The National Football League has reached its highest level of popularity over the last few decades. It has taken over as America’s favorite sport, more watch and play this sport than any other. Because of the sport’s popularity, NFL football has become a billion dollar industry.
As a result of being one of the most successful businesses in this country, the league must always find ways to modernize and connect with fans and what is going on in popular culture. In addition, they must also find ways to continually improve the product they are putting out.
In order to accomplish these things, the NFL is using technology to make sure that football stays America’s favorite game for a long time. Through the use of high tech audio and visual equipment, as well as better broadcasting technology and improved safety equipment, they are creating a better professional game for the players, coaches, and fans.
Tech for Players
One area where the game of football is being improved for players is in the technology of the helmets being used. First and foremost, the helmets being used in today’s game are much safer. With so much attention being put on the effects of concussions in recent years, helmet technology has gotten a big boost. Modern helmets are designed to cushion the impact of a hit with materials that absorb energy, and Kevlar padding to protect the brain.
In addition, audio capabilities in helmets have helped improve the flow and quality of game play on the field. Since the mid 90’s teams have been allowed one player on offense and one player on defense, who can communicate with one coach. However analog headsets provided unreliable communication; the league recently switched to a digital version of communication that has eradicated the issues.
Finally the use of tablets by players has grown dramatically over the last few years. By using tablet-based playbooks, a player has an easy way to carry around everything he’ll need. In addition, they are many times used on the sidelines instead of binder-bound playbooks, to refresh a quarterback on the game plan after a drive.
Tech for Coaches
The game has also been improved for coaches through the use of audio equipment. Headsets that allow them to speak with coaches that have a birds eye view of the field, are giving coaches more insight as to what is contributing to the outcome of their plays. Also, the ability to speak with one player on offense and defense, allows coaches to correct mistakes that might be made before the snap happens.
Furthermore, the use of high definition video equipment is making the game easier for coaches. With cameras placed all around the stadium and a giant replay monitor in the middle of the field, coaches have a great view and angle of any questionable call. This has created the common practice of waiting to throw the challenge flag until the replay can be seen on the big monitor; many times waiting until right before the ball is snapped, or the play clock runs out.
Tech for Fans
The most important improvements that have been made to the game of football are the technology that helps get fans involved. This has been the biggest reason for the incredible level of popularity the NFL has. Much of this technology has to do with the broadcast of games on television, but that is not always the case.
The NFL is more accessible than ever thanks to services like NFL Sunday Ticket, and online services that allow fans to follow the game from wherever they are, whenever they want. No longer are fans bound by having access to a T.V. to watch the game. With the ability to stream games on laptops, tablets, or smartphones, the 2015 – 2016 NFL weekly schedule will be your new TV guide.
For those that do watch games on television though, there have been improvements in this area as well. The first is the introduction of the 1st and 10 marker on the television screen. It gives fans a better idea of where the team needs to get the ball to, and makes the game more exciting to watch. In addition, HDTV’s are providing a better viewing experience with ultra-sharp picture and sound; you feel like you’re actually on the field. TV’s are getting so good in fact, that some fear an overall drop in attendance of games.
The NFL will continue to implement new technologies as they are developed. This implementation of technology has already improved the game for players, coaches, and fans, and will continue to do so in the future.