» Pick Up the Phone, NFL: The Future Is Calling

Great piece on tech and pro sports by Matthew Futterman from The Wall Street Journal:

What makes the shifts potentially groundbreaking is that 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.

Major League Baseball prohibits computers and other electronic data gadgets once batting practice starts. According to a spokesman, it doesn’t anticipate changing soon.

The National Hockey League doesn’t have any prohibitions against tablets or computers, but the gadgets aren’t widely used during games. The National Basketball Association began letting coaches use tablets during games last season, but only for presenting statistics, scouting information and archived video. No video of the game in progress is permitted.

There could be some interesting side effects if the NFL started using more technology to speed up games. Would players tire faster? Would they sell less commercial space? Would watching in person not be so mind-numbingly stop and start?