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Monday, 03 February 2020


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I was thinking perhaps they should change their name to the Kansas City, Missouri Chiefs. Then replace Chiefs with something else, so we don't get to see drunk white guys dressed in Native American regalia. That's my soapbox (I'm married to a a Native American woman and it physically pains her to see that).

The real big game is on tonight, in Iowa. : )

Ain't that the truth. The essential drama of sport is all still there, but everything around it is a grotesque caricature. I used to be a football fan, more Canadian football than NFL, but couldn't stand the play by play anymore. I tried watching with the sound off and that worked for a while, but I haven't watched a football game in 35 years. During World Cup season I'll watch a few soccer games and it's a revelation to watch a sporting activity that has very few stoppages in play. People who don't soccer complain that not much happens, then I think of american football, scratch my head and say "What?"
But that's the beauty of sport, they appeal to people for different reasons. It's a big tent, as you say about photography, room for everyone.

Actually, the President of these United States tweeted congratulations to all the citizens of Kansas after the game. Later removed.

Third footnote... or if one happens to be the current President of the US...

You wrote "(yeah, Kansas too***)" .

We may be on the other side of the ocean, but we sure know what you mean and to whom you were so discretely referring.

Made me listen to Fats Domino's interpretation.

I am not a fan of American Football, find it a little bit boring. Same with Basketball or Hockey. On the other hand, I find Curling during the winter olympics extremely entertaining. I follow Football, Formula One and Baseball, the king of sports. But I would never say no to a good old super bowl party!

Mike, while I haven't owned a TV in a long time, I do see ordinary TV commercials on a regular basis these days, and they did not prepare me for the level of decadence and idiocy seen in many of last night's super bowl ads. Maybe there's a grain of hope to be gleaned from the fact that most of them were produced especially for the occasion.

The Packers have the unmatched advantage of being owned by the fans. Not having a billionaire despot owner pushing his little multi-millionaire players around on the field must make a significant difference to the fans in the seats and in front of their sets.

That aside, NFL fans who live in or near the teams’ home cities often have the option of killing the TV audio and listening to game on radio. The Philadelphia Eagles and WIP radio have done well with that.

I've waited my entire life to see the KCMO Chiefs go to, let alone win, an NFL Championship, so, in that way that sports let you blow off some tribal instincts, I'm completely thrilled.

Mike, every time I try to tell folks that *my* Packers are the most successful team, they rebut me by saying the Steelers are. What's up with that?

I probably would have watched with my son - but he is now in college (UW Milwaukee). Having become a de facto Packers Fan I didn't have much incentive to watch anyway. Having grown up with rugby and Australian rules, I also don't like all the frequent stoppages. During the season I would just watch the highlight video on the Packers website - this usually showed all playing parts of the game.

I stopped watching almost all television a few years ago, reasoning that approaching age 60 my days were growing too short to spend many of them passively watching nominal entertainment. This has led to a few brief crises of conscience.
I watched the first 10 minutes of the first episode of Breaking Bad. I then turned it off; it was so brilliantly sarcastic and brutally funny I figured if I watched another minute I'd be hooked into binge-watching the entire show, and that was several months of my life I'd never get back.

Any drama missing from the game you can find in the German Masters final.

Your comments are right on! I got so disgusted with the commercials and the disappointing level of play in the first three quarters that I tuned out. Only to find that I had missed the 4th quarter, which is when all the good stuff happened.

Go Bears, Monsters of the Midway.

I didn't get the Kansas reference until I read the rest of the news (I always check TOP first!). Jeez Louise...and to think that I gave the man credit for knowing who's buried in Grant's Tomb.

There is no doubt that television is a big noisy wasteland full of big shiny things but the TV itself is useful for the occasional event, Blu-ray movie, or for presenting slide shows of your favorite photos when friends and family stop by.

The media player in my old Panasonic plasma works great for slide shows as long as I only feed it low resolution (2K) JPG’s. It even allows for root folders of MP3’s for use as soundtracks. Classic rock played over old, restored family photos is always a crowd-pleaser. I never bothered to network the TV so I just plug a USB flash drive into the side and I'm up and running in seconds.

I took a few of my classic car photos and cropped them to a 16:9 aspect ratio to fill every inch of the screen and found that people were really impressed with the presentation and detail. I don’t typically think in a widescreen sorta way so I have trouble coming up with 16:9 content but the more typical 3:2 and 4:3 stuff still looks great.

Was there a football game on TV yesterday? I watched documentaries on photographers Bill Cunningham and Peter Lindbergh and then turned the TV to the "off" mode and wandered into the next room to read a book.

The fun thing about TV is that you actually get to curate what you want to watch. And then, after, there's always time to read.

But sadly it was a fiction book and I know that genre is subtly frowned on here...

The editing in many of the ads is atrocious. Too many cuts. Scenes so short that you can’t comprehend what’s being shown before cut to next scene. Like frenetic computer game-play. Guess ads not aimed at someone like me who likes to gaze at a good photo for a long time.

I’m with you on all the inflated attempts at building up the drama. It just detracts from the spectacle and turns it into a caricature.

Once you step away for a while, the commercialism and consumerism being fed through the screen is almost sickening.

I enjoy watching some shows, but only on the broadcasters ‘catch-up’ site. One can afford to be really picky and not just settle for all the sickly ‘reality tv’ dross. Aldus Huxley was on to something.

Not on this except the technical side : https://hackaday.com/2020/01/31/the-internet-of-football/

My remote area has no tv signal and not missing it at all. And remote means (touch wood) faraway from the centre where the government once acted crazy. Hope the germ died down. They do in March 2003. Nature.

I haven't had cable for forever but there is some excellent content I watch sometimes using apps from HBO, Netflix, Amazon, PBS, and Kanopy (free with your public library card). None of these have any commercials.

One can watch on a TV, desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. They are all TVs really — just with different screens sizes. You can get the same content on all of them.

I wouldn't want to miss out on the quality productions just because of all of the bad out there.

The only things I usually watch on TV are CNBC (having worked in IT in the brokerage industry for many many years, I love it) and the local news. People tell me about different TV series (you've got to watch Breaking Bad, or Game of Thrones) but the most I ever watch is the first episode. Just don't find it interesting enough. Reading is more enjoyable for me than TV shows. And the nice thing about reading books is, no commercials!!!! Fabulous. Oh, and I love reading the photography websites, especially this one.

Truth be told, if you only recorded from when the ball is snapped to the play whistled dead you’d have less then 15 minutes of action. And they drag it out for how long ?

I was at the gym during the game. There are three TV screens on the wall. Two were tuned to the Manitoba Woman's Curling Championships and the third was tuned to CBC news.

Mike - After your earlier post about missing the party, I was happy to read that you at least got to watch th game from home. I share your feelings about the commercials and the lack of sharp play for most of the game, but a fourth quarter comeback is fun in any game, let alone the biggest of the year. Sounds like you salvaged at least part of Super Sunday.

Speak for yourself, Mike. Come to a country where TV is ad free on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) four channels, which has unbiased current affairs and commentary, extremely innovative programs and comedies, which has at least five radio stations with serious listening for we insomniacs, all digital, which has another Special Broadcasting Service organisation with four digital TV channels (ad supported) and several multi-language radio stations for immigrants.

All this is government funded (to the undisguised hostility of our conservative right wing government).

Come to a country where there is no gun violence, where you need have no fear of gun totin' hombres, where there is an excellent fully working, nearly free medical system, where my insulin costs me $5.60 for three months' supply and each other prescription is $5.60 per month, where we have elections that work without problems and there are several viable political parties to vote for if you don't like the big parties... I could go on and on.

And where it doesn't get cold (it gets a bit hot, 42.7C today) and where I'm only 3.5hrs from Bali. We have a few bushfires of course.

Watched on the computer, don't have a TV and don't subscribe to any TV or movie services.
The commercials were terrible interruptions that ruined the flow of the game. Cut off most commentary and analysis with all the dead time while they were on.
Yellow Gloves on the players? As they would move around and wave arms it looked like Referees Penalty flags. Again, distracting.
For me, too many zoom in and out cutsie camera angles. Vertigo inducing stuff.
Game was OK and the QB for Kansas City did produce with his three TD's in a five minute span in the last quarter.
All those guys for the 100 top players over 100 years - and O.J. Simpson was not in attendance?

It's a bit of a conundrum today with TV and the video/music culture in general. There is possibly the best TV programming ever right now. So many better and sophisticated shows. I don't think we watch anything unless it is streamed or we can DVR it to skip the commercials. On the other hand having listened to Stephen King's 'The Outsider', trying to watch the HBO version from Richard Price shows the little manipulations TV programming does. One example is a nurse who works in a nursing home. She goes home to a nice townhouse. In the book she lives in a very modest home that reflects the income level these people actually have to live on.

Regarding the halftime show at the SB, a lot of people praised it. Not for the music quality, but for the extravagant show itself. Extravagant is what now serves for quality of music these days and the reviewers of this are just as bad as everyone else in this 'what seems to be bought' regard.

While I enjoyed the game, the viewing experience as a whole once again made me glad of my decision to cut TV culture out of my life. What a wretched mess it is artistically, morally, and stylistically. Full of stylized violence and empty eroticism, ominous music, bathos, fantasy, threat-posturing, posing, greed, and histrionics. (Should I tell you how I really feel?) How do people get inured to it?

Allow me to gently introduce you to the DVR, your portal to television sans ads. Or sideline hot-takes for that matter.

It's possible to watch an entire game in a little more than an hour by starting the DVR, wandering off for a couple hours, and then beginning the game. The fluff between plays is gone with a button press. NB This does not work for soccer.

Teevee won't necessarily improve one's life but some of the best, most-engaging series ever have been made over the last ten or so years. But like film, one also has to be into such things and not everybody is.

I grew up in the States in the 70s and 80s, then left. On a trip back not too long ago, I was astounded how television there had changed:

News channels had replaced the occasional reasoned, somber report with an unending rush of music, special effects, speculation and opinion, shouting doom over every piece. It was as if the National Enquirer had taken over the entire industry.

Commercials were no longer for the usual commodities, nearly all of them predicting death and illness if you didn't tell your doctor to sell you their medicine.

Programs themselves, what little there was left after the above developments, are similarly full of people shouting at each other over the pettiest of things.

I don't know how a populace can be subjected to that for any extended period of time and not be fundamentally effected.

The Chiefs offense is based on getting defensive players to take steps in the wrong direction, and then capitalizing on that. The classic Chiefs play is having Mahomes roll out to one side of the field, drawing the defense to him, and then flipping the ball to the other side where a receiver and a few blockers are waiting. Another classic play is Mahomes gets in trouble but the pass rushers leave a gap he can slip through and run. Most of the day the 49ers defense was very disciplined. They didn’t leave receivers on the off side uncovered. They didn’t leave any gaps in their pass rush, and it was ferocious. That is why Mahomes looked like he didn’t know what to do. The things he usually does just weren’t available to him.

The 49ers had the second best running offense in the NFL. They ran the ball very well in their previous playoff games, especially vs. the Packers. Ahead by 10 points at the end of the third quarter, they decided to emphasize the pass in their offense! This failed badly, giving the Chiefs a chance to come back. Credit to the Chiefs for making the most of the opportunity given to them.

I watched on the NFL app on my iPad with the sound muted. I kept the commercials off the screen by scrolling down while they were playing.

Residents of Kansas City are well accustomed to the fumbled greetings of theater actors, musicians, some politicians, and your general special people who shout out "hello, Kansas!" when you're clearly standing in Missouri. I'm not sure what the big deal was about. It's actually an easy mistake to make. But is there more to it? Probably not.

First, we do all know there is a Kansas City located in Kansas as well as Missouri, separated by one of two rivers, it's just that nearly everything well known about Kansas City is located in Missouri, although the NASCAR speedway and the home of our MLS team Sporting KC are located on the Kansas side.

And, second, we're one metropolitan area so the Chiefs do in fact represent the Great State of Kansas in addition to the Great State of Missouri. The Civil War happened a long time ago.

Anyway, after having folks from both coasts confuse me for a resident of Kansas when I've lived in Missouri my whole life, it was pretty surprising to see thousands of Americans suddenly learn last week that Arrowhead Stadium is planted securely in Missouri, as was Municipal Stadium before it. There is hope for us all.

Besides, our current President isn't the first to make the mistake.

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