Friday, February 19, 2010

Sports Announcing

So we've been watching a lot of Olympics coverage lately, and of course most of it is of sports I don't regularly pay any attention to. So, my question is, why don't the announcers actually tell us something that makes sense of what's going on?

The snowboard announcers say what the tricks are, but most of them look the same to me. What are the differences? Why not have a snowboarding tricks 101 segment? And curling? Forget about it. It's sort of fun to watch, but all I can figure out is that you want to get your "rock" in the center. And what is important about a toepick? One of the announcers said, just after a skater stopped himself from falling, "thank goodness for toepicks." What does that possibly mean?

I know that now I can just look these things up on the internet, but I honestly don't want to take the time. You have my attention right now, tell me what I need to know! Wouldn't explaining the sport draw more interest? More interest would then mean more viewers and more viewers would mean more ad revenue. It seems really simple.

And let's not just stop with these games, let's move it to all sports. I watch a lot of football but have no idea what the difference is between a nickel or a dime defense. If I don't know you can be sure that casual fans don't have any idea about some of the things the announcers say. So, why not explain it to us? Tell us what is actually going on. Make us better fans.

If you saw my earlier post on the amount of actual action in a football game (about 11 minutes) you know they have the time to fill, so fill it with something useful. The same for hockey, basketball and baseball. Make your public as informed about the game as you possible can, because the more they know, the more involved they will be, and the better fan they will be.

Baseball is the best and the worst at this. If you listen to games on the radio, the announcers, who have to fill time because there are no pictures (although often they act as if you are watching it on TV at the same time), will tell you how the fielders are positioned. But they don't tell you what this means. TV is the absolute worst at this because they don't televise games based on people who are actually interested in the sport. If they did, the pitcher-batter duel would be in the bottom corner and a shot of the rest of the field would be on the main part of the screen. That would allow me to see how all the players are positioned, what the runners are doing, how people are moving after the ball is put into play. In other words it would tell me exactly what I need to know about what is actually going on in the game. When people say that going to baseball games is boring it's because they don't understand the intricacies of the game because it has never been shown or explained to them.

Tell people what they are supposed to know and what they should be paying attention to. The more you know, the more you become involved, the more involved you become the more you watch, and the more you watch the more money broadcasters make. Am I the only one to figure this out?

So how does this apply to church? Well it's simple. We have to do exactly the same thing. We as the church have to recognize the fact that the vast majority of our people (and definitely those who aren't even sitting in our pews) are only casually knowledgeable. When we say something is in the narthex, let alone talk about atonement theory, most people have absolutely no idea what we are talking about. It then becomes language of a special club to which they do not belong.

Let us take the same attitude and explain things to them. Let us not assume knowledge, because usually we are wrong. Even if 99 out of 100 know what we are talking about, let's explain it to the one, because the one might then become a disciple and begin telling others about their faith because now they have the knowledge and the words to use to do so.

p.s. Today in 1913 the first prize was put into a box of Cracker Jacks. Did they do it because they knew baseball season was right around the corner?

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