PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- Pace University's football team suited up for a rare mid-winter on-field practice Thursday to run Super Bowl plays for a Sports Illustrated video crew.
The exclusive S.I. invite for the college team was for a special preview of plays unique to the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots.
Alex Hampl, a producer at Sports Illustrated video, along with S.I. producer Will Pyle of Dobbs Ferry directed Thursday's 360-degree shoot by video recorder/producer Michaela Holland.
"We're trying something new and will see how it works,''' Hampl said of the experiment in using 360-visuals as a preview.
Holland explained that Sports Illustrated readers will be able to control plays filmed Thursday "as if you are in the middle of the circle'' -- using the mouse/cursor on computers or magic windows on a cellphone.
Pace University's 22 players were filmed using 360-degree cameras, "standing in" for the Patriots and Falcons. This will provide viewers with an interactive element, allowing them to click and drag the screen in order to focus on the nuances of the play from various vantage points, according to S.I.'s producers.
Faustino "Fonz" Saucedo, starting quarterback on the Pace University football team engineered some Super Bowl maneuvers filmed by a team of producers/360-technicians from Sports Illustrated on Thursday at their Pleasantville field house.
Saucedo, a junior from Perth Amboy, N.J., said the team was given a two-day head start to practice signature plays unique to the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons.
"It was pretty cool -- a new experience,'' Saucedo told Daily Voice afterward.
Saucedo said there were a couple of dropped balls during a steady drizzle, but "everybody was on the same page."
Hampl called Thursday's shoot at Pace's stadium a success: Now the hard part of editing and designing the interactive video for its online readers begins. They hope to complete the work by Tuesday for a Monday Morning Quarterback presentation.
"We’re looking to produce a film breakdown on one signature play that each of the Super Bowl teams run -- a play those teams run uniquely, more frequently, or just plain more efficiently than everyone else," S.I.'s producers said.
Who is Pace QB Saucedo rooting for on Super Bowl Sunday?
"Right now, I'm going for the underdogs, the Falcons,'' he said.