SEATTLE – This city is buzzing about Russell Wilson leading his team into Lumen Field, as he has in 10 previous NFL seasons.
The difference tonight: The most accomplished quarterback in Seattle Seahawks history is now quarterbacking the visiting Denver Broncos.
Wilson’s return to Seattle is the primary storyline for the 2022 regular-season opener for Monday Night Football, which marks the ESPN debut of iconic NFL broadcasting tandem Joe Buck and Troy Aikman (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).
As director of photography and a camera operator, Seattle-area resident Jason Jobes is in his 25th season with ESPN’s NFL production team; since 1998, he’s coordinated lighting the ESPN NFL broadcast booths for every announcing combination starting with Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann and Paul Maguire on Sunday nights through now Buck and Aikman.
“My main responsibility on the show is to make sure that the announce booth feels the same every week and that the on-camera look for our announcers is consistent. We make sure everyone has what they need to do their job in the booth,” Jobes said.
On Sunday – a little more than 24 hours before showtime – Jobes worked with lighting director Ray Hammond and video engineer Daihan Lee. Together, they fine-tune Lumen Field’s broadcast booth to ensure Buck and Aikman have monitors and lights set to the tandem’s liking tonight.
An August preseason game telecast here allowed Buck and Aikman to rehearse with their ESPN colleagues.
“That’s where Daihan was able to figure out all the monitors they like,” Jobes recalled. “It was good for all of us.
“You could tell that you’re dealing with total pros,” Jobes said of Buck and Aikman, who honed their chemistry for 20 years as Fox NFL’s star tandem.
Jobes was a local videographer who began working with ESPN in 1995 on its Sunday Night Baseball telecasts before transitioning to working primarily NFL telecasts. He’s worked on numerous ESPN productions, including shooting SportsCenter’s recent “SC Featured” segment on the origins of pickleball, which was invented in the Seattle-area hamlet where he lives now, Bainbridge Island, Wash.
He treasures the opportunities to help establish the look of MNF in the booth and on the field, where he operates the near-side-of-the-field hand-held super-slow-motion camera.
At field level, Jobes has captured myriad iconic ESPN MNF moments including two in Seattle: the Seahawks’ “Fail Mary” game-winning touchdown in 2012 against the Green Bay Packers – receiver Golden Tate placed the football in the kneeling Jobes’ lap during the end zone scrum; and Seahawks defensive back Kam Chancellor forced Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson’s fumble inches from the goal line in the final two minutes of a Seattle 2015 victory.
“The only way I’ve been able to do this for 25 years is that my teammates on this crew are like family . . . I love doing this because of the people on this crew. – Jason Jobes
Working with people such as Hammond, Lee and MNF director Jimmy Platt – whom Jobes credits with the innovative use of a full-frame sensor camera in the booth in addition to its traditional deployment on field – inspires Jobes.
“The only way I’ve been able to do this for 25 years,” Jobes said, “is that my teammates on this crew are like family. It really is a tight family, a second family.
“I love doing this because of the people on this crew.”