While living and working in Edinburgh in 2008 I set out to write one million words in 366 days... but only managed 800,737.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Superbowl XLII


What a Superbowl.

The New York Giants didn’t look so average (well, their defence certainly didn’t). And even though seeing Brady sacked 5 times was nice, and so was Randy Moss being but shut out (his big TD catch came after the DB slipped over), I did feel a twinge of pity for the Patriots and their now imperfect season. I’m sure they’d trade records with the Giants to get those rings. Then again, they have won 3 championships this decade.

It was a strange experience for me watching the game from 11pm until 3am on a Sunday night here in Edinburgh. I’m used to watching the game on a Monday afternoon in the middle of summer back in NZ. Because our TV is affixed to the wall of our bedroom, I had to watch the second half on mute while Marisa tried (without much success) to get some sleep. Fotrunately, the game (broadcast on BBC2) was captioned. I discovered this while watching Tom Petty’s halftime performance on mute. The microphone obscured Petty’s lips so couldn’t figure out which song he was singing and had the brainwave to try captions. To my surprise, someone - or something - somewhere, was actually transcribing the lyrics. A simple # before the caption denoted this was singing.

# I stand my ground, and I won't back down

It was clear that the captioner was not a Tom Petty fan as only every third line appeared in text on screen, often with some egregious and comical errors.

Like in ‘Running Down a Dream’: “Going where every I please,” was transcribed as, “Going with every police.” Sometimes these mistakes were followed by a hyphen and the correct wording, sometimes not.

When the second half commenced, the commentary was also captioned, this time capturing, or attempting to capture, every line uttered, though again, with mixed success.

As the comic misspellings piled up, it became clear the live captioner was using some form of stenotype where sounds where being transcribed rather than typing every letter of every word.

So “Brady’s career,” became, “Brady’s Korea”. And the Giants were referred to as the Jazz and the Jains from time to time (funniest though was the Redskins being referred to as the Bad Skins).

Sometimes, the captions were very wrong, but oh so close. Like when “Michael Strahan” became “My court stray hand.”

Other times, I couldn’t work out what had actually been said. Like, in reference to Wes Welker, “he takes a lake.”

Or the second half of “The largest [sic] player [sic] of the game, 30 year to two no.”

It stopped being funny about the time Kevin Faulk was referred to as an “unselfish Gaia” and Mike Carey as “the first Afro-America breath for route” (that is: referee).

I started to feel sorry for the captioner. My examples make it sound like they messed everything up, but they actually did a pretty good job for someone who probably didn’t know a lot about American football captioning live during the early hours of the morning.

But if that’s what all sports commentaries are like when they are lucky enough to be captioned, I wonder what deaf people think of the way sports commentators talk?

And of Tom Petty’s songs for that matter. Here’s a guy who looks like a dried up Jesus singing, #Take it easy baby, make it last all night.

I’m grateful for the captions for another reason too. All the attention I was paying to them helped keep me awake through the scoreless third quarter, and I’m glad I stayed up to catch one of the best finishes in a football game I’ve ever seen, Superbowl or no

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bradys career = Bradys Korea. Classic comedy. Thats [sic].