The Super Bowl is regarded by many as the greatest sporting event in the U.S. today. The National Football League is considered one of the most popular professional sports leagues in the world. Technology is an integral part of the NFL and the Super Bowl. From the first time the NFL games were televised in 1939, technology has been its partner in bringing the game to the masses. Technology has changed almost every aspect of the NFL games – including calling plays, drafting, and the way the league addresses injuries.
Consider these important uses of technology in NFL games, including the Super Bowl.
- Instant replay – This technology has arguably had the biggest effect on the NFL as it created a new standard of accuracy in the games. Instant replay resulted in significant changes in the way the game is played. While NFL officials give their best in making calls, they are human and may not catch everything with their eyes alone. The advent of replay technology highlighted errors in judgment, resulting in better officiating in the games.
- Helmet audio – The original NFL helmet was just a padded leather cap. Plastic helmets were introduced after World War II. Improvements to the helmet included the addition of facemasks and visors. The latest version of the helmet included in-helmet radio receivers. The helmet audio enabled quarterbacks to receive a play from the head coach or offensive coordinator without having to rely on signals or huddles. Helmet audio revolutionized the hurry-up offense.
- Video scoreboards – Spectators rely on the outsize video screen to get better views of plays, but athletes do, too. A player who is charging for a touchdown used to scan the field around them, but now they can get a clearer view thanks to the video display in the stadium. Players can now check the video display to see their pursuers without having to slow down to look back. Video display is a boon for audience members and players alike.
The NFL of old days may still hold nostalgia for many, but few can argue that new technologies have made the game more efficient, easy to watch and execute, accurate, and safe.