Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Technology tantrums

Afternoon all

Well, that was interesting. Another win for Sporting KC, this time over Chivas USA, see's them 3 points clear at the top of MLS and 6 points clear of nearest challengers New York Red Bulls in the Eastern conference. The 1-0 win meant Sporting KC would finish the day 4-0-0 for the first time in the teams history. However, despite another solid win, the technical difficulties that we had on our broadcast over shadowed events at The Home Depot Center for every single 1 of us involved with TV. We've explained what happened on Twitter and as much as we'd like to move past this, I do feel as though we owe you an explanation. So here we go......

For those who don't know how we do our broadcasts on the road, we basically rent a small truck and use our main piece of rather expensive equipment called a 'tricaster' to run the show. Now i'm probably not the best person to explain how it works as my knowledge of it is extremely limited. I just know as soon as I found out it wasn't working at around 3pm PT, my heart sank. Almost everything on the road is run of this piece of machinery. Now we expect equipment to get a bit of wear and tear on the road as we carry it all (14/15 bags and cases) through the airport between the 5 of us, but it was only week 4!! Our only guess is that someone from a certain airline decided to throw it rather then place it. If thats the case, i'm impressed! That thing is exceptionally heavy! We scoured through contacts through out California to find out if there was 1 we could rent for the day. Unfortunately, nobody had 1 within California and the stress began to take place. Not having the tricaster would mean we would have to abandon ALL graphics (as most of you saw with the score bug), which also meant the transitions to most other things in the broadcast were extremely sharp and nowhere near as smooth as per usual. On top of all this, we then appeared to have internal audio issues, which meant both Jake (@jakeyadrich) and I couldn't hear our director Chris (@ctwyche) for the most part of the first 2 segments. However, the 1 incident which did make me laugh more then anything was during the highlights of the FC Dallas game (which Jake pre produced). You guys must remember viewing the highlights, right? Must be nice...... our monitor cut out so Jake and I were doing it completely blind! Oh the joys of technical difficulties. Either way, it was an absolute miracle that was even had a show on Sunday. Chris, Craig, Eric and Abner (@abnerha) were absolutely brilliant. The highlights we showed at the end of the game....... we took Chivas USA's TV feed for a few moments, brilliant thinking from the production boys. I remember Chris saying in my ear "we have highlights, when you get it back, go to highlights" and I paused for a brief second whilst Jake was talking and thought to myself 'how...... just how have you managed that'!! That day made me realize that even with 1 of the smallest TV crew's on the road, we have one of the best groups within MLS. Any questions you have about that broadcast, please post them at the bottom of this blog and i'll see if I can answer them for you. Sincere apologies, it'll be fixed by the time we head up to Vancouver.

Right, on a more positive note I think the next 2 games are huge for Sporting KC. LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake, arguably amongst the top 3 sides in MLS and we have them at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. ESPN are in town for the Galaxy game, but keep your eyes pealed, we have an announcement coming this week.

So despite the chaos and madness of LA, being home in Kansas City for 2 weeks is very much on my mind. Its funny, doing what we do can be very stressful and chaotic, but we wouldn't have it any other way. Certain things have fallen into place for me over recent weeks and I think things could get even better! I have to say, life is fantastic! I spoke to my Mom today and remember uttering the words "I think this is the happiest i've ever been in my life". We go to so many great cities on our travels, but KC is certainly the most friendliest and has that homely feeling about it. I love it here!

So, sorry Kansas City, you're stuck with me for a while yet. Talk to you all on Thursday evening from 6PM on 610 Sports Radio.




  1. Callum, the difficulties were more bothersome to you and your crew than to the viewers. Thankfully, you guys are perfectionists who pride yourselves on a delivering a wonderful product. The viewers reap the benefits of that fixation. However, I believe to the bottom of my heart that most of us were quite happy to get to watch SKC no matter how what the production issues. We got to see a "W" and enjoyed watching regardless. Thus, stop worrying. We love you, Jake, and SKC. Thanks to the crew who did the best with what they were dealing with. Your efforts are deeply appreciated.

  2. Wow, you all had some trying times! We love you though, and are so proud of your hard work. Without you, we wouldn't get to see the team win on the road- or hear wicked commentary! Thanks for all you do.