Some of the behind-the-scenes stuff I’ve gotten to see this season has been more impressive than I expected. The Monday Night Football production trucks from a couple weeks back, for example, were remarkable in their size and scope. On one level, they looked just like the production truck Comcast uses to produce the Redskins preseason games — just scaled out to something like seven times larger. And there’s three of them.
Other things, though, are a little less remarkable than I would’ve thought. The Sunday Night Football Horse Trailer falls pretty solidly into that latter category, at least on the interior: it’s a trailer. The front is set up as an office for their online updates; the back is a small bank of computers that handles the on-screen virtual scoreboard stuff during the broadcast. The trailer is used to transport material from one site to the next, traveling around the clock behind a motorcoach with three drivers — one more than Madden’s cruiser uses.
As to the pictures on the side of the player of the game, technical engineer Charlie Brown — pretty much the maestro of the Horse Trailer — explains the process.
“Before each game, the print out the pictures of every player on both teams. All of them. Then, when the guys in the booth pick that game’s player, we stick up the picture on the side. By next game, they’ve got the paper picture down and the other one printed on.”
The trailer is actually used for NBC’s horse racing coverage as well — a fact commemorated by two actual horseshoes nailed to the window inside — but for the moment, it’s completely covered with NFL graphics, NBC sports logos, and all that. On the other side of the truck, opposite the players of the game, is the Haul of Fame, a list of all the players who have gotten their portraits on the side over the last couple of years.
Get it? “Haul”! Trailer puns are funny.
Anyhow, there’s Clinton Portis and Todd Collins from the end of last year. I was hoping to have been able to get a picture of one of our guys being added to the truck last night, but it looks like (barring one of our upcoming games being flexed to Sunday night) that’s going to have to wait until next year.