We've seen helmet cam footage of games before, but rarely have they had any great audio. David Banfield, a referee in the American Hockey League, wore a GoPro camera on his helmet, capturing some fantastic game footage. Audio was also picked up from Banfield and the other officials wearing microphones.
For a game between the Charlotte Checkers, affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes, and Chicago Blackhawks affiliate Rockford IceHogs on Dec. 7, Banfield's helmet cam caught everything from goals, hits, penalties, fights and even the ref's-eye-view of the Checkers' teddy bear toss.
There's a lot of bleeping in the video (so many bleeps), but you should be able to get the idea of what was said. You can get a feel of what it looks like to argue with a player on the ice and Banfield even fell down at one point, showing you what it looks like to blow a tire in front of thousands of people.
Some of the highlights from the nearly 10-minute video:
- As Banfield lines up for the opening faceoff between IceHogs center Brandon Pirri and Zach Boychuk of the Checkers, the two centermen have a little fun with the referee. “You can't even tell it's on there,” Boychuk quipped sarcastically.
- Several arguments between the two benches get caught on the microphone.
- Around the 2:40 mark, you get a look at two separate fights happening on the ice with Banfield switching views between the two tussles.
- Around the 3:54 mark, the Checkers score their first goal, triggering a shower of teddy bears on the ice. As the bears fall, one of the linesmen tells the story about the time he worked a game when they had a teddy bear toss after a goal that didn't end up counting.
- At 5:54 mark of the video, Banfield goes to review a goal. AHL refs have to watch the video themselves in the scorer's box.
- At about the 6:50 mark, Banfield and Chris Terry argue a call against the Checkers forward for hooking. Shortly after, another referee explanation as Banfield tells Boychuk why he called goalie interference against him.
- At 9:28, what it looks like when a referee falls down and goes boom. “My pride's hurt,” Banfield says when asked if he's OK.
It's just a neat vantage point of a game. Adding the audio element gives more of that behind-the-scenes feel. Referees have a thankless and difficult job to do, so it's always nice to see things from their perspective as well.