Musburger: 'Bama on brink of dynasty
Jan 06, 2013 (Sun Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune News Service via COMTEX) --
When you have been broadcasting as long as Brent Musburger, even the biggest games can blur together.
The BCS title showdown he will call Monday night on ESPN along with Kirk Herbstreit already stands out as something special in the eyes of the veteran announcer due to the storied past and present of the teams involved.
"I love the mystique of Notre Dame, and I certainly understand what's going on with Alabama and the fact that this could become one of the great dynasties of college football," Musburger said.
"If (Alabama coach) Nick Saban wins this one, this run by the Crimson Tide during the BCS era coming out of the toughest conference in the country, you're going to have to pay big tribute to Nick and what he's accomplished at Tuscaloosa."
Herbstreit sees another compelling aspect in the matchup in that a sizable portion of the audience will be motivated by rooting against either of the teams.
"Notre Dame is such a polarizing team, where everybody, no matter when you grew up, you either loved Notre Dame or you just couldn't stand Notre Dame. So there are a lot of people out there that I think are going to have to make a tough decision on who to pull for," Herbstreit said. "I really believe that ... outside of the SEC, most people, even if they aren't big Notre Dame fans in this case, because of the six straight national titles (by SEC teams), I think they're going to be pulling with all their hearts to see Notre Dame end that streak."
The BCS itself has been a polarizing force in college football. But Herbstreit and Musburger, who will team up for the sixth consecutive BCS Championship telecast, have seen the game grow in stature, in Musburger's view, "to rival some of the NFL playoff games, whereas the other bowls have sort of dropped off because they lack some of the importance of the national championship game."
ESPN is bringing out all of the tricks and technology it reserves for the biggest events. In addition to more cameras than a typical telecast to cover every angle of a play, the network has beefed up the audio with 5.1 surround sound to bring the game closer to the viewer.
Shotgun microphones will be mounted to handheld cameras in the parking lots and in the fan areas in each end zone, and robotic cameras near the locker rooms. Several 5.1 microphones will be positioned at the edge of the field closer to the stands to give the viewer a front-row POV effect.
"This is really more how we do it for Monday Night Football," said Kevin Cleary, senior audio producer, ESPN remote production. "These are the kind of effects microphones we array for NFL."
Among the special cameras is the Spidercam, which flies over the field on cables. The equipment, also used on MNF telecasts this season, provides a unique perspective on instant replays.
ENHANCED CELLULAR SERVICE
AT&T has upgraded its network at the Sun Life Stadium with added 4G LTE technology and additional antennas that are expected to more than triple voice and data capacity. Antennas were added outside the stadium to expand coverage and capacity for fans tailgating in the parking lot.
"We know football fans at the stadium will want to use their smartphones to share photos, videos and texts during the big games with friends back home," AT&T Florida President Marshall Criser III said. "The investment we've made in the upgrades at the stadium will help make that possible."
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