Friday, July 26, 2002

August starts the pre-season games of the NFL pro-football league. At least that was the sports format for the CBS of pre-1992.
We would usually start off with a game in New England. We would be housed in hotel rooms in Boston and an early morning trek got us to the New England Patriots field in south Mass.
As usual, the home team's name never matched the field it played on, such as the NY Giants play in the Meadowlands of New Jersey, the Dallas Cowboys play in Irvine Texas, the Detroit Lions play in Pontiac, Michigan (at least 20 miles from Detroit.) That name phenomenon exists with most of the big time sports. The demographics of the areas involved don't support stadiums that are in the cities anymore, hence the management scions opt for the buck and the fans be dammed.
Well, back to the first game of the summer, the setting takes place in a former college bowl. The TV truck is parked on the outside of the stadium and access is achieved by walking through a telephone company room at street level, which is many floors above the playing field.
During one particular setup, several of us were on the field and it had rained heavily during the night and the ground was soaked. Anita O'Mara Brooking was pulling cables along with Jeff Pollack and myself. I had the camera head in my hands, when someone in the truck inadvertently turned on the power to the cable. Anita's quick thinking pulled me free of the cable and I was pale from the jolt.
The next day was game day. The sun was out in all its fury and on the field, the temperature was a sweltering 107 degrees, as was shown on camera during the game, when a thermometer was placed on the turf. During the game, the referee and a line judge passed out from the heat, and substitutes were recruited from the playing coaches.As Bob Vernum will attest to, it was never uncomfortable in the truck for the switchers.
But memories abound for the field crews. That was the last time I saw Dick Douglas, an outstanding cameraman, before his medical problem took him from us. Then too, I remember the movie star, handsome Ed Magliola, breaking his leg while showering. We told him to use water instead of gin for washing.

These are just more memories from the past.


Tony Cucurullo