Occasionally, you come across an idea that’s so…shall we say…out-of-the-box that you just have to pass it on.
I was perusing the basketball news yesterday when I found this article on the HalfCourtHeave blog about adding “player cams” to NBA games via TrueHoop:
And that’s where the “player cam” comes in. I propose the idea that players who wear a headband on a regular basis may volunteer to have a small/discrete camera lens installed into the front of it. You’re able to see the game through the “players eyes”. You can see what it looks like to dribble the ball up floor, beat a man off the dribble, and finish at the rim.To put this idea in perspective, it would essentially be like watching basketball from the perspective of a first person shooter video game. And I know people who get flat out nauseated from those games.
They put small lenses in all sorts of surveillance equipment. Hell, phone camera lenses are smaller than the size of a pinky fingernail. Of course, the NBA runs the risk of a player taking an elbow to the head and destroying the camera but for a multi-billion dollar enterprise, they can afford to try the experiment twice a week on national television for awhile. Picture quality would clearly be an issue given the size and discrete size of the lens, but that’s for someone with far more expertise than I have on that matter. I imagine it could be done so that a respectable video replay could be made for on-air reproduction. Headbands twist around, the lens would look ridiculous protruding slightly from the forehead, malfunctions would occur. I get it. But isn’t it worth a shot?
Better yet, it’s like helmet cams in football…check out the ESPN feature below:
Before you laugh and dismiss this idea as absurd, do keep in mind that the growth of the NFL back in the day is often attributed to innovative camera angles to make Monday Night Football interesting.
So I thought to myself, would the WNBA give something like this idea a shot as a way to completely change the way we see sports?
A different camera angle might not draw in the people who are steadfastly indifferent to the league, but might be an interesting way to keep existing fans watching…
…or it could be a completely worthless gimmick that is hardly worth the time and money necessary to bring it to creation (see: NBA floor cam or free flight).
While helmet cams may be useful for analysis of football film, basketball relies so heavily on peripheral vision that I cannot really see a player cam giving us anymore of an authentic viewing experience. Plus the quality can't be that good and basketball heads should be constantly moving... it would seem like a pretty absurd way to watch a basketball game...
I really don’t see much middle ground on this…and I really don’t think the WNBA should be experimenting with gimmicks… but it’s sort of fun to think about anyway…and maybe imagine other innovative (or geeky) ways of presenting women’s basketball…
The first time I ever heard of a helmet cam? I swear it was Bud Bowl 3 in 1989…seriously. Check this out (clips begins at 1:35):
Colorado University also uses a helmet cam: