Thursday, January 29, 2015
Office of College Advancement
Fremont, CA-Jeff Roberts, Ohlone College's Head Athletic Trainer, will be watching players butt heads at Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona this Sunday from the booth high above the field. While the Seahawks are battling it out on the ground with the Patriots, Roberts will be the "Eyes in the Sky," watching the plays and checking the replay cams for likely head injuries.
Roberts is one of an elite few, NFL spotters who watch for impacts that have the potential for head injuries. He provides a double check for medical teams down on the field. With his elevated vantage point in the booth, a sophisticated, multi-camera playback system plus a technician to run it all, he's checking every play to make sure no undetected head injuries get missed. He notifies the medical staff if he sees something happen to a player that they need to evaluate. The medical teams take it from there.
Roberts has worked at the Oakland Coliseum for the past three years, covering the Oakland Raiders home games. His job, as part of the NFL Concussion Management Protocol System, is in place at all stadiums and has been for the past three seasons.
How did Roberts, who works in Oakland, end up at the Super Bowl? In previous years the NFL chose the spotter from the stadium closest to the Super Bowl location to serve in the role. This year, as an incentive, the NFL said they'd select the spotter who does the best, most thorough job, from detection all the way through to completing paperwork. "Two weeks ago, pretty unexpected, I got a call asking me to come to the Super Bowl this weekend," says Roberts. "So, I'm going!"
Roberts is a full-time professor at Ohlone College in Fremont, CA where he serves as president of the Faculty Senate, teaches Kinesiology, and is Head Athletic Trainer, where he provides the same, excellent level of care to Ohlone College athletes that he provides to the NFL.