Communications and Society blog: By and for students in Marist COM 201

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FOX’s Fifth Down Touchdown

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In an extremely close, down to the wire game between the Washington Redskins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 12th, FOX announcers caused one of the worst confusions for viewers at the worst possible time.  As the Redskins drove down the field late in the fourth quarter, down 17-10, the announcers lost track of the most important part of any late drive besides the time: what down it was.  You see, the Redskins were facing a 1st and 10 with the ball on the Buccaneers’ 13 yard line with 49 seconds remaining, needing a touchdown with the extra point to tie the game up, and potentially force overtime.  On first down, Donovan McNabb threw for a ten yard gain, which gave the Redskins a first and goal situation.  The players recognized it, the coaches saw it, the officials knew it, everyone seemed to have notice that it was a first down except for one important group: the announcers.  As the Redskins tried on their next three plays to put it in the endzone, the FOX announcers never even realized their mistake.  In fact, they were saying that the officials on the field had it wrong, and basically ensured the broadcast viewers that the Redskins had scored on an illegal 5th down play.  While we all certainly make mistakes, how could not one have the announcers noticed that they were wrong?  Not one cameraman could have caught that on film, and showed it to the guys in the booth so they could correct themselves?  Not one other person from FOX could have stepped in and informed the announcers of their mistake?  Not only did they get the call wrong, but they even called out the officials for being wrong, which makes it even worse.  Everyone on the field knew that the officials were right, except for the guys upstairs.  They eventually caught their mistake and apologized for the entire mishap, but this was one mistake that could have caused some serious problems.  Lucky for them, the Redskins extra point attempt following the touchdown fell apart, because viewers would have gone crazy over a fifth down touchdown to force overtime.  As viewers, there was no way to tell who was right, the announcers or the officials, because you could only hear what the announcers were saying, which was going right against what the officials were showing on the field.  Take a look at the video below.  You tell me, how big of a mistake was it?


Written by michaelpage1

December 19, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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