By David Zurawik
The Baltimore Sun
8:06 PM EDT, March 31, 2013
CBS Sports made a good call Sunday in not showing a halftime replay of a gruesome injury to Louisville guard Kevin Ware. The injury took place in the first half of Louisville's Elite Eight matchup with Duke.
But the network did show it in slow-motion replay while Ware lay on the court attended to by trainers and medical personnel.
To its credit, the network had one of the game announcers warn viewers before they showed it.
I saw the play live, and I did not notice Ware's fall. My eyes were on the Duke shooter. I did want to see how it happened one time in an attempt to understand how Ware was so badly injured.
But, in truth, I would have been just as happy had CBS not showed it at all.
I truly think the one replay was a judgment call. And with the warning, I am OK with it.
Ware had leaped to try to block a three-point shot, and came down awkwardly on his leg bending it under him at an unnatural angle. Early reports are that the bone was protruding through the skin on his shin. Players on both teams were in tears as Ware lay on the court.
The power of the replay was not in seeing Ware. It was in seeing the reaction of the Louisville bench.
Ware fell in front of the bench, and while the bend in his leg looked ominous, what was really shocking is the way the entire Lousiville bench fell back away from Ware when he fell. It was a wave of bodies involuntarily recoiling in horror from the sight before they jumped up to help their fallen teammate.
I was not recording, because I did not plan to review the broadcast. This is my recollection of what I saw.
CBS Sports announced during its halftime show that the injury would not be replayed. Instead, it offered discussion among its analysts and the onscreen reproduction of a tweet from former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, who suffered a similar injury seen by millions on Monday Night Football.
The memory of Theismann's 1985 injury had to flash through the minds of most older sports fans who were watching the Sunday game.
"Watching Duke/ Louisville my heart goes out to Kevin Ware," Theismann tweeted.
CBS also showed video of Ware being carried off the court and placed in an ambulance -- all of it needed context without being exploitative.
CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus told the Associated Press his network did not show it at halftime because of the graphic nature of the video.
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