BITS & BYTES: ITKC
Kansas City,MO (01-21-2003)
From The Kansas City Star
By David Hayes
It's not all brawn on the field at Arrowhead Stadium.
The muscle that drives the Kansas City Chiefs is fed by an information technology group that gives the coaches statistics, film clips and other information about every player the team is likely to face.
Richard McOsker, director of information systems for the Chiefs, said competition in the National Football League extended far beyond the field to the data center.
McOsker was the featured speaker for an evening session last week held by ITKC, a KCCatalyst networking group for area information technology workers.
More than 200 local IT workers turned out for the event at the Arrowhead Club, showing a real need for a regular networking event for high-tech workers in Kansas City.
McOsker told the crowd that one of his jobs was to keep the Chiefs ahead of the competition on the computer field. Information technology, he said, helps the team "reduce the uncertainty of our business."
For instance, McOsker said, Chiefs scouts were the first in football to use laptop computers with voice activation software. That step allowed scouts to focus on players, not on the paperwork necessary to
track the competition.
IT is helping coaches be more productive by eliminating paperwork and letting them focus on their primary job -- teaching players, McOsker said.
The Chiefs have more than 2 terabytes of game video from around the league, McOsker said, and will expand that to 3 terabytes or even 4 terabytes this year.
Coaches can call up that information, and players can get the video they need burned onto CD-ROMs or DVDs so they can study on the road.
McOsker said one of his group's big jobs in 2003 would be to convert the Chiefs' film operation from videotape to digital. The NFL is requiring all teams to go digital before the season starts.
The job will cost the Chiefs about $1 million, McOsker said.
For more information, contact ITTC.