When you watch a football game on TV, it’s an endless barrage of highlights, cameras focused on the quarterback or the receiver. The view that you don’t ever see is the “All-22” shot, showing the whole field and the actions of both teams simultaneously.
The Wall Street Journal has a fascinating article that delves into why the NFL doesn’t release that footage to the public. The upshot is that it shows the viewer too much about how the game is played and how the team is coached (or not). The fear the league has is that fans and talk radio would criticize coaches more than they already do, and worse, would provide evidence to back those criticisms up.
I’m not optimistic that the NFL releases the footage any time soon, but I do want to try to see more of the big picture when I watch the games. I picked up a book from the library, Take Your Eye Off the Ball: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look. I’m not trying to become an expert, but I would like to understand more about what’s happening on the field.