On Kelvin Hayden's third quarter interception of Vick, it was pretty clear that the ball hit the ground. Except not clear enough: as Andy Reid desperately waited for word to come down from above about using his challenge flag, and the Falcons hurried to get to the line to get a snap off, NBC showed a series of replays. The view was obstructed, so Reid never threw the flag. Only afterward did NBC dig up the angle that showed conclusively that the pass should have been incomplete.
How'd it happen? NBC producer Fred Gaudelli explains:
Because the networks that broadcast NFL games are responsible for providing replays to teams, Gaudelli did what he's done for years: He ran back a series of replays as quickly as possible for the Eagles in the visiting coaches booth at the Georgia Dome — and for viewers at home.
"You're just getting up replays so the coaches would have something to see," Gaudelli said.
Based on the play occurring in the middle of the field, Gaudelli said he knew there would be two or three angles to view the replay. For Sunday Night Football, NBC has 20 cameras surrounding the field, more than any other network broadcast for a regular-season game.
The first two replays shown directly behind the Eagles offense were inconclusive. The third replay shown came from a camera perched at the opposite end of the field, and toward the end the ball could be seen coming out of Hayden's arms. But NBC cut away.
"As we got to the third replay I noticed [Falcons quarterback] Matt Ryan had broken the huddle," on the ensuing possession, Gaudelli said. "I would have let it run longer."
NBC has issued an apology to the Eagles. Now you know why teams rush to get a play off after a challenge-worthy moment, but we still don't know why NFL teams are reliant on the television broadcast truck to view controversial players. We're all at the mercy of the media-industrial complex, I suppose.
NBC producer explains replay [Philly.com]
That's it for us. We'll have a MNF open thread, plus the first entry in C-Roll Theater, because you can't find boobs anywhere else on the internet.