How soon will the massive play sheets become a thing of the past on football sidelines?
Probably sooner rather than later. According to an article this past September, 14 NFL teams are using iPads as playbooks instead of the old school paper and binders. More teams are looking at adapting it but there are no immediate plans for iPads to make a debut on the sidelines.
The NFL requires teams to gather up the players iPad’s 2 1/2 hours before the game and current rules bar electronic devices on the sidelines. This could all change obviously if the NFL is able to A) figure out the guidelines B) figure out security and C) get someone to pony up the money to sponsor it.
The NFL did not get to where it is by giving free rides to companies and they sure aren’t going to just allow Apple’s iPad on the sidelines with the Apple’s logo embedded on it without Apple spending a good amount of money. IPads may be the tablet of choice but you can bet that if Google or Samsung were to sign a deal with the NFL to be their “Official Tablet” sponsor then you’d see a Nexus or Galaxy in the hands of Tom Brady in-between offensive series rather than an iPad.
From the technical side there are a lot of questions. Would these devices be fast enough to be effective? What if it crashes? Would there be dedicated bandwidth to the respective teams during the game or would they have to split it?
Looking even further into the future, could Google’s Glass be on the horizon? Can you image RGIII wearing something like that and getting an aerial view of the field? It may sound like science-fiction but so was a sub-orbit parachute jump until earlier this year. It was also crazy to believe that the Indianapolis Colts would be in the playoffs too but that’s where they’re heading complete with a rookie quarterback and head coach battling cancer.
Tablets are just the beginning of the technological revolution coming to the football sidelines.