Written by | Jenna Brown.
Watching Football: The Gadget Edition
I hate to burst your bubble. But the old pigskin is not actually made of pigskin. In fact, it never was. It was made from animal bladders, sometimes, but rarely pig bladders. For the most part, the modern football has always been wrapped in either cowhide or vulcanized rubber (mostly the vulcanized rubber).
So why do we perpetuate the falsehood that footballs are made from pigskin?
My guess is that it makes the game seem more earthy, simple, and non-technical. We like to imagine that it is just 22 big men fighting over a rustic ball and territory on a grassy plain. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, football is one of the most high-tech sports ever conceived. Remove the technology and gadgetry from the game, and football, as we know it, could not be played.
Also, it couldn’t be watched and enjoyed by millions of painted fans tailgating for glory, and the perfect, portable barbecue set-up (also made possible by gadgetry). To fully appreciate the modern game, one must be armed with modern gadgetry. Here are a few examples of what I mean:
I’m going to go ahead and assume you already know what TV stands for. 4K is not as universally understood. It represents the number of horizontal pixels that make up the image on screen. In this case, it refers to a television screen that shows 4,000 horizontal pixels. All else being equal (which they seldom are), the more pixels, the sharper the image.
There is a good chance your TV falls well short of 1K. If you bought an HD TV that tops out at 720p, you are not even close to 1K. 4K is about six times better. If you have content to match that resolution, the difference will blow your mind. You will see all the things you never knew you were missing. That is especially true for football.
It is not just about seeing individual blades of grass. If you want to see the little flinches that draw those nasty, yellow flags, you need more Ks. With all the recent rule changes, you need a sharp eye, a big TV, lots of K’s, and the highest-def content package you can get. Great TV deals with Directv in Irvine, CA are what you are going to need to keep up with the soap opera that is the S.F. 49ers, on and off the field. You simply can’t appreciate the modern game of football with yesterday’s TV tech.
A Second Screen
With the advent of the iPad’s popularity, came the idea of a second screen for TV viewing. The TV is the first screen showing you the main content. But the second screen is the portable that you use on the couch to engage in activities ancillary to the main event. These activities could be anything from commenting on Twitter about the blatantly bad call by the officials, to looking up facts about the old pigskin, including the fact that they are not made from pigskins, and that the original footballs were round and not pointy on either end.
You also need the second screen for real-time management of your fantasy football league. Because you don’t want to be the last one without a fantasy football league like some prehistoric animal. The coaches and players on the sidelines use these screens as an integral part of the game. So should you.
Shape Shifting Tech
Our forefathers were locked down to a particular place and time if they wanted to watch the big game. But once you have found a way to eliminate time and space as limitations, then you change the whole shape of the game. That is what I call shape-shifting tech. The SlingBox is just one of the ways to get the job done. Your DVR allows you to watch when you like. Place-shifting tech allows you to watch where, and on what device you prefer.
The modern game requires modern tech for viewing, discussing, and enjoying on your terms. Until you have that tech in place, you are not quite ready for some football.