear the game sounds without someone talking over it. Amazon doesn't have to get everyone watching the same channel for ads. There's no reason I can't get this. Just have someone occasionally pop in for an ad read. 

45 Someone at league…

Someone at league headquarters must think millions of fans would rather wait for Tuesday and watch a one-hour cutup than spend three-and-a-half hours watching football games (and playing fantasy, wagering, tailgating, sharing a thrilling live experience) and all those sweet, sweet commercials.

I totally believe this is the case, but I think it's just a complete misunderstanding of why people watch football. I would much rather watch a game live so I can be "part" of it as it happens, but it would be nice to be able to go back and throw on condensed versions of the games I didn't get the chance to watch from the previous weekend while I catch up on work emails, pay bills, etc. It's not replacing my (more lucrative) Sunday viewing, it's supplementing it. 

48 A "Play behind the Play"…

A "Play behind the Play" feature would be cool highlighting less obvious aspects.  You could do it as part of replays.

And a nice downfield block by XX made that TD possible, as well as YYY picking up the blitz and giving the QB a half second to throw. 

And XXX opens up juuuust enough of a gap for Micah Parsons to slip in and get the sack! 

Maybe I'm the only one.  

58 I think you need a line guy…

I think you need a line guy.

Not like Tony Siragusa -- someone who's not a clown. The best part of Ben Muth's column is he has an understanding of what the line call probably was and therefore who screwed up or did well. Madden was good about calling attention to line play because he understood it. You need someone like that -- someone could can interpret whether a guy screwed up, got his ass kicked, or whether the line call from the coaches was just bad, and alternatively, how your guard who pulls and downblocks three guys is a mutant.

63 The gambling cast

Surely in due time there will be Amazon Betting and you can watch the Gambling Cast and place instant bets on your phone at all times with winnings automatically in your Amazon wallet. At that point, the world ends.

66 There are 3 camera angles…

There are 3 camera angles for the sideline view. They always pick the one facing the qb. They should take the one behind the qb instead. 

Would make nfl broadcasts 100% more interesting. 

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