By KEVIN FRANSON
A new way to get information about your favorite football team and their game results has arrived on the Internet. PRAJA inc. is introducing the new technology for college football teams across the country.
PRAJA Football is being billed as the Internet’s answer to the typical newspaper box score. The idea is that an interested fan can get onto the site and check out the results from a game they missed or a game they want to check out again.
The Web site offers the viewer the choice to personalize the information the computer displays. The options range from video clips of scoring plays to audio highlights.
A fan in Wisconsin could log on and find out how their team did over the weekend, or review the season with a couple clicks of the mouse.
PRAJA, a privately held California company, launched PRAJA Football in September 1999. The company has signed partnerships or is negotiating with 25 universities for the 1999 season.
BYU is one of the universities connected to the Web site. The schools will be able to featue PRAJA Football on their Web sites and offer an enhanced post-game experience for their fans.
Terry Hicks, PRAJA Director of Marketing, is sure that the new technology will change the way events are covered on the Internet.
“We’re confident that PRAJA technology will revolutionize the way events are covered on the Internet,” Hicks said. “Our research shows that sites featuring PRAJA-enhanced events maintain viewer interest up to seven times longer than similar sites.”
It sounds like a good idea, but does it really work?
I missed the BYU versus Air Force game on Saturday and I wanted to know how the game ended up, so I gave the PRAJA Football experience a try.
I went to the Web site on the Monday following the game. It looked good to the eye and the information appeared to be there.
First, there was a quick tutorial and then I went searching for the BYU game. The score was listed as a 27-20 BYU victory.
After a few attempts to view the promised video highlights, I realized the BYU game didn’t have one of the icons that some of the other games had next to the score.
I scrolled back to the top of the page and found that game results may not be available until 48 hours after the game and even then, nothing is promised.
What to do now? I missed part of the BYU-UNLV game, I could check that one out. I quickly found the previous week’s games and located BYU versus UNLV. Yes, the icon was there for the QuickView feature. I clicked the mouse and after a small delay for downloading, the clip played.
It was a scoring play on a pass from Kevin Feterik to Doug Jolley for a touchdown. Cool, it was working. I continued to view various plays and listen to commentary on the game. The clips were jumpy and a little unclear, but they were there.
The experience was definitely different than the typical box score, but the information was not as handy as the daily newspaper. I still prefer the late night KBYU replay and a good newspaper story.
The idea of viewing clips and getting the whole story via the Internet is a good idea, it just may be ahead of its time. Without the ability to show the majority of the college football teams, only a relatively few fans can enjoy the experience of checking out their team online.