Bursting the bubble : Why sports aren’t coming back soon

The NBA, NFL and MLB are dreaming up ways to play amid a pandemic, with talk of isolating players in Arizona or Las Vegas or maybe on the moon. It all sounds great, until you talk to people who actually know science.

The proposals multiply almost as fast as the coronavirus: The NHL can play in North Dakota! The NBA can play on a cruise ship! MLB can play in a biodome! The NFL can play in its stadiums, with 70,000 fans packed in!

These are fun thought experiments, at least as good a way to spend time in isolation as watching Tiger King. And everyone wants to believe we will be buying peanuts and Cracker Jack this summer. But fans deserve a reality check: According to the experts—medical experts, not the money-making experts in league offices—we will not have sports any time soon. And when we do, we will not attend the games.

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How the NFL uses Zebra Technologies’ RFID chips to track everything on the field but the ball

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RFID tags can be found inside the uniforms of NFL players.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips are usually used as security tags on clothes in stores, but this year they can also be found inside the uniforms of NFL players. As the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions descended upon London this weekend, accompanying them were executives from Zebra Technologies, the company behind the RFID-based motion tracking system that the league is implementing this season. (Video)

 

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Here’s what the geography of NFL fandom looks like

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A map of Facebook fans of NFL teams across the United States

In the first regular season NFL football game of the season last week, the Seattle Seahawks crushed the Green Bay Packers. One way of looking at that: The 46 players wearing Seattle Seahawks uniforms had a higher score than the 46 players in Green Bay Packers uniforms, in a nationally televised game of American football.

 

 

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NFL fandom based on Facebook likes

Facebook took a look at football fandom across the country as the Super Bowl gets closer.

The National Football League is one of the most popular sports in America with some incredibly devoted fans. At Facebook we have about 35 million account holders in the United States who have Liked a page for one of the 32 teams in the league, representing one of the most comprehensive samples of sports fanship ever collected. Put another way, more than 1 in 10 Americans have declared their support for an NFL team on Facebook.

 

 

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