What does it mean to you to be recognized as a Devotion Scarf Recipient?
“For me, I’ve been an Earthquakes fan my entire life, so since 1976. I remember going to my first game. To be honored by the club to me is something really special. I’ve always been a fan and to have the opportunity to contribute through the innovation board has been extraordinarily rewarding and I feel very honored and lucky.”
Talk about your progression from being a fan back in the 80s, a fan in this new era and then ultimately helping the team’s product on the field?
“I’ve always been a sports fan. My main sport is actually basketball and it’s my wife that’s the soccer player. I’ve always been interested in sports and technology ever since I was the manager of the Stanford basketball team. I was taking statistics, I was recording video, I was actually analyzing the video. And it was all manual. For the last 25 years, it’s been fascinating to see the growth of sports technology. When I had an opportunity to go to Nike and actually develop and go to Intel to further develop it, it was an interesting way of combining my engineering background with my passion for sports. When Intel and MLS came together to do something around the All-Star game, that’s when I met Jared and the Quakes.”
How does Second Spectrum directly affect the San Jose Earthquakes?
“My job is to provide the Quakes the advice and option of selecting the best coaching and analysis tools that they can choose from. In the stadium, there are 12 cameras that are synchronized recording the game and what Second Spectrum provides is the algorithm that can automatically pull out plays and situations that have been preselected by the team as game objectives. What Second Spectrum provides is an automation that they can pull these particular clips and push them to the appropriate player to reinforce the game objectives. That’s what Second Spectrum does with these cameras, and we’re hoping the message that comes to the coaching staff all the way down to the players is communicated immediately after the game.”
How much as this club meant for your family?
“This is our family thing to do. If our kids don’t come with us, it’s our date night. If the kids come with us, it’s our family night. We spend the entire evening roaming around the club areas or the lawn area playing in the inflatable slide. Of course, we go to the bar and have a beer and a hotdog as well. We look forward to it, we plan for it and it’s been great introducing the game to our sons in a way that my wife can explain to them because she’s the expert. They really love coming to the games now and they each have their jerseys. We’re establishing that same traditions with our kids that my dad did for me.”
What has been your favorite Earthquakes moment?
“I think it’s when they won their first championship. That was probably one of my favorite moments during that era. Quite honestly, when I was a kid, the biggest memory for me was Krazy George. When you’re a little kid and George Best was running around on the field, you don’t realize who that guy was. But I knew that guy banging the drum. Oddly enough, the most memorable moments I had as a child was Krazy George riling us up saying “EARTH-QUAKES.” In the recent era at Avaya Stadium, it has to be the very special goals that I didn’t appreciate the build-up until my wife broke it down for me. Having met Wondolowski a couple times, you can’t ask for a better player to represent your franchise. As much as I am a fan of his on the field, I’m that much of a fan as his off the field.”
What would be your message to fans?
“On the side of innovation from player to team performance and the tools for that, we’re just getting started. Stay tuned. We have a lot of things coming through this next season and I’m really excited to be a part of the club at this moment and I think we’re really about to take off on the innovation side and the success on the field.”