You've never had it so good
These indeed are heady times for American Football fans in this country. The launch of NASN's NFL coverage last weekend gave us the most detailed weekend of gridiron analysis we have ever had. From an evening of college football and pre and post-game shows on Saturday to two ESPN NFL pre-game shows on Sunday.
From Sky's usual double-header show that included the Bucs at the Falcons, to Channel 5's normal wrap-up show and tape-delay coverage of the Monday and Sunday night games. Throw in NFL Primetime on NASN with the incomparable Chris Berman and you come away with hash mark eyes. Great isn't it?
It is around 20 years ago that I first found out about Armed Forces Radio coverage of NFL games. A patchy MW signal on a Sunday night but there it was, Ray Wersching kicking a fieldgoal for the 49ers and I was hearing it as it happened. These were the days of Nicky Horne and Miles Aitken remember, a show that aired a week after the games actually took place. And forget seeing the Bucs. After our initial appearance in 1982, we didn't get another UK TV showing for another four seasons.
How far have we come? From 1995 and the first live coverage on Sky Sports (remember Gary O'Reilly and his one tie?) to the arrival of the internet age. I used to get game reports from copies of The Buccaneer magazine and The Tampa Tribune that people brought back from their vacations. Suddenly you could read the actual game reports from Nick Pugliese and the rest of the gang in the Tampa media.
And where will it go from here? Somewhere down the road, perhaps sooner than we think, we'll be able to get every Buccaneer game on TV. I am also looking forward to the day when I can take video clips from games I have in my collection and add them to the website so instead of pictures of great touchdowns, you will get to see the actual play as well. All we need now are interactive cheerleaders.....
Paul Stewart, September 2003