NFL All-22 tape was released today for anyone with $70 to use. This will lead to better analytics and will only be a benefit to fans all around the league.
The NFL finally has released the ability for NFL fans to watch coach's tape, or "All-22" as it's called in the scouting world. All-22 film is game tape that coaches use that shows the entire field of play and allows for everyone to be on tape. It's the best possible way to evaluate talent, and scouts can tell very easily who is doing their job correctly or not.
It will also be an excellent tool for journalists who like to scout film and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the teams when they are working on stories. The best part is that the access isn't restricted anymore. According to the Wall Street Journal's Kevin Clark, quite a few people around the league have tried to limit the release.
In November, the Journal reported that the biggest objection to releasing the footage was from those inside the game who were afraid of an extra level of scrutiny from fans. Jeff Berman, the NFL’s general manager of digital media, said Friday that the competition committee wasn’t a obstacle but rather the NFL saw a “tremendous opportunity” during a meeting in late March when the issue was presented. He said the committee viewed the film as “something to reward and engage our most passionate fans.”
The NFL made the right decision here as the tapes give fans an even more in-depth access to the inner workings of the league. By the competition committee agreeing that it was good for the game to allow fans the ability to access the All-22, the NFL showed great foresight by allowing fans access to the same film their teams, players and coaches see every week.
The argument against is that teams are worried about their players getting scrutinized for the wrong reasons and the added layer of scrutiny will be detrimental to some of the weaker minded players. However, a great point was made by Bleacher Report's own Michael Schottey:
Will you be buying All-22 footage?
Bottom line, I don't feel bad for coaches/players who will be CORRECTLY criticized rather than INCORRECTLY...that's the real change here
— Michael Schottey (@Schottey) June 15, 2012
This is a great way to look at it. For the longest time, people have been criticizing defensive backs and wide receivers when the broadcast footage never shows the full view of the field. It's tough to know exactly who is doing their job by just broadcast footage, and the release of All-22 will allow the die-hards of both the sport and the individual teams the ability to watch games.
The most shocking part of it is the price the NFL is going to charge. After holding it hostage since its inception, the NFL is packaging all 256 NFL regular-season games and all 11 playoff games, including the Super Bowl, in its NFL Rewind package. Even if the only reason to purchase the package is the All-22 footage, the NFL is only charging a total of 26-28 cents per game.
The NFL could have made so much more on the film yet decided against it, opting to sell its most guarded possession at a rate to where you can get two games for the same price as a pack of gum, with the hope on the increased purchase of the NFL Rewind packages.
Doing this was brilliant as more and more fans will buy the package just for the ability to see what their coaches and players see. A more educated fan base will only be a good thing, and when more and more people understand the game of football, everyone wins.