‘Smarter than you’ Patriots invent new way to broadcast NFL preseason games

The Patriots' first preseason game is Aug. 9 at Philadelphia. Credit: Getty Images
The Patriots’ first preseason game is Aug. 9 at Philadelphia. Credit: Getty Images

Whether or not it’s actually true remains up for debate, but many across the country believe that the Patriots are arrogant and nearly always give off a “we’re smarter than you” vibe (see Terrell Suggs after last season’s AFC Championship Game).

This idea that the Pats always have to do things their own unique way will grow in the coming weeks, but this time it has absolutely nothing to do with Bill Belichick or Tom Brady. Kraft Productions, the team’s in-house media ensemble, will flip the script on how a traditional football game is to be broadcast. Instead of a play-by-play guy like Don Criqui (whom the Pats used for preseason games for a couple of decades) and a color analyst like Randy Cross (they should have never let go of Jerry Glanville, dammit!), Kraft Productions will implement a “talk radio style” format during the game. The idea is to zero in on certain fringe players who are using these preseason games as their own Super Bowls in an effort to simply make the Pats’ final roster instead of focusing on down and distance and the scoreboard.

“We are looking at the preseason games as an opportunity to try something different and find innovative ways to engage our fans in the discussion,” said Kraft Productions executive producer Matt Smith in a statement. “We want voices and opinions on what happened during the week of practice and how it relates to what fans are seeing on the field. We want a conversational, talk-radio approach on the important issues and roster battles that are going on throughout practice as well as in the game. We want our viewers to hear the opinions of the people watching every detail of the practice sessions during the week and how it relates to what is happening in the game.”

WBZ’s Dan Roche will “host” with former Patriots Christian Fauria and Matt Chatham chiming in. Patriots Football Weekly writers Paul Perillo and Andy Hart will also offer up their respective takes. The Pats open up their preseason schedule on Friday, Aug. 9 at Philadelphia (7:30 p.m.).

Another interesting twist on this: when the NFL Network delivers its mashup of preseason games to a national audience, they typically flip-flop between the home and visiting team’s announcers throughout the game. Eagles fans living in, say, San Diego may very well be cursing at their flatscreens next weekend – not because Chip Kelly is playing Michael Vick too long – but because of the “ahead of the curve” nature of the Patriots and Kraft Productions.

 

Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS

 



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