In an interesting twist, it wasn’t news coming from the NFL’s annual meetings that seemed to dominate the headlines on Wednesday, but Kliff Kingsbury’s cell phone policy.
Throughout the week, NFL personnel–including head coaches–have been in Arizona discussing and voting on rules chat could change the course of this upcoming season, and taking care of other pre-Draft business. But despite important discussions that were occurring, one seemed to dominate the headlines on Wednesday.
First-year Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury announced on Tuesday that he plans to implement a cell phone policy that is commonly used among the college football ranks. “They’re itching to get to those things,” Kingsbury said. “You start to see kind of hands twitching and legs shaking, and you know they need to get that social media fix, so we’ll let them hop over there and then get back in the meeting and refocus.”
This shouldn’t come as a shock.
According to Statista, there are over 4.9 billion mobile phone users in the world. What’s more, the average cell phone user will check their phones up to 47 times per day, with 2,617 likes, taps, or swipes; and 22 percent of those surveyed ages 18-29 check their phones every few minutes. While the data supports obsessive and addictive traits, fans have to realize that it’s not a coaches’ job to mitigate these issues. For Kingsbury to understand these habits is a testament to his attention to detail, and considering the lucrative contracts these players hold, Kingsbury would rather give them a few minutes in between activities to center their focus and hopefully see a greater return on their investments as a result.
Kingsbury is Forward Thinking
Throughout the day, fans were calling Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals out for supporting a “millennial culture,” but it’s hypocritical, considering every cell phone holds personal data patterns, and the negative responses were likely coming from people who weren’t paying attention to the tasks or people in front of them in order to craft their opinions.
The average age of an NFL player is much closer to the ages of the guys Kingsbury coached at Texas Tech. Moreover, Kingsbury, himself, is a former college and NFL player so he understands players on a deeper level than his cohorts. Cell phone breaks are even facilitated at the Ivy League level, so this isn’t groundbreaking or distracting, and shouldn’t be viewed as anything other than leadership understanding how to get the maximum output from their personnel.
From continued activism for benefits to former players, to concussion and CTE issues; domestic violence and drug incidents, to in-game protocol and reviews, the NFL has significantly larger issues to deal with than devolving to high school levels in terms of cell phone and attention management issues.