Wednesday, March 30, 2016

NFL Dumping RFID Data

During the past few NFL seasons, the NFL has implemented the placement of RFID chips in players shoulder pads. These RFID chips are similar to those that are in our credit cards, and are even used for data tracking of nomadic animals, and amusement park goers in Disney. These chips collect a great deal of data on the field from speed, distance traveled, and player separation. This data has been collected for two years now, but teams were not able to access it. In fact, its primary use was to display a player’s speed, and other stats during NFL broadcasts. As a huge advancement, the NFL will commence in a data dump, allowing all NFL teams to access and do whatever they wish with their RFID data.

This data dump is allowing all NFL teams to access and do whatever they wish with their data. Analyzing scouts and college players has entered an entirely new era. In the NFL today, college players are judged for their abilities during a combine where they are athletically tested in many areas such as speed, ability, and strength. A lot of the times, these tests are inaccurate because they occur away from the game. With RFID chips, coaches, and NFL teams are able to analyze in game abilities that could better predict and give an accurate depiction of how they will perform on the field.
As this technology increases it will be used to strategize and discover a player matchup. The NFL is becoming more of a complex game of chess, where strategies are down to the most minuscule detail. I’m a little torn when it comes to this idea; I believe that sports should be kept at a level of human observation and understanding. These chips tell a story, and they assist in preparation for games as well. The New Orleans Saint were part of a trail and discovered that some players were running over 7 miles a day during practice. By discovering trends like this, players are able to get more rest, avoid injury and be better prepared for games. This RFID data can also be used for the advancement of gamer technology and development. With such minuscule and particular details, companies like EA Sports may soon have the ability to make the most realistic game play to date.

The articles barely mentioned anything about RFID data for concussion, or other injury related protocol. I think that by analyzing a player’s separation distance, and the speed they have at impact could further dissect our understanding of how to prevent brain injuries in the NFL. I’m also curious as to whether there will be new rules imposed to increase privacy of the collected data. Will teams be able see data from other teams? Will there be new rules imposed to assure data security?


  1. Technology, in many aspects of society, have been on the rise in order to improve those aspects. This article and blog post refers to the sports world, and how technology has involved itself with the on-field actions of the players. As the RFID chips are installed into the shoulder pads of the players, users are able to track statistics of the physical abilities of the players, changing the game of football for scouts, coaches, and obviously the players.
    I am very interested in how the speed and separation distance can be calculated for each of the players. This technological ability is bound to find its way into other aspects of society to improve with certain research related aspects of society to astronomy and biology. In addition, I agree with the thought that David had brought up about the concept of human observation. Human observation is what brought sports together, and human observation is what brings teams together. Although it is odd to let go of the originality of sports, society has a duty to keep everyone as safe and as healthy as possible, and, as brought to the conversation by David, this technology may be able to be manipulated to prevent injuries.
    There is a concern that I feel certain companies will have to deal with pertaining to its marketing and production progression. Will certain corporations, that have developed technologies similar (but less advanced) to this, lose business? Or will the technologies be exposed to other companies? I feel that with the progression in technology, companies will both benefit and suffer when it comes to their production markets.

  2. Hello David!

    I’m very intrigued about your article! I am familiar with the topic of RFID chips, especially when it comes to their use at disney theme parks. These chips are examples at how the world it progressing in terms of collecting data, and using them to gain advantage in the world. I’m a Ravens fan, and am aware of teams using film and strategy to beat their opponents. The use of these chips turns the game into a much more technical process, and as you said, it definitely is a chess match. This data dump does make me concerned about the future of the game though. I feel like coaches and teams with this data will develop a lower tolerance for error. Lastly, I am concerned with the privacy of this data. Will we be seeing another scandal like we did with deflated footballs? Teams stealing each others technical data could turn the NFL into an even more corrupt organization

  3. I believe that David presents a few intriguing points in his blog. First, the use of these RFID chips is undoubtedly revolutionary. The NFL, like many sports, is becoming technologically advanced daily, and this is just another step. The use of technology has expanded rapidly over the past few years. One sport that I can relate this to is baseball. Baseball has been perhaps the sport to most utilize data. All 30 teams now have data analytics departments. The MLB has employed a new technology called statcast. Statcast provides an in depth look at a number of statistics that give teams a better understanding of a player's value. I disagree with David on this front. David holds that he does not like how sports have involved so much technology. He would rather teams evaluate players with human observation, rather than data analytics. However, I believe that this technology is very profitable to the game. I think that this data can be coupled with human observation to provide teams with the best scouting report possible on a player. Overall, I enjoyed reading David's article very much and was intrigued by the topic. Nice work, David.


  4. I feel like RFID data is going to become extremely useful not only in the NFL, but all professional sports. In football, it allows teams to accurately measure a player's athleticism during a real game situation. There is a big difference between someone who can run a fast 40-yard dash time and someone who can fly past a defender deep down the field. Similar things are being done in professional baseball. A company called Motus is creating arm sleeves for players to wear containing a microchip in order to measure the stress the arm takes while throwing a ball. This sleeve can how coaches where potential injuries may occur, allowing them to make changes before a serious injury occurs. This time of technology shows a lot of promise in multiple ways. Firstly, it can allow for athletes' productivity to be accurately measured using complex data. Additionally, this can allow for coaches to track potential injuries before they occur. Like I said, Motus is trying to diagnose potential injuries allowing coaches to change the player's mechanics in order to prevent the injury from actually occurring. As David said, hopefully this technology can be used in order to prevent concussions in football, which is easily the most prevalent injury in sports.

  5. I found this post to be very interesting because I did not know that this is a technology being used by the NFL. One thing that I'm curious about is why wasn't the data from these RFID chips used any sooner. Why wait to release the data until now? One point that I found to be very interesting from this post was how the data from these chips can be used to determine protocols for helping to prevent concussions. Concussions in the NFL have been detrimental to its players and the league. If this technology can help decrease the amount of concussions in the league, this could boost the popularity of the NFL and make it even more wealthy. Also, I think it's interesting how these chips can be used for scouting players, however, I think that you need to watch a player in person and see what they are like off the field to get a complete feel for how they are as a person and a player.


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