There are a myriad of elements behind a compelling sports broadcast—lively commentators, uplifting music, in-depth analysis. But what are arguably some of the most important components are strategically placed cameras and good direction. The Sports Network, better known as TSN, is a Canadian sports channel that has pushed the limits of this with the addition of an on-ice camouflaged cameraman to get dramatic close-ups of the players at the World Junior Men's Hockey Championship. Instead of simply blending into the background, though, his amazing abilities and entirely white outfit have turned him into a fan favorite, propelling him from behind the cameras to the spotlight. People are even showing up to the arenas dressed up as him!
The camouflaged cameraman is 39-year-old Nathan Eidse, from Manitoba, Canada. While he only used to enter the ice at the end of games, his employer felt like pushing the envelope by making him enter during certain breaks. Once he and his management were able to prove to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) that he wouldn't be bumping into players, Eidse was allowed into the warm-ups and timeouts. A former goaltender, the cameraman knows how to create a steadier shot and lessen the likelihood of tripping by not lifting his skates off the ice.
“It's not lost on me that I have the best seat in the house,” Eidse said to the CBC. “It's pretty neat to be in the middle of everything.” The price of admission seems to be his head-to-toe white outfit, which includes white covers for his skates and, most importantly, a white cover for the camera, suggested by hockey legend-turned-sports commentator Wayne Gretzky. “[He] was saying, ‘I love it … but we've got to cover that camera in white.' That's where the white camera cover came from,” he recalls.
The irony of it all is that, despite fans showing up in cameraman cosplay to the hockey games and his network sharing footage of him at work, is that he doesn't want to take center stage. “I'm behind the camera for a reason. I'm a pretty modest individual. I don't like to detract from what the camera's actually providing,” he said in an interview. “It's weird to get the attention.”
However, both players and fans can't help but marvel not only at his on-ice stealth, but also the thrilling shots he gets, like one where he circled a hat thrown on the ice after a goal celebration. “Hats off to this guy. He always sneaks through everybody,” said Austrian forward Vinzenz Rohrer, while Swedish goalie Carl Lindbom added, “The end product is amazing.” Canadian defenceman Brandt Clarke also praises the cameraman, saying, “He's getting cool shots of the boys. When I scored against Germany, I smiled for him.”
Nathan Eidse, an on-ice camouflaged cameraman for sports network TSN, has become a fan favorite at the World Junior Men's Hockey Championship for his stealth and his dramatic shots.
People have even started even showing up to the matches dressed up as him.
“It's not lost on me that I have the best seat in the house,” Eidse said to the CBC.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) January 1, 2023
Listen I know this Bedard guy is decent…
But can we admire the camera work from the dude on the ice, circling the red hat, while getting Bedard in frame? That shot is unreal. pic.twitter.com/1byTrewwNg
— Nasher (@TheNasher61) December 29, 2022