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Courtney Wilson

Mar 17, 2016

The Hardest Man to Transcribe in all of Sports

Florida State University is no stranger to success on the football field. FSU boasts an enthusiastic fanbase, a beautiful campus in sunny Florida and steady leadership for the past 40 years. In fact, the Seminoles have had only two head coaches in that time. The legendary and colorful Bobby Bowden coached Florida State from 1976 through 2009 when he left the program in the capable hands of Head Coach in Waiting Jimbo Fisher, who led the Seminoles to their third national championship in 2013.

JimboBoth men share many ties. Fisher is a family friend and a protege of Bowden’s, even coaching under Bowden’s son at Auburn University before joining FSU. They also share deep ties to the southeastern United States, a region known for thick accents and colorful vernacular that is hard for the uninitiated to understand. In fact, Jimbo Fisher has been regarded as the hardest transcription in all of sports by Angela Humphrey a professional transcriptionist for ASAP sports.

"He's the toughest in sports," Humphrey said, "He talks twice as fast as others I have to transcribe.

Fisher is known to speak at an auctioneer's pace at over 350 words per minute. What makes it even more difficult is Fisher’s display of football intelligence. Where a lot of coaches answer questions in cliched sports-speak, Fisher answers questions in a stream-of-consciousness fashion complete with complex football terminology even die hard fans barely understand.

Tomahawk Nation, a sports blog devoted to Florida State athletics had a little fun by highlighting YouTube’s automated captioning service attempt to keep up with Fisher. In a post titled “YouTube’s Closed Captioning Has No Idea What Jimbo Fisher is Saying”. The inaccuracies are as glaring as they are humorous.

As a fan and alumni of Florida State, I wanted to put our video transcription to the test to see how our team of transcriptionists in Kenya handled the task of transcribing Jimbo. In less than 12 hours we had the results. In short, I was amazed at the level of accuracy our team achieved, especially given their lack of exposure to American football. I shouldn’t have been. In our work for ESPN, and many other customers across the globe, our team of professional transcriptionists are accustomed to cultural references of all kinds, especially in regards to American sports.

If our team can nail a Jimbo Fisher interview with off-the-charts accuracy, we’re confident we can handle even the most complex captioning and transcription tasks. We regularly help our customer transcribe content with multiple speakers, cultural references and thick accents.

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