Why is the NFL so bad at the internet?

smastroyin

simpering whimperer
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Jul 31, 2002
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Can we talk about this?
 
Of the four major sports, the NFL website is by far the worst.  It is hard to get highlights, the updates are too slow, the archives are nearly impossible to navigate.  They have a shitload of popups and the gameday thing is slow and shuts down my browser constantly.  You can't really get a full play by play without going through an intense rigmarole, nevermind the full stats.  
 
Mobile is worse.  Especially the crappy Verizon exclusive app.  All of the problems of the full website, with more access problems and being exceptionally slow.
 
I realize they are in bed with TV to the extent of mega billions.  But can't they do better than this?  Am I the only one?
 
 

curly2

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Jul 8, 2003
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The NFL got to be amazing popular almost in spite of itself. It's amazing how few of the best ideas actually came from the NFL, despite the glowing reputations of Rozelle, Tagliabue and Goodell. For example:
 
- One of the big things in boosting the league popularity was NFL Films. No one at the league thought of that. Ed Sabol came to them.
 
- Lamar Hunt of the AFL was the driving force behind the Super Bowl.
 
- Monday Night Football was Roone Arledge's idea. Again, he came to the NFL, not the other way around.
 
- Similarly, the NFL never thought to put the draft on TV. When ESPN had a serious lack of decent programming, they came to the NFL and asked if they could put the draft on TV, and it's since become a huge event.
 
The bottom line is the NFL is really slow to innovate.The Super Bowl for years was played at 1 p.m. Eastern, for crying out loud. And the first Saturday night playoff came wasn't until Patriots-Raiders until 2002. Saturday night playoff games are like the Green Monster seats: Why didn't anyone think of that before?
 
So it's no surprise that "The Shield" is behind the curve on the web.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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curly2 said:
The NFL got to be amazing popular almost in spite of itself. It's amazing how few of the best ideas actually came from the NFL, despite the glowing reputations of Rozelle, Tagliabue and Goodell. For example:
 
- One of the big things in boosting the league popularity was NFL Films. No one at the league thought of that. Ed Sabol came to them.
 
- Lamar Hunt of the AFL was the driving force behind the Super Bowl.
 
- Monday Night Football was Roone Arledge's idea. Again, he came to the NFL, not the other way around.
 
- Similarly, the NFL never thought to put the draft on TV. When ESPN had a serious lack of decent programming, they came to the NFL and asked if they could put the draft on TV, and it's since become a huge event.
 
The bottom line is the NFL is really slow to innovate.The Super Bowl for years was played at 1 p.m. Eastern, for crying out loud. And the first Saturday night playoff came wasn't until Patriots-Raiders until 2002. Saturday night playoff games are like the Green Monster seats: Why didn't anyone think of that before?
 
So it's no surprise that "The Shield" is behind the curve on the web.
 
I'll add one more to your list...fantasy.  The idea, of course, is borrowed from rotisserie baseball, but it definitely took the NFL a while to embrace it.  NFL.com wasn't offering fantasy games or stats for quite a while after other outlets realized how to monetize it.
 

ifmanis5

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They're not exactly great at TV either. After the Jets game ended in NY we got a postgame show, not game action. And don't get started on the blackout rules, either.
 

smastroyin

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I forgot having to watch a 30 second commercial anytime you want to watch even a 10 second highlight video.
 

singaporesoxfan

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What's annoying is that it's REALLY hard to find a mobile site that tells you what the sequence of current plays in a drive are. Trying to click on "Show All Plays" when you're following a game never works.
 

ragnarok725

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Nov 28, 2003
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OK. This is all true.
 
But you can't ignore the awesomeness, and the flawless execution of NFL GameRewind. Multiple devices, super high quality, all games, at a reasonable price. This year they even rigged it so that when you switch between the different modes (broadcast, condensed, or coach's film) it retains the exact play you're on. So you can be rewatching from a broadcast perspective, then quickly switch to see the play from the All-22, then flip right back in. The iPad app in particular is just awesome. 
 
Probably a specific team that works on that because the usability and awesomeness of it are definitely not a regular part of the rest of the web properties.
 

sonofgodcf

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Jul 17, 2005
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The toilet.
I bought the "Anniversary" edition of Madden to get the NFL Gamepass online.  Last week, I was blocked from watching the Pats because of blackout rules (somehow Houston wasn't sold out?), this week, I couldn't use the link because I shared it with my brother.  Instead, I tried to pirate it through VipBox, and when I compared, it was the far better stream.  
 
I would easily pay $5, and maybe $10 a game to watch/stream the Pats, yet the NFL can't find a good way to do it.  I couldn't believe the poor quality of their own stream, which lagged behind Vipbox by at least a minute.
 

johnmd20

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RedOctober3829 said:
There should be an nfl version of MLB.tv.
 
 
This is a no brainer but Direct TV is just paying too much for the Sunday Ticket. The fact that not everybody can get the Sunday ticket is crazy to me. But I guess those eyeballs on Sunday are very important to the networks.
 

jmm57

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Jul 15, 2005
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doldmoose34 said:
How about how long it took them to embrace the greatest invention EVER: RED ZONE
 
I loved Red Zone until I got Sunday Ticket. Haven't watched 1 second of Red Zone this year.
 

DrewDawg

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Dec 16, 2010
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jmm57 said:
 
I loved Red Zone until I got Sunday Ticket. Haven't watched 1 second of Red Zone this year.
 
Unless the Pats are on, it's the best way to watch.
 

Spacemans Bong

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It all goes back to TV. Too good of an online package for just about anything NFL gets eyeballs away from TV. Even in terms of their shitty online highlights (which I watch in the mornings), it's probably like that because they want you watching it on their own network or their TV partner, ESPN. 
 

DrewDawg

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Dec 16, 2010
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Reverend said:
 
Unless you enjoy football in a holistic sense.
 
You can't understand a football team watching Red Zone.
 
I watch my team, the Patriots, in order to understand them. I don't have the team to "understand" all of the other teams. I want to be entertained when I'm watching teams I do not root for.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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NFL.com is a truly terrible website.  Their design choices- likely dictated by some exec who wanted the site to "pop"- are all style over usability.
 

Reverend

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DrewDawg said:
 
I watch my team, the Patriots, in order to understand them. I don't have the team to "understand" all of the other teams. I want to be entertained when I'm watching teams I do not root for.
 
That's fair. I'm suggesting, then--and I think by virtue of your response that you may well agree--that there are different ways of interpreting "best" with respect to ways to watch then, yes?
 

DrewDawg

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CoffeeNerdness said:
NFL.com is a truly terrible website.  Their design choices- likely dictated by some exec who wanted the site to "pop"- are all style over usability.
 
After leaving NFL.com these designers then redesigned the yahoo.com sports portal. Hideous.
 

DrewDawg

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Dec 16, 2010
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Reverend said:
 
That's fair. I'm suggesting, then--and I think by virtue of your response that you may well agree--that there are different ways of interpreting "best" with respect to ways to watch then, yes?
 
No.
 
My way only.
 

Bosoxen

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DrewDawg said:
 
After leaving NFL.com these designers then redesigned the yahoo.com sports portal. Hideous.
 
Is that what happened? No wonder it's so horrendous now. I used to love the simplicity of Yahoo sports (it's why Google is, and always will be, my home page) but now it's a complete eye sore. And it's a pain to use, as well.
 

DrewDawg

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Well, I have no idea if it was them, I'm just taking the chance to rip the yahoo redesign. Were they going for the MySpace demo or something?
 

mt8thsw9th

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Jul 17, 2005
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I was searching for what NFL games would be playing in Germany when I'm there two Sundays from now (hoping to catch the Patriots game if there's nothing else going on), and here's what the NFL has up on their site:
 
http://www.nfl.com/global/programming
 
The 234 countries and territories receiving NFL programming...
 
 
Well, that's pretty impressive. However, they just give a list and the channels, and I'm guessing most civilians don't get the AFN. Why not have actual listings by country? Not everyone is as good as I am searching the web, or give up after they can't find anything at first blush. Can it get worse than that when promoting your sport? 
 
in the 2005 season and the accompanying broadcast networks
 
 
Oh, I suppose it can.
 
When that page was put online, Doug Flutie was still in the NFL, Vinny Testaverde was coming off a 14 start season, and the Patriots had won 3 of 4 Super Bowls. If it was an old article up, I'd get it, but it's their /global/programming page for fuck's sake. They've updated /global more recently though, announcing that the first NFL game in London sold out its tickets sold out in 90 minutes. I wonder when they'll post the results of that game.
 

MarcSullivaFan

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Aug 21, 2005
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Hoo-hoo-hoo hoosier land.
Totally agree with the OP. The site is disaster, especially on mobile. I love Audio pass and Rewind, but it's hard to find them on the website and sometimes it seems like Inhabe to login 100 times to get to the content.

Ironically, the only two websites I frequently visit that are worse are AT&T and my cable company Brighthouse, both of which are in the internet business for Christ's sake.
 

epraz

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Oct 15, 2002
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mt8thsw9th said:
I was searching for what NFL games would be playing in Germany when I'm there two Sundays from now (hoping to catch the Patriots game if there's nothing else going on), and here's what the NFL has up on their site:
 
http://www.nfl.com/global/programming
 
 
Well, that's pretty impressive. However, they just give a list and the channels, and I'm guessing most civilians don't get the AFN. Why not have actual listings by country? Not everyone is as good as I am searching the web, or give up after they can't find anything at first blush. Can it get worse than that when promoting your sport? 
 
 
The good news is that you can watch all of the NFL games in Germany for free through NFL Gamepass: https://gamepass.nfl.com