Microsoft's deal with the National Football League to showcase Surface Pro 2 hardware during games got off to a rocky start when TV commentators and players alike repeatedly referred to the devices as iPads. That amounted to free advertising for the competition, for which Microsoft paid good money ($400 million), but that's all in the past. Furthermore, Microsoft's Surface deal with the NFL is winning over players, including Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who revealed a dark secret.
Microsoft's arch rival Apple is receiving some free publicity for its iPad line during NFL games. That's because TV announcers can't seem to tell fathom that not all tablets are iPads. Take the Surface, for example. After paying the NFL $400 million for Surface to be the official tablet of the league, Microsoft is understandably ticked that its slate keeps being referred to as an iPad on national television.
Not only did the NFL mishandle a major situation with Ray Rice's domestic abuse incident, but even comparatively minor tasks are turning into fumbles. Before the season began, Microsoft inked a $400 million deal with the NFL to make its Surface the official tablet of the league for the next five years. Under normal circumstances, that would be a sound (and even savvy) advertising deal on Microsoft's part, except for one little thing -- NFL announcers couldn't help but to refer to the Surface tablets as iPads.
Football fans will have plenty of ways to tune into the Super Bowl and watch Tom Brady and Co. decimate the opponent (this editor might be a tad bit biased) in 2012. That's because for the first time ever, NBC and the NFL will stream the Super Bowl online at NBCSports.com and NFL.com through SNF Extra, giving viewers access to special features like DVR controls, various camera angles, in-game highlights, and other interactive bits, all in HD.
We’re a couple of weeks into an NFL season that almost didn't happen, and between the offseason trades and injuries, it’s been difficult to keep up with all of the NFL action. Fortunately, this is a task perfectly suited to an Android tablet. Though many of you are probably making heavy use of some of the sports-related websites out there, we want to introduce you to an app that could be of great use to casual fans and fantasy fanatics alike.
For better or worse, more and more professional athletes are voicing their opinions about each other on Twitter, taking public things that often times should be kept private. One recent example involves Detroit Pistons forward Charles Villaneuva calling out Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett for allegedly calling him a cancer patient (Garnett denied the claim calling it a "major miscommunication").
Some felt Villanueva did the right thing by posting his criticism of Garnett's alleged comments, while others felt that whatever was said on the court should stay on the court. It appears those that favor the latter are losing out.
More recently, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was the target of near-instant criticism for sitting out most of the second half of the NFC playoff game with an injured knee. Players took to Twitter with harsh comments for Cutler's sideline act, including comments by Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew.
"Hey I think the urban meyer rule is effect right now... When the going gets tough........QUIT ..," Maurice-Jones tweeted. "All I'm saying is that he can finish the game on a hurt knee... I played the whole season on one...," he wrote in a follow-up tweet.
Maurice-Jones later claimed that his comments were made in jest, which most found hard to believe, including a handful of commenters who supposedly issued death threats against the running back.
"I guess death threats towards me and my family isn't head line news but me tweeting my opinion about a person is... The society is backwards I guess we haven't came far enough as human beings," Maurice-Jones wrote in an expanded tweet.
Fair enough, but does anyone else miss the days when sports news was ruled by highlight reels, upsets, and even the occasional non-Twitter related controversy?
It's fourth and inches on the goal line and your team is down by 6 with just seconds to go. Naturally, they're going to go for the touchdown. The running back gets the ball and dives over the linesmen where he's met by a pile of bodies keeping him out of the endzone. However, all he needs to do is reach the football out and break the plane. Did he make it?
It's not always easy to tell, and even instant replay is at the mercy of camera angles and how many big bodies are in the way. Getting the wrong call in this situation could determine whether a team makes the playoffs or goes home early, and this is just one of many scenarios that referees can get wrong in the course of a game. To help eliminate what often boils down to guesswork, the NFL is reportedly in talks with German manufacturer Cairos Technologies to implant microchips into pigskins.
"Yes, we are talking. There is a demand in American Football," Cairos sales director Mario Hanus told Reuters in a recent interview.
Predictably, the NFL was pretty tight-lipped about the possibility of employing chip-in-ball technology, but a league spokesman did say they are looking at ways of expanding their use of technology on the field.
"We are always exploring ways in which we can be innovative with technology to improve our game and our fans enjoyment of the game," spokesman Michael Signora said.
If implemented, the chip would likely only be used to help determine contentious first-down and touchdown decisions, and could even be reserved for red flag challenges, of which each team gets two opportunities per game to challenge a call on the field with a video replay, with an additional challenge awarded if the first two are won.
So what do you think, football fans, would you like to see this technology come to fruition, or do NFL games play out just fine the way they are?
While many of us turn on our TVs when we want to see our Seattle Seahawks play poorly (or at least I do), many more turn on their computers. Thanks to the easy to use PC-tuner cards, anyone with $50 and a will can upload a stream to a peer-to-peer network with ease – and it’s causing a stir amongst big wigs for just about every major sports league.
Some outlets, such as Major League Baseball aren’t very concerned with the problem. The Chief Executive of MLB.com, Robert A. Bowman says, “it’s embryonic, it’s not widespread, and we have a distinct advantage in that we have a better product,” referring to the package that they offer for streaming a season of games online for $79.95.
Other leagues haven’t been as fortunate, though. The National Football League has been having some issues with the problem, thanks to a long-standing feud between the NFL Network and cable companies. Because of said feud, millions of fans missed out on seeing the Dallas Cowboys’ last game in their current home stadium, while millions more saw it all online for free.
The NFL has long been a goliath in American entertainment, and tonight they’ll join forces with 3ality Digital and RealID to bring viewers the Chargers and the Raiders in full digital 3D.
The first ever 3D broadcast has been made available to audiences in three US cities, Boston, Hollywood and New York City (sorry, Raiders fans). The contest between the two teams will be transmitted to RealID 3D-enabled theaters that incorporate almost pixel-perfect quality. Supposedly, those watching the 3D enabled games will have the feeling that they’re actually on the field with the players.
There’s no doubt that those watching the game from home tonight will see excerpts after commercial breaks of what the theaters look like, but it might be some time before this technology makes its way to the masses. Sadly, you’ll probably have to wait a few more years before you can tackle TO’s hologram.