Every Saturday during the college football season, Nebraska fans pile into Memorial Stadium to cheer on their beloved Huskers. Regardless of the outcome, there’s a dedicated bunch that’s devoted to making sure every play can be seen, every player’s actions noted and ensuring the best product trots onto the field – The Nebraska Video Crew.
After interacting with these folks for several months, I decided that Husker fans deserve a behind the scenes look into their daily lives to see how they affect what fans will eventually see on Saturdays during the fall.
I pulled into Lincoln at about 10 AM unsure of what was waiting for me as I’d seen pictures of what the staff’s up to on a near daily basis thanks to their Twitter feed. What scared me for a moment was the idea that I’d only caught a glimpse of what these guys were about.
Mike Nobler, the man in charge of the video staff and his trusty assistant Tate Guillotte were the first members of the crew I met.
As we sauntered into the football offices, Nobler pointed out a new travelling trophy for the Husker and Hawkeye equipment squads. This was only part of what I’d find to be a litany of hardware that the Big Red’s video crew hoards.
We entered the video office which sits just off of the auditorium where the football team watches film as a whole. I was met with perhaps the most technologically advanced athletic video room I had seen in my entire life. It was also the only collegiate one I’d seen my entire life.
Huge monitors were showing both BTN football and the Olympic Games while laptops and other computer equipment had paused practice plays likely being cut up. To complete the ambiance, there was a Golden Tee arcade game that had obviously taken more beatings than Indiana football.
As Nobler and I went through the process of dissecting practices and games, we went over perhaps one of the coolest aspects that the crew’s technology provided – How easily the Huskers (and their opponents) could see their tendencies.
On any given down, Nebraska’s attack could be sliced and diced into formation. The crew’s work allows coaches to skip to any play during a game or practice cranking up efficiency.
I sat down with Nobler in his office to probe deeper into what his crew does, find out how he got into such a niche occupation and what was up with the gigantic servers I was shown about five minutes after my entry into the office.
Tomorrow, we’ll continue the tour, talk about the day’s audio experiment and I go one-on-one with Nobler’s assistant, Guillotte about how he contributes to Husker Nation’s success.