SEATTLE – An overhead NBC television camera mounted on wires collapsed onto the turf during a timeout in Sunday night's game between the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, causing a 10-minute delay.
The Saints had just called timeout with 11:24 remaining in the first quarter when the camera slumped and then fell a few yards from where the Seahawks were huddling. After the camera was righted somewhat off the ground, it fell again — and nearly hit Bobby Engram as the Seattle receiver was walking to the sideline.
Game officials then cleared both teams from the middle of the field while the network got the camera back up to normal height. As the camera moved up and down the field for testing, Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren looked up at its every move with his mouth agape. When the camera moved to the sideline, Seattle's players all cleared out from beneath it.
After a 10-minute delay, the game resumed with the camera parked above the Seahawks bench area — with players and coaches making sure they did not stand under it.
Just before the game resumed, referee Jeff Triplette announced: "If any live ball were to touch the wires overhead, there will be a replay of the down, by rule."