NFL: Why viewers can't see "All-22" Footage

The Footage the NFL Won't Show You - Despite Its TV Ubiquity, the League Won't Share "All-22" Footage


If you ask the league to see the footage that was taken from on high to show the entire field and what all 22 players did on every play, the response will be emphatic. "NO ONE gets that," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote in an email. This footage, added fellow league spokesman Greg Aiello, "is regarded at this point as proprietary NFL coaching information."

For decades, NFL TV broadcasts have relied most heavily on one view: the shot from a sideline camera that follows the progress of the ball. Anyone who wants to analyze the game, however, prefers to see the pulled-back camera angle known as the "All 22."

While this shot makes the players look like stick figures, it allows students of the game to see things that are invisible to TV watchers: like what routes the receivers ran, how the defense aligned itself and who made blocks past the line of scrimmage.

Comment: When I was a child we used to play Electric football. It was a noisy buzzie game. More on it below (from the Wiki link):

The game is played on a small metal field, with plastic players placed on the field in formations, just as in real football. The ball is a football-shaped small piece of foam or felt. When the players are set up, a switch is activated that turns on a small electric motor which causes the field to vibrate, and moves the players around the field. The imagination then takes flight as players run around the board in an unpredictable manner.

Each player is attached to a base, with prongs on the bottom that allow the player to move. Rookie bases are not adjustable and the player hopefully runs forward. Pro bases have a dial that you can turn to have players turn to the right or left.

A special player called the Triple Threat Quarterback (TTQ) allows players to pass, punt or kick field goals. The ball has a slit that lets the game player place it on the TTQ's arm. The arm is pulled back and released to pass the ball. Use of this figure is a very difficult skill to master and was the primary form of advancing the ball.

For kicking the ball is placed on a tee on the TTQ and a plastic leg is flicked to kick the ball.

Images above: Sear's advertisement (we played with an earlier variety that pass pre-Superbowl era); Joe Namath circa 1960's (available on Ebay at a starting bid price of $ 25); and History of Tudor Games (image of a mid-'50s model)

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