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NFL Teams Considering IPads To Replace Playbooks

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the there's-a-bone-crushing-app-for-that dept.

Apple 289

bonch writes "Pete Walsh, technology head for the Dallas Cowboys, says he and other teams are considering iPads and other tablets as a replacement for paper playbooks, saving about 5,000 pages of printouts per game. Not only is it a huge savings in paper, but a lost iPad might also be remotely wiped to prevent a team's plays falling into the wrong hands. One concern is security and whether or not a tablet could be wirelessly hacked."

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Maybe for dome teams (3, Insightful)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118026)

Good luck using it with gloves on

Re:Maybe for dome teams (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118052)

Players don't generally read the playbook on the sidelines unless they're on the bench, at which point they generally take their gloves off since it's equally difficult to flip through a book with gloves on. On another note, they would need to get some deal with apple to let them side load the playbook though since I'd imagine not many teams would want to submit their playbook for approval to the app store.

Re:Maybe for dome teams (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118070)

Why not transfer it via other means? Why even bother having apple in the equation?

Re:Maybe for dome teams (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118086)

What makes you think that the playbook needs anything more complex than emailing a pdf to the players?

What part of SECURITY don't you understand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118324)

A PDF can be easily transferred and distribute. Passwords on a PDF can be cracked in seconds with open source tools.

Re:What part of SECURITY don't you understand? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118496)

Passwords, maybe. Certificates, [adobe.com] I doubt it.

Re:Maybe for dome teams (0)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118100)

They make special gloves for using with the ipod/pad, and why would they make a deal? Jailbreak and load, screw apple if they don't like it. Even if they did have to get the app approved, they could always just load the data files right before the game. Why would you have to send the actual plays to apple? I dont think any of the news paper apps have to get the content approved, just the actual app.

Re:Maybe for dome teams (4, Informative)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118104)

On another note, they would need to get some deal with apple to let them side load the playbook though since I'd imagine not many teams would want to submit their playbook for approval to the app store.

I'm pretty sure the developers license will let you load your own unreleased app directly onto your ipad, without having to submit it to apple.

Re:Maybe for dome teams (-1, Troll)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118214)

I'm pretty sure Apple assumes everything on any device of them is theirs.

Re:Maybe for dome teams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118330)

I'm pretty sure you're wrong.

Re:Maybe for dome teams (3, Informative)

bay43270 (267213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118312)

Apple also supports enterprise app servers so the teams (or companies) can distribute their own applications internally.

Re:Maybe for dome teams (4, Informative)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118512)

On another note, they would need to get some deal with apple to let them side load the playbook though since I'd imagine not many teams would want to submit their playbook for approval to the app store.

Companies can get an enterprise license that allows them to distriibute app internally.

Re:Maybe for dome teams (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118072)

all you have to do is cut the tip off a finger. Or you know they make things called fingerless gloves with mittens that flip over them. Just have someone sew one for a single finger.

I would be more concerned with battery life. NFL games take longer than Baseball for less action.

Re:Maybe for dome teams (1)

cognoscentus (1628459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118178)

Amputation seems a tad drastic, even if it is to facilitate iPad usage... Still, if it's good enough for Ranulph Fiennes...

Re:Maybe for dome teams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118074)

Just use a stylus like this:
http://www.tenonedesign.com/checkout.php?product=Pogo%20Sketch

Re:Maybe for dome teams (2)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118082)

There are actually gloves available that will work with the ipad.

Re:Maybe for dome teams (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118212)

They're made of lace and reach above the elbow - not really suitable for playing handegg.

Re:Maybe for dome teams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118376)

They're made of lace and reach above the elbow - not really suitable for playing handegg.

Lace gloves, they sound quite suitable for handegg. Along with some frilly dresses and some pretty handbags.

Re:Maybe for dome teams (1)

dakohli (1442929) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118320)

We had news items on them up here in Winnipeg, where it can be a real challenge when it's cold out.

For those looking for a reference. [topiphoneresource.info]

Uh... (1)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118030)

Turn the wireless function off
Duh???

Re:Uh... (1, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118108)

Turn the wireless function off

Duh???

The "Duh" part is being worried about the wireless, merely because wireless is "new and trendy" to the non-technical masses. The part to worry about is the itunes running bot infested keylogger installed windoze box it syncs and backs up to. Or whatever backend system they're using, perhaps they're just planning on front ending google docs, hope no one share those files to the wrong person.

Also its "easy" to embed watermarking for each individual printout (stupid example, much better exist, player #28 gets 28 extra spaces scattered thru his printout) As far as I know, no one has a system like that for an ipad, so you simply loan the ipad to your new best friend and while you're busy cashing your check, he's busy taking untraceable snapshots of the ipad displaying each page with his cellphone or fancier camera. I've never tried placing my ipad platen down on my photocopier, must try this when I get a chance....

Re:Uh... (1)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118472)

Also its "easy" to embed watermarking for each individual printout (stupid example, much better exist, player #28 gets 28 extra spaces scattered thru his printout) As far as I know, no one has a system like that for an ipad, so you simply loan the ipad to your new best friend and while you're busy cashing your check, he's busy taking untraceable snapshots of the ipad displaying each page with his cellphone or fancier camera.

It's just as easy to do with the iPad, or any device for that matter. When you hand out the file you change the data in such a way that it's watermarked. It doesn't matter if at that point someone copies it, that's why you watermark it - to identify who it was copied from.

iOS also has per-application locking and encryption so the NFL can make their own app and secure the data on it. It's actually very easy to write a simple app to display files, it wouldn't cost very much or take that much time to implement.

Re:Uh... (1)

snookiex (1814614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118134)

And how are they going to check the baseball scores?

Everything can be hacked... (1, Troll)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118044)

...after reading /. for 10 years I now realize that even my DICK can be hacked...you know, that little nub of flesh between my thighs that's about 1mm long and flacid as a hot date with Rob Malda?

Re:Everything can be hacked... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118058)

Clearly it was hacked once before...

ios has to much apple back doors and other stuff (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118084)

ios has to much apple back doors and other stuff that the NFL will not like. Android is better as the they can side load and don't have to deal with any apple BS.

Re:ios has to much apple back doors and other stuf (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118210)

I guess they'll just choose from that bevy of high quality Android tablets out there.... oh wait.

Re:ios has to much apple back doors and other stuf (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118340)

As opposed to the bevy of high quality iPads out there? In a month or two there will be at least as many high quality Android tablets on the market as there are iPads.

Re:ios has to much apple back doors and other stuf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118424)

Sure, chose a platform whose central theme is malware. Brilliant.

Re:ios has to much apple back doors and other stuf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118438)

ios has to much apple back doors and other stuff that the NFL will not like. Android is better as the they can side load and don't have to deal with any apple BS.

Actually, if you read the specs iOS has Android beat hands down for security features. And what exactly are these back doors? I can't seem to find a reference to them anywhere.

iPad makes zero sense (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118092)

Kindle, on the other hand, makes total sense.

iPad is total overkill, Kindle is way way WAY cheaper and does all the same things that they need to do.

Re:iPad makes zero sense (5, Funny)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118132)

Kindle, on the other hand, makes total sense.

iPad is total overkill, Kindle is way way WAY cheaper and does all the same things that they need to do.

You are probably right. The NFL pays their player multi-million dollar contracts, but I'm sure they'd squirm when they saw the $500-700 price tag on the ipad.

Re:iPad makes zero sense (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118150)

You are probably right. The NFL pays their player multi-million dollar contracts, but I'm sure they'd squirm when they saw the $500-700 price tag on the ipad.

There's no reason to waste money. If they use iPads it'll be because Apple paid them to do so (possibly just free hardware and support, possibly advertising revenues.) In fact the press release which stimulated this article (didn't even RTFA but I'll bet you a dollar that there was one) is probably nothing more than a public solicitation for bribes.

Re:iPad makes zero sense (0)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118298)

Apple will pay them? HA! I don't know if you've noticed but Apple doesn't need the NFL to do anything for them. They're selling quite well without paying any company or business to endorse their products. As for wasting money, there are benefits: Saving paper, better distribution of information, etc. Just because you don't have a use for one (I don't have a use for an iPad either), doesn't mean there are no benefits for someone else and that it is "wasting money".

Re:iPad makes zero sense (2)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118516)

Yeah, Apple doesn't need the NFL for anything. They explained this clearly in last year's iPad commercial during the Super Bowl.

Re:iPad makes zero sense (0)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118524)

They're selling quite well without paying any company or business to endorse their products.

Do you think that those prominent apple logos on the gear you see in so many TV shows are put there out of the kindness of the producers' hearts? It's called product placement, and despite any spin you might hear from Apple spokesmen, you can bet that there was compensation in some form.

As for the NFL, I'm sure that Motorola has to pay a pretty penny to get the head coaches to wear those butt-ugly monster headphones that serve as billboards for the batwing logo.

Re:iPad makes zero sense (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118500)

Yep, it's all about the ad dollars. The "Motorola" microphone you see the coaches wear is actually not made by the company, and made to be bigger than it has to be so the logo would fit, you see much smaller microphones being used by other people. Motorola makes radio systems, but to leave the logo only on the transmitter wouldn't make it seen.

Re:iPad makes zero sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118156)

really? Kindle can via pictures and videos of recent plays? Animated graphics? Custom applications? cool.
 

Re:iPad makes zero sense (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118344)

So they're going to do "custom applications" just for a playbook? Is this something that a single team is going to take on all by itself or is the entire league going to develop this.

Of course there are a lot of details that are being left out and being conveniently ignored by those that revel in their own ignorance.

Most likely, the NFL will just want to use some pre-existing canned app that isn't necessarily specialized to their particular situation.

Since this is about some sort of "book", then any generic book or document handler would likely do.

You would think that "jocks" would be less inclined to "geek out" over new and overpriced electronic gadgets.

Re:iPad makes zero sense (1)

altinos.com (919185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118388)

Don't games like Madden already have something like this for consumers? Hell, for cheap animations, they could just do it all in a PowerPoint presentation. Assuming you can view PowerPoint on an iPad.

Re:iPad makes zero sense (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118162)

Kindle is way way WAY cheaper and does all the same things that they need to do.

Like scroll around really fast and zoom in on some weird detail? Hmm, I think not.

Re:iPad makes zero sense (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118286)

Are you joking? Considering what they play the players, some iPads are pocketchange if it does what they want, refreshes way faster, and they probably can get custom apps made to change plays on the fly and other functions they need.

Not sure if Kindle is pincode protection yet or anything although remote wiping has been proven by Amazon a while back. The one thing a kindle will be better at might be sunlight readability (even then, when I owned an earlier one, the glare of pure, direct sunlight just made any screen impossible to read).

In any case, cost probably is not the primary consideration.

Re:iPad makes zero sense (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118372)

I love my eReader and have no interest in a tablet, but a non-touchscreen, slow refresh device would not be particularly useful in this context.

Re:iPad makes zero sense (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118396)

I doubt it would be the money but the sunlight readable display is probably the most important feature they seem to be glossing over. A PixelQi display based tablet would be better since they could do video nicely also. And you know there'll be a Madden app so the coaches can draw X's and O's live all over the display. It's about time really. Tablets are not new tech and they could have been using larger and heavier Windows based tablets for years if they really cared to. IMO

LoB

Re:iPad makes zero sense (1)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118490)

I doubt it would be the money but the sunlight readable display is probably the most important feature they seem to be glossing over.

Actually they are very concerned with people using binoculars and other means of viewing the playbooks remotely so they often use some form of cover to shade it from prying eyes. This would also work to shade from the sun, making a sunlight-readable display less of a concern.

Re:iPad does video (1)

MikeMo (521697) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118488)

iPad, on the other hand, can show the plays in motion (per TFA), could show the last play in near real-time, and do other things besides show a static paper replacement. That's the whole point of the iPad. Of course, if all you do is read books, the Kindle is great. But they can do SO much more with the iPad - like write their own, team-centric apps.

Re:iPad makes zero sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118506)

why not the RIM device

after all they do call it Playbook

Re:iPad makes zero sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118564)

Kindle, on the other hand, makes total sense.

iPad is total overkill, Kindle is way way WAY cheaper and does all the same things that they need to do.

should use playbook by RIM

Not a huge deal. (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118116)

Just load everything locally onto the tablet, don't load plays over wifi--and they'll be good.

Honestly, they're no more or less secure than someone stealing your playbook at that point.

Re:Not a huge deal. (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118412)

I'd imagine they would use the iPad for more than just the static plays. For example, when watching the game, you always see the players and coaches going over printouts of things that have been happening directly in the game being played (taken from above in the "booth") - seeing how the other team's defense reacts to certain formations, etc. The iPad could easily replace this function and could even include video instead of only static pictures of this. However, they would need to have the connectivity turned on in order to make use of it for the in-game updates.

Re:Not a huge deal. (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118538)

WiFi is mostly able to be secured anyway. Just use WPA2 encryption, and only let the plays be loaded at the already authorized-personnel-only areas so a WiFi hacker would have to cross over a "What are you doing here anyway?" problem.

To break WiFi you have to capture a lot of packets, which means the hacker has to have some sort of radio of their own in the WiFi range for a good amount of time. It's not as easy as TV makes it look.

How does this work now? (4, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118120)

I didn't know they have a different playbook every week. What do they actually do with them? If the 5,000 pages is copies for half a dozen coaches, that's almost 1000 pages each, which I can't imagine they're flipping through between plays. Or is it 50 pages for each of 100 players and coaches? But that doesn't make sense, I can't imagine they're memorizing 50 pages of plays per game.

Re:How does this work now? (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118192)

You'd also think a nice zoom lens on a camera at the right angle could capture the info needed for what most snooping eyes needed. Also, I suppose it's due dilligence to worry about wireless hacking, but maybe they should get an Adroid and cook their own ROM with stronger/different encryption? I also cant imagine they havent been using any sort of tablet PC with some type of stylus before the ipad came along. Either way, an IPad, a tablet, or whatever, they should be fine if they take the right precautions.

Re:How does this work now? (1)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118196)

Your over thinking it, they just want iPads.

Re:How does this work now? (1)

kenh (9056) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118218)

Every player gets updates to their playbook, and there are as many as 100 playbooks "in circulation" before a game. Remember, it's nice if the coaching staff knows the plays, the players HAVE TO know the plays.

5,000 pages by 100 playbooks means a very manageable 50 pages per player, per game. I suspect they include full-page diagrams of the opposing teams plays, along with a page dedicated to an analysis of the play.

Re:How does this work now? (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118224)

One offensive coordinator's playbook I just read was 700 pages. So that's only one half of the playbook, and they often put in additional packages when they play a team for the second time or in the postseason, or just to make adjustments for what they can do well as the season progresses. 1,000 pages when you combine offense and defense is totally believable.

Re:How does this work now? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118248)

Fifty pages of data isn't that much. Humans can memorize that. This isn't Pop Warner football where the team has four plays.

Re:How does this work now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118378)

It's kind of sad that the average NFL player (whom /.'ers love to hate on so much) read more per week than the average Slashdotter.

Note: I don't like football either; I didn't even know there was a superbowl coming up until someone told me yesterday.

Re:How does this work now? (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118570)

It's also a copy for every player on the roster, not just the coaches. That puts the average size closer to 100 pages a reader.

Remote wipe seems good (2)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118130)

There are numerous stories just related to my favorite team that involve lost plays or playbooks. One story involved a coach who was talking with a bartender late one night and diagrammed a play on a napkin, which was later scooped up by a fan of the opponent and passed on. Another was a prominent running back who lost his playbook halfway through the season, and it reportedly fell into the hands of a division rival. Remote wipe might be quite useful.

Oh, good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118146)

More ways to confuse Chad Henne.

Weather? (5, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118148)

This article reminded me of the classic 1970s Xerox ad [youtube.com] . But what would they do in weather like that? Maybe they plan to always play in domed stadiums.

Re:Weather? (1)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118536)

This article reminded me of the classic 1970s Xerox ad. But what would they do in weather like that?

Obligatory:

iPad waterproof cases. [lmgtfy.com]

Bad day for RIM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118158)

In a lovely twist of irony, RIM's would-be iPad killer is actually CALLED the "Playbook".

Re:Bad day for RIM (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118180)

That would only be ironic if acting as a playbook was the one thing it wasn't capable of doing.

Not a bad idea. (1)

Elbart (1233584) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118160)

As they can be used for other activities during the upcoming lock-out.

IT Staff for a football team? (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118164)

I don't know what the typical IT staff is for an NFL pro team, but I expect that they have some folks dedicated to electronic and computer equipment, etc.. Setting that stuff up in a constantly changing remote station can be hairy.

The problem may not be the physical control of the devices themselves, but all the different versions and retention policies. With a printout you can physically hand in a document and have it checked off as returned. Sure, people can photocopy or scan it, but that's a lot more difficult than just downloading a file. Stealing a physical playbook involves physical access. Stealing a playbook, getting it to the opponent, and verifying that the evidence is gone after it's used is even more difficult.

Add tablets and I would imagine that the users would put not only playbook information on it, but also emails and other documentation. Imagine if a pending trade is made public? And unlike paper, stealing a document now no longer means trying to get by some burly security guards.

Go Dolphins.

Re:IT Staff for a football team? (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118262)

If I were an NFL coach, I would purposely WikiLeak a fake playbook, that the opposing team could download.

Quarterback: "Blue 39, Red 17!

Opposing Team Defense Player: "Hey, isn't that supposed to be a run? Why are they passing? They totally screwed us on that play."

Re:IT Staff for a football team? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118422)

If I were an NFL coach, I would purposely WikiLeak a fake playbook, that the opposing team could download...

What makes you think that has not happen.

Remember "totally screwed" in this case might mean a long pass completion or possibly a touchdown. What coach wouldn't want that play-action pass (best leaked as a running play) to be even more effective.

I'd be wondering if this is to the point where all professional coaches would be dismiss all leaks as the football version of "Operation Fortitude". If they wanted to get good information they would have their own staff do the spying...possibly with a camera.

Re:IT Staff for a football team? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118294)

With a printout you can physically hand in a document and have it checked off as returned. Sure, people can photocopy or scan it, but that's a lot more difficult than just downloading a file.

Couldn't some of the techniques of DRM be used to make it only readable on that specific machine?

Plus there's all manner of logging, phoning home and stuff you could add.

Sure, an expert could get round those, given time. But that's time you can use to change your plays, rendering the information obsolete.

Inspector Gadget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118194)

They should use self-destructing cards.

take the batteries out or put it in a faraday cage (1)

lkcl (517947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118200)

duhh! all you have to do is get it out of the premises, then follow disassembly instructions. why not just put "free ippad, here!" on the screens? honestly :)

Re:take the batteries out or put it in a faraday c (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118300)

Battery is built in. Apple decided that like all of their devices - form over function.

Chips in the players' brains (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118208)

Can't the NFL just plant chips in the players' brain that can store all the secret stuff in the playbooks? I'm sure that innovative countries like India and China can do this.

Probably.

Watch the next cricket match with India, and get suspicious when the players start banging their heads during the games. Of course, maybe a country with ~billion folks can field an excellent cricket side?

Now, with American Football, some linebacker, 6 foot tall (~2 meters), and weighing 240 pounds (~120 kilograms), is able to shove the guy from the other side on his ass, he should be able to use a pocket scanner to read the chip in the other guy's brain.

Maybe the rules will be changed to prevent implants?

Re:Chips in the players' brains (1)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118308)

Can't the NFL just plant chips in the players' brain that can store all the secret stuff in the playbooks? I'm sure that innovative countries like India and China can do this.

Yes if only there were some way for us to use a brain and store information in it. Some sort of memory perhaps? Theres a lot of space up there in the skull, storing all that information might take some time, but I bet it could be done. Maybe some repeated loads and checking or testing to make sure it was stored properly would be in order.

Re:Chips in the players' brains (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118410)

Maybe some repeated loads and checking or testing to make sure it was stored properly would be in order.

Thank you, whenever somebody asks me to do something that I don't want to do, I will say, "Sorry, I'm defragmenting my brain right now."

Wireless hack of iPad? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118226)

Now a days the video cameras are so tiny, so hidable and with WiFi built in too. It would be far easier to find a vantage point over the practice field of the opponent and smuggle in and hide a camera and tape the practice sessions. Most of the plays are acted out and explained by the coaches in the field. Also you could see the weakness of each player by the amount of practice time spent and repeated on a particular piece of work. Just by looking at the line up you may be able to guess the play.

Mon-Sat yes, Sun no (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118232)

Security is not an insurmountable deal, but:

1) Size. Too small for showing plays to a group

2) Speed. ChangIng apps (or sections of an app) costs a few seconds, which will not be tolerated in a timeout, not when paper and dry erase are instant.

3) Screen problems. Day games are sunny; night games are almost ad bright. The iPad's screen does not do well in those conditions. The viewing angle especially is awful; in a sideline gathering of players, the players not directly in front won't be able to see a thing.

4) Durability. Weather, accidents, histrionic coaches, tantrums, and Gatorade bats. NFL teams certainly have the cash to replace them, but no coach is going to accept waiting while the gofer fetches a replacement.

Tablets are a natural replacement for playbooks Monday->Saturday, but they have a long way to go to be sideline material.

NBA was first! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118244)

I think the Washington Wizards of the NBA already does that

studies show greed/fear/ego cause inhumanities... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118274)

lack of conscience etc... instead of dismissing/criticizing things we do not yet understand, & forcing OUR gov.media to constantly raise the hate/fear levels about folks that are just like us, while they're being shot at by one of our premier 'business partners', there's plenty for US to be wary of/change immediately. see you on the other side of it? after the baby feeding is caught up, & we stop being persuaded to live in the grandest of isolations.

Can I take the opportunity to say... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118326)

...that whatever your feelings about Apple and it's products, I hope you can all join me in wishing that their co-founder and figurehead Steve Jobs croaks really quite soon. If you care about freedom and love computers then it goes without saying that this is what many of us have been hoping for.

Re:Can I take the opportunity to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118526)

You should be hearing helicopters right about now.

Can Apple ban the NFL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118332)

Are they wanting to use a custom app for this?

Is Apple going to let them?

It's so nice to see such rich companies falling all over themselves to submit to Apple's ridiculous policies.

More likely, they don't know about that insanity yet, or think it doesn't apply to them.

In the other news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118334)

... Apple changes the rules so playbooks can only be distributed via iTunes(tm) inStore(tm) iPay(tm) and not downloaded or copied from any other source. They also activated the iFuse(tm) to permanently disable the iPort(tm) on all iDevices(tm) to fight playbook piracy, billions of people loose their jobs (muahahah) due to PlayBookPiracy!

Re:In the other news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118532)

Don't forget the 30% cut Apple would ask for on the NFL revenue.

Perfect Season for the Patriots (1)

wdhowellsr (530924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118364)

Belichick is drueling over this. If the NFL goes with I-Pads I'm sure the Patriots will win the next five Super Bowls and be undefeated each season.

"Where are we supposed to go?", "The further South the better, Mexico or parts of Florida that aren't flooded."

Dr Hall in "The Day After Tomorrow"

Go North Central Florida.

Waste (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118368)

saving about 5,000 pages of printouts per game. Not only is it a huge savings

Somehow, I'm getting the feeling that 5000 pieces of paper is not the only, nor largest, waste resulting from the professional sports industry.

no real savings (4, Interesting)

pz (113803) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118374)

So 5,000 pages of paper. That's one case (actually 1/2 a case if you assume duplex printing). Buying high-quality paper, that's going to be $50 or less ($25 for half a case).

An entry-level business-grade B&W laser printer costs maybe $500, will handle 100,000 pages in its lifetime, and takes toner cartridges that print between 7500 and 15000 pages each at about $200 each retail. Being a little excessive and buying a new printer per season, a case of paper per game, and a new toner cart every other game, you get 500 (cost of one printer) + 1 (cases of paper per game) * 16 (games) * 50 (cost of one ream) + 0.5 (carts per game) * 16 (games) * 200 (cost of one toner cart) = $2900, or an amortized total cost of $0.36 per page. And that's being very generous on retail costs and consumables. I routinely print conference proceedings (18k total pages) for an amortized total cost for closer to $0.05 per page by shopping around even just a little. If they're printing in color, I'd expect the amortized total cost to be between 2 and 3 times higher, so, with a little work, perhaps $0.15 per page, but still well under the generous estimate of $2900.

Each iPad costs, what $500? And they need what, one per player, coach, assistant coach, owner, etc.? The so-called savings are a slight-of-hand distraction. They just want iPads.

Even if you were to say that the saved paper, not money, was really the issue, and that saving 16 cases of paper (probably 8, since if they're concerned, they'd already be printing duplex) was important, I'd point to the 10-or-so tons of recycled material per game that envionmentally conscious teams like the Ravens are capable of (http://www.mdstad.com/content/view/96/42/) that dwarf one (1/2) case of paper.

Again, they just want iPads.

As the linked article suggests, there are many things you could do with iPads that you can't do with a traditional printed playbook, like review plays, run simulations, etc., but the teams should be upfront with that and not toss the public a propaganda bone like paper savings that can be shown to be irrelevant in the bigger picture.

Great idea (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118386)

Bill Belichick gets them hacked before the first game.

Human Factors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118402)

Really, I would be surprised if either was used (outside of an over-hyped trial period). It's kind of like the "paperless office" idea where everything sounds nice and efficient, but human beings still work well with paper documents and if all you care about it running a business well, it doesn't necessarily add up to real savings to do what is mathematically better.

It's hilarious to watch people try to use their iPads on trains, buses, or just walking around. Large tablet devices seem to be better suited for sitting on a couch (which I guess would explain how all the advertising around here is with users sitting, holding it on their bent knee). I suppose the NFL could use smaller devices, but now you're making an unnecessary compromise, since paper does not need to be smaller to be as mobile.

Also, on a humorous-yet-realistic note, what's the savings (monetary and environmental) cost of not using a bunch of paper, when you're having to constantly replace smashed tablets?

Geeks trying to do sit-ups (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118414)

Wow, the geeks think they understand sports. Ever shake a geeks hand, melted butter, soft and useless. The iPad makes sense. It is small, light and has the performance to help the coaches and players quickly see they need to adjust to their opponent. Hey geeks guys, just put on your 3d classes and pretend.

About time (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118428)

During the game, the QB is often seen reviewing formations from plays just run - as overhead photographs of the field faxed down from the team box high in the stands. That's cutting edge for the 1970s. The offensive line, whose members have the highest IQs on the team, sit on the bench while a coach yells/encourages/coaches them. With a tablet like an iPad, the staff could send down video of the previous plays with audio and onscreen comments. The linemen, running backs, ends, etc, could all get specific instructions and adjustments.

The playbook could be more than static Xs and Ox - the formations would move, the concepts could be illustrated with game footage of your team and opponents. You could show how plays are supposed to go using Madden emulations. You could show what to look for happening across the line from a field level vantage.

Players drive to the stadium to review films with their position coaches and coordinators. With a tablet, communal film viewing could be complemented by the players watching any game film any time they want.

Sports often seem to me to be behind the curve when it comes to utilizing tech. When a pitcher comes out of a baseball game and wraps his $10 million a year arm in a towel to try and keep it at the optimal temperature, I shake my head.

Perfect for the New York Jets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118430)

The head coach of the Jets would be logged onto foot fetish sites checking out ladies' bare feet into the night, and when the other coaches stopped by he would quickly switch to the game plan.

more than one 'whacko' taking issue with vaccines (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118460)

despite what his fudliness laments. does say it's a big money maker...bill?

http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A2KIc0hVyE5Nq2QAi46bvZx4?p=vaccine+dangers

So who actually plays an NFL game? (3, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118464)

Is it really the teams themselves or is it just one playbook pitted against another and the players are just there to provide some colour?

It seems as if the NFL could just be replaced by a large D&D session with the refs as the DMs

Issues aren't insurmountable (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118466)

All they really need in order to deal with rain and snow, etc, is a decent protective case. All they really need for the touch interface issue is simply don't use it. Instead, just plug a simple tactile device into the USB that attaches securely to the side of the case. Honestly, I think a bunch PSP style devices would work better for this though.

Playpad Cracking (1)

sixthousand (676886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118482)

If game time system penetration had some substantial and direct influence on the outcome I might finally take an interest in football. Especially if it were taking place across the field with lots of indiscreet high power directional antennas and such. A few playbook honeypots might REALLY make things interesting.

Replace it? (1)

gmf (810466) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118492)

I thought the PlayBook wasn't even released yet, and they're already thinking about replacing it?

(a confused BlackBerry user)

Custom Aps? (1)

flogger (524072) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118548)

IF the NFL goes this way, I want to see their playbooks in the Ap Store. If I can;t make my own custom Aps without apple getting all pissy about me doing it, I better see the NFL Playbook there.

Isn't that what the BB Playbook is for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118556)

The Playbook could be the ultimate playbook killer!

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