Friday, October 10, 2008

"Are you ready for some football?"*

As I've mentioned before, I'm always interested in emerging technologies. I recently encoutered a gem in the Virtual Playbook, courtesy of EA Sports and ESPN. Previously, analysts on ESPN's NFL pre-game shows simply acted out plays on a demo field. Sadly I wasn't able to find a clip to show you (if anyone does, please post a link in the comments section!).

Now, I've always found this segment a bit amusing. Picture out-of-shape football analysts and former NFL players on a studio field (at least they had a real football) demonstrating NFL plays with the skills and speed typical of, well, out-of-shape analysts and former football players.

With the Virtual Playbook, this once technologically defunct segment has been upgraded to include analysts interacing in reality-based game scenarios involving video-game images of real football players. (See more details in this article...again, sorry about the lack of a real video.)

This technology may be able to answer such burning questions as: What if (insert name of favorite NFL quarterback) had completed that pass to (insert name of favorite NFL receiver), resulting in a touchdown for (insert name of favorite NFL team)? I know, something we were all dying to know about!

Let's hope the world of sports will continue to create technologies that allow viewers to vicariously judge the actions of professional athletes for years to come!

* Hank Williams, Jr.