February 4, 2013

(Patrick Semansky/ Associated Press)

During next year’s Super Bowl, the Erik Wemple Blog demands an inset box on the screen showing the goings-on in the NFL control room. Because if there’s any hope of replicating the scene that unfolded in that hive after last night’s blackout at the Super Bowl, we don’t want to be left out of the fun.

CBS News just happened to have cameras in that control room last night in the opening moments of the second half. Boom! Lights out! Immediate tension grips the room, and then comes some dialogue from NFL officials that the greatest Hollywood screenwriter couldn’t ever hope to craft:

Official No. 1: We lost lights…

After some banter about a “manual override” and giving people the “PA,” a definitive assessment comes:

Official No. 2: Frank, we lost the A feed.

Official No. 1: What does that mean?

Official No. 2: That means that we have to do the bus tie.

Official No. 1: What does that mean?

Official No. 2: That means about a 20-minute delay.

CBS News managed to capture this moment because reporter Armen Keteyian was interviewing Official No. 1, the NFL’s Frank Supovitz, for a “60 Minutes Sports” special to air on Wednesday night on Showtime. When the blackout occurs, Keteyian and Supovitz are talking about the complications associated with Beyoncé’s having taken three minutes of extra time for her halftime performance. Yet another victory for the iron rule of journalism: Good things happen when you move around and talk to people.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.