NFL Coach Bill Belichick Smashes Tablet and Goes Back to Paper
Back in 2014, Microsoft struck a deal to supply the NFL with Surface tablets as a coaching tool. I am sure it has many benefits … but seeing the video of Bill Belichick throw down his Microsoft Surface tablet in frustration made my day!
I feel his pain and have often felt like doing the same with my laptop or smartphone on many occasions.
Bill’s reasons for chucking the tablet are no surprise — he said that the technology failed him and made his job harder because it was too undependable and inconsistent. He is going back to simple, functional, renewable and recyclable PAPER!
I understand completely! When given a choice the majority of people prefer paper over screens for many applications, for the same reasons Bill is switching — it’s simple, practical and more relaxing to use. Our 2015 US consumer survey confirmed this:
- 88% believe that they understand and can retain or use information better when they read print on paper, a significantly higher percentage than reported for screen devices.
- When given a choice between paper and screens, 81% indicated that they prefer to read print on paper. These percentages drop to below 40% for any screen device.
- 81% indicated they are most relaxed when reading print on paper. Computers, tablets and smartphones are seen as much less relaxing ways to read (37% and lower).
- 80% stated a clear preference for reading print on paper for complicated materials in contrast to only 13% preferring to read complicated materials on a computer screen. Mobiles and smart phones were preferred by only 3% for reading complicated materials.
Paper is also foolproof and does not require an IT infra-structure or audio-visual team!
Mike Maddux (pitching coach of the MLB Washington Nationals) also confirmed the benefits of paper in an interview with the Washington Post: “It’s a learning tool, man … you can see tendencies on hitters just by writing it down. Because if you write stuff down, you retain it better.”
These key points and more are listed in our Fact Sheet on learning and literacy, for example, studies comparing print vs. screens have found that print readers:
- Read more quickly [i]
- Experience less mental fatigue [ii]
- Report significantly lower levels of eye fatigue following reading [iii]
Find it easier to concentrate [iv]
- Retain more of what they read [v]
- Score better on reading comprehension test [vi]
Basically, we have a stronger emotional connection with print and paper than screens, partly due to the touch and feel of the product. This connection has been scientifically proven by neuroscience which shows a stronger brain response to printed materials compared to digital information.
That’s why print and paper play a key role in influencing decision making.
Hmmm … now that he is using paper perhaps Bill will be more successful at game strategy and calling plays – perhaps enough for another Super Bowl!
Phil has over 28 years of international experience related to sustainability and the forest products industry. He currently leads Two Sides North America, a non-profit that promotes the unique sustainable features of print and paper, as well as their responsible production and use. Two Sides operates globally in five continents with members that span the entire graphic communication value chain. Phil has written extensively on sustainability and environmental topics related to the forest products sector. He received his Bachelor and Master's of Science degrees from McGill University in Montreal. He is a private forest owner and sustainably manages over 200 acres of forestland for both recreational and economic benefits.