A Football Analyst's Wet Dream: Stuffing the Ballot Box at NFL.com

Hey everyone. For the newbies who don't know me, I'm the guy who turned David's front-page generosity into a three-year writing gig on Niners Nation (2008-2011), and then turned that into an Assistant Editor job with Football Outsiders. I post today asking -- begging -- you to vote on THIS SURVEY on NFL.com, which asks fans to vote on (a) whether or not they'd be interested in having access to the coach's film for every play, and (b) how much they're willing to pay for it.

Now, full disclosure, you'd only have access to the coach's film if you subscribed to NFL.com's Game Rewind service. However, Game Rewind is only $39.99 per season, so, if you care about watching the 49ers with any kind of depth, it's well worth the fee.To boot, that's about $40 for access to all 256 regular season games from the current season, plus all games since 2009. In other words, Game Rewind is currently 40 bucks for 768 NFL games! Your average NFL game has about 125 plays, so that's less than one-thousandth of one cent per play!

After the jump, I continue the shameless pleading, explain how a "yes" vote would enhance Niners Nation game coverage, and give some examples of the kinds of 49ers play-by-play analysis that would benefit...

Right now, Game Rewind subscribers get the coach's film for about 20 of those 125 plays per game. By filling out the survey, and telling the NFL that you want full access to that coach's film, you'd make it all the more possible to view every play of every NFL season going forward. That means being able to get a previously unseen look at offensive/defensive formations, player assignments, wide receiver routes, or anything else comprising the chess match that is NFL football. True, if they allow access to the coach's film, the NFL will most likely bump up prices for Game Rewind. But, hell, even if they increase the subscription fee to $100, that's still only something like three-tenths of one cent per play per season.

For instance, say you wanted to see if Alex Smith checked down to Frank Gore for no reason or if his downfield receivers were actually blanketed by the secondary. Or what about if one of Smith's interceptions was because the secondary disguised its coverage or because his receiver read a different option route than the one Smith read. What if you simply want a better look at the offensive line's goal line blocking scheme from an end zone angle? With the coach's film for every play, you can find all of this out for the first time in NFL history on a play-by-play basis.

So, please, please, please go take this survey, and tell the NFL that, as informed, avid football fans, you want access to the coach's film, which shows what all 22 players are doing on every single play. To be completely honest with you, this is the holy grail of NFL video analysis. Whether you're a "scouting guy" or a "stats nerd," access to the coach's film can enhance your experience of NFL football. Furthermore, if this happens, David and all of his Niners Nation minions -- of which, I used to be one -- will be able to provide even better 49ers game coverage than they already do.

In a situation like this, it's totally OK to lie, and tell the NFL that (a) you're optimally interested in access to the coach's film, and (b) you're willing to pay the proverbial right nut/ovary for it. We're not talking about a UN vote on Middle East peace or a congressional vote preventing a government shutdown here. This is sports, not geopolitics, after all. 

To be perfectly clear in closing, I'm not some NFL shill, and I couldn't give a crap about what money they make off of you (or I) paying for all-22 game videos. I, nor any of my Football Outsiders brethren, will see a dime from any of this. What all of us gain is an increased understanding of what happens on the football field every weekend, and an enhanced ability to talk about it intelligently. That's something you can't put a price tag on, so it's a win-win for everyone.

Rock the jock vote!

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