Fox Sports will deploy no fewer than 80 television cameras to catch every aspect of Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. And for the first time one of those cameras will track the body temperatures of players on both teams.
And those temperatures are expected to be freezing.
The game, to be played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, will be the first time the Super Bowl will be played outdoors in a cold weather city. Weather.com is predicting a temperature in the 30s for the 6:30 pm Eastern Time kickoff. The temperature should drop into the 20s as the game goes along.
Usually during cold-weather football games, viewers get a pretty good idea of what the players are experiencing by seeing their breath and watching them sit on the sidelines wrapped in insulated ponchos next to electrical heaters.
But this time around, Fox Sports will show players in varying shades of red and blue, depending on how cold they are.
“I don’t know what story that tells, but it might make for some pretty cool pictures,” said Fox Sports chief operating officer and executive producer Eric Shanks, as quoted in The New York Observer.
Infrared, or thermal, imaging is usually used in medical applications, according to Allen Frechette, of FLIR, the company that makes the infrared camera Fox Sports plans to use.
“Thermal imaging is used in many blood flow applications where you can see how warm extremities are. We can see how a player’s circulation is working or how a player is recovering from an injury,” Frechette said.
Actually, the infrared camera is just another example of Fox Sports preparing itself for anything. Though here had been concerns that a snowstorm could hit on Super Bowl Sunday, the forecast calls for no precipitation.
“Any breezes from the afternoon will be diminishing, so we don’t expect wind to be a factor, at all,” Weather.com wrote. “No rain or snow expected.”
“If it’s not snowing, how do you visually present cold and the environment and how it affects the people playing the game on the field?” said Jerry Steinberg, senior vice president of Fox Sports said to the NY1 cable news channel. “If a player comes out for warmups and he’s one color and as that color changes as he warms up or changes during the game when the guy comes out of the game standing on the sideline if we have that color representation from the infrared camera you can see temperature changes through the color spectrum, we can tell that story.”
Either way, Fox Sports seems to have this Super Bowl covered right down to the players’ skin.