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Redskins Offered Obstructed View TV

Touchdown Redskins! What, you can't see it? Just imagine!

Whenever people tell me how lucky I am to be able to watch Redskins games from the FedEx Field press box, I attempt to disabuse them of that notion. The press box has no beer, no nachos, many media members crammed into a fairly small space, Mike Wise, no sound from the television broadcast and no TiVo. One hundred times out of 100, I tell them, you get a better sense of what's happening in the game by staying home and watching it on television.

That, of course, is assuming the television broadcast does not feature the Hands of Fan stampeding across the action at every crucial moment.

I heard Steve Czaban and repeated callers mention this yesterday on ESPN 980, and I assumed they were just whining. Well, I assumed wrong. I finally watched the game back last night, and sure enough, during three crucial sequences, the live action was completely blocked out by these massive, hulking, Hand Eclipses. Had I been watching live, I would have thrown my Cheez Dip at the screen. Did you see these plays? Did you freak out? Did you throw your Cheez Dip?

It happened late in the first half, when the Skins were driving and Jason Campbell attempted to find a wide open Fred Davis around the 5-yard line. Fred Davis is somewhat hard to see.

It happened in the fourth quarter, on the game's most exciting play, the touchdown pass to Santana Moss, who was blotted out by Hand Man.

And it happened on a third-and-goal play in the fourth quarter, when the Browns were desperately trying to punch it in with a pitch to Jamal Lewis, that Carlos Rogers disrupted. Of course, you could see neither Carlos Rogers nor Jamal Lewis as the play was happening. But there was some great Hand.

Sure, you could catch what happened on the replay, but that's like taking your kid to see the stuffed dead lifeless animals at the Smithsonian when it rains on her birthday party at the zoo. Same basic idea, but you'd sure rather it be live.

Czaban announced that, were he the team's owner, this problem would have been corrected yesterday, whether a seat needed to be removed or the camera raised or this person's hands chopped off. (He didn't really say that; I'm extrapolating.) Can't say I disagree. With so many live sporting events turning into made-for-television events, it's just inconceivable that three of the games most important plays would have been blotted out. Whatever the cause, this just can't happen.

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 21, 2008; 11:26 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Yes I totally agree, I was pissed when I was watching the game on tv, you couldn't tell if Santana stepped out of bounds or stayed in when he scored the touchdown.

Posted by: Redskins Flo | October 21, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

The #1 benefit of watching the game at home is also the #1 problem with watching the game at home: getting hand-jobbed.

Posted by: Ben | October 21, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

This isn't exactly the first time this has happened, but kudos to the Redskins for bringing that Friday Night Lights feel to the professional game.

Posted by: John | October 21, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Is this a result of seats being added to the capacity of FedEx Field? Per wikipedia the current capacity is slightly under 92,000 and I know it was less than that when it opened.

Either way, it is odd that these problems happened during a CBS telecast and I can't remember any similar complaints during an ESPN or FOX telecast. I'd imagine the cameras are in the same place regardless of who televises the game ...

Posted by: tmc | October 21, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

It happened during last weeks game. Only once I think, but it was looking at the end Zone again.

Posted by: Zebra | October 21, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

That guy's hands should definitely be chopped off... and donated to Braylon Edwards.

Posted by: Eric | October 21, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

It happens on the Fox Broadcasts as well.. and happens almost once a game. It has to be a DANNY thing cause it NEVER happens at any other stadium.

Posted by: Rando in LA | October 21, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

It happened during the AZ game as well -- the cameras are obviously in a place where a fan raising their hands will block the view. It does seem strange that Mr. Snyder hasn't solved it yet...

Posted by: The Coach Is Killing Me | October 21, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Whoa now. Slow down there Steinberg.

"The press box has no beer, no nachos, many media members crammed into a fairly small space, Mike Wise, no sound from the television broadcast and no TiVo."

Fairly small my foot! The FedEx press box is pretty spacious compared to most, and while there are no nachos, I would say Fed Ex is far and away the most delicious Press Box I've ever been in.... sometimes.

Now, no wireless internet. That's just weak.

But yes, they need to fix this. I don't remember anything else like that happening this season. Can we chalk this up to a mistake by CBS that FOX knows better than to make?

Posted by: Anonymous Media Member | October 21, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I think this was a CBS issue. I've never seen that issue on a Fox telecast, and I certainly didn't notice it during the AZ game....

Posted by: Keino | October 21, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I vaguely remember yelling "CBS Pockets Not Straight" at the TV.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | October 21, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

The worst part is that I move my head like I am somehow going to see around it!

Happens on Fox too - Think it was the AZ game where a catch in the endzone was obstructed. The CLE game was by far the worst this season.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 21, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Yes, this has happened on other broadcasts before. This is because Snyder insists on cramming in every last seat possible. However, this game was probably the worst so far. Maybe Gheorghe Muresan was at the game. No wait, that wouldn't be possible - anyone over 5'8" wouldn't have the necessary knee room to be comfortable. And you think airlines are stingy with the knee room.

Posted by: grounder | October 21, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"Czaban announced that, were he the team's owner, this problem would have been corrected yesterday...this person's hands chopped off."

What, is he trying to give Dan Snyder yet another crazy idea he might try?;-)


Posted by: Eye on Sports Media | October 21, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

This happens a lot on FOX too, it just isn't a complete obstruction. Plenty of times a fan's hand gets in the way. I don't see how you people are saying you have never seen this on FOX broadcasts.

Posted by: BIg Goob | October 21, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: twoeightnine | October 21, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Been going on forever. Happened 3 years ago on the Burnell/Moss touchdown in overtime vs. Jacksonville. STILL has not been corrected!

Posted by: virtueandvice | October 21, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

After sitting in obstructed view for three seasons, it felt like I had somehow managed to get to the game. But less cold. And I wore less $8 beer.

Did the kickoff get blacked out in DC as was threatened?

Posted by: worstSeat | October 21, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I actually chuckled to myself at one point because during the Moss TD reception I moved my head quickly to the left and the right to see around the "hand eclipse." Only after I did it did I realize the hands were on the screen and no amount of movement on my part would have allowed me to see the play.

I'm guessing the cameras will be on a 1-2 foot platform for the next game they televise from FedEx Field.

Posted by: Beaker | October 21, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Yup, I've been mildly annoyed by this too. It happens fairly frequently on telecasts from Fedex Field: when a Redskin scores a touchdown, or appears to be on his way to scoring one, there's a good chance (I'd say close to 50%) that the hands of a fan will block the camera at some point. And it doesn't seem to matter who is broadcasting -- Fox, CBS, whoever -- so it seems that the designated camera locations in the stadium are too close to the fans. I don't recall this being a problem on non-Redskins NFL game telecasts that I've seen.

Posted by: Drew | October 21, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I was watching some of the Chargers vs. Bills highlights and the hand eclipses were prevalent in that game as well. However, it's not just a CBS issue. In the FOX broadcast of the Saints and 'Skins game the infamous hand eclipse blocked part of the screen on the 67-yarder to Tana.

Posted by: Daniel M. Snyder | October 21, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"But I have hand."

"And you're gonna need it!"

Posted by: Bill Fitzgerald | October 21, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

This happens a bit during the home games. When Santana caught a game-winning TD against Jacksonville two years ago, most of the final 20 yards of his run was obstructed by some doofus jumping up and down.

Posted by: Chase | October 21, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Happens a lot, even on the Fox broadcasts.

Careful though Steinzy...Larry Michael might say you have an agenda against the Redskins for devoting blog space to this issue.

Posted by: 4-12 | October 21, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

... Maybe Gheorghe Muresan was at the game. ...

Posted by: grounder | October 21, 2008 12:21 PM

He definitely was at the game. In the Club section during the pre-game and in section 107 during the game.

Back to the topic, I thought it was only Dallas and Notre Dame that got the media hand job. Talk about misleading. [Almost as misled as Jason Campbell was about getting a groin pull.]

Posted by: dcsween | October 21, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

D.C. TV got the Redskins kickoff, the Ravens game ended very early. The obstruction problem has been ongoing. CBS production would just be less experienced in working around it.

Posted by: Everett W. | October 21, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

This is annoying and I usually don't mind if they are not crucial plays involved but this was ridiculous!

Posted by: SK1NS4L1FE | October 21, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I think it's funny that we all did that - I swear I was ducking my head down to try to see under that dude...

Posted by: John D in Houston | October 21, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Just wondering (cause I don't listen), but has anyone asked Vinny about this on his Radio show?

Posted by: Paul S. | October 21, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I've only seen it happen on CBS. It happened during the Jax/Skins game in 2006 on a moss touchdown. CBS is the WORST!!!!!!!! in general

Posted by: Burg w/ a U | October 21, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Did you see these plays? YES.

Did you freak out? YES. The first time it happened we screamed but thought it had to be a fluke. When it kept happening we couldn't believe that it kept happening.

Dan, can you investigate what the problem was? Was it the fault of the television crew? Or did they not have a choice given the layout at FedEx.

It must be the former as this is the first time I've witnessed this.

Posted by: rock | October 21, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I saw one play that was obstructed (via DirecTV) toward the end of the game, but I had no idea it was that bad for many of the game's big plays...

Posted by: Draft King | October 22, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

It happens during hockey games broadcast from Detroit's Joe Louis Arena on a very regular basis. However, the Joe was built in the late 70's, before every sporting event was (to borrow from Steinberg) a "Made for TV" event, so the camera placement wasn't a high priority during construction.

There's no excuse for any stadium built after 1990, especially an NFL stadium, to have this even be a possibility. Shameful.

Posted by: Goat | October 22, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

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