Stop me if you've heard this annoyingly arrogant statement before: "You don't know what you're talking about. You don't watch tape."
Bill Polian used to mouth that sort of stuff all the time on his radio show, and it is often parroted by a lot of people both inside the league and in media circles. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how much tape a person watches. If a G.M. picks players who turn out to be good, he's a genius. If he drafts busts, he's unemployed.
Now, for the first time, you the fan can have access to the same footage that coaches and talent evaluators use when they watch games: The golden All-22. If you don't know what that is, here's Ryan Van Bibber explaining:
Coaches Film shows the entire field of play, a bird's eye view of all 22 players on the field and what they are doing, or not doing in some cases. Utilizing a number of different camera angles it facilitates a better understanding of what transpires all over field rather than the television broadcast which typically follows possession of the ball.
Basically, it's the game evaluation film showing everyone on the field. No panning and zooming like regular TV. You see the linemen, the receivers, the QB, the backs, the linebackers... everyone.
The NFL is offering an enhanced package of digital products this year, and the All-22 is part of that package.
The digital products and features include:
- NFL Preseason Live - The same package as last year, which allows fans to watch live and on-demand out-of-market preseason games with a $10 price cut.
- NFL Game Pass - Fans outside the U.S. can watch all regular season games live and on-demand.
- NFL Game Rewind - Priced at various levels, this package allows fans to watch every play of the season after the game has aired on television.
- Coaches Film - As described above, fans who purchase the high-end package for Game Rewind will have access to coach's film from the 2012 and 2011 season. The league anticipates that the coach's film from the 2012 games will be available on Wednesdays following the game. Archived footage is expected to be available closer to the start of the season.
- Telestrator Function - This was by far the most exciting product reveal from the NFL on Monday's conference call. Fans will be able to break down plays from the game, drawing over still frames with their finger or a mouse. Additionally, fans can save their breakdowns and share them via social media or email.
- Tablet availability - For the first time, all of the NFL's digital products will be available to fans on their iPad and most Android tablets.
- Fantasy football - NFL.com packed significant upgrades into their online fantasy products, including tablet availability and live auctions.
Again, this is just me, but all these services sound a heckuva lot more interesting to buy over, say, gameday tickets at Lucas Oil Stadium. When the NFL talks about enhancing the "gameday experience," offering stuff like this FREE on gameday (to be watched on tablets and phones) would be a good start.
Unlikely to happen, but I can dream.
Right now, if I had to choose between buying this package and buying tickets for an actual game, I'd go with the package. What are your thoughts?