The broadcast was tasked with making a quick decision on how to show replays of the injury and how to contextualize them. Tagoviloa was injured during last week’s game against the Bills, was swinging and fell to the ground after taking a heavy blow. He left that game but returned after the Dolphins reported that he had cleared the NFL’s concussion protocols. The The NFL Players Association has launched a review of how to deal with that, and it’s ongoing.
After Tagovailoa was injured on Thursday, the match returned from a commercial hiatus and showed a slow-moving replay of his fingers bending involuntarily after hitting the ground. “We’ll show you in a moment how his fingers were stretched out at the end of that play,” Michaels, the theatrical play man said.
Lots of broadcasts are forced to say how important re-infections are, and some decide they aren’t. When Alex Smith sustained a horrific leg injury several seasons ago, CBS only showed one replay. “It’s a philosophy,” CBS Vice President of Production Howard Bryant said at the time. “It’s a horrific injury, and we described it in depth and documented it, and as a group we felt that was enough.”
Amazon (whose founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post) offered another replay of Tagovailoa’s injury in the fourth quarter. Multiple replay Some fans got angry on social media.
In the break, the game studio staff returned to the topic of Tagovailoa but made little mention of Tagovailoa’s injury and condition the previous week. Host Charissa Thompson indirectly referred to this, saying, “Given everything we saw last week and now this week, it was really hard to see.”
But there has been no debate about whether Tagovailoa should have played in the first place — not even from former cornerback and Amazon member Richard Sherman, who once published an article on the Players’ Tribune titled “Why I Hate Football on Thursday Nights,” who cited his concerns about the safety of players and the short turnaround from Sunday’s games.
Not everyone was convinced that the show should have discussed Dolphins’ decision. Andrew Whitworth, a newly retired frontman, responded to criticism from an NFL writer on Twitter.
He wrote: “I only criticized the previous players.” “Who played the game. To spend their time talking about their football brother enjoying movement and gaining awareness. The bad look is interested in anything other than Tua and his family at the moment. Politics of [tomorrow]! “
Chris Nowinsky, co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, has started a program to educate broadcasters on how to talk about concussions with Bob Costas, who said he was removed from coverage of the Super Bowl on NBC because of his comment about concussions. “The problem is we all thought Bob Costas was untouchable,” Nowinski said. “When he said one bad word about football, he was kicked out of the NFL broadcast by NBC. And I think that scared everyone. . . . I watch the games and hear the fear. [announcers’] voices. If they say something bad about the concussion or put it in the wrong place, they will lose their jobs.”
During Thursday’s pre-game show, the Amazon crew had a lengthy discussion about Tagovailoa’s injury last week. The network provided a more in-depth report on the injury after the game as well, including a detailed explanation of league concussion protocols from reporter Michael Smith.
One of the toughest things for sports broadcasters to do is getting the right balance in live coverage of critical injuries, said Michael Weinstein, longtime CEO and producer of sports including NFL games. “You try to tell the story of what happened but you also make an instant decision,” he said.
Weinstein thought the context of Tagovailoa’s previous injury was important and should be highlighted, but said it was difficult for broadcasters to speculate whether a player should play or not.
“How do you say he shouldn’t play if the dolphins and the doctor give him the green light?” he asked. “It’s hard for Al O [color analyst Kirk] Herbstreit or anyone in the broadcast to say so.”
Weinstein added that the way injuries are presented and talked about on television is a matter for the NFL. When he used to meet with the league before the season about broadcasting games, executives always highlighted the work the NFL was doing to protect players — especially as awareness about concussions grew. “The NFL recognizes that there are concerns about this on every level,” Weinstein said.
Mark Maske contributed to this report.
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