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14 May 2010
This Frank Deford piece from Sports Illustrated in 1979 takes a look at what advancements the NFL would feature in the year 2000.
Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 14 May 2010
91 comments, Last at
17 May 2010, 3:17pm by
Some of those, like the smaller pads, over specialization, players coming from places other than college programs (TE/power forwards), and the shifting of demographics.
Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.
Byron Donzis, the greatest american nobody has ever heard of.
In the late 80s, while doing the draft coverage for ESPN, was asked what he thought would be the innovations in the game in the 1990s. He said, "the players will have become so sophisticated that they will be able to pass any drug test the NFL can throw at them."
He was escorted off the set in the next ad break.
COUGH Brian COUGH Cushing COUGH
You are missing a Dr Z.
He's not the only one. Get well soon, Doc.
Ain't that the truth.
Cocaine is one hell of a drug.
If you're a defensive back and you waste your spring action on a play that doesn't require it, then the receiver can spring up six feet high next time, and you won't be able to deal with him. And think of the excitement in the stands when the odds on the pari-mutuel boards reflect this.
This Byron Donzis dude has the worst ideas about how to improve football since the post on here where the guy wanted starting field position and possession in OT to be determined by double blind lottery.
Do not screw with the Donzis, the dude can take a baseball bat to the ribs.
Byron Donzis later sued Reebok over the "Pump" sneaker and settled for a substantial amount of money.
"Sports In The Year 2001" (written in 1991) is another fun SI piece. It predicts Sunday Ticket and NFL RedZone, even if it gets lots of other things hilariously wrong.
I wonder if he is responsible for the ensuing trend among running shoe companies to design ever more engineered shoes, which are now blamed for a multitude of running injuries.
<"There won't be any more old scouts sitting in the stands watching a practice. And there'll be no mistakes on draft choices," says Dallas' Schramm.>
So what did change between 1979 and 2000?
Off the top of my head ...
- Lots more specialisation
- less and less hitting the QB
- instant replay
- free agency (as a result of strikes)
- two point conversion
- more intricate defensive schemes / offensive schemes
- place kickers got even more accurate
- 3 new franchises were added taking the league to 31 total
- Baltimore moved and Baltimore got a franchise
- St Louis moved and St Louis got a franchise
- Oakland moved to ... er ... um ... Oakland
Raiders wnt from 1 to 3 Super bowl titles
And the Patriots set the record for the most embarrassing loss of a SB ever...even though the Bills made (four) good runs at that record...
4 teams were added.
Texans were added in 2002, and are therefore outside of the scope of an article predicting league changes by the year 2000.
Captcha = "groins ramsbotham". What?!?!
TRexans added on ocotber 6, 1999. That was day Bob mcNair awarded 32nd team in league votoe at meeting.
It was 2002 when tema play first game
Raiderjoe are you beginning to do research or is it just your encyclopaedic knowledge of the game?
All of it.
Knew Texans join league sveral yeras before play a game. Then had to look, up exatc date for post here
In my opinion, if you have no players and you play no games, then you are not a football team.
But, then again, according to Captcha I'm just a "politics kamikaze".
sound klike name of german guy or maybe Dutch one.
How come have yto say Dutch? Why not Hollander or Netherlandser?
Because Hollander sounds like an '80s sex advice columnist.
anone else remember those sports books written by Zander Hollander?
When I read name always made them rhyme even though guy probably didnt,m pronoucne his names as rhymingh. Zander progolly rhymed with gander and Hollander probably said like country with er at end.
books were small size hight wise but were fat. lots of info and nuguets on players. NFla nd mlb books were bland and more seirous but NBa ones were best because used a lot of humor in them. wish still kept a few copies.
Like "Pro Football 1971"? (Other sports, too.)
As I think about it, those books were like FOA without the statistical analysis. A piece about the team's prospects as a whole, a bunch of individual player descriptions that were about a paragraph each worth of bullet points, and a little bonus like "Best Punter in Team History" for each team.
favorite one was like the NBa ones from 90-91 and 91-92. For Lance blanks (crap player on Pistons)), first line was "As in shoots"
Blanks was son of old Oileers player Sod Blanks who play with Houston and Bosotn. good rookie year then gte injured and warmed benhces for rest of career
I was unaware that the Germans and the Dutch were in the habit of naming their children "Groins".
well it sound simislar to German name once heard and Ramsbotham dfeinitely German
In Dutch, we say both 'Hollander' (as a citisen of the Netherlands) or 'Nederlander', where 'Nederland' is the Dutch name for the Netherlands.
No idea why it's called Dutch in Enlish. Probably from 'Diets', the old name for the Dutch languague, which was more like German.
Offenses shifted from rushing attacks to passing attacks.
The draft got shorter (from 12 rounds to 7 rounds)
"There'll be a little metal fleck in the football, so you can tell for sure whether the guy with the ball got over the goal line or was pushed back." —Tex Schramm, General Manager, Dallas Cowboys
Well, we could, but apparently getting calls wrong is part of the game.
Actually, we can't. This isn't baseball we would like correct calls, but seriously the technology to test whether a ball has crossed the plane is really hard to make.
I invite you to google 'hawkeye + cricket'. It can't be that hard.
They have that in tennis too. There is one huge difference. You don't have 22 people in the way of the camera.
They do it in cricket from 75 yards (at least). How far does the signal need to carry in football? 25+ yards? When we have RFID technology that can pinpoint a computer harddrive in a warehouse, surely it can't be difficult to embed a chip in a football.
It's not difficult at all to embed a chip in a football (of either type). I would imagine it's extremely difficult to embed a chip in a football so that you know exactly where the rest of the football is with respect to the chip and also ensure the chip isn't damaged or moved by ROBO-PUNTER's lesser brethren.
After all, that's not what Hawk-Eye does. It uses images from multiple cameras to track and predict the trajectory of a ball: as mentioned by others, this is feasible in the sports in which it's currently used, but not particularly helpful in American football except for checking field-goal attempts that pass somewhere near the top of the uprights. (In everyone else's football, it would be much more useful: position of the ball vs. the line when not possessed by the keeper would help to settle a few shots, at least.)
A system that would be helpful in American football would need to be able to "generate" the shape of the entire ball in its current orientation. If that were fed into a system that also kept the position of the goal lines, it could at least determine the ball-breaking-the-plane question. Also as mentioned elsewhere, that doesn't answer questions of possession ... but technology of this type would be considerably more helpful in hockey, where hide-the-puck is a very important game for goalies to play right now. Hey, if you didn't see it cross the line ...
A transpondr placed at eac end of the ball would give you all the information you'd need to work out position of the rest ball.
As I proposed below, you'd need to use a radio signal that passed through the bodies of the players.
Except footballs aren't perfect ellipses. They get compressed quite a bit sometimes.
It would be interesting to know by how much. I wouldn't think the ball would get compressed by more than a cm or two, other than at the moment of impact on a kick. That would be far less error than we have currently.
First, I doubt this is true, but I guess we would have to agree on what "quite a bit" means before arguing about it. Second, it doesn't matter because the shape could still be interpolated with great accuracy even if there were physically implausible amounts of compression.
Don't let the best be the enemy of the better.
You just need some sort of transponder on each end of the ball that allows you to track it using radio waves which would pass through the players, then all you need are three sensors for triangulation. This is well within the bounds of cheap modern technology. My question is if it's really worth it, how often is this a problem.
(I should have realised that they use hawkeye in tennis and so americans would have heard about it but tennis is really, really, really dull so I don't watch it.
but the problem is you still can't tell WHEN the ball crosses the plane, before or after some body part under all those other body parts touches the ground...now you need full body sensors with a unique signal for each player, and those sensors can only go off if contacted by the turf, not other bodies, the ball whatever...so now the entire field needs to be an rfid antenna...
OK, synchronise the telemetry with a button held by the refs who press the button when the runner is down.
Then you've just nullified the whole concept by re-introducing a human element.
I would like to see something like this implemented on replays. Where the ball crossing the plane is time synced to the video, so they can focus on if the ball carrier is down.
True, but you've reduced the human error by a great deal. Probably to the point where it is acceptable.
Especially if the technology could synch and be correlated visually on the screen for verification.
Also, what happens if the player is holding the ball sideways, and the laces are the first thing to cross the plane, but neither point of the ball ever does? It's a TD by the rules, but not by technology.
3d positional data about the both ends of the ball coupled with knowledge of the ball's dimensions are all you'd need to determine if any part of the ball crossed the goal line
whether or not it happened before the runner was down would be the hard part but you could slave it to video replay, you'd just be limited to increments of .0167 seconds assuming the cameras are shooting 60 fps
if you couldn't conclusively tell what frame the runner was down from the video replay the data on how far the ball progressed would still tell you whether the ball even crossed the plane or not
better than nothing, and entirely possible with the tech we have
"... It'll be second and four, the guy will punch a button on his chest and—wonk, wonk, wonk—he'll say, 'O.K., run off tackle.' " —John Madden, Former Coach, Oakland Raiders
Wait, that sounds a lot like the "Ask Madden " feature in Madden.
TLDR. playing calculator game.
My favorite part was someone speculating that Al Davis would be commissioner in 2000. Too much fun.
If only somebody had predicted "Al Davis will be utterly @#$!! insane by 2005" and they'd have had something.
"The coaches will begin to dress alike, and maybe there will be a machine out there doing the coach's job. It'll be second and four, the guy will punch a button on his chest and—wonk, wonk, wonk—he'll say, 'O.K., run off tackle.' " —John Madden, Former Coach, Oakland Raiders
Nice irony. What do rookie Madden video game players often do? "Ask Madden" to pick the next play.
Came here to say this. Hilarious.
I don't think anyone would ever accuse Bill Belichick of dressing like any other coach ... do you remember that period at the end of the 80s when coaches wore jumpers with their team names on ... for some reason I can't imagine Dan Reeves with anything but "Broncos" jumper and Bill Parcells come a close second with his Giants knitwear ...
I actually remember reading this article in 1979 and thinking how stupid some of the predictions were. I also remember Byron Donzis and the flak jacket he invented.
At the end: "No one in the game has even suggested there might be a black head coach in 2000."
In 1979, it was more feasible that we would have jetpacks.
Good point. How many were there in 2000? Dungy was coaching the Bucs and Dennis Green the Vikings ... Ray Rhodes got fired from the Packers on Jan 3 2000 after only 1 year while Terry Robiskie took over at Washington late in 2000 ...
Was Byron Donzis making serious predictions or what was going on?
No-one predicted SI would be padding out old articles over six pages (which aren't real pages anyway), nor that there'd be countless links to busty cheerleaders and sportswomen in swimsuits.
So what does the NFL look like in 2031? Can it get much bigger, faster? A world league? Twenty-game seasons? Has Favre retired yet?
Yeah, 21 years later some of those predictions seem pretty far-fetched in hindsight, but what do you expect to see 21 years from now? If you consider the acceleration of technology, it is not too difficult to imagine some Donzisesque changes to the game by 2031. And if the popularity of the sport ever starts to wane, some major changes may be forced upon it by the market. Look what happened to hockey.
Nobody will be playing football 2031, we'll all be too busy fighting the machines.
In 21 years, Detroit will still have the Lions and Cleveland will still have the Browns, but neither city will have an NFL team. The California Raiders will still play in Oakland, but again will be threatening to move to Los Angeles (which will still be without an NFL team because there is no viable stadium in LA). The Raiders will make draft picks only after consulting with the cryogenically frozen head of Al Davis.
Ben Roethlisberger will be accused of multiple felonies after an incident involving an underage girl in a hotel room in Nevada. Tim Tebow will be a cyberevangelist. Few people under the age of 30 will remember that he played in the NFL. Two of the top QB recruits in the nation will be the sons of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, but Eli Manning's son will be better than both of them. The sons of Tim Couch, David Carr, Alex Smith, JaMarcus Russell, Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn, Jason Campbell, Rex Grossman and Kyle Boller will play QB in high school but will not be heavily recruited.
The Williams Wall case will finally be resolved by the US Supreme Court. Because neither Pat Williams nor Kevin Williams will be an active player, Commissioner Goodell will punish the Vikings by suspending their lone remaining former teammate, Brett Favre, for an entire season. Peter King will complain about the coffee he drank while discussing this development with Favre. King will report that Favre is undecided over whether he should retire or come back after the suspension to try to win that elusive second Super Bowl ring.
>Eli Manning's son will be better than both of them.
Is poster drunk?
What is meant by loins still in Detrot asd cleveland still have browns but not NFl teams in those citues?
Al Davis not going to be crynogenitelly fronzen but you nrver know maybe he already cloned snd only frew people know about it. woudl make sense to have clone dye hair so not make people think Al Davis cloned himself. better to make clone look different somehoe butsitll have same aount of football knowldge.
they'd have to be sure to give clone al davis herpes or whatever to fuck his lips up like they are now
That's hilarious, Raiderjoe.
All I meant is that the Lions and Browns still exist, but they are not NFL-quality teams; they still stink. They are kind of like Triple A baseball teams compared to major league teams.
okay, thanks for repsonse.
coudlnt figure what you meant. Was thinking maybe you thought NFl could go to nonAmerican style fottball rules where Bormns and Lions get kicked out fo NFl for crappiness and get sent to UFl or some other minor league
""Everything will become more specialized. On defense, you'll get pass rushers and run defenders, first-down and third-down defensive ends. You'll see relief quarterbacks." —Tom Flores, Head Coach, Oakland Raiders
Looks inevitable, yeah."
Sarcastic comment about the QB thing, but this one might have been the best analysis of all : specialization of the league.
Lots of hilarious comments on this thread, well done people.
Actually, considering the wildcat, you could argue we have the equivalent of relief QBs.
Also that thing a couple of years back in Arizona when Warner was coming in to relieve Leinart in certain situations (for a few games before Leinart was knocked out for the season).
yes and in 2007 cards used Tim ratty as goal line qb. had 3 1-yard Touchdwon passes if remember correctly and he wasn;t used on those dirves until team got to 1 yard line
An injury-free league is impossible, of course, but would we even want to see such a thing? Would football be nearly as much fun without the physical danger?
Yes? You can crush a guy without injuring him you know. I like a good hard hit as much as anyone but I don't need injuries to make the game exciting. . Do you really enjoy watching people blow out knees and break legs in half? That makes a goal line stand thrilling?
Sure, you can. By the same token, if you're going to tell me that watching Reggie Bush crawling around on the turf after Sheldon Brown cut him in half didn't give you a tingle in your naughty places, then I'm going to call you a liar. Don't play holier than thou.
And I'm not talking about wanting see guys injured, I'm talking about the risk of injury. We like watching danger. NASCAR's audience would disappear if crashes were eliminated. What is football without danger? It's ultimate frisbee and there is a reason nobody pays to watch that.
I want to add that losing players to injury adds to the strategy.
I'm not proud of looking to see how coaches adapt, but it is interesting.
Funny you bring up the Sheldon Brown hit on Reggie Bush because this is exactly the hit I was thinking of when I mentioned awesome hits that don't leave guys injured. Crushing hit, visually great, clean shot, left Bush having to crawl around for a while (I think he got the wind knocked out of him). Totally enjoyable. But ultimately Bush was fine. He wasn't injured. He finished the game and even scored a TD if I recall correctly. And what made that hit great wasn't the danger of maybe he broke a bunch of ribs. I didn't jump out of my seat cause I thought maybe Bush had a collapsed lung, or I was all excited by the dangerous potential of him having a collapsed lung, I jumped out of it because it was a huge de-cleating statement hit. There are hits where you wince as soon as you see them (the defenseless Boldin hit from a couple years ago where he broke his face, guys taking shots to the knees, horrible shit where you see the guys leg snap in half) and there are clean shoulder pads hits where you know a guy got rocked but probably is gonna be fine once he gets his bearings and takes a play or two off. Those are the hits I enjoy, and it has nothing to do with the danger that he could have been seriously injured. Sorry, that's the truth.
Regarding your original point, the most I'll concede is what tuluse said. Name players going down bring unknown backups to the forefront and create interesting strategic decisions. But I'd still watch two teams at 100% go at it then have to deal with the justifications of being like well the Ravens beat the Steelers, but Dixon was starting and it went to OT so basically the Steelers would have won with Roethlisberger, so it doesn't really count.
Nobody is saying that you enjoy hits because of the element of danger. The point is that you can't have hits without associated danger. It is impossible to eliminate the risk of injury from a contact sport. A guy can still have his career ended by a clean and legal hit.
If you watch sport for injuries, you probably watch MMA.
I object, I love MMA and I hate injuries. None of the MMA fans I know like injuries or watch for injuries. I would say if you think people watch MMA for injuries, you probably don't watch MMA.
Sorry, it was a cheap shot on my part.
Personally, I don't watch MMA because I can't get into it. I don't understand why people enjoy watching a bloke getting his head pounded in by another bloke sitting on top of him.
But there clearly are people out there who watch for the injuries. Crowds go ape-shit when someone gets knocked out - and that's definitely an injury. Same goes for boxing though, which I quite enjoy. But I hate it when boxers are knocked out.
some poeple like watchin almonst naked men sittingf on top of each other gropingg each other and sharing sweat
Nobody is saying that you enjoy hits because of the element of danger.
What are you talking about? Scroll up a little. Harris wrote:
I'm not talking about wanting see guys injured, I'm talking about the risk of injury. We like watching danger. NASCAR's audience would disappear if crashes were eliminated. What is football without danger? It's ultimate frisbee and there is a reason nobody pays to watch that.
How is that not EXACTLY what you said nobody said to me? Of course you can't remove injuries from football. That doesn't mean the danger has anything to do with why I like watching football.
Fair enough, I misread. My bad.
It is interesting that you say you don't want to see hits where guys get their leg broken, but you do like hits "where you know a guy got rocked but probably is gonna be fine once he gets his bearings and takes a play or two off". Hasn't the guy that 'got rocked' and 'needs to get his bearings' just suffered a blunt force trauma to the head and, essentially, a small bit of brain damage? And hasn't there been a lot of talk over the last year or so about the long term dibilitaing impacts of these types of hits as they mount up over a career?
I'm not trying to start anything with you. In fact, I agree with what you wrote; I don't like watching a guy get hurt, but I do enjoy watching a clean, hard, devastating hit. I guess my point is that, as more and more information about the long terms impacts of these big hits (and small ones) comes out, the line between the two gets thinner and thinner.
Yeah... I get you... I think there is a difference between bell rung (mild concussion) and wind knocked out of you / painful hits. I'd like to think that a hit can shake you up and make you take a play off to "walk it off" without your brain being dazed / damaged. But maybe not, maybe any hard hit makes the brain bounce around in the skull. I dunno. All I know is when I see a helmet to helmet hit or a low hit I wince and when I see a "clean" hit I cheer.
havent read whole thead but best thg to do in next 20 years is amke ball that could glow or have lasers inside it or something so that refs can know exacltly where to place ball, if ball went out of bounds, if ball cross plane of goal line,e tc
"I think you'll have a lot of women playing quarterback by 2000. For one thing, they have a higher threshold of pain." —Byron Donzis
3 weeks in the month
Does anyone else think that Byron Donzis' vision of Football sounds a lot like the version of the game played in Starship Troopers, or am I on my own with that?
Our Quick Reads essay this week includes discussion of the league's best punter. Somebody alert Rich Eisen.
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