ESPN Freeze Frames The Bottom Line Obstructing A Sideline Replay View. In Two Different Games.

  • Dylan Murphy

The great thing about replay is that it slows down an otherwise difficult-to-see play and lets viewers make the call. (We’re all refs anyway, right?) This might seem obvious to you. Not to ESPN, apparently, as they decided that their bottom line was more important than the live broadcast that John Skipper so dearly cares about.

First up we have Northwestern wide receiver Demetrius Fields, who tiptoes near the corner of the end zone to reel in a TD catch. On the first replay, it appears that his foot does in fact avoid the chalk. But on the second look, we’re stuck with the above photo AND THEN THEY FREEZE IT THERE. That’s right – the World Wide Leader deems the pending North Texas-LSU matchup (airing on ESPNU, of course) a more pressing need than, say, the replay of the close play in the football game you tuned in to watch. Not to mention the discussion of said play and freeze frame WHICH WE CAN’T SEE.

Alright, so maybe this was a brief videography error. Well, not so fast. Turn your attention to the second half of the above video, in which Nebraska wide receiver Quincy Enunwa evades the tackle of a Southern Miss defender and scampers into the end zone. Except his right foot comes dangerously close to the sideline, so the refs call him out of bounds at the seven yard line. Luckily ESPN’s camera crew comes right in with the replay so we can judge the call for ourselves. The first angle, unfortunately, is zoomed out a bit far, making any definitive statement about the play premature. But then they hand us this:


Oh, hey, wouldn’t you rather stare at the Yankees-Orioles score? And, once more, we’re subject to vibrant dialogue concerning a play WE CAN’T EVEN SEE.

According to our own CJ Fogler, this has been going on since the college football season kicked off on Thursday.

Video and caps via CJ Fogler