NBC Overhead Camera Falls Onto Field

By Gregg Bell

Seattle (AP) Talk
about bad omens. An overhead NBC television camera mounted on wires collapsed
onto the turf during a timeout early in Sunday night’s game between the New
Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, almost hitting two

Seattle players and causing a 10-minute
delay.

The Saints
had just called timeout with 11:24 remaining in the first quarter when the
camera slumped and then fell a few yards from quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and
the rest of the huddling Seahawks. After the camera was righted somewhat off
the ground, it fell again — and nearly hit Bobby Engram as the receiver was
walking to the sideline.

Game
officials then cleared both teams from the middle of the field while the
network got the camera back up to normal height. As the camera moved up and
down the field for testing, Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren looked up at its every
move with his mouth agape. When the camera moved to the sideline,

Seattle’s players all
cleared out from beneath it.

“That’s
total access right there,” Hasselbeck said. “It wasn’t our night, I
guess.”

Guess not.

Seattle went on
to a 28-17 loss that had the home crowd booing the three-time defending NFC
West champions.

“I
thought it was going to hit Matt,” running back Shaun Alexander said.
“You kind of wanted to laugh. But at the same time you were like, ‘What
else can happen?'”

After a
10-minute delay, the game resumed with the camera parked above the Seahawks
bench area — with players and coaches making sure they did not stand under it.

“I’m
going to talk to my lawyer and get back to you,” Hasselbeck joked.

“I
just feel really fortunate it didn’t hit me.”

Just
before the game resumed, referee Jeff Triplette announced: “If any live
ball were to touch the wires overhead, there will be a replay of the down, by
rule.”