JAY DAVIS: Lightning gives football opener a strange twist


NBC will be airing a pilot episode next month, trying to take advantage of the success of former show, “Friday Night Lights.”

I doubt it will last too many episodes. The highlight of the first episode is the coach having to admonish his players for sitting around eating cupcakes instead of focusing on the task at hand (inside joke for coach Lamb and the Tigers). The rest of the show has fans standing around and mingling, chomping on hot dogs and popcorn, and staring skyward. There is a flash scene to the game officials sitting in a suburban making phone calls and looking for weather reports and another of fans from the visiting team sitting in their vehicles and getting mad at their bored kids.

It’s slow and it’s tedious. It is probably the only showing of, “Friday Night Lightning.”

The weather here on Friday did make it difficult for nearly everyone, from players to coaches, from referees to fans, from radio announcers to web broadcasters.  Well, not really the webcasters. When yours truly plugged in on Friday, there was no Internet, therefore no webcast of the season opener. It was a fixable problem that has been fixed and we will be live on the worldwide web for the Redfield-Doland game on Sept. 7.

In case anyone hasn’t noticed, we are now in the volleyball webcasting business too. If you think I can stink it up with football and basketball, well, you’re in for a treat. This game of volleyball is going to take some time. It is a difficult game to broadcast. You add my lack of training and the fact that I would drown in the shallow end of the talent pool, and you might want to watch a match or two with the mute button on.

Seriously though, I’m a quick learner and will get the game figured out. Besides, the quality of play on the floor should be enough to make up for the lack of quality in the booth.

While I may not have the eloquence of Vin Scully or the boyish charm of Jon Gruden, viewers do have one big advantage when watching Tribune webcasts. They get to watch some wonderful young men and women from Mobridge-Pollock High School perform at the sports they love.

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