The debate over restricting playing time for All Blacks in Super Rugby has gone to another level after it was criticised by leading coaches Warren Gatland and Tony Brown.
What is the obsession with television sporting directors showing the players’ faces when national anthems/team songs are being sung prior to matches?
More times than not – as in the recent Rugby World Cup final – there is a opera singer, choir, musician (or basically someone with a good voice), powerfully and emotionally singing the anthem.
The teams are lined up in formation, a splendid and striking image. And what images fill our screens, but the panning close-up shots of the players’ faces, completely, for me anyway, ruining the moment.
I haven’t tuned in to see the players sing, they are there to play their chosen sport and represent their nation/team.
The anthem singer is there to sing the anthem. Let’s see them and not be distracted by the players, some looking disinterested, some singing along, some hoping that it will end soon as they don’t know the words, some remembering that they forgot to Tweet before leaving the dressing rooms.
The anthems at the start of a sporting clash are powerful, emotional, bonding (i.e. involving the crowd, viewers and listeners), memorable experiences.
Let us not have that diminished by having to see (and worse, hear) the players, instead of the professional anthem singers and the players lined up in formation.