Sunday, September 13, 2009

Football in 3-D: USC v. OSU

USC v. Ohio StateSometimes I think I bleed cardinal and gold. This is probably mostly true during the college football season, but no worries to non-USC fans, this isn't a gushing post of our awesomely crazy victory finish against OSU on Saturday. (Though - GAHHHHHH!!! - okay, I'm done.) I'm writing mostly to relay about the great experience I had watching the game in 3-D at the USC Galen Center.

I've seen a number of movies lately in 3-D, animated features of Coraline, Up, and the opening of Harry Potter respectively, so I didn't know what to expect when my friend Andy told me about them showing a football game in 3-D. All I know is that when I saw his post on Facebook, I immediately wrote, "I wanna go! Get me a ticket!" Tickets were free for the event, it just took a little time effort to get them at the various outlets at USC.

ESPN 3-D ScreenTicket acquired, I met up with Andy and his friends at the Galen Center Saturday and when we got to our seats the first thing we marveled at was the size of the screen (see right). Placed beneath the standard screens of the Galen Center, it was hard not to look and compare the two and err on the side of "size really does matter", and it particularly matters when you're watching football in 3-D.

The following are my pro's and con's of the experience.


  • View at the end zone when you feel like you are ON the field. As I told my friend Scott later, it's like "football fan to die for" view. There's just nothing like it and, as a bonus, you don't have to worry about getting hit by a football or a football player.

  • 3-D is just cool.

  • Because the screen size is so large, it presents this feeling like you're really at the game with great seats.

  • If you're watching this at a sports arena like the Galen Center, this contributes to this feeling of being at the game. Couple this by the fact that you're there with your friends cheering/hugging for your team in last-minute triumphs or (as it was for so much of the 3rd quarter) holding on for dear, moral support through intense, nerve-wracking agony, it's the next best thing to being THERE. And seeing your handful of fans at an away game, it's like your supporting them (sans the plane and football ticket).

  • As great as it is to see fans as if you're there with your team, it's a little obnoxious seeing the same fans over and over again, particularly on the other team. This is mostly true when considering that it really takes away from the feeling of being AT the game. Usually, when you're sitting in the stands, you don't get cut-to's over to other fans.

  • Showing movie trailers. The viewing started movie-like with previews and during the initial commercial breaks we got them again. Here's the thing, I understand completely that there needs to be sponsored ads, but again, it's like sitting in the middle of a game and having it disappear to a Disney trailer. I want to see all of the movies they showed (Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Toy Story's various renditions), but I don't need to see the trailers 4 times. My solution? At least show the game going on in the side, so it's less intrusive and feels like a commercial break.

  • The filming had, at rare times, odd focuses on items making it a bit jarring, but this only happened occasionally. But with live filming it can't be helped, I think. Well, maybe the random guy who didn't want the camera there and was flashing a blue light over and over again could have been helped. Trial and error, right?

  • Okay and I was not cool with the lame "Superbowl Ring showing"/"Try and reach out like you're getting that woman's soda cup" shenanigans.

All in all I would totally recommend a 3-D Football Experience if you can have one. I think the kinks of the event are just finding that divide between a 3-D telecast and a regular TV one. There's just some things that don't translate. But it doesn't matter, it's definitely an experience worth having, pretty much the closest thing to being there in awesome seats and in some ways (like that view of the end zone!!) even better.

-Charity Tran

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