Watch the 1999 play that launched this industry

My name is Greg Keller. The video technology demonstrated above comes from a play that occurred in the October 23, 1999 Michigan @ Illinois football game played in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Time on the clock is 20 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter. Illinois is leading 35 to 27. Tom Brady is the Michigan quarterback. The following Monday I called the Athletic Department at Illinois and asked the Football Secretary to send me a casette tape of the play. Two days later the Fed Ex truck showed up at my house to deliver the casette.

Two months later as a Christmas gift in 1999, I received a mountain biking CD using Apple Quicktime video technology. From the camera's view, it showed mountain bike riders coming up the trail and passing by. I knew the video came from the CD not a casette tape. Then the "AH HA" moment hit me. What if I took the play above and put it on CD? The NFL was using BETA tape, the NCAA was using casette tape. I proposed my concept to the NCAA. We asked for and received NCAA permission to develop the product. Rulebooks.Com was born.

The current record to discuss the play above in a group is 1 hour. I have digitally edited over 2,000 plays since this one occurred but have never seen a duplication of this play. My idea was to provide a visual reference for football officials at the college level to interpret interesting plays linked to the rules and apply proper enforcement procedures. The technology available at the time was analog casette tape. That meant no editing, no backward, forward, freeze-frame, slow motion or other enhancements. The rule reference link would be 8-5-1-a. That's Rule 8 Scoring, Section 5 Safety, Article 1 It is a safety when: subparagraph a. On the play above, the defender intercepted the pass and returned to the ground inbounds demonstrating possession. Then the defender was hit and fumbled the ball into the end one. Technically the defense had provided the force that put the ball in their own end zone. A second defender recovered the ball in their own end zone making the result of the play a two point safety. I currently have in inventory over 1,100 plays digitally edited and referenced to the Rule Section Article references.

Accordingly, my wife Cathy and I launched our football business called Rulebooks.Com in 2000. Every year we improved the product. Cathy handled the technical computer side, the program setup, the website. I handled the video editing, sales and distribution side. With NCAA permission, we ran the business from our residence from 2000 to 2009. We packaged the NCAA Football Rulebook in Authorware by Macromedia on CD. The CD included the rulebook with links to approximately 100 digitally edited videos. From 2000 to 2009 we sold 3,220 CDs, the last unit price being $85. At the end of 2009, the NCAA formally asked us to step aside and we complied. The venture has been on hold since 2009. All that casette technology is now considered "last week."

I officiated high school football from 1971 to 1992 and college football from 1992 to 2000. I enrolled in this class to improve my technical skills for the presentation of my product should we choose to make the technical upgrades to reintroduce it to the football officiating market. The new technology would be product delivery to smart phones and tablets.

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