Birmingham Stallions play New Jersey Generals on Saturday night.
The United States Football League’s first season is kicking off and fans can expect some new innovative technologies to enhance the experience of watching the game on television.
Daryl Johnston, the executive vice president of football operations for the USFL, touted some of the new things in an appearance on “Fox & Friends” earlier this week.
“We’re creating access for the view that’s unprecedented. And for me as a player, to be able to share some of these experiences with the fans – and that’s what they want to do, they want to be able to get close as they possibly can and all this technology is providing that,” Johnston told “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade on Monday.
“We’ve talked about video with a double sky cam, with some drones, the number of cameras that we got. But the one thing everybody was excited about last week was the audio. They got a steady cam where they’re walking right into the huddle so the camera angle from that shot is going to be like you as a viewer at home standing in the huddle with the quarterback.”
With the New Jersey Generals and Birmingham Stallions set to play on Saturday night at 7:30, here’s a list of the five most interesting concepts that will debut in the USFL.
1). Helmet cam
Ever wonder what it’s like to actually run a route and catch a pass or see what other players are seeing? The USFL, as part of giving fans an all-access experience, will have cameras on the helmets of players. Fans will get an inside look at what the players see during the game. Strap in.
2). Locker room access
Fans will get to see the interactions between the players and coaches inside the locker room.
3). Audibles, slide protections and Omahas
The quarterback and the play-caller are always in communication. Starting Saturday, fans will be able to hear just how a play is called and how it’s determined. Additionally, players’ mics will be on during celebrations, among other situations.
4). Two forward passes, overtime, onside kicks and more
The USFL is bringing new rule changes to the playing field this spring. Among them are two forwarded passes behind the line of scrimmage, shootout-style overtime, a new option to get the ball back after scoring and a few other things.
5). Ball tracking technology
Gone are the days of the chain gang. The USFL unveiled a chip in the football that will accurately place where the pill is and make calling first downs more accurate. Along with the yellow line on TV, determining whether a first down is called will be akin to seeing whether a ball is in or out during a professional tennis match.