Saturday, November 27, 2010

Clarence Childs and Slow Motion replay:

I'm pretty sure this football play happened in 1964. Clarence Childs was a new running back for the Giants. He was occasionally explosive, and often unpredictable. But that’s not important now. The TV networks had a new tool to ramp up the excitement of football games: Slow Motion Replay. And I’m going to tell you about one of the first times it was used in a New York Giants game.

Childs took the handoff and went straight forward, gaining five yards up the middle. The announcer, to whom this replay technology was a new thing, explained that we were going to take a closer look at the play, to see how Childs gained those five yards. The slow-mo commenced, and here’s what we saw:

The quarterback handed the ball to Childs, but he failed to hold it. It slipped down, but Child’s knee came up and hit the ball back up through his hands. He couldn’t hold it, and the ball continued up until it hit his chin. It bounced back through his hands and hit a driving knee again. This time, Childs got a firm grip on the ball, just in time to be tackled. All through this pantomime, Childs kept his head down, eye on the ball, obviously thinking of nothing but how to grab it.

After the playback, the announcer said, “Sometimes, it’s not such a good idea to take a close look at these plays.”

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