How Technology Is Changing The NFL

Back in the day, the best kind of football-innovation was known as a forward pass….

But in today’s virtual arena, the sports world has had little choice but to digitalize its playing fields; and this technological evolution is happening in some astounding ways when it comes to the game of football.  Streaming matches, mobile apps, on-demand options…these are just a few of the ways in which technology has changed the name of the game.
Everyone involved in the game from players and coaches to referees and team owners have come to depend substantially on IT tools for analyzing plays, studying opponents, checking statistics and developing winning strategies. Even the medical industry is involved, using advanced technology to create a safer environment for players and methods for healing players’ injuries quickly and efficiently.

Pro football is falling prey to the digital revolution in ways you have most likely never even imagined. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the lesser-known innovations that have either already come about or are pending due to technological advancements.

  • GPS: Known as Gridiron GPS, computer chip technology is in-the-works to help referees keep track of the movements of both players and the football itself in hopes of making calls like first downs easier, and more accurate.
  • 3-D Enhanced Viewing: Not being able to land tickets to the Superbowl may not be as much of a letdown in a few years – with 3-D filming technology, watching the big game on your television could feel practically as lifelike as it would in person.
  • Collaboration with the U.S. Army: Right now, U.S. military officials put sensors in soldiers’ helmets to monitor any head injuries caused by bombs or other war hazards. The NFL is currently working to implement this same sensor technology into players’ helmets to help monitor concussion injuries and gather information about the common football injury.
  • Bigger TVs: You knew this one was coming. The man cave is no longer a football lover’s fantasy – in fact, the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium already displays their games on two gigantic 1080 LED screens that measure 2,100-inch displays. Get ready for these big daddies to hit stadiums all over the country.
  • Metric Mania: It’s no secret that player evaluations play a big role in determining a football team’s win or loss. Through deeper technology, teams can assess more detailed metrics in order to gather masses of data about individual player-performance as well as contract negotiation strategies.
  • Finer Probability Reading: Everyone knows that analyzing plays leads to better perspectives on what moves to make, how to avoid tackles, what to practice at drill-time, and more. Advanced technology is being developed so that the NFL can assess more detailed information regarding probability readings.
  • Environmental Enhancements: Why not win the game and help our planet at the same time? That’s what’s happening right now at Meadowlands Stadium – the arena had adopted green technology such as high-efficiency water irrigation systems and low-flow faucets in their bathrooms. The result: water consumption at the meadowlands has been reduced by 25%.
  • Play Simulation: What if a coach could watch a play in action before actually giving their team the go-ahead to play it? Well, now they can. Through new simulation technology, coaches can now see their team perform a play on a computer and extract a probability regarding how likely that strategy is to benefit or hinder the team.

*CC image from Flickr

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Janice Bevilacqua is an avid writer of technology-related articles. She contributes daily to Consumer Priority Service, where consumers can find service plans for all kinds of electronics, including the televisions that football fans everywhere will be following this season’s NFL action.