"Before the juice was completely lost, Fox rolled out its unofficial official, Mike Pereira, to explain how the NFL deals with power loss. He only talked procedural matters, not fan safety. When the lights were totally gonzo, Fox switched to Rams-49ers.
When power was restored, Buck reported that a "generator blew outside the stadium." Troy Aikman indicated some players had panicked. "They didn't know what was going on nor did anyone else," Aikman said. "But they hit the ground. A number of those guys did."
There was no fear in the voices of Aikman/Buck - only confusion. They were fishing in unchartered waters, but could've raised some points/questions.
Why would officials allow even one play to commence without proper lighting? Isn't this the state-of-the art NFL where everything - supposedly - is done first class?
If either Buck or Aikman didn't want to dump on the league, or Giants brass, he could've put Pereira, a former NFL suit, on the spot and actually asked him a tough question. Like what does the NFL think about leaving 82,500 fans in the dark? Isn't there a safety issue to consider?
Or how exactly could this electric funk be taking place in a new NFL palace, home of two teams? Buck/Aikman, who have praised the stadium, should have questioned how this technological marvel could falter on delivering a basic - light?
Aikman's report of sideline fright suggested no one got a message to the players. Why not? And what about fans? Those running the stadium are prepared for emergencies, especially post 9/11, right? Fox never reported that during the blackout, fire alarms sounded. Also, an announcement came over the PA system telling fans to remain in their seats and to stay tuned for evacuation instructions, if necessary.
When power was restored, Fox's sideline reporter Pam Oliver did say that when the lights went off there was "organized chaos." She said it was "extremely scary." Then Oliver offered the best line of the telecast. "The explanation," she said, "is there is no explanation."
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