It takes a special type of toughness to play in the NFL but covering the league is no picnic either. Especially for camera operators who set up shop feet from the action, close one eye, and hope no enormously large and fast player comes careening wildly in their direction. Even when they think they are safely removed from risk, an errant football could come flying in at their precious facial features. It is not a job for the weary.
Take last night, for instance, when a seemingly harmless Nick Folk field goal took direct aim at Fox's Don Cornelli. The veteran cameraperson took it in stride, shaking it off like a quarterback who got his bell rung yet refuses to leave the field during this two-minute drill.
These are the types of intangibles the advanced camera analytics community simply cannot quantify. The greatest ability is availability. Any brilliant football coach miraculously relegated to coaching seventh- and eighth-graders will tell you that. No wonder Joe Buck and Troy Aikman were happy to discuss it.