ESPN managed to achieve the impossible Tuesday night: The network united Ohio State and Michigan fans in hatred of the same thing.
They both despised the seldom-used floor-level camera angle at which ESPN broadcast the entirety of Tuesday's game between the Buckeyes and Wolverines.
Whereas a typical elevated camera angle allows viewers to see the whole floor without issue, the floor-level angle frequently left viewers with an obstructed view of the ball or no view at all. Ninety-six percent of Twitter users who voted in Rivals recruiting analyst Brandon Brown's poll said they did not like the camera angle and a sampling of tweets about the game reflected similar sentiment.
Things better than this @espn camera angle:
-Ending the McRib.
-Ads on YouTube.
-Working on Saturday.
— BT Powerhouse (@BTpowerhouse) February 17, 2016
@espn I'm turning off the Michigan vs Ohio State game. You know why....this ridiculous camera angle. I'm nauseous.
— Kyle Frankel (@kylefrankel) February 17, 2016
Every jump shot is like its own mini trivia game: Did this Zak Irvin shot go in? pic.twitter.com/P25SH2m7Ta
— Alejandro Zúñiga (@ByAZuniga) February 17, 2016
Maybe for the second half @ESPN will give us the "sitting behind a tall guy" camera angle.
— Michael Citro (@11W_Michael) February 17, 2016
Maybe y’all just need to reference Ben Simmons when complaining about the camera angle. Perhaps that will work.
— Chris Dobbertean (@ChrisDobbertean) February 17, 2016
Every few minutes, ESPN play-by-play man Bob Wischusen did his best to explain to confused viewers why the network was using this unusual angle. He said it was to allow the TV audience to better appreciate the speed and athleticism of the players.
"Tonight we're trying something a little different," Wischusen said. "We're trying to let you appreciate the speed of this game.
"We get to watch these games from down close at the floor seats. We're giving you the chance to do that as well and appreciate how fast these games are played."
The trouble with that rationale is that Michigan-Ohio State was hardly a showcase for fast-paced basketball. The Buckeyes entered play 168th in adjusted tempo. The Wolverines were 305th.
Ultimately the floor seats camera view might have been a success if ESPN had used it sparingly, but it detracted from the game the way it was deployed Tuesday night. Viewers want to watch the game without repeatedly losing sight of the ball on the far side of the floor behind another player or one of the referees.
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