Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Top 10 NFL B-Rolls We Don't Need To See Anymore, And Possible Alternatives

A B-roll, for those of you who don't cotton to techie TV jibber jabber, is the canned stuff that they show you, usually under the advertiser list, when the game comes out of commercial. Usually, it then runs for another 5 to 15 seconds as the announce team vamps, and then we're back to the game. And here are the specific little film snippets that, after a lifetime of watching football, I don't need to see anymore. You either, I'm thinking.

10) All Thanksgiving Film Ever.

The Film: Turkeys, turkeys, turkeys for as far as the eye can see.

The Insult: Gosh, look at all of these things we're about to kill so we can be more obese. Let us start eyeing up individual victims, perhaps with a big lip-smacky moment from the announcing team, so that everyone involved can sound like Hannibal Lecter for a moment. Fun!

Alternatives: Leaf piles. Kids playing a touch football game. High school football, since that's a huge part of that day. People in their kitchens basting the bird, working on cookies, pulling out pies. Gigantic pumpkins. It's the best holiday of the year, and you people are making it look like nothing more than sanctioned and celebrated murder. Knock it off.

9) San Diego

The Film: The ocean, the beach, and the fact that while everyone else in the country is freezing their nuts off, these people are Living In Paradise.

The Insult: Not only are the Chargers frequently better than their opponents, but they get to live here? Next time, I'm rooting for the wildfires. (Seeing how the Shooter Brother lives out there, that's a joke. But with some steel to it.)

Alternatives: The Gaslight District is really nice, and there's some historic merit to the old Spanish dwellings that have been preseved from before the area was gringo. I'd also give an eye tooth if the cameras took a spin out to the Rivertucky areas, wher ethe world's pornography is made, and the dark side of the California dream is on permanent display. I'd also take lines at the border, just so people in Red States could start puling. That's all good, really.

8) Pittsburgh

The Film: Steel being made. As if that's got more impact to the local economy at this point than, say, glass blowing.

The Insult: Pittsburgh has transformed more than any other American city in the past 50 years, from a dying coal-checked pollution-fest to a mecca for tech and higher education. And yet, NFL viewers don't ever see that. It's wrong, if only because it keeps Cleveland and Detroit from thinking there's any other way to be.

Alternatives: Monster sandwiches, if we must go with food. The Andy Warhol or Fred Rogers museums, if we want to blow people's minds; I'm quite partial to the room with floating silver pillow balloons, myself. Or just all of the bridges over all of the rivers, which makes going through the place something out of a medieval novel about dwarves. There are options.

7) Green Bay

The Film: The disquieting sight of cheese and/or sauerkraut being made. Yum, I hope mine got extra shovel and boot grit!

The Insult: I'm not sure there is one. Or that Green Bay Fan, who is the nicest person you will find in an NFL stadium, would take offense anyway. Let's just move on.

Alternatives: Lambeau Field, please. The place is gorgeous, historic, dripping with cool merch and good sight lines, and gives every other city a chance to see what a stadium should look like -- swells in heat in the back with the TV screens with the worst view, and the diehards up front screaming their heads off when the Pack needs them most.

6) New Orleans

The Film: Mardi Gras revelers in costume. I suppose this beats Katina footage.

The Insult: The city is open for the other 51 weeks of the year, too.

Alternatives: The place is rife with spooky-cool mansions -- there's a reason why vampire hags love the place. Alligator is served here; show us some of that. Hurricanes can put you three sheets to the wind in half an hour, and should be celebrated. Cajun food is fun to look at, especially if you don't have to listen to the pompous chef drawl in his fake accent about it. Open it up a bit.

5) Oakland

The Film: Morons in costumes.

The Insult: The vast majority of Raider Fans are not cross-dressers, face painters, or extras in a Mad Max movie. Luckily, the Raiders sell out the yard so infrequently that these guys haven't gotten a book and movie deal. Yet.

Alternatives: Alameda is a hidden jewel of an island right next to the town. Jack London Square is nice. The pier at Berkeley is right out of a movie. Oakland has any number of awesome and authentic restaurants. And all of these things would get us away from the leathers and feathers crowd...

4) San Francisco

The Film: The Golden Gate Bridge, a Dungenes crab, or a streetcar.

The Insult: We've all seen these things a billion times. Move on.

Alternatives: Alcatraz rocks (hah! I made a funny). Golden Gate Park has any number of spectacular views. A quick jaunt on the Pacific Coast Highway will stay with you for your whole damn life. They make chocolate there. And so on, and so on.

3) New York

The Film: The Blade Runner neon trap that is Times Square, or the Statue of Liberty

The Insult: No native actually goes to either of these places. Ever.

Alternatives: Too numerous to count, but if you have to go someplace famous, the Empire State Building is still old-school cool, and Central Park is actually the place everyone likes. I'm also a fan of the view you get over some of the bridges. Of course, since the games are actually in New Jersey, you don't see so much of this footage anymore, anyway...

2) Seattle

The Film: Thrown fish at Pike's Place

The Insult: One of the most beautiful cities you've ever seen, with 150+ years as a port and melting pot where Asia meets the U.S., in an isolated cocoon that's so remote, it almost feels like Alaska some days... reduced to vending.

Alternatives: Paul Allen spent an ungodly amount on the Jimi Hendrix museum, and even that doesn't take away how cool Jimi is. Footage of Mount Rainier works. Drive a half hour in any direction, you'll be in spooky cool dark woods. Honestly, filmable stuff is not rare here.

1) Philadelphia

The Film: Cheese Steak Assembly.

The Problem: Honestly, the process hasn't changed for something like 50 years now. We're pretty sure that everyone who has wanted one has had one.

The Insult: America's first capital city, one of the half dozen largest cities in America, home to over 300 years of history, reduced to a freaking sandwich. It gets old.

Alternatives: If it must be food, show a pretzel being knotted. That's kind of cool, and we do eat a ton of those things. Or a Tastykake being crimped. That's oddly enjoyable, and definitively local. Of course, if you want to actually show something of the city, try Ben Franklin Parkway, or the Franklin Institute, or the Art Museum, or the Italian Market.

Add your own in the comments. I'm sure I've missed some doozy cliches for Chicago, Miami, Detroit, New England and others...

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