This is straight out of the progressive playbook.
In the 36th minute of the Euro 2012 semifinal, Mario Balotelli scored his second goal, a screamer to the top right corner. Balotelli ripped off his jersey and flexed, and the telecast cut to a woman in the stands, a German flag painted on her cheek, a single tear leaking from her eye.
“It’s too early for tears,” intoned ESPN’s Adrian Healey, calling the action. And it was. The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung talked to the tearful woman: Her name was Andrea, she came from Dusseldorf, and she was surprised when she started getting texts from friends asking why she’d started crying with nearly an hour of play remaining. She hadn’t, Andrea told them.
Instead, she said, she had been overcome with emotion during the playing of the national anthems, before the match kicked off. A camera recorded her then, and the footage was inserted into live TV later on, at the moment it would have the most impact. The emotional power of sport, on cue.