Countdown to Kickoff!

Football gets “smart”

by André Natta

Kickoff Countdown

I’ve lived in the Southeast long enough to know that fall is no longer punctuated by the number of times that the Yankees play the Red Sox during the pennant race, but by the number of days

I’ve learned there is no neutral answer when someone asks which college football team you root for, so I won’t answer that question here.

It’s also become apparent that I still need to pay attention to what does happen on Saturdays. It makes it easier to have conversations when you actually know what happened during the Alabama v. Kent State or Auburn v. Florida games. You’d think in the age of the smartphone there would be something available to make this important part of social interaction easier, wouldn’t you?

Well, for users of Android phones and the iPhone, there’s now an option: Kickoff Countdown.

Jeff McAnnally of Image Holdings, here in Birmingham, created the app as a way for him to have access to college football schedules and to help him know the score every second of every game. He jotted down everything that he felt was important to him to have access to as a football fan while mobile, and then went ahead and built it.

The current version of the app includes information about which games will be televised. Kickoff Countdown lets you know if it will be on network television or pay-per-view as well as the kickoff time. It allows you to keep track of how long it will be until kickoff on a game-by-game basis for all NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (a.k.a. Division 1A) teams. The app helps you keep track of the score during the game via live RSS feed updates at the end of every quarter. Don’t worry, pro football fans can also use the app to keep track of their favorite teams during the season.

The app’s website——focuses on its most novel feature—being able to countdown your “game of the year” as you choose. It also allows you to change the team you’re following at any time (something that may happen a little less often given where we live in SEC country) just in case you want to know what your team’s rival is doing across the country while you’re sitting at the game.

Image Holdings found it easier to submit the app to the Android Market than the iTunes App store, though they found that the experience helped them streamline the product and add additional functionality, which has helped with its success. They’re now looking at developing other apps for other sports including college basketball and NASCAR.

Kickoff Countown should help settle many arguments both during and after the season. It is college football season, though…

A free version is available on both platforms with limited functionality through the first game of the season. The full-featured version is available for $1.99.•

André Natta is the stationmaster for

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