Dome Ball

This Sunday the National Football League will feature two championship games played indoors for the first time in its history.  Yecccchhhhh!

In Indianapolis, the Colts will host the New York Jets; a few hours later the Saints of New Orleans will welcome the Minnesota Vikings. Both stadiums are antiseptic, over sized monstrosities better suited for truck rallies than football.

The spectacle of playing outdoors on actual grass (or ‘frozen tundra’), no matter what the weather has been sacrificed to a high-speed, pass dominated arena ball that, to my eye, looks false. In addition, as a filmmaker, I find the lighting of indoors football on television very unattractive. I know I am no doubt out of step with the times – in the era of video games, the NFL’s new indoor look might not dismay many fans. However, I wonder if the NFL does not risk diluting its product by limiting the range of tactical options that dealing with unpredictable nature demands.

There was a moment in the only good playoff game last week (played outdoors in San Diego) where you could see the wind move a shock of a hair on the head of a concerned Chargers’ coach Norv Turner.  Having just watched parts of a dreadful game from the Garbage Bag Dome of Minneapolis, it took me a moment to even realize it was the wind!  Perhaps the elements might have contributed to San Diego’s kicker missing three field goals that sealed his team’s fate at the hands of the surprising Jets.

btw The Colts will decisively terminate the Jets’ dreams and rattle the amazing rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez. And dog willing, the Saints will end the season of the anti-Packer Favre.