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Dec. 29, 2018 — The alternate feed

This evening, the doubleheader for the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision semifinal playoff occurred.

Instead of watching the usual game broadcast, I was treated to a broadcast where four college football coaches broke down the game, play by play.

It’s the kind of broadcast which, truthfully, occurs every single week in nations where broadcasters take a chance in growing their broadcast footprint. At one time, you could watch any English Premier League soccer game three different ways: the regular broadcast, a broadcast of the studio hosts watching the various games during the day, and Fan Zone, where two amateurs would commentate on the various incidents of the game in real time while texts from fans would scroll across the bottom of the screen.

In the U.S., only the College Football Playoff and the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament have these kinds of multiple-stream broadcasts, along with certain motor races such as the Indy 500.

The football coaches’ room was an excellent alternative to the usual play-by-play. It also had an incident which gave me a bit of a smile. When one team lined up to protect the quarterback as he took a knee to run out the last minute of the clock, Herm Edwards, the head coach at Arizona State, took the time to describe the circumstances around the invention of the so-called “Victory Formation.”

Edwards, back in 1978, was the Philadelphia defensive back who scored the Miracle at the Meadowlands touchdown after a fumble on a simple running play. It was an incident which not only legitimized the “Victory Formation,” it also changed NFL history.

The loss sent coach John McVay to the 49ers where he helped build a team that would win five Super Bowls, and it also led to the installation of George Young as general manager of the Giants, leading a pair of Super Bowl wins and the drafting of Hall-of-Famer Lawrence Taylor.

As it turns out, two friends of mine — a labor lawyer and an adjunct science professor — were watching the same time as me.

My social media post: “We smart people think alike.”

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