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biffzinker
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NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:25 am

Hackaday wrote:
NFL preseason starts in just a few weeks. This year, it will come with a bit of a technological upgrade. The league plans to experiment with custom microchip-equipped footballs. Unfortunately, this move has nothing to do with policing under-inflation — the idea is to verify through hard data that a narrower set of goal posts would mean fewer successful kicking plays.

Why? Kicking plays across the league have been more accurate than ever in the last couple of seasons, and the NFL would like things to be a bit more competitive. Just last year, extra point kicks were moved back from the 20 to the 33-yard line. Kickers already use brand-new balls that are harder and more slippery than the field balls, so narrowing the goal from the standard 18’6″ width is the natural next step. A corresponding pair of sensors in the uprights will reveal exactly how close the ball is when it passes between them.

The chips will only be in K-balls, and only in those kicked during the 2016 preseason.


Source: Hackaday - NFL to Experiment with Chipped Balls

Any thoughts?
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:28 am

Oh man. This sounds like fun. Imagine the offensive line screwing plays play after play, yet somehow still managing to get just far enough to be considered doable for a kicker. With that the offensive line are unbelievable! And the kicker misses. The entire everything rests on the kickers back and he misses. The offense and defense could screw up all day long and be regarded as champion caliber and that one missed kick will haunt that kicker himself and everyone else for the rest of his life. Sounds good. I say let's do it!
 
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:10 am

Not sure why the thread is not in the Sports section...that sub forum needs threads!
 
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:35 am

I think its a good move. Some of these "events" in sports have become automatic, just about. (I'm looking at you Basketball. don't get me started on that sport.)
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:41 am

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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:37 am

tanker27 wrote:
I think its a good move. Some of these "events" in sports have become automatic, just about. (I'm looking at you Basketball. don't get me started on that sport.)

I kinda see where you're coming from, but I feel like it would be better to make alternatives offer greater rewards. Make 2-point conversions worth 3 points, offer more points for field goals made behind the 40 yard line, etc.

I do think that having narrower posts would make it more interesting, but I don't think it will have a huge impact on team strategies. Kickers will just get better in their niche and we'll be having another conversation about making field goals more interesting some time in the future.

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Also, lol.
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:14 pm

Hawkwing74 wrote:
Not sure why the thread is not in the Sports section...that sub forum needs threads!

I forgot there was a sports sub-section so apologies for the goof.
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:23 pm

Someone is really lacking in creativity if field goals are the only thing you look at with a high tech football.

If you can precisely locate the ball you can call goal line plays better, down and distance and if you take the derivative of the motion you can see when the ball changes direction to call tipped ball plays, and mathematically define a pass reception instead of the mess we have now.

There are more things I'm sure.

Instead of trying to make the kicking game exciting, how about remove officiating errors so that fans won't feel like their team is getting screwed (on both sides).
 
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:34 pm

superjawes wrote:
I kinda see where you're coming from, but I feel like it would be better to make alternatives offer greater rewards. Make 2-point conversions worth 3 points, offer more points for field goals made behind the 40 yard line, etc.


I can agree on that, make the alternative very enticing.

superjawes wrote:
Kickers will just get better in their niche and we'll be having another conversation about making field goals more interesting some time in the future.


That's just evolution of the game. People will get stronger, practice harder, etc. And that's fine.

Take my hatred for basketball for instance. Most players can make free throws with their eyes closed. (Well except for Shaq, who is now retired) And look at what Curry did at the three point line this year, he decimated it. It been long past time for things to change in basketball, make the court longer and wider, raise the rim and/or make it smaller.
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:37 pm

tanker27 wrote:
It been long past time for things to change in basketball, make the court longer and wider, raise the rim and/or make it smaller.

Force 'em all to wear the short-shorts of the Bird/Magic era. That'll cut down on the swagger.
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:38 pm

Frugal wrote:
Instead of trying to make the kicking game exciting, how about remove officiating errors so that fans won't feel like their team is getting screwed (on both sides).


The referees stay around because of the fans. Not despite them. Sports are not really about trying to figure out which is the absolute best team or vice versa. They're about creating passion for things you really shouldn't care about. Controversy helps that.
 
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:38 pm

I just wish they'd stop screwing with the game. Nearly every change in the past 20 years (and especially in the last 5) has been negative. It'd be one thing if they were using the chip for accuracy (for instance, ball placement, or whether the plane of the goal was definitively broken), but that doesn't appear to be their intention at all. They just want a reason to screw with the game some more.
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:44 pm

The Egg wrote:
I just wish they'd stop screwing with the game. Nearly every change in the past 20 years (and especially in the last 5) has been negative. It'd be one thing if they were using the chip for accuracy (for instance, ball placement, or whether the plane of the goal was definitively broken), but that doesn't appear to be their intention at all. They just want a reason to screw with the game some more.


All the rule changes have been done with two goals: increase offensive output and decrease injuries. In those regard they've been a crazy success (offense) or a mixed bag (injuries). Reality is through the increased offensive and passing nature of football the game is more popular. It's the same reason the home run era saved MLB. People don't want to see defensive stalemates just like they don't want to see pitchers duels.
 
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:00 pm

tanker27 wrote:
superjawes wrote:
Kickers will just get better in their niche and we'll be having another conversation about making field goals more interesting some time in the future.


That's just evolution of the game. People will get stronger, practice harder, etc. And that's fine.

Take my hatred for basketball for instance. Most players can make free throws with their eyes closed. (Well except for Shaq, who is now retired) And look at what Curry did at the three point line this year, he decimated it. It been long past time for things to change in basketball, make the court longer and wider, raise the rim and/or make it smaller.
Well the thing about field goals in (American) football is that they're a relatively small part of the game. If we're looking at changing the rules for place kickers, the changes should be to make the game more exciting. I think that point value changes would do that because it would change how kickers are used (we could gain 10 yards for an easier kick, OR we could kick from here and get an extra point). Narrowing the goal posts wouldn't add much excitement, IMO.

Now your basketball suggestions would, I think, make that game more exciting.
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:07 pm

If they make the kicking game more difficult, less 4'th down plays will be field goal attempts and more will be punts or conversions and I believe both of those plays have more chance for injury than an FGA.

I don't believe for a second that they want to reduce injuries for the safety of the player. They do try to reduce injuries to the QB because the owners don't want their $20,000,000 man to miss any games. Most other rules that look like safety rules were just intended to change the competitive balance when one player was too good.

I don't buy the controversy gives you something to root for theory. I think it mostly gives the appearance of impropriety. If the ownership of my local franchise wasn't screwing up so badly I think the thing that will ultimately move me away from watching the NFL is when it starts looking a lot like pro wrestling.

In NCAA football, my school is in the PAC12 and their refs are awful. I don't think anyone likes them and I think they were most of the replacement refs that screwed things up horribly when the NFL had the Referee strike. No one wants to see that and it puts PAC12 teams at a competitive disadvantage in the postseason because the players have had to adjust their game to account for the awful refs.

Clean it up.
 
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:13 pm

Frugal wrote:
If they make the kicking game more difficult, less 4'th down plays will be field goal attempts and more will be punts or conversions and I believe both of those plays have more chance for injury than an FGA.

I don't believe for a second that they want to reduce injuries for the safety of the player. They do try to reduce injuries to the QB because the owners don't want their $20,000,000 man to miss any games. Most other rules that look like safety rules were just intended to change the competitive balance when one player was too good.


Whoa whoa whoa. You're putting words in my mouth. I specifically just said to reduce injuries. Precisely because the factor here is money. Star players being out has a big impact on live attendance numbers. Especially in weaker markets. NFL is relatively immune to this but the rate of injuries has caused it to be a greater concern. Sports like the NBA and MLB attendance numbers are extremely driven by star players being in the game.

Though you also need to consider that there's the NFLPA who does care about player health. We'd have an 18 game regular season in the NFL if the risk of injuries wasn't a major consideration and issue between the NFL and NFLPA.


I don't buy the controversy gives you something to root for theory. I think it mostly gives the appearance of impropriety. If the ownership of my local franchise wasn't screwing up so badly I think the thing that will ultimately move me away from watching the NFL is when it starts looking a lot like pro wrestling.

In NCAA football, my school is in the PAC12 and their refs are awful. I don't think anyone likes them and I think they were most of the replacement refs that screwed things up horribly when the NFL had the Referee strike. No one wants to see that and it puts PAC12 teams at a competitive disadvantage in the postseason because the players have had to adjust their game to account for the awful refs.

Clean it up.


People don't care. If people cared about impropriety in sports then MLB would have suffered when it was hilariously obvious the entire league was juicing. Or the Tim Donaghy scandal would have impacted the NBA and it didn't at all. Or now with the NFL. Uh... either way you cut you have a situation where one of the best QBs supposedly cheated in the AFC Championship (and therefore assumed many other games) OR the NFL commissioner just screwed that player and one of the league's biggest teams because people don't understand balls lose pressure in the cold. AND YET NONE OF IT HAS MATTERED.

People love having something dramatic or controversial to talk about. I'm not buying for a second you don't. The public doesn't watch sports because they care about the best execution or highest levels of play. You don't have to listen to the announcers of an NFL game long to know they think their audience barely understands what a touchdown is.
 
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:09 pm

tanker27 wrote:
Take my hatred for basketball for instance. Most players can make free throws with their eyes closed. (Well except for Shaq, who is now retired) And look at what Curry did at the three point line this year, he decimated it. It been long past time for things to change in basketball, make the court longer and wider, raise the rim and/or make it smaller.
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:43 pm

The steroid era in Baseball was the MLB trying to look like the WWF because the baseball strike hurt them bad.

I know I was pissed off that millionaires were screwing up a baseball season because the other millionaires were not giving them enough money while the ordinary 40-50-60 hour a week workers paying for it all had a hard time breaking six figures with a real job.

I admit the home run records pulled me back in. It was exciting and it was real because the pitchers were juiced as much or more than the hitters.

I'm pretty sure no one can legitimately deny that the vast majority of NFL players have been or are juicing. When the NFL starts having a predictable plot and you can tell the fix is in (like wrestling), that is when it will be garbage.

Anything they can do to make the game look fair is going to help them. If they can use it to improve the pace of the game (computers are fast), that's even better.

This is like replay, a technology that is mature but the NFL has managed to mess it up and make it invalid for a lot of plays that it could clean up and take far too long. A high tech football could easily be made to provide very accurate position information very rapidly and once we have enough data showing exactly how a football moves in play we could have computers calling plays very fast and very accurately. There is no down side and it will let the refs concentrate on calls that the computer can't make (which will probably still give us enough to complain about).
 
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:53 pm

slowriot wrote:
The Egg wrote:
I just wish they'd stop screwing with the game. Nearly every change in the past 20 years (and especially in the last 5) has been negative. It'd be one thing if they were using the chip for accuracy (for instance, ball placement, or whether the plane of the goal was definitively broken), but that doesn't appear to be their intention at all. They just want a reason to screw with the game some more.


All the rule changes have been done with two goals: increase offensive output and decrease injuries. In those regard they've been a crazy success (offense) or a mixed bag (injuries). Reality is through the increased offensive and passing nature of football the game is more popular. It's the same reason the home run era saved MLB. People don't want to see defensive stalemates just like they don't want to see pitchers duels.

The offensive output has come at the expense of having a yellow flag thrown every 2-3 plays (or worse), and having the totally inept officiating affect the outcome of dozens of games each season. The flags are the single most frustrating aspect of watching football. Each season it gets worse.
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:45 am

frugal wrote:
The steroid era in Baseball was the MLB trying to look like the WWF because the baseball strike hurt them bad.


wat

---

Look, doping/cheating etc... is rampant in all sorts of sports, and everyone just continually pretends it doesn't happen for years and years, until it finally reaches the point where a big enough story breaks and everyone looks around and suddenly admits what they've been ignoring or even denying because it finally looks like everyone else is too, so it's safe. Then, like clockwork, all the journalists who have studious idiots blathering about how they "call 'em as they see them" for years and years start bemoaning the lack of integrity and honesty in the game, whatever it is. :roll:

That's just how sports journalism works, I guess. It's an absurdly prevalent pattern.

But, what you are saying? That the "MLB" did it? Uh, no? The individual players did. If it was orchestrated from the very top for attendance/ratings, it could never have been ignored and suppressed, that would have be utterly impossible. OBVIOUSLY. You can ignore how Barry Bonds suddenly went from being a beanpole into a"Rip'd diesel FUEL" ad in just a few years (maybe he just worked out REAL hard :roll: ), but you can't ignore a central office memo.

Like, seriously. Think about what you are saying for heaven's sake. The big guys might have known, but they have all sorts of easy reasons to NOT know, like, gee, how they sign agreements WITH the players about what they can and cannot do, and how they can and cannot proceed in investigating, punishing etc...

And, of course, even if they did know about it generally, so what? The same reason applies: What are they going to do about it?

In any event, they didn't direct it, that's insane.
 
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:38 pm

MLB knew what was going on the whole time, they just ignored it and essentially created an economic incentive for people who juiced.

If MLB was getting in to an argument over testing with the players union the whole time, then you could say it wasn't their fault but that is far from what happened.

I don't really care because as I said, it was exciting and the pitchers were as juiced as the hitters (and steroids help with recovery much more than outright strength and pitchers need recovery).

The point was that MLB was letting it happen because the strike had messed up the popularity of the sport and they needed something to get the fans back. NFL is in a different situation, they have the fans but the thing that makes it look like a sham is the officiating. You can't listen to sports radio very long before you hear "butt fumble", "tuck" or "deflate" and at the same time you get people complaining about replay taking too long or the replay officials getting calls wrong with zero accountability.

We have had technology that could help for years but when they decide to try it they are just looking at another way to screw up the game instead of start fixing things.

At least MLB got some exciting baseball when they stuck their head in the sand.
 
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:47 pm

Frugal wrote:
MLB knew what was going on the whole time, they just ignored it and essentially created an economic incentive for people who juiced.


...But they didn't. They didn't create any incentive. Anything that was there already existed. You're entirely inventing this angle, sorry.

Frugal wrote:
If MLB was getting in to an argument over testing with the players union the whole time, then you could say it wasn't their fault but that is far from what happened.


My entire point is that no one wants to admit that this sort of thing happens, and that it isn't remotely constrained to baseball, let alone a specific era in the mid-90s.

I am saying that this exact pattern happens all the time, and is happening right now. It's not always drugs either, right now there's a scandal "suddenly" :roll: exploding in cycling with battery packs and motors, because somehow they managed to stumble across a bike that had one.

And guess what? Even the explanatory statements are literally identical: "A friend gave it to me" "I didn't know what was in it". It's hilarious. Oh, and there have been books and statements by cyclists saying they know it's going on, just like in baseball with steroids. People in the industry coming forward and flatly saying they've sold lots of them to racers, just like baseball. And, sort of like Barry Bonds suddenly Ballooning, there is ridiculous evidence right in front of your eyes that is just ignored: the more recent thermal camera evidence and decade-old footage of inexplicable speed surges at crucial times.

But, sure it's all just the MLB's fault because of their unique contrivance and McMahon-envy. :roll: No, duh, it's a much bigger phenomena in which no one, the players, the franchise, the leagues, the journalists, the fans just want to pretend and pretend and pretend. And when the inflection point is finally hit in which people know it's ok to NOT pretend anymore? Wah-wah-wah, it's the League's fault! :roll:

Frugal wrote:
The point was that MLB was letting it happen because the strike had messed up the popularity of the sport and they needed something to get the fans back.


No, the point is that they didn't really do anything about it until Congress got involved nearly a decade later, which makes your "point" that they specifically ignored it to restore interest after the strike ridiculous.

Not to mention how even that point is a strong back-pedal from your original statement in which you directly blamed them for it. Now it's indirect, as you say they just passively allowed it.
 
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:05 pm

Have you ever looked at the contracts that the juicers got?

The economic incentive to cheat is huge. Even if you got caught and suspended you would still have more earning potential if you juiced.

Also look at the difference between a MLB contract and a minor league contract, if a player was sniffing the majors at all, the incentive was huge.

I don't know how else to explain it except open your eyes.
 
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:41 pm

frugal wrote:
Have you ever looked at the contracts that the juicers got?

The economic incentive to cheat is huge. Even if you got caught and suspended you would still have more earning potential if you juiced.


DUH. That's why it's so prolific across the board in all manners of sport/competition, which has been my point this entire time.

What you need to do, and are absolutely *NOT* doing, is detail some sort of change that the MLB made during this particular time period to specifically advantage the results one might obtain via juicing. You would further need to explain how whatever the MLB did directly influenced the contracts the players got from the actual franchises, which would mean that even a really good argument would necessarily be indirect.

You have not done this in the least, on the contrary, you are just generically referring to how people who cheat can thereby achieve better results and therefore better remuneration, something which is utterly ubiquitous (AS IT IS THE ENTIRE REASON PEOPLE CHEAT LIKE THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE REGARDLESS OF TIME, PLACE OR CIRCUMSTANCE) and not remotely unique to baseball, let alone this particular scenario involving the strike.

frugal wrote:
Also look at the difference between a MLB contract and a minor league contract, if a player was sniffing the majors at all, the incentive was huge.


DOUBLE DUH.

Are you making any sort of specific allegation whatsoever, are you seriously making the most banally ridiculous observation ever as justification for your evidently baseless libel?

Frugal wrote:
I don't know how else to explain it except open your eyes.


My *ENTIRE POINT* here is that people are cheating all over the place all the time, and it's blatantly ignored by most everyone. Not just baseball, and not just the 90s. On the contrary, *YOU* are the one claiming it's just an isolated episode of one bad actor (with a singular set of complicit subsidiaries) at one specific period of time.

It wasn't, even then it was almost everyone and for a decade or more after. The MLB wasn't uniquely culpable, nor have you even made even the emptiest of attempts to argue otherwise. You are merely saying that the big leagues are big deal and big performances mean big money. Color me incredulous, I guess, I honestly had no idea. :roll: Next you'll be telling me they play the game with bats & bases. :o

Open your eyes dude.
 
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:54 pm

Glorious wrote:
It wasn't, even then it was almost everyone and for a decade or more after. The MLB wasn't uniquely culpable, nor have you even made even the emptiest of attempts to argue otherwise. You are merely saying that the big leagues are big deal and big performances mean big money. Color me incredulous, I guess, I honestly had no idea. :roll: Next you'll be telling me they play the game with bats & bases. :o

Looking at this, the numbers don't even go out of historical ranges until 1998-2001. If 'Roid Ball was supposed to be the fix for the strike, why did it wait until 1998?. Oh, and I do so hope that those KG, Jr. numbers in '97 and '98 aren't tainted, but I also know that that is a fool's errand.
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Re: NFL experimenting with microchip equipped footballs

Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:54 pm

Frugal wrote:
Have you ever looked at the contracts that the juicers got?

The economic incentive to cheat is huge. Even if you got caught and suspended you would still have more earning potential if you juiced.

Also look at the difference between a MLB contract and a minor league contract, if a player was sniffing the majors at all, the incentive was huge.

I don't know how else to explain it except open your eyes.


Obligatory xkcd reference:

https://xkcd.com/258/

But obviously this is different. The purpose of these drugs is to increase athletic output, right? Drugs or no drugs, these people are already driven to compete at a higher level than anyone else, and they're already working harder at it than anyone else would, but it can't be that simple, right? There's got to be a conspiracy here somewhere.
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