Completely off topic, but on Super Bowl Sunday I think it is appropriate to ask why the cash-rich entity known as the National Football League still operates with medevial technologies, especially in places where a little silicon could go a long way.
Sure, the TV audience has it great, with the on-screen first down line being perhaps the world’s best marriage of technology and television. There’s also Instant Replay, which you could argue has made the game better or worse. Either way, it’s fun to watch. But with all its gazillions in TV income, I wonder why the NFL still does troglodyte things like using steel chains to measure first downs, just one of several luddite-like practices I’ve thought about while watching games this season. Couldn’t some combination of GPS and embeddable chips, or a sophisticated heat beam (known as a “laser“) do a better job of placing the ball? Or should thousands of dollars in wagers continue to rely upon the actions of a bunch of guys who you wouldn’t trust to level a picture in your house? Just askin’.
A couple more things: I understand that quarterbacks’ helmets should have some kind of identification to signify that they contain radios for communication back to the bench. But a green dot sticker? Like others, I ask is this the best the NFL can do — stealing something from a kid’s craft set?
And then there is the whole drama of coaches holding up clipboards so that TV cameras can’t see what they are saying. Talk about using no-tech to defeat high-def. If I’m in marketing at Motorola, I’m thinking there’s a branding opportunity here for some kind of Darth Vader-like mouthpiece that covers up the coaching pie-hole so that their words o’ wisdom aren’t used by teams with dishonest intentions.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming on Monday.