RedZone could create awkward situations late in the season

We pointed out on Monday that the proliferation of the NFL’s RedZone network in stadiums on game day could cause some Heidi-style frustrations in places like San Fran and Oakland, where the home team’s game could be getting started as games being piped into the venue are reaching their climax.  (The Bears reportedly plan to utilize the RedZone feed, too, along with the Ravens and Patriots.)

Our buddy Paul Allen of KFAN raised another point during our weekly visit with him that could affect stadiums throughout the league when the season is winding down.

As the final few games unfold, the various permutations for postseason positioning compel fans to watch the scoreboard.  With RedZone, scoreboard-watching takes on a new level of meaning.

So what will the Patriots do if, for example, they need to beat the Bills at home and likewise need the Dolphins to lose in a game that starts at the same time? 

There will be no easy answer to the dilemma that teams will face, especially if head coaches bristle at any information regarding the other game from being made available to the players.  The best approach will be to make a decision in advance and clearly communicate it to all paying customers as far in advance as possible.  Otherwise, the effort to make the in-stadium experience simulate sitting on the couch at home could backfire, badly.

24 responses to “RedZone could create awkward situations late in the season

  1. “So what will the Patriots do if, for example, they need to beat the Bills at home and likewise need to Dolphins to lose in a game that starts at the same time? ”
    I’m not sure I see the dilemma here. This is exactly the kind of experience the NFL wants to create for fans at the game. As for the players – they see the scoreboard, they know what’s going on. Sure, it raises the pressure some, but that’s for the players to overcome.

  2. The screens presumably will be used for replays and other views of the current game being played in the stadium, too, so I would guess RedZone won’t be on the entire time anyway. Not too difficult to have the people running the board keep RedZone off when they want it off.

  3. I’ve noticed every time you write a story about San Francisco, you use the word, “climax.”
    What is it with you, San Francisco and climax?
    (stunned look from realization)

  4. Like they don’t get this information now anyway?
    Do you really think that a coach is going to be able to stop the constant feed of score updates from getting to his players WITHOUT the redzone channel playing on the screens?
    if you do, then you are crazy.

  5. Is this really an issue? Some fans bring radio’s and word gets around. Players on the sidelines find out.

  6. Wow, what a non-story. Just because the feed is available doesn’t mean it will be used the entire time the stadium is open for the game.
    “There will be no easy answer to the dilemma that teams will face.” Really? How about they just do what they’ve always done? Nobody’s paying for a ticket to go watch a RedZone feed. The feed will be turned off and fans will watch the game.
    It’s really not that hard to figure out.

  7. I was at the Green Bay vs. Denver game a few years ago where the Packers needed to win and the Vikings had to lose to the Cardinals for the Packers to make the playoffs. The Packers coach at the time was Mike Sherman and he didn’t allow the stadium crew to show the score or any highlights from the Vikings game during the game.
    The only way we knew in the stadium what was going on in Arizona was from people with radios, or from the fans in the private boxes yelling the score down to us. Of course Nathan Poole caught the game winning touchdown for Arizona, and the Packers won which won them the division. The crowd went nuts and the players were looking around wondering what was going on.
    I would imagine that coaches will still have that veto power over RedZone for certain situations.

  8. The stadiums need to use a DVR like the rest of us, so they can pause and start again the Red Zone channel as they desire.
    Therefore, Red Zone game play won’t interfere with live play at the stadium.
    Or something like that anyway. DVR takes care of a lot of issues.

  9. Yea its not 1950 anymore, people have technolgy to figure out the scores up to the second anyway.

  10. I don’t understand the dilemma. What will the Patriots do? They will take care of business on the field and win the game. They have to take care of business on the field first before worrying about what the Dolphins are doing.
    Is the concern that fans will be watching the RedZone feed instead of the live game? Ever hear of multitasking? Fans will glance at the RedZone channel to keep up to date on other games in between plays of the current game. Hmm, just like they do at home. Isn’t that the point of bringing it IN the stadium, to replicate the instant gratification experience, so fans will go to the game instead of staying home?
    The whole purpose is to give fans what they want and have come to expect, so now you want to take it away because the information is more meaningful?
    I’m confused.

  11. i suppose it becomes a God-send if you’re at the stadium, watching a 6-3 shoot-out between Cleveland and Detroit.

  12. You should think about any “story” that starts with “Paul Allen of KFAN. I would think it best to rewrite to “the idiots at KFAN”.

  13. Have you ever been to an NFL game? Or do you even follow the NFL? The NFL purposly moves the late game schedule around to avoid that. For example, in 2008 the Patriots needed a Dolphins or Ravens loss and a win against the Bills, coincidently, to make the playoffs. Due to that scenario, the Pats and Bills played at 1 and the Dolphins @ Jets AND Jags @Ravens were pushed to 4 pm. So, the Pats game was long over when they found out that they were out of the playoffs. And the Dolphins and Ravens, already knew when their game started that the back door had closed and they needed to win. The Jets also had a role in this scenario but they needed to beat Miami and for the Ravens and Pats to lose.
    Besides, every NFL stadium I have ever been in flash updated scores to all the games, even early in the season when the playoffs are not hanging in the balance.
    You are making much fuss about nothing. The only thing this will change is that, when the Pats fans, or in the 2008 scenario Jets fans, are looking at the score to the Ravens game, they will know whether it was Ray Rice or Willis McGahee that scored the TD that sends them home for the post season.

  14. whatdiga says:
    June 1, 2010 12:50 PM
    Like they don’t get this information now anyway?
    Exactly. Teams are already getting updates on other games from players/trainers/etc that are on the sidelines but arent playing in the game. On top of that, they already show the scores of the other games in the stadium. Whether it’s showing live plays or just showing the score, the teams in the stadium know what is going on around the league. I played college ball and we always knew what the teams in our conference scores were during our games. The only thing that would change anything is in a situation where it’s week 17 and seeing a loss or win from a division rival making your current game irrelevant, and allows you to pull your starters. But that probably already happens now without redzone. Either way, this is a non issue like others above have already mentioned.

  15. I am guessing that on any given day at least 1/3 fans will have a phone or similar device that will allow them to check scores across the league. I know all Iphones, google phones, and droids can do it. As well as the crappy old nokia I used to have. The score will get around just like it always does.

  16. So what you’re trying to say Florio, is that if the fan of a team is at their teams stadium, they will be inclined to watch the Red Zone of some other team to see the implications of playoff positioning, rather than watching THEIR team play??? Wow, total reach at a story, probably page 5 in your magazine LOL.

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