Author Topic: The Big Dance  (Read 41625 times)

Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #855 on: December 04, 2018, 09:45:18 pm »
Let me start by saying I appreciate the kind words expressed about Ira and my work this weekend. My purpose with questions was not to garner such comments, but they are appreciated as well.

We had a terrific crew running cameras and the production. I think that went a long way for Ira and I. We had some behind-the-scenes challenges ahead of the first game which made the Calvin-Chicago game interesting, but it was resolved and we rolled along from there. I will say, having more people know we are there and chatting with us helped our broadcasts as well. Being DIII guys, I think people appreciated that we were taking this seriously. I think sometimes non-DIII broadcasters are kept at arm's length because of the numerous instances of them not taking the division seriously ... but I digress.

Now to some thoughts shared...

I watched most of both games on Friday.

1) I know you're looking more for technical feedback, but... You guys were solid. I made an in-game comment giving one of you grief about a fairly routine catch by a GK that got blown out of proportion. But if that's the most glaring "error" (which it wasn't, it was just kind of funny), you guys killed it. (I don't have a ton of patience for announcers who clearly don't know the game, but insist on chattering away like they're calling a horse race or something.)

We will have to agree to disagree. I saw your comment. I think I know the play you are talking about. Ira and I are both keepers ourselves (can't remember if Ira played in college, but he's playing still now; I did play through college) and so we do come from a pretty experienced background. If I am critical of a play, and I try to not be critical all that often (resisting the urge more often than not), then there is something I don't like about the play. I also think it can be a teaching moment for those watching at home like my son who soaks up sports like a sponge and is showing he may be following in his dad's footsteps of being a goalie (he ain't bad for age 9 and not much formal lessons).

I also can't remember the exact play, but I sense it to be a punch out. I thought he could play it with his hands and catch it, but we both agreed that for a punch it was an outstanding punch as a result.

And yes, I have made a conscious effort to try and let the games breathe. I think it helped GREATLY that our production crew not only fed in NAT sounds (natural sound) into our headsets, but also that it was near the field so we could hear aspects of the game. That allowed me to naturally stop and listen or allow it to be heard. When you don't have that, the natural instinct is to cover "dead air" with commentary. So a nice combo of the crew providing a wonderful aspect to the game and my conscious effort to let the game breathe (in all my broadcasting) seems to have been the right mix.

2) And, yes, your concerns are accurate... The commercial breaks were, for the most part, just the blue screen noting we were in a break.

Disappointing. That is something I think needs to be changed. If we are tossing to break, there is content that can be run especially created for DIII specifically.

The commercial break was annoying.  I figure the folks watching are interested in D3 soccer generally and might have enjoyed some programing like a season retrospective or an interview with a NCAA D3 representative talking about the future.  Even a preview of the woman's game might been fun.
Now, I might be in the minority, but unless you guys have the ability/production capacity, I'm not really sure it's worth doing a half-time show. Most people watching know they have 15 minutes to hop up and go get some stuff done, and I just don't think many folks want to sit through 8-10 minutes of analysis. Now, I think you could tell the audience "We're going to take a 10 minute break, and when we come back, we'll have first half highlights and talk strategy for the 2nd half" or whatever.

But as you mentioned, you guys need a break. As folks who sit back and think about big time broadcasts, they throw it to studio (or down on the field for the panel) and yammer on for a few commercial breaks. Then they come back to the booth before kick-off (sometimes with very little banter/analysis, sometimes with a condensed package of what the studio panel covered.

As a sports and news TV producer in my career, I want to see halftime be a bit "more." As a DIII guy, I want to see the halftimes be something to help talk about DIII, though not patronizing. As a broadcaster calling six games in three days (four in one), I like having the halftimes "off." :)

Yes, in most "halftimes" for sports, they toss to a studio set for other voices to breakdown what has happened and what has gone on. Maybe a feature story has been put together. Those resources just don't exist for these productions.

I do know that the past tactic of "here is a wide shot of the field/court and a score for halftime" was NOT received well within the division. It was felt like a "it's Division III, why should we care about providing any halftime content like highlights or anything?" At the same time, most championships didn't even include an analyst - just one person calling the games. I appreciate the changes to at least include an analyst and something at hafltime. Sadly, it appears "commercial breaks" are just a full screen graphic which is wasted time. There needs to be something we can add to these halftimes especially since there are DIII PSAs that can be run (I run them all the time; schools run them all the time) including a brand new one that is more than 3 minutes in length.

We could also include interviews with committee members (or chair) or others who are on site. It just takes a little more creativity. Sadly, these championships don't always include individuals with DIII as a background - which I know makes some of the interview ideas a little more difficult to execute without it feeling like, "isn't DIII so great?! Tell me more about why DIII is so great!"

I had some problems staying connected during the Rochester game, but don't know wwhere the problem was.
As others have reported, I never saw any ads during the commercial breaks.  Acura and Fruit of the Loom got their money's worth nevertheless, as I saw one of their ads whenever I had to reload the stream, as the stream would buffer for a bit and then quit.  This problem was much worse for the women's final:  I was actually playing the stream on my PC and my tablet simultaneously so that I could switch from one to other whenever one of them would freeze up, as it would take a couple of minutes to restart and sit through the requisite ad.  But in every game, it seemed like I had to reload whenever you went to a commercial break.  (I've noticed this issue with other streams as well.)

This is what my family reported to me and others. That sometimes people had to reload the games. My wife described having to reload the game after regulation and the overtimes of the women's title game. The broadcast would apparently stop after regulation, then again after the overtimes (or after each OT).

That's a problem. There are streaming problems that many can have for other reasons. But for people to need to reload during either every commercial break or after the conclusion of aspects of the game... that's something larger happening.

Inconsistency amongst viewers may make it more difficult to figure out, but I was curious if what my family was experiencing (on a very high-speed connection and on a very solid device) was isolated or not.
Host of Hoopsville. USBWA Executive Board member. Broadcast Director, play-by-play and analyst for D3sports.com. Follow me on Twitter: @davemchugh or @d3hoopsville.

Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #856 on: December 04, 2018, 09:56:13 pm »
*My biggest regret in attending the games in person is that I did not get to view and, more importantly, hear Ira and Dave’s webcast.  A family member who tuned in gave high marks to the commentary.

You should have tried tuning in while there! :)

We actually ran into a few people who told us they were listening while sitting/standing in the stands. I know people do that with radio broadcasts, but I was a little taken aback the video was being used the same way. Give it a try.

I actually meant to give those tuning in a "shout out" to see if we got any reactions from the stands, but it slipped my mind once we were into the broadcast.

*I’m not sure if the webcast caught this, but midway through the first half of the final, when Tufts was racking up the fouls at an alarming rate and zero fouls had been called against Calvin, several Jumbo supporters were vocal in their criticism of the referee.  Coach Shapiro turned to the crowd and motioned for quiet, saying that addressing the referee was his job.  Nary a peep was heard from the fans regarding the referee for the rest of the game.  This incident shows the respect that the Jumbo supporters have for Coach Shapiro.

Oh ... we caught some of it to be sure! I saw a fan trying to tell another fan, who clearly was losing his mind, to chill out. I saw him first after someone (or more than one) on the bench turned toward him and either reacted or just looked (can't remember). In hindsight, it very well could have been Coach Shapiro as well - it's a bit of a blur right now. I saw the fan point towards the scoreboard and at something else that made me immediately realize it was all about fouls. At the time the foul count on the board was something like 9-2.

I made a reference to it and how fans love to think that foul counts are supposed to be "equal." That somehow a well officiated game has even foul counts. At the time, Tufts was being very aggressive especially in the midfield and with their forwards. There were a lot of fouls where they were coming from behind and hitting the player while attempting to get to the ball. So, I commented about it and referenced how the same thing happens in basketball. Also, that because the fouls were on the board it was feeding the frenzy to fans who wanted "equality." I softballed it for Ira, but I can't remember where he hit it. Shortly afterward, the "fan" in question went back to where he was sitting, still complaining about the foul count, and then I never noticed it again.

I do agree it shows respect for Coach Shapiro ... but I also wish fans (in all sports) would try and be more educated about the game and how it gets called. There is a fan for a women's basketball team I call games for who loses his mind over everything ... including fouls by his daughter where are more than obvious. It takes everything in me and others at the table not to turn around and set the guy straight ... anyway.

Tune in next time! :)
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Offline Buck O.

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #857 on: December 04, 2018, 10:44:51 pm »
While we're in bragging mode, here's a nice article on David Anderson who was just named a 2nd team AA along with Brett Lowry.  I think Buck O mentioned that Anderson used to live in the Boston area and played club for the Greater Boston Bolts.

https://www.kenyon.edu/middle-path/story/lab-leader/

Yes, that's right.  Thanks for sharing.

Offline MaturinNYC

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #858 on: December 04, 2018, 11:02:29 pm »
To be clear, fellow Rochester parent,
What, I'm not alone!?!  :)

I don't think current players should be posting.  I'm just surprised that all (or most) have such great restraint when they do obviously pay attention.  I think they are often more mature than us parents. 
Yes! Yes they are.

I would think there would be more after graduating, and there is a history of some dipping their toes in for a month or a season or two but very few have become "regulars."  Again, this partly may be a function of how much more adept they are at moving on with their lives....or just a necessity.  My kid is a very proud alum but med school doesn't allow a lot of free time for even catching most of the streams much less scouring this board all day.
I think you're right there - i know when i graduated...well, outside of DARPA there weren't chat boards then, BUT had there been i wouldn't have time to hit them either. Starting a life does consume your time. But at some point they should be joining us in the hobby. D4, share this link ;-)
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Offline Flying Weasel

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #859 on: December 05, 2018, 12:09:04 pm »
As a sports and news TV producer in my career, I want to see halftime be a bit "more." As a DIII guy, I want to see the halftimes be something to help talk about DIII, though not patronizing. As a broadcaster calling six games in three days (four in one), I like having the halftimes "off." :)

Yes, in most "halftimes" for sports, they toss to a studio set for other voices to breakdown what has happened and what has gone on. Maybe a feature story has been put together. Those resources just don't exist for these productions.

I do know that the past tactic of "here is a wide shot of the field/court and a score for halftime" was NOT received well within the division. It was felt like a "it's Division III, why should we care about providing any halftime content like highlights or anything?" At the same time, most championships didn't even include an analyst - just one person calling the games. I appreciate the changes to at least include an analyst and something at hafltime. Sadly, it appears "commercial breaks" are just a full screen graphic which is wasted time. There needs to be something we can add to these halftimes especially since there are DIII PSAs that can be run (I run them all the time; schools run them all the time) including a brand new one that is more than 3 minutes in length.

We could also include interviews with committee members (or chair) or others who are on site. It just takes a little more creativity. Sadly, these championships don't always include individuals with DIII as a background - which I know makes some of the interview ideas a little more difficult to execute without it feeling like, "isn't DIII so great?! Tell me more about why DIII is so great!

I agree that the broadcasters need halftime "off".  For several years (a bit less regularly the past two years) on the Messiah men's broadcasts, I have spelled the announcers by doing the halftime segment (despite a voice for print media and no training or previous experience).  Now this is without any streaming video, just a still shot with the score, I believe.  But the point is that the announcers need the break, but it's nice to have halftime content even if I agree that for some people (myself included sometimes) halftime is a chance to grab something to eat or take care of some tasks/things-to-do.  But, if there was halftime content and it was well done, you would give people a reason to hang around through the break or be quicker to return.  I think a mix of live material and some pre-recorded material would be awesome.  There's all sorts of things you could do and cover, but obviously there's a lot of question marks about who, how, and financing it.  But there's a lot of potential here.

Offline Hopkins92

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #860 on: December 05, 2018, 01:28:52 pm »


I watched most of both games on Friday.

1) I know you're looking more for technical feedback, but... You guys were solid. I made an in-game comment giving one of you grief about a fairly routine catch by a GK that got blown out of proportion. But if that's the most glaring "error" (which it wasn't, it was just kind of funny), you guys killed it. (I don't have a ton of patience for announcers who clearly don't know the game, but insist on chattering away like they're calling a horse race or something.)

We will have to agree to disagree. I saw your comment. I think I know the play you are talking about. Ira and I are both keepers ourselves (can't remember if Ira played in college, but he's playing still now; I did play through college) and so we do come from a pretty experienced background. If I am critical of a play, and I try to not be critical all that often (resisting the urge more often than not), then there is something I don't like about the play. I also think it can be a teaching moment for those watching at home like my son who soaks up sports like a sponge and is showing he may be following in his dad's footsteps of being a goalie (he ain't bad for age 9 and not much formal lessons).


I'm a goalie, too. Yeah us! Not gonna debate something that was really REALLY not a big deal, especially because the overall PbP and analysis was so good. I'm pretty harsh regarding commentary on goalkeeping, because even at the highest levels, people make all sorts of ridiculous critical comments and much more often than not they really don't know what they're talking about. I'd also point out that in the particular play I'm talking about, you guys weren't really criticizing the goalie, you were just reacting to a long distance shot and how the goalie chose to deal with it.

Offline oldonionbag

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #861 on: December 05, 2018, 03:44:34 pm »
Unsure if anyone else saw this, but Tufts got a shout out on PTI. Very cool - when is the last time anything D3 made it on to ESPN?!

https://twitter.com/TuftsMensSoccer/status/1070093360264871938

Offline blooter442

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #862 on: December 05, 2018, 05:38:05 pm »
Unsure if anyone else saw this, but Tufts got a shout out on PTI. Very cool - when is the last time anything D3 made it on to ESPN?!

https://twitter.com/TuftsMensSoccer/status/1070093360264871938

Too bad Tommy Smyth isn’t on ESPN2 doing color commentary for UCL games anymore. Maybe during halftime he’d have the opportunity to talk about how Tufts managed to put the ball “into the back of the old onion bag” 13 times during the NCAA tourney ;)

Offline Ommadawn

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #863 on: December 05, 2018, 11:44:20 pm »
So i agree with others that one of the great draws of DIII soccer is that you can pursue academically-rigorous degrees while also playing high-level soccer. My son was also looking at a high-level DI program, but the coaches there were very honest that they hadn't had an engineering student on the team for a few years, citing a 40-hour/week training/team curriculum.

Amazingly, even a few (but certainly not all) of the Ivies don't prefer their athletes to major in engineering.

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #864 on: December 05, 2018, 11:44:32 pm »
Unsure if anyone else saw this, but Tufts got a shout out on PTI. Very cool - when is the last time anything D3 made it on to ESPN?!

https://twitter.com/TuftsMensSoccer/status/1070093360264871938

Unfortunately, it was a couple of weeks ago when a thug basketball player for Fitchburg State ran over and cold-cocked a Nichols player with a forearm shiver to the face in the middle of a men's basketball game when the Nichols player was just standing in the corner admiring his shot.

D3 nods really aren't all that rare on ESPN. Remember, the Worldwide Leader has countless hours per day of sports news that have to be filled with highlights of some sort or another.
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful..” -- John Wooden

Offline truenorth

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #865 on: December 06, 2018, 09:11:00 am »
So i agree with others that one of the great draws of DIII soccer is that you can pursue academically-rigorous degrees while also playing high-level soccer. My son was also looking at a high-level DI program, but the coaches there were very honest that they hadn't had an engineering student on the team for a few years, citing a 40-hour/week training/team curriculum.

Amazingly, even a few (but certainly not all) of the Ivies don't prefer their athletes to major in engineering.

As one data point, my son had several Brown teammates who were engineering majors.  My anecdotal experience with Ivy athletes is that most of them are pretty darn bright, and they're not just "fortunate recruited athletes"...but some are more dedicated to their academics than others during their four years...

Offline oldonionbag

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #866 on: December 06, 2018, 01:44:01 pm »
Unsure if anyone else saw this, but Tufts got a shout out on PTI. Very cool - when is the last time anything D3 made it on to ESPN?!

https://twitter.com/TuftsMensSoccer/status/1070093360264871938

Too bad Tommy Smyth isn’t on ESPN2 doing color commentary for UCL games anymore. Maybe during halftime he’d have the opportunity to talk about how Tufts managed to put the ball “into the back of the old onion bag” 13 times during the NCAA tourney ;)

Haha, well played. Hopefully it would come with the manic shouting we've come to know and love!

Offline DucksFan02

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #867 on: December 07, 2018, 03:13:35 pm »
Hi all, been a casual observer of the page and D3 soccer in general for the past few years, with this season over, deciding to actively post a little bit more (or as actively as I can with a busy work schedule  :))...as you can hopefully tell by the name, I mainly support Stevens Tech, as I am from the area, and have made it to a few games in recent years (view from their field is incredible, highly recommend a trip). After losing to national champs twice in a row, and losing by 1 goal and giving both Tufts of 2018 and Messiah of 2017 a run for their money, the Ducks have got to be hungry to get back at it next year.Especially after watching Tufts roll through Amherst and Montclair in the rounds of 3 and 4, Ducks (who lasted 80 minutes at 0-0) will feel that playing Tufts on a bye was an unfair draw. Carrying out that theme of some teams poised to break out next year, anyone have any teams in mind? Other than Stevens, schools like Eastern, NYU, CT College, F&M, all seem candidates to try to break the status quo and reach the Final 4....let me know your guys thoughts, happy to be joining the page as a user.

Offline EB2319

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #868 on: December 08, 2018, 04:23:27 pm »
Welcome DucksFan.  I loosely follow the Ducks as there are plenty of local players on the roster and I'm always curious to see the transition from HS to college.  It'll be nice to see another NJ voice on the boards.

Offline MaturinNYC

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #869 on: December 08, 2018, 08:18:26 pm »
...losing to national champs twice in a row...

yup, i can relate to that feeling DucksFan ;-)

In descending order of confidence - i'd name both NYU & Case Western, who fielded young•ish lineups this season in the UAA and both impressed.  Brockport State made it to the 2nd round with a bunch of young talent, so look out for them from the SUNYAC (in addition to Cortland, Oneonta & next year's surprise - New Paltz). In the Liberty League there's St. Lawrence, but probably 2-3 other names that can make deep runs if they find consistency.
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