Category: sports

  • Careful Tech 111: How to make fan-free sports entertaining

  • Careful Tech 098: Like butter scraped over too much bread

  • Detecting CTE—before it’s too late

    Football is irredeemably brutal. A new test may help us confront that fact.

  • Summon the heroes

    Summon the heroes

    There’s something irresistible about about watching an athlete experience the pinnacle of his career live on TV.

  • Why is NBC’s Olympics video-streaming website so awful?

    Why is NBC’s Olympics video-streaming website so awful?

    In the run-up to the 2014 Olympics, NBC tooted its own horn. Every event, the network boasted, would be streamed live, online. Viewers wouldn’t have to wait for the primetime broadcast or dodge social media spoilers all day. Instead, they could watch the drama unfold, as it happened, on NBC’s website. What NBC didn’t explain…

  • Living links

    Living links

    We saw Twelve Years a Slave last night. It’s not a perfect film,[1] but it offers an honest, heart-wrenching account of the most shameful “secret” in American history. Because lawful slavery ended long before we were born, we might be tempted to dismiss it as a half-remembered relic of a less-civilized age. That’s too easy,…

  • Preseason sports are awful.

    Preseason sports are awful.

    Is there anything more boring than preseason sports? “Pay to watch games that mean nothing!” “See players who will never escape the minor leagues!” “Even the refs don’t care!” The most exciting thing that could possibly happen at a preseason game? You might witness your favorite player suffer a horrific, career-ending injury. Why not just…

  • Stadium sponsors, virtual ads, and the future of sports marketing

    Stadium sponsors, virtual ads, and the future of sports marketing

    All professional sports leagues plaster their arenas with ads. Baseball parks mount billboards behind home plate. The NFL sells its sidelines to Gatorade. Basketball arenas paint logos on the parquet. Of all the “Big Four” pro leagues, the NHL is crassest; corporate logos crowd the ice surface, and LED screens have even been mounted on…

  • How to fix football.

    Football has problems. No, not the protracted labor dispute between the billionaires and millionaires. I’m talking about the grave health threat of concussions and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). A career’s worth of head trauma takes its toll, leaving players with brain damage and devastating emotional instability. As these harmful side effects come to light, the…

  • Robot umpires

    Why do we still have human baseball umpires? Of the four major American sports, baseball seems best-suited to computerized referees (hereafter, “robots”). In hockey, football, and basketball, the action happens quickly, in multiple places, and in infinite variation. America’s pasttime moves slowly, focuses on a single location, and allows relatively little improvisation. Baseball umps stand…