NFL footballs can now track a number of stats, but one omission will have you scratching your head.
NFL spokesman Michael Signora announced that the league will use microchips in footballs during the preseason as part of the “Next Gen Stats” tracking initiative. A chip will be placed in every ball during the preseason and the league’s Competition Committee will review the results to determine how the balls performed along with the potential uses of the data collected.
The data collected includes how far the ball travels on a particular play and the ball’s proximity to the goal posts on a field goal or PAT.
Despite all this “Next Gen” technology, these microchips do not measure whether a ball is inflated within the league’s standard.
Do I believe that the NFL needs to monitor the PSI (pounds per square inch) of each ball? No, that is ridiculous. But they can at least pretend that they care.
The NFL went as far as to suspend one of their biggest stars for four games, fine the Patriots $1 million, and rob the franchise of their first round pick for the now infamous “Deflate-gate Scandal” that accused New England of intentionally under inflating footballs to gain a competitive advantage in the 2015 AFC Championship game.
The popular opinion is that commissioner Roger Goodell enforced such a harsh punishment to make up for the 2007 Spy-gate incident where the Patriots got a slap on the wrist for filming opposing teams signals, but the NFL should diminish this narrative by making a public stance against future “deflating”.
Instead, in typical NFL fashion, the league has missed an opportunity to double down on its stance against cheating.
It seems as if Roger Goodell would rather wash his hands of the embarrassment than to reinforce his draconian rule.
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