Get that camera out of my face! Why RBTV needs to relax on the sidelines

Eddie Morrissey, Sports Manager

Nothing can compare the energy you get from running through the huge banner on a cool Friday night onto the football field. All the players are pumped up and ready to play; they’re jumping around and shouting like crazy. Then they make their way to the sidelines, where they experience one of the biggest buzz kills of all time: having a gigantic TV camera shoved into their face right before the opening kickoff.

Football is a sport that requires a great amount of focus and concentration, and it’s infuriating when you’re trying to discus tactics with one of the coaches or cheering on your teammates while some guy is pressing a video camera as close as he can legally get to your face without getting charged for harassment.    

“They come right up into your face and distract you from the game,”said junior football player Zach Sollinger. “They should stay off the field and stand where they belong: with the cheerleaders.”

RBTV has had a fair amount of success at various competitions. In the last eight years, RBTV has won at least one 1st place trophy for a TV program at the Hometown USA Video Festival. In the 2007 festival, they won a total of seven 1st place trophies. Needless to say, we have a talented TV station.

“If you’ve ever watched a college or NFL game on TV, you’ll notice that they use sideline cameras,” said TV production teacher Gary Prokes. “In order to completely cover the game, it’s necessary to have cameramen on the sidelines.”

However, I just can’t stand watching a football game when the only sound coming out of my TV is the announcers. I don’t know much about video cameras, but I do know that the cameras broadcasting the RB football games cannot pick up any sound whatsoever. You can’t hear the crowd shouting, the cheerleaders cheering. You can’t even hear the referee blow his whistle. And when I see a close up (and I mean an extreme close up) of a player on the sidelines, I see his lips moving, but there is hardly any sound.

It is reasonable for the station to want to cover the football game as well as they possibly can, but you seldom see professional cameramen doing close ups of the players to the extent that the RBTV cameramen do. It doesn’t do RBTV justice and it shatters the players’ concentration. It would be more desirable for the cameramen to stand apart from the players and take some sideline shots, but do it in a manner that won’t make the entire team feel like they’re being stalked.

It’s not like player close-ups are a vital part in successfully covering RB football games. Sideline cameras are meant to add a bit of interest for the viewer and impress the TV audience with the numerous camera views. Unfortunately, RBTV sideline cameras accomplish neither of those goals.