Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Nov 2013

NFL: A Peek into the Future

Our own Robert Weintraub has an article over at Sports on Earth looking into how the NFL might change by 2020. Some of it is tongue-in-cheek, but some of it is serious. I definitely would not be surprised to see some sort of "Accu-Spotter" system, or an attempt to put limits on the work schedules of coaches. I doubt there will be an upstart seven-on-seven league, but I do think that rules to limit hitting won't destroy football's popularity because at this point fans are more interested in speed than violence. (They may be more interested in spectacle than either.)

One thing Robert missed: The addition of analytics guys to network pregame shows. OK, maybe not, but a man can dream, can't he?

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 26 Nov 2013

14 comments, Last at 05 Dec 2013, 9:06am by In_Belichick_We_Trust


by collapsing pocket (not verified) :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 1:40pm

The addition of analytics guys to network pregame shows. OK, maybe not, but a man can dream, can't he?

Funny, my dream is that in the future they will eliminate the pregame shows.

by Jerry :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 7:32pm

You can implement that yourself. It's easy to leave the TV off until gametime.

by ClemsonMatt (not verified) :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 1:54pm

Forget the pregame shows. Analytics guys in the booth.

I have a vision of dual sound feeds. Real analysis on one and illiterate drivel from Jesse Palmer on the other.

by WeaponX (not verified) :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 4:17pm

That would be very nice. The game is interesting enough without easybake false narratives being pushed over what's really happening on the football field. Would like to see the same for pre/post game shows too.

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Wed, 11/27/2013 - 12:33am

It'll never happen. Jaworski can be great at explaining plays and breaking down tape, but I don't think they had him do that once the whole time he was on MNF. And John Madden was a great coach yet as an announcer was primarily known for five-leged turkeys and saying things like "boom". I'd bet that one-on-one Palmer would even be interesting talking about reads and the like, but that's just not what the networks want.

by dbostedo :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 4:01pm

Patriot missiles? Nice.

by In_Belichick_We... :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 5:56pm

Old news. Victor Kiam already tried that.

by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 7:58pm

I'd say the odds of there being any effort to limit the work hours of coaches is zero, even if somebody fell over from a heart attack. I don't think their endless hours are overly productive, but they actually probably don't work a whole lot more than many CEOs. (CEOs don't typically sleep at the office like some NFL coaches do, but they're still plugged in 24/7 always doing something, whether it's productive or not.) It's the price of getting paid huge amounts of money and being in a position where everything that goes bad with the team/company is directly blamed on you.

by Theo :: Wed, 11/27/2013 - 3:33pm

The first thing they can do is ditch the 'story lines' and just go with the show.

I hardly watch pre shows or halftime shows. I don't like em, so I don't watch them.

by andrew :: Fri, 11/29/2013 - 12:10am

by 2020 we will have:

[ ] Team in London
[ ] Team in Canada
[ ] Team in Mexico
[ ] Draft Lottery
[ ] DVOA Fantasy Football Leagues
[ ] All players on radio channel during play
[ ] 17-0 Team
[ ] Full Time Refs
[ ] Smart Football perimeter (to prevent fans from making off with $5000 footballs fitted with accu-spot tech when thrown/kicked into stands
[ ] Lasers on top of goal posts to make it clear if field goals good when they go over top of goal posts.
[ ] Open Air stadium capable of cooling/heating stands (cooling tech developed by Qatar)
[ ] In season NFL reality show

by LionInAZ :: Fri, 11/29/2013 - 3:24pm

Team in London: I hope not

Team in Canada/Mexico: makes more sense than Europe.

Draft lottery: nah

All players miked up: pointless, because 95% of content would have to be bleeped out.

17-0 team: already accomplished in 2007.

Full-time refs: how would that make things better? Other sports have full-time officials and everyone still complains how awful they are.

Smart football: extremely likely. Why give up opportunity for extra income when fans could be paying for them?

Lasers on goal posts: No one thinks FGs are worth the bother.

Open air stadiums with cooled/heated seats: call us when you have a force field to keep fans from getting rained on.

NFL reality show: already exists, called ESPN

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 12/01/2013 - 11:46am

You make it sound like speed and violence are separable.

by Dan :: Tue, 12/03/2013 - 2:54am

"[T]eams are loathe to waste a roster spot on pure punters [...] so all specialists become hybrids, having to be able to kick, punt, kick off and hold."

That sounds difficult. Perhaps a bit too much for one person to do.

by In_Belichick_We... :: Thu, 12/05/2013 - 9:06am

The Falcons tried this a few years ago and failed. They carried a single player to cover kicking and punting duties for about half of the season. I forget his name (Kaenen or something like that).