Sports and Technology…

Absolutely fascinating article by Kevin Maney for Newsweek concerning SportsVU, a motion capture technology that will apparently be available to all viewers of NBA games starting with the next season, and what all this data means in terms of your viewing and -at least to me- what it might mean for the future of sports itself:

I’ve noticed on talk radio (I tend to listen to it while driving) how the conversation has shifted from generalities to data specifics.  We went from talking about how great a certain player was/is (generality) to where we now can find and look at their speed, their scoring percentages, their completion percentages, their success by quarter, etc. etc. etc.

The statistics are fascinating but, of course, can be messed up by player’s “off days”, where their performance may dramatically shift from their “norm.”

Then again, maybe we’ll get to the point where we can predict such dramatic shifts in performance.  How?  Perhaps by getting information regarding a player’s sleeping habits or how much they travel between games or how their diet, personal life, etc. etc. etc. affect their performances.

So much information to gather…so much information to sort.

Could it be possible that one day we take all this data and can effectively compute which team/player will win their given sporting event on a given day?

And if we do get to that point will sports, whose main draw is the fact that almost anything can happen and the outcome is often difficult to predict, no longer hold their luster to fans?