With the NFL Super Bowl® coming up, here's something I thought I would share:
The video shows, Autodesk Flow Design, formerly Project Falcon on Autodesk Labs, being used to show what the wind might be like in the Super Bowl stadium.
As long as we are on the topic of augmented football reality, here's something else I'd like to share. It's my great idea. I should patent this, sell it to the TV networks, and retire now:
- I think we have all noticed how graphics and other information are included in a football game that is broadcast on television. The longest running and most obvious one is the yellow first down line that is superimposed on the screen.
image source: howstuffworks.com
For fans who watched the Detroit Lions versus Philadelphia Eagles game, there was so much snow on the field that the numbers for the yard lines were graphics added as part of the broadcast.
image source: thebiglead.com
Fans at the stadium only saw the yard lines themselves that had been uncovered manually.
image source: KOIN.com
To those in attendance, the 30 yard line looked just like the 20 yard line. At home we had a better experience.
- I have noticed that while watching games, the commentators, particularly Chris Collingsworth or John Gruden, all too frequently refer to a player as "the best at his position." I don't think this is true. The player may be good, but the best? I think the commentators are just trying to make the game seem exciting so viewers keep watching. Everyone can't be the best. There are 32 NFL teams. By definition, each player is somewhere between 1 and 32 at his position. If we also consider second string, then players can actually be between 1 and 64.
Fantasy football is a popular pass time where people, normally friends, compete by drafting players and assembling virtual teams. The winner is the person who drafts and opts to play players with the best on-field performance as reflected in their individual statistics. In other words, "Did my group of players outperform your group of players this week?" With fantasy football being what it is, the data for most players is already being collected. It's probably collected for all players, it just get used by fantasy football for some positions (e.g., receivers=yes, offensive lineman=no). I am pretty confident that all of these different fantasy football leagues get their player data from the same big player database in the cloud somewhere. The TV networks should tap into that database.
So what if we superimposed the player's rank on the screen as the players are lined up before the ball is snapped?
original picture source: Lubbock-Avalanche Journal
TV viewers could look at the screen and actually make a prediction in their heads as to how a play might turn out. In other words, if the offense has a set of players on the field with relatively low numbers (i.e., good at their respective positions), and the defense has a set of players with high numbers (i.e., not so good at what they do), then TV watchers can surmise that the play may go as expected. Each play would be different as teams shuttle players in and out of the game. Once the ball is snapped, the rankings go away so as not to be distracting. In the fictitious scenario I have pictured above, a running play to the center's right might go well since the opposing defensive lineman is the worst second string player in the league at his position.
So what do you think? Could we use technology to augment the game with visual statistics or should we just allow the commentators to keep running their mouths and take them at their word?
The gridiron with graphics might one day be alive in the lab.
* The Super Bowl is a registered trademark of The National Football League.