Eleven weeks ago, I wrote about my frustration in getting access to the NFL RedZone channel, a problem that was eventually solved when our TV provider, AT&T U-Verse, added it to the channel lineup at no extra cost.
Although RedZone has been around for two decades, this has been my first chance to watch it on a regular basis. I quickly fell in love with the way it switches from one NFL game to another, showing all the important action as it takes place, particularly when teams get inside their opponents’ 20-yard-line — including every touchdown. I’ve experienced something similar while sitting in the sportsbooks of Las Vegas casinos, but it’s even better in my own living room.
I’m really impressed with anchorman Scott Hanson explaining why we’re flipping from this game to that one to another — and he seems to know the names of all fifty-three players on each team. I’ve done some long broadcast stints, including five-hour-long talk radio shows, but at least I could run to the bathroom during commercial breaks. On RedZone, there are no commercials, so Hanson has to stay alert and have the stamina to go seven straight hours without needing the restroom. It’s probably good that he doesn’t have time to eat anything, either.
My wife — who worked in TV news control rooms years ago — would insist that I point out the same is true of the crew handling the technical aspects behind the scenes, as well as the producers and statisticians who monitor all the games, prepare replays, and feed info into Hanson’s earpiece all day long.
RedZone has had a big impact on the way I experience the NFL on Sunday afternoons, so much better than the years I spent relying on the two or three games the local Fox and CBS affiliates decided to carry. However, I may have to get a bigger TV so I can clearly see more detail of what’s going on in the double- and triple-boxes RedZone uses when there’s simultaneous compelling action in different games.
And then hit pause so I can take my time to grab a sandwich or use the bathroom.