First United Airlines announces it would be moving into a paperless flight deck with iPads and now NFL has joined suit. The NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers is buying an iPad 2 for each of their players, to be loaded with the team’s playbook and game videos to study.
Football fans who’ve been used to seeing players on the sidelines opening binders and flipping pages to observe their opponent’s formations may now see them using iPads during gametime. Traditionally, teams from high school level up to the pros have spent countless hours in darkened rooms watching video from past games and game footage from other teams in preparation for game day. A new tradition may instead involve a roomful of gigantic men staring down at tiny tablet computers.
Bucs coach Raheem Morris has embraced the iPad by using it to watch videos of prospective draft picks. “We give these playbooks out, and by the end of training camp, we collect them so nobody sells them on the Internet,” Morris told the St. Petersburg Times. “They become game books. If you need a reference to go back, you can pull up a blitz from camp and look at it.” Morris says the idea was an easy sell for both team management and players. The Bucs have one of the youngest rosters in the league, filled with tech-savvy twenty-somethings with its coach being the youngest in NFL history.
This could happen in the NBA where the coach is surrounded by his starters and is drawing up last minute plays for the final seconds of the game – on an iPad. Who knows? Well, maybe Steve Jobs does.