Last night saw the Pittsburgh Steelers play the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh in an ordinary Thursday night football game. The score ended up 40 – 17 in favour of the Steelers which again is pretty ordinary considering how well the Steelers are doing this season – although I would have expected the Titans to have played a bit better as they are a good team these days.

What was different about the game was the fact that NBC had decided to trial the “Madden angle” using the brilliant Skycam for a lot more plays this week. If you’re unfamiliar with the “Madden angle”, it’s a viewing angle most/all players of the video game known as Madden NFL XXXX (where the X’s are replaced by the year of that edition) play the game using. It’s an angle from behind the offence no matter if you’re on offence or defence at the time.

Ingame Madden NFL Camera Angle

This is definitely the best angle to play the game at but does it translate well to real-life games in terms of audience satisfaction? I’m still to see a generally positive or negative reaction from NFL fans yet but we all know there probably will be one as people just love to bang on via social media and give their opinion whilst denouncing all other opinions – good ol’ social media.

NBC made the decision to show more of the game via this viewing angle after a fog-bound game between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons in week 7 meant they had to switch to the “Madden view” in that one so fans could actually see what was going on as the sideline/stadium angles just weren’t working out. After the Falcons/Patriots game, NBC received a generally positive reaction to their decision to go with the view and so thought it would be a good idea to try it again out of choice rather than necessity.

Madden Cam, Like or Dislike?

Skycam view at Titans Steelers game

For me, well, I’m not sold on it being used quite so much, to be honest. I do like the view but just not as the main view for the majority of the game. I’d much prefer to see it used for replays as the colour-commentator/expert explains a play and we get to see a hole created for a running back to run through or some great offensive line pocket play or a great burst through the line by a pass-rusher etc.

I do like the fact that we get to see the safeties and where they line up and then react to the play, as this is a part that the standard sideline view misses and we get to see (kind of) what the quarterback sees downfield although we do get a much better view than he does as we are higher up and so don’t have a load of 6’5″+ 300lb linemen in our way. I know people will say that we get a QB’s eye view of the game but, come on, we don’t really. Yes, we kinda do but not really.

A thing that did bother me about it was when it zoomed in before the snap and stayed like that for the play. I want to see the wide receivers and cornerbacks as well, please. When it’s zoomed out more, I quite like it, but when it’s a tighter angle, meh, not a great fan.

All in all, I’d much rather stick to my fifty-yard line TV angle rather than this endzone-esque view for most plays and then use this for replays and analysis. There’s a reason fifty-yard line game tickets cost a shedload more than high up endzone tickets when going to a game.

I realise that they’re trialling ways to get us more immersed in each game and closer to the action, but to have this angle as the primary one just doesn’t do it for me.

What did you think of the new Madden style view used in this game? Did you like it, dislike it or are you indifferent to it? Let me know in the comments below.