I believe the coverage of Johnny Manziel has just officially jumped the shark. Or, at the very least, it’s careening wildly toward the ramp.
As you may have heard, two-time defending BCS champion Alabama will square off Saturday afternoon against the team that handed them its lone loss of the 2012 season, Texas A&M. The coverage and
overanalysis of the rematch will likely be something that we’ve never really witnessed for a mid-September college football game.
Included in that coverage? Per Richard Deitsch of SI.com, CBS will have an extra camera devoted solely to the Heisman-winning quarterback. That’s right, there will be one camera trained on a 20-year-old player for the entirety of the three-hour-plus broadcast.
“No matter where he is and no matter what part of the game it is, we will have a shot of it,” CBS coordinating producer Craig Silver told Deitsch for his weekly must-read Media Circus piece. “If he is anywhere in sight of that camera, we will catch it.”
Manziel, thanks to an “eventful” offseason that came on the heels of a spectacular first season as a starter, is arguably the biggest lightning rod in the game of college football since Tim Tebow was praying his way around Gainesville a couple of years ago. Because of CBS‘ broadcast relationship with the SEC, that network is very used to dealing with the hype of teams in general and players specifically — and Silver mentions Tebow specifically when discussing how the game and the player will be handled.
“The one analogy I can make in terms of covering someone is we obviously spent four years covering Tim Tebow at Florida,” said Silver. “I was always careful as a producer, and I think Verne [Lundquist] and Gary [Danielson] were as broadcasters too, to make sure we treated Tebow fairly. But let’s face it, the guy was touching the ball every snap. I think people sometimes see what they want to see or hear what they want to hear. My main goal of this game is to just remember there is a lot more going on than Johnny Manziel.”