For those who may not have access to Thursday Night NFL games on cable (NFL Network), NFL.com on Thursday nights is a pretty good option on the internet to enjoy the game.
The game is not shown from start to finish. Rather, it is provided with live look-ins and rapid replays. Basically, the consumer gets one big tease, but the presentation is an enjoyable one.
There is enough live action and updating from the studio crew that being on the Internet and tuning in while browsing is pretty entertaining.
It’s a bunch of no-name guys in studio providing analysis, with Rebecca Haarlow doing interviews as the sideline reporter.
Haarlow interviewed Kurt Warner during the Cardinals versus Rams game last night and asked him who he was rooting for. It was a good question to a future Hall Of Famer who was best known in his playing career for both teams.
Warner said he is a media person now, but also said he is inclined to root for the Cardinals because he has a stronger connection with the Cardinals from being there so recently. He did say that the St. Louis dome has a strong piece of his heart.
The rest of the crew in studio seem more like fans. They’re not too stuffy and try to keep a flow to the analysis and highlights.
Three guys in suits are in charge: Mike ‘Money’ Smith, Daniel Jeremiah and Elliott Harrison. They don’t hold back and are willing to give any opinion, whether it’s on the play of the teams, the coaching strategies, or the calls of the refs.
Bucky Brooks is a former player acting in the role of pundit. He played in the league for five years for five different teams and was best known as a punt returner. His gig is Instant Playbook, which he does by himself with a chalkboard.
Former Super Bowl winner and offensive lineman Shaun O’hara steps in on occasion to give analysis in the booth.
Two other fans/sports writers give periodic Fantasy updates.
Also, some segments will include paraphernalia and discussions from NFL times gone by, like old game programs or popular culture references.
Additionally, Stump The Savant is a dumb, fun trivia segment done throughout the game with the studio guys and pre-recorded answers and questions from current players. It provides obscure NFL information for the staunchest of fans.
The Live Look-Ins are frequent and feature the announcers Brad Nessler and Mike Mayok, the actual game announcers from the NFL Network cable broadcast.
All in all, it’s a different type of broadcast. If it’s possible, the broadcast is serious and laid back at the same time.
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com