By: Ken Belson
SAN FRANCISCO — On any given Sunday during football season, theN.F.L., a league that promotes itself as a standard-bearer of innovation, produces games that are analog at their core. The leather ball has been stitched the same way for decades, and the chain gangs hold the first-down markers like crossing guards at a busy street corner. The players smash into one another in a way a fan from a century ago would recognize.
Yet the league, a $12-billion-a-year business, seems to be perpetually searching for the best and latest technology to help it deliver that analog product to its nearly 200 million fans, who are increasingly tech-savvy.