Trent Richardson penalized because AAF wants to keep its high-tech footballs

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The Alliance of American Football has made data analysis a top priority, and part of that is putting chips in every football to track the speed and trajectory of balls that are thrown and kicked. Unfortunately, that means no giving footballs to fans as souvenirs.

Trent Richardson found that out the hard way on Sunday.

Richardson, the Alabama star turned NFL draft bust, scored two touchdowns in his AAF debut, and after the second one, he spiked the ball with authority, and it bounced high and into the stands. After conferring for a moment, the officials hit Richardson with a 15-yard penalty.

That wouldn’t be a penalty in the NFL, but as explained by FootballZebras.com, the AAF wants to hold onto all its footballs for budgetary reasons. Apparently those chips are too expensive for a startup league to afford giving them to fans.

Perhaps a better option than a 15-yard penalty would be to require players who toss footballs into the stands to reimburse the league for the cost of the footballs. A 15-yard penalty is awfully steep for something as minor as spiking a football.

42 responses to “Trent Richardson penalized because AAF wants to keep its high-tech footballs

  1. Can’t kick the basketball into the stands. Baseball mechanically allows balls into the stands, hockey the same. No reason for a football to go into the crowd honestly. It’s just a ball.

  2. Given the paltry salaries they’re making, he’d probably take the penalty over paying for the ball.

  3. I understand the cost aspect, but it sure would be nice to for the AAF to set itself apart from the NFL in it’s fan interaction and marketing. Make the players and coaches more accessible, do more giveaways and contests etc…Sure they could just stick to football, but the actual football is going to be an inferior product compared to the NFL. Where they could actually compete and come out ahead is with the peripheral stuff.

  4. Roger Goodell makes 42 million dollars a year.

    Meanwhile the AAF can’t afford to lose any footballs because the $100.00 chip makes them too expensive.

    The imbalance between the rich and poor in this country is disgusting.

  5. I think that if it’s that big of a deal, he should be penalized vs. paying a fine. The penalty hits the entire team. That might be a bigger blow than any fines.

  6. Perhaps the league can persuade the fans to return the balls by offering them a replacement that doesn’t contain a chip.

  7. “Perhaps a better option than a 15-yard penalty would be to require players who toss footballs into the stands to reimburse the league for the cost of the footballs. A 15-yard penalty is awfully steep for something as minor as spiking a football.”
    ——-
    Actually this makes the case for a 15 yard penalty being appropriate. In all facets of life rules are put in place to be followed and a penalty is used as a deterrent. If the penalty is too light then the number of people breaking it goes up, the stricter the the fine or penalty the less likely someone breaks the rule.

  8. Did they not program GPS into it? That’d be one way to ensure they get the ball back before it leaves, or even after

    Or make it self destruct when it leaves the building

    Just throwing out ideas

  9. FYI – I’ve been sitting in the lower end zone of the Bills stadium for 25 years. Until about 5 years ago, any balls that went into the stands, for whatever reason, were kept by the fans. Then suddenly, an NFL employee appeared one season and demanded the balls be returned to him. Whenever a fan insists on keeping the ball, security is called and the ball is forcibly taken from the fan – if the fan resists, he is ejected. This is beyond ridiculous.

  10. Everybody complaining about “oh it’s just a ball” – those chips are highly specialized and, under IP law, would be considered property of the AAF. If a fan got their hands on one, they would have every reason (and every right) to sue that fan to get the ball back – because it’s not just a ball, it’s a tangible piece of intellectual property. Those chips might have flaws, or be easily reverse-engineered. If that’s the case, then they will want to address those security issues with the hope that nobody will tamper with the data before, during, or after a game. You think Deflategate was big? That would be a pillow fight compared to the lawsuits that would erupt if tampering was found in the AAF’s proprietary technology, especially because its investors include people like Peter Thiel and other gazillionaires.

  11. unbiasedminds says:
    February 11, 2019 at 7:39 pm
    Maybe the kicking balls dont have chips.
    ———-
    You do realize the ball doesn’t go flying into the crowd after a FG.

  12. Trent Richardson spiked the ball on the ground. Footballs can take some crazy bounces, and it was like a minor disaster the ball went into the stands. Then some little kid ran to like a looter to steal that football that did not belong to him. Most people do not steal footballs, they buy them, like normal human beings. To top it off, like a bad fan, he caused the team he was there to root for to incur a 15 yard penalty by not throwing the ball back. They should ban that little criminal and his family too for not raising him properly. If there is any hope for redemption for this kid, I hope he apologizes to all of Birmingham and especially Trent Richardson.

  13. He spiked the ball and it bounced into the stands. Isnt that what the article said?? If he can control his spike directions…he would be in the nfl. How does a guy get penalized for a spike bounce?

  14. mackcarrington says: February 11, 2019 at 7:42 pm
    Perhaps the league can persuade the fans to return the balls by offering them a replacement that doesn’t contain a chip.
    ==============================

    This actually makes the most sense or just ask for the ball back. I’ve been to a lot of college games and you can’t keep the ball when it’s kicked into the stands for field goals/ Extra points. This isn’t baseball.

  15. realitypolice says:
    February 11, 2019 at 7:10 pm
    Given the paltry salaries they’re making, he’d probably take the penalty over paying for the ball.

    —-

    I wish I got 75k for 10 games of work. Paltry my butt.

  16. wte1 says:
    February 11, 2019 at 7:23 pm
    Roger Goodell makes 42 million dollars a year.

    Meanwhile the AAF can’t afford to lose any footballs because the $100.00 chip makes them too expensive.

    The imbalance between the rich and poor in this country is disgusting.

    ———–

    Yep. The AAF should be given what it took the NFL more than half a century to earn.

  17. Perhaps an actual reporter could make an effort to determine the actual cost per ball and, you know, actually report it!

    Seems like a key piece of information in a “report” such as this.

  18. Maybe the kicking balls dont have chips.

    ========================================

    RIF – track the speed and trajectory of balls that are thrown and kicked

  19. “Richardson, the Alabama star turned NFL draft bust, scored two touchdowns in his AAF debut”

    That tells you all you need to know about the caliber of play in the AAF…

  20. Meh on tracking speed and trajectory of a football.

    Why not have the chips used to detect if the ball crossed the plane of the goal line? So much more practical.

  21. The article shows a complete lack of understanding of sports technology. The football contains a 3 D accelerometer and a passive positioning chip that receives positioning beacon signals. It doesn’t contain anything as power sucking as a data transmitter. As the ball is used in plays, the positioning and accelerometer data is stored on the ball. After the game (or perhaps after X amount of plays) the data is downloaded via proximity powered NFC reader technology. When a ball is lost, all the non downloaded data is forever lost, leading to gaps in play data that can never be filled. This will affect statistical analysis of the game and the season.

  22. Still want to see the PSI chip. It is already out there. Why is it that using this is considered heresy? I would think that the publicity alone would be a bonus for the AAF. Deflation Believers, also know as DB’s, should demand this since it will prove that they were right to believe Brady deflated footballs. But evidently the truth actually burns. I can’t think of another reason not to make this information public. After the thousand or so independent tests failed to convince them, this should do the trick.

  23. Guam will capsize! says:
    February 12, 2019 at 9:41 am
    Still want to see the PSI chip. It is already out there. Why is it that using this is considered heresy? I would think that the publicity alone would be a bonus for the AAF. Deflation Believers, also know as DB’s, should demand this since it will prove that they were right to believe Brady deflated footballs. But evidently the truth actually burns. I can’t think of another reason not to make this information public. After the thousand or so independent tests failed to convince them, this should do the trick.
    —–
    We’ll never see that. Just like the PSI data collected by the league.

    Anyone with a brain knows why.

  24. Deric Gregory says:
    February 11, 2019 at 10:42 pm
    realitypolice says:
    February 11, 2019 at 7:10 pm
    Given the paltry salaries they’re making, he’d probably take the penalty over paying for the ball.

    —-

    I wish I got 75k for 10 games of work. Paltry my butt.

    ———————————————

    Right, because the only work they do is during the games…? Do you have any idea how much work pro athletes do to stay in shape and prepare themselves? And yes, it’s work.

    If it was easy we’d all be doing it. Even making it onto one of these AAF teams is far beyond the abilities of the vast majority of the population (hell, even playing NCAA football is beyond the majority of the population). So why shouldn’t these players be paid for it? And $75k isn’t a lot of money in the context of pro football. Context is important if you want to make a like-for-like comparison.

  25. likuidsmoke says:
    February 11, 2019 at 10:10 pm
    unbiasedminds says:
    February 11, 2019 at 7:39 pm
    Maybe the kicking balls dont have chips.
    ———-
    You do realize the ball doesn’t go flying into the crowd after a FG.

    ****************************

    Are you new to the American sport of Football? While many do hit the nets there are some that don’t and believe it or not, there are some FG kickers who shank kicks to the right or left of the posts which end up in the crowd – unless the AAF has the entire endzone netted, which would be interesting.

  26. GoodellMustGo says:
    February 12, 2019 at 8:38 am
    Meh on tracking speed and trajectory of a football.

    Why not have the chips used to detect if the ball crossed the plane of the goal line? So much more practical.

    ——–

    How would the chip know if the ball carrier was down or not when the ball crossed the plane?

  27. wte1 says:
    February 11, 2019 at 7:23 pm
    Roger Goodell makes 42 million dollars a year.

    ===============================
    Ah, never miss a beat to bash Goodell unnecessarily. Goodell is practically a pauper compared to his bosses, most of whom have BILLIONS, not just tens of millions.

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