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How Periscope Can Change The Game For The NFL

Posted By: Brian Thornsburg on 6/4/2015

The New Orleans Saints responded to a tweet the other day, letting a fan know that the NFL has a rule against using the app, Periscope during practices. The Saints also stated that many NFL teams had set up Periscope accounts before the actual rule was made by The NFL.

Not only are NFL teams banned from using the popular video streaming app during their practices, but fans are banned from filming during games as well. The reason for this is said to be that it would interfere with copyright and would allow online users to have free access to weekly NFL games.

While I understand the need for privacy in sports, especially less than four months after Deflate Gate rocked the NFL, I still feel that the NFL and its fans would benefit from the use of the popular streaming app.

Not only could the app be used to bring life to a part of the preseason that is usually quiet and lackluster, it could also give fans an up close and personal look of their favorite teams preparing for the upcoming 16 game season. From epic locker room speeches after a practice, to silly antics on the field, the periscope app would bring a lot of personality to the off season.

Yes, I realize that doing this will present a problem for the NFL, one of which being that it interferes with the privacy of the teams during practice. While that is an understandable concern, it is an avoidable one as well.

Teams could devote certain aspects of their practice to involve light hearted works outs. This would allow fans to see what their favorite teams are doing, without actually getting into anything too technical at the same time. Teams could also set up a short Q&A session before and after practices to talk about what fans just saw.

Another idea that is a little more restrictive, is to have team members only record for a set amount of time during practice. For example, say a certain team was participating in a tackling drill. The set time limit to stream would be 30 minutes and the sound would be muted to hide the instruction that the coach was giving his players.

The team member that is filming the stream could even have the coach or trainer off camera, that way the instruction and comments could be kept hidden, while still giving fans a in depth look into what takes place during a NFL practice.

As for the fans filming certain moments of practice or even games for that matter, the NFL needs to take a serious step back and think of the benefits, instead of the drawbacks. Yes, the use of The Periscope app by a fan may infringe on the NFL’s copyrighted material and offers no way for the NFL to make money off of it, but that doesn’t mean that a way can’t be conceived to do so.

Maybe it will come in the form of ads during certain intervals of a given stream, or maybe it would become a subscription based service, where fans are forced to shell out a little money to compensate for the dropping of add revenue, but whatever the case, The NFL would be smart to implement ideas such as this.

However The NFL chooses to utilize this tool is purely up to them. They can choose to ignore it and block its teams and fans from using, which they have already done, or they find a way to bring this great new technology into their sport, and make money while doing it. It's again, up to them.

Indianapolis 500 Recap

Posted By: Brian Thornsburg on 5/24/2015

Draft Utopia takes you through the most exciting and the most scary moments in Sundays 99th annual Indianapolis 500. From Montoya getting hit during a caution, to a first lap crash that had Karam steamed at Sato, this is the must see slideshow for any race fan!

Race Command Controversy: There's nothing in this world that could ever compare to giving the race command for the Indianapolis 500. That must be what this woman in the white dress was thinking, as she tried to assist Mari Hulman George in giving the order for drivers to start engines, George, who has given the legendary command for many years now, wasn't having any of it, and put her hand up in the mysterious woman's face. While not as funny the preacher at Kentucky Motor Speedway thanking god for his smoking hot wife during an invocation, this will definitely be up there when fans remember pre-race ceremony snafus.

Open Lap Mayhem: Things got exciting during the opening lap of the Indianapolis 500, as Sato looked to pass Karam, but ended up making contact with Karam and sending him hard into the wall. Sato later went to pit road to make repairs to his car after the incident and came out two laps down. Karam however, was done for the day and let reporters know how upset he was with Sato during an interview with ESPN. I guess it's true that you can't win a race in the first turn, but you sure as hell can lose it in the first turn. Just ask Karam!

Pit Crew members hit on Pit road: Anything can happen in racing. Whether it be on the track going 200 MPH down a straight away, or on pit road during a normal pit stop, drivers and teams are known to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Drivers and fans alike are most likely hoping for the best after Josh Davidson got tagged exiting his pit box, causing him to hit two crew members with his front wheel. The two crew members were violently swept off their feet and tumbled on top of each other. An ambulance was promptly called to the scene, where one of the crew members was reported conscious during an interview with ESPN. It was later reported that one crew member was transported to a local hospital for further treatment.

Montoya The Man to Kiss The Bricks: Despite running into another car under caution, falling back to 30th, and losing time for missing his pit box, Montoya overpowered Scott Dixon and Will Power in the final ten laps of the race to capture the win and kiss the bricks at Indianapolis. The win is Montoya's second victory at Indianapolis, his first one coming 15 years ago in 2000.

Wild Ride For Montoya: When Montoya dropped to 30th after being ran into during a caution, I think every race fan at Indy believed his day was over. Montoya proved those fans wrong by gaining five positions during the first green flag stretch of racing. Despite what looked like the makings of a comeback, Montoya ran into even more trouble, when he overshot his pit box and ran over the air hose.

He received a warning by officials and ultimately lost a lot of time on pit road. While that looked to be the end of Montoya's chances at a 500 victory, the Columbian battled back into the Top 5 and then set his sights on Scott Dixon and Will Power. The two drivers tried their best to keep Montoya behind them, but after the day Montoya had, he deserved nothing less then victory at Indy.

News Notes and Final Thoughts: Former Indy 500 winner, Tony Kaanan, ended up with a wrecked racecar, after spinning and hitting the wall. Kanaan seemed in high spirits after the wreck, telling reporters that "We were strong all day and it was the last stop and we were going to go for it. I'd rather get out of the race like this, trying, then to just sit back there. For me, it's win or nothing at this place."

Sage Karaam didn't handle his post wreck interview so gracefully, after being wrecked by Takuma Sato on the opening lap of the race. "I knew going into Turn One he had a run, but I didn’t think he was dumb enough to go outside," Karam told television reporters.

"The guy needs to wake up a little bit." Karam later told reporters regarding Sato.

At the time of writing this, no more information has been given regarding the two crew members who were hit on pit road by Josh Davidson's car. Draft Utopia hopes both crew members a speedy recovery.

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