The NFL Will Put Tracking Devices In Players' Shoudler Pads This Year

  • Jake O'Donnell

RFID tags (radio frequency identification) usually only make the news when the Tea Party decides to float a rumor about Obamacare embedding them under your skin. As practical as that might be to track missing persons or criminals (or Bieber), RFID’s real application will be in sports, where information like speed, acceleration, proximity, etc., can be relayed to teams and fans in order to give a more detailed picture of what’s going on during the course of a game.

[Forbes] “Working with Zebra will give fans, teams, coaches and players a deeper look into the game they love,” said Vishal Shah, NFL Vice President of Media Strategy. “Zebra’s tracking technology will help teams to evolve training, scouting and evaluation through increased knowledge of player performance, as well as provide ways for our teams and partners to enhance the fan experience.”

The technology will only be available in 17 stadiums, and the information gathered should be seen during all NFL Network broadcasts, so that means 15 Thursday night games for the 2014 season. What will the end product look like? Madden, basically — with highlighted pass routes accompanied by physical data, like, for example, the routes Johnny Manziel ignores and the speed with which he scrambles deeper and deeper into the backfield.

Oooooohh, tech burn. Gotcha, bro.

Here’s how the technology works…