We know why this fan brought an Xbox controller to Newcastle vs Arsenal

One of football's greatest mysteries has been solved and it's all about data - lots of data.

Remember the bloke who decided to bring a Xbox 360 controller to Newcastle's game against Arsenal at St James' Park yesterday? 

Well, it turns out that he isn't just a bit mental, but was in fact doing his job! The picture taken by Northern Echo football writer, Richard Mason, managed to go viral within minutes of being posted on Twitter, as social media tried to figure out what was going on!  

Some thought he had lost it, some thought he was taking FIFA a little too seriously and some thought he was controlling Newcastle's aggressive tackling. 

Well, it turns out that the man with the controller, Ed Syers, was in fact collecting possession statistics for data analytics company ChyronHego

ChyronHego's head of player tracking, David Eccles, told the Independent exactly why the uses a controller: "We also collect possession; which is actually what the Xbox controller is for. We know where every single player is on the field 25-times every second."

There we have it, it does make a lot more sense now but what about the young chap in the photo? Well, he didn't quite realise how big the photo would go but was more interested in the game than his phone's notifications going off.  

He told the Independent: "It was a bit of a shock when my friend was checking Twitter and my picture popped up! Before long my phone was going crazy with notifications, but I was concentrating too much on the match to really understand what had happened.

"Richard Mason, who took the picture, actually apologised to me at half-time. I don't think even he realised it would go viral." 

So next time you're at the footie and see a bloke with an Xbox controller he probably hasn't lost it, he's just collecting data, lots and lots and lots of data. 

Who doesn't love data? 


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