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NFL NOTES: LEAGUE FOCUS OF TWO NATIONAL FRONT-PAGE FEATURES
Published October 10, 1997
The NFL's "high-tech blitz" is examined by USA TODAY's Bill Meyers in a page one cover story. Meyers: "[N]o sport utilizes as much state-of-the-art technology as pro football -- from expensive, nonlinear video editing equipment to encrypted coach-to-quarterback radio transmitters to pulsating pain relief appliances run by microprocessors." But the "high-tech blitz has unleashed a heated debate among team executives over pro football's future. At stake: whether men or machines will control each game's outcome in the 21st century." Giants GM George Young said that he has "no problems with teams using computers to prepare for games, but he won't allow PCs after kick-off." Other technological advances featured include the Avid Sports statistical system; LED large-screen video display; Sport Grass playing surfaces and Vyvx interactive PC system which fans can use from their seats (USA TODAY, 10/10). JERSEY BOY: The NFL's tailgating experience, through the eyes of "Jersey John" Tobias, a Steelers fans who travels a total of 750 miles from New Jersey to Pittsburgh for home games, is profiled by Roger Thurow in a WALL STREET JOURNAL cover story. Thurow: "[I]f you want to know what makes the league the business and cultural colossus that it is, don't study the fields of play ... linger in the parking lots surrounding those fields of play" (WSJ, 10/10). LEAGUE NOTES: Through 82 games, the NFL's average paid attendance is 62,222, which is up 1,052 per game from last year's average of 61,170 through 81 games (NFL)....Of the 82 NFL games through the first six weeks of the season, 41% of them, 34 games, have been blacked out in their local market. Nine teams have not had a home game televised locally: Cardinals, Falcons, Vikings, Bengals, Bills, Colts, Dolphins, Chargers and Seahawks (THE DAILY).