NFL forbids use of iPhones, other gadgets on the sidelines during the Super Bowl

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Date: Friday, January 30th, 2015, 11:39
Category: Fun, iPhone, News, Software

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If you’re going to be on the Super Bowl sidelines, LEAVE YOUR IPHONE AT HOME!!!

Of course, that’s if you’re going to be on the sidelines. Otherwise, bring your iPhone along.

NFL players and coaches are allowed no other tablets or smartphones on the sidelines. (Recently, the Cleveland Browns were accused of breaking that rule with texts from the press box to the field). In the coaches’ booth, no computers are allowed. Aside from the Microsoft tablets, Vince Lombardi could time-travel to coach the Patriots or Seahawks on Sunday and not find himself at a terrible technological disadvantage.


Before and after the whistle, the NFL is as technologically advanced as ever. Teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers have HD camera-equipped helmets that helps them analyze practices. NFL players obsessively watch game film on their iPads (well, the younger ones do). This season, more than 14 teams experimented with GPS technology that allowed them to measure things like how fast their players were running and how hard they got hit in practice — something they hope will lead to fewer injuries.

NFL coaches have an abundance of stats to pore through before big games. Having those same stats during the game, however, is a completely different animal.

Today, if a coach has the ball on fourth-and-two on his own 49 yard line with three minutes left in the game while trailing by a touchdown, he has to trust his gut and his staff’s research to make the right decision.

“There are literally billions of possible situations — combinations of downs, distances, scores and time — to consider,” said Brian Burke, founder of Advanced NFL Stats.

Now imagine the coach has an unrestricted tablet. He could, theoretically, tap into a system that is running an algorithm considering all of those factors. How well does this exact mix of linemen defend against the run in exactly this situation? What is the percentage chance that a punt from this part of the field to this offense with this much time on the board will result in a score?

The fact that coaches and players can use the Microsoft Surface Pro 2, even a limited one, on the sidelines is a sign that the NFL is not averse to change. It used to seem strange to watch referees consult video footage during a coach’s challenge. Now it’s just part of the game.

As more tech-savvy officials join the NFL, things could change. It’s easy to imagine a less spontaneous game filled with number-crunchers feeding coaches exactly what they should do in every situation.

– Via NBC News

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2 Responses to “NFL forbids use of iPhones, other gadgets on the sidelines during the Super Bowl”

  1. RT @JasonOGrady: NFL forbids use of iPhones, other gadgets on the sidelines during the Super Bowl http://t.co/Eeopsxamdt

  2. Er, they “pore through” stats? Wow, talk about really living and breathing the game…the rest of us just pour through them…