Microsoft is paying the NFL $400 million over the next five years and all the league has to do is get its players and coaches to use Microsoft Surface tablets during games–instead of the clunky printouts that for years served them pretty well. At least that’s all the league thought it had to do.
But it turns out the “official tablet of the NFL”–the Surface, that is–needs to get buy-in from more than just the players and coaches. NFL announcers need to get used to the Surface, too. (iPad is to tablet computing as Kleenex is to tissues, apparently.) Announcer Trent Dilfer on ESPN’s Monday Night Football talked about a Cardinals coach using the “iPad to scroll through the pictures.” And that wasn’t the only instance during week 1 that the “iPad” came up. Saints quarterback Drew Brees was using his “iPad”, too. Announcers are terrifically teachable though. For example not a single football announcer has used the monosyllabic word “ball” in decades. “He is a great football player who can really run the football and takes care of the football and knows when it’s time to play a football game–the kind of guy football coaches like, a real football guy.” You’ve heard that before, right? This weekend you’ll hear that those tablets on the field–that’s the Microsoft Surface.