Posts Tagged ‘football’

TSA ‘Secured’ Metrodome During Recent Football Game

January 5th, 2013 01:50 admin View Comments


McGruber writes “Travel writer Christopher Elliott touches down with the news that the U.S. Transportation Security Administration was spotted standing around outside a recent American football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers (picture). According to Mr. Elliott, the ‘TSA goes to NFL games and political conventions and all kinds of places that have little or nothing to do with … travel. It even has a special division called VIPR — an unfortunate acronym for Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response team — that conducts these searches.’ He continues, ‘As far as I can tell, TSA is just asking questions at this point. “Data and results collected through the Highway BASE program will inform TSA’s policy and program initiatives and allow TSA to provide focused resources and tools to enhance the overall security posture within the surface transportation community,” it says in the filing. But they wouldn’t be wasting our money asking such questions unless they planned to aggressively expand VIPR at some point in the near future. And that means TSA agents at NFL games, in subways and at the port won’t be the exception anymore — they will be the rule.’”

Source: TSA ‘Secured’ Metrodome During Recent Football Game

Buffalo Bills Going the Moneyball Route With Analytics

January 2nd, 2013 01:46 admin View Comments


Nerval’s Lobster writes “Can data-analytics software win a Super Bowl? That’s what the Buffalo Bills are betting on: the NFL team will create an analytics department to crunch player data, building on a model already well established in professional baseball and basketball. ‘We are going to create and establish a very robust football analytics operation that we layer into our entire operation moving forward,’ Buffalo Bills president Russ Brandon recently told The Buffalo News. ‘That’s something that’s very important to me and the future of the franchise.’ The increased use of analytics in other sports, he added, led him to make the decision: ‘We’ve seen it in the NBA. We’ve seen it more in baseball. It’s starting to spruce its head a little bit in football, and I feel we’re missing the target if we don’t invest in that area of our operation, and we will.’”

Source: Buffalo Bills Going the Moneyball Route With Analytics

Brain Disease Found In NFL Players

December 4th, 2012 12:11 admin View Comments


SternisheFan sends this excerpt from ABC: “On the heels of the latest NFL suicide, researchers announced today that 34 NFL players whose brains were studied suffered from CTE, a degenerative brain disease brought on by repeated hits to the head that results in confusion, depression and, eventually, dementia. The study was released just days after the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher. It’s not yet known what triggered Belcher’s action, but they mirror other NFL players who have committed suicide. Researchers at Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy published the largest case series study of CTE to date (abstract), according to the center. Of the 85 brains donated by the families of deceased veterans and athletes with histories of repeated head trauma, they found CTE in 68 of them. Of those, 34 were professional football players, nine others played college football and six played only high school football. Of the 35 professional football players’ brains donated, only one had no evidence of the disease, according to the study.” It’s a good thing we protect our youth from conditions like this.

Source: Brain Disease Found In NFL Players

Grumman Building Football Field-Sized Robotic Surveillance Blimp

August 15th, 2012 08:32 admin View Comments


colinneagle writes with news of the latest in 1930s surveillance technology turned into a robot. From the article: “It’s not fashionable to call this flying spy (hybrid military airship) a ‘blimp,’ but a Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV). You are no doubt familiar with the Goodyear blimp that hovers over football games, but the LEMV is almost the size of a seven-story flying football field; it’s meant to fly at speeds between 30 and 80 knots without ceasing for 21 straight days while providing an ‘unblinking’ eye of surveillance. Northrop Grumman has a $517 million contract to build three of these 21st-century robotic airships for the U.S. Army. The first of three had a successful 90-minute test flight last week from the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. This first test flight included two pilots, but the Army intends for the LEMV to be like the Predator, an unmanned flying surveillance machine. Both Northrop Grumman and the Army must like the term ‘unblinking,’ as it was used several times to describe the ‘Revolutionary ISR Weapon System’ aka the LEMV.”

Source: Grumman Building Football Field-Sized Robotic Surveillance Blimp

Growing Evidence of Football Causing Brain Damage

May 3rd, 2012 05:10 admin View Comments


ideonexus writes “NFL Linebacker Junior Seau’s suicide this week bares a striking similarity to NFL Safety Dave Duerson’s suicide last year, who shot himself in the chest so that doctors could study his brain, where they found the same chronic traumatic encephalopathy that has been found in the brains of 20 other dead football players. Malcom Gladwell stirred up controversy in 2009 by comparing professional football to dog fighting for the trauma the game inflicts on players’ brains, but with mounting evidence that the repeated concussions football players receive during their careers causing a lifetime of brain problems, it raises serious concerns about America’s most popular sport and ethical questions for its fanbase.”

Source: Growing Evidence of Football Causing Brain Damage

Super Bowl Bust: Feds Grab 307 NFL Websites; $4.8M

February 2nd, 2012 02:58 admin View Comments


coondoggie writes “Speaking at a National Football League press conference ahead of this weekend’s Super Bowl, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said special agents this week seized a total of 307 websites and snatched up 42,692 items of phony Super Bowl-related memorabilia along with other counterfeit items for a total take of more than $4.8 million – up from $3.72 million last year.”

Source: Super Bowl Bust: Feds Grab 307 NFL Websites; $4.8M

NFL: National Football Luddites?

December 19th, 2011 12:29 admin View Comments


theodp writes “The National Football League has been brainstorming with tech and communications companies on how to bring the NFL into the 21st century. Major-league sports are famously technophobic — the NFL outlaws computers and PDAs on the sidelines, in the locker room and in press-box coaching booths within 90 minutes of kickoff. But that may be about to change, which the WSJ’s Matthew Futterman speculates could mean: ‘Coaches selecting plays from tablet computers. Quarterbacks and defensive captains wired to every player on the field and calling plays without a huddle. Digital video on the sidelines so coaches can review plays instantly. Officials carrying hand-held screens for replays. Computer chips embedded in the ball and in the shoulder pads (or mouth guards) that track every move players make and measure their speed, the impact of their hits, even their rate of fatigue.’ Part of the impetus for the changes is the chance for a windfall — the NFL’s sponsorship deals with Motorola and IBM will expire after this season, and the NFL will be seeking more technology (and presumably cash) from its next technology partner(s).”

Source: NFL: National Football Luddites?

Bluefields Scores Angel Funding To Help Amateur Football Teams Get Organised

June 20th, 2011 06:12 admin View Comments, a sort of ‘Groupspaces for amateur football’, has scored £100k from seven angel investors including Julian Ranger of iBundle and Jalin Somaiya, Google Sales Project Leader, although Somaiya’s involvement isn’t associated with Google. Both will join Bluefields’ board.

The other five angels are Lee Strafford, co-founder of Plus.Net and ex-Chairman of Sheffield Wednesday FC, along with Mark Wainwright, Brian Lawrence, Jim Mann and Ami Shipro. The funding will be used to launch Bluefields’ football focused player availability and payment applications this August in time for the start of the football season in the UK. The platform is both browser-based and will have mobile apps for iPhone and Android.

Bluefields, which along with Groupspaces competes with the likes of Pitchero and Teamer, aims to help amateur football managers better organise games through a mix of social networking and mobile, in particular solving the two biggest bug bears: player availability and the collection of money. It does this by offering fixture and payment notifications sent via email, SMS, Facebook and through the Android and iPhone apps, while player responses are aggregated for the manager to help streamline the organisation of matches.

Collecting subs and other costs is also made much easier through the ability to take payments online and, perhaps crucially, also lets players pay via those mobile apps.

Source: Bluefields Scores Angel Funding To Help Amateur Football Teams Get Organised

Strata Allows You to Play Fantasy Football – With Scientists

March 22nd, 2011 03:00 admin View Comments

strata.pngSciVal Strata, a new project from Elsevier, is a web-based modeling tool that allows users to play scientists in teams in much the same way football fans do with players. Call it Madden NSF.

Dr. Lisa Colledge, project manager for Strata, identified the problem that gave rise to its creation: “At the end of the day everything comes back to resources.”

strata_page2.pngWhether you’re putting together a team for a research project, applying for a grant, evaluating grant applications or looking to prove your own worth to a project or institution, a modeling tool that can quantify that worth dynamically and justify the expenses involved could be valuable.

The tool is a dynamic, customizable modeler that allows a user to add and subtract scientists and specialists to a team and anticipate the change that would make in the team’s efficiency. A set of tabs allow changes to benchmarks, personnel and influence over time (on science in general, not just a specific project). The interface is very recognizable, with drag-and-drop scientists (is this the first time that phrase has ever been written?), which outputs into various charts and graphs.

max.pngIn much the same way that a football player in a fantasy league or video game would be represented by his stats, so is the scientist or specialist in question. According to Dr. Colledge, the scientists are represented by a range of data, from SciVerse Scopus, an abstract and indexing database, articles from all kind of publications and references in those publications, as well as output and citation data which can be customized, and is dynamic and current.

What are the chances of those of us at home playing along? (Who wouldn’t want a chance to see how Niels Bohr and Stephen Hawking would effect the development of the steam engine? Or whether Marie Curie or Richard Feynman would be more effective in helping Danny Dunn with his homework machine?)


laura_bassi.pngThe tool is sold to universities and other research institutions and users will need to belong to one. If such a tool is even roughly analogous with academic journals, the cost would prove prohibitive for the Average BA-holding Joe. Maybe an academic game company could license the engine and data and give us the Max Planck-Laura Maria Caterina Bassi smackdown for which we have so long waited.

Source: Strata Allows You to Play Fantasy Football – With Scientists

Will Patents Make NCAA Football Playoffs Impossible?

December 24th, 2010 12:37 admin View Comments

An anonymous reader writes “Mark Cuban recently announced plans to create a college football playoff system, which many people (including President Obama) have been claiming has been needed for years. However, after doing so, Cuban received an odd email, claiming that he’d better watch out, because a college football playoff system is patented and anything he did would likely infringe. The patent wasn’t named, but Techdirt believes it has found the patent in question, along with another pending patent application (which has some amusing errors in it — such as an abstract that says it’s about a boat fender, rather than a sports playoff system). So is it really true that some random guy in Arizona is the only person who can legally set up such a college football playoff system?”

Source: Will Patents Make NCAA Football Playoffs Impossible?