Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

“We are very resistant to changing for the sake of changing,” says Brain McCarthy, NFL spokesperson. “Part of the appeal of the NFL is that it is man against man against elements and unscripted drama. When you add technology that could directly influence play on the field it has the potential of detracting from the overall product and enjoyability of the game.”

Bower and Frigo aren’t the only ones pushing for a technological revolution in the NFL. KC Joyner, called “The Football Scientist,” and a regular contributor to ESPN Insider, uses game film to track, tabulate, and analyze nearly every measurable statistic in an NFL game. These statistics, complied and explained in Scientific Football 2006 (pdf), use a performance-based metric system with the goal of “quantifying everything and putting it into perspective.”

Joyner believes that if an NFL team doesn’t take advantage of the latest technology, it will be hurt in the long term. “Nontechnological teams can still get good players, and some things will work, but as they get further behind the curve, it is going to catch up to them at some point,” he says.

Whether or not the league accepts ZEUS and teams decide to use it remains to be seen. For now, it can be implemented only in practice situations.

Bower and Frigo recently added customization–the ability to enter the characteristics of specific teams–and also developed a second application, ZEUS PPV (“Player Position Value”), which determines the value in incremental wins/losses per season of individual position players.

“Once [NFL] teams begin to embrace technology, the entire league will advance and be more successful,” says Joyner, “It is going to take one successful coach looking for an edge, willing to take a chance.”

11 comments. Share your thoughts »

Tagged: Computing

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me
×

A Place of Inspiration

Understand the technologies that are changing business and driving the new global economy.

September 23-25, 2014
Register »