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If you're willing to limit yourself to the last five years, you can avoid the pain of parsing those free-form text descriptions with nflgame[1] or nfldb[2]. Disclaimer: I am the author of those tools. We've been slowly building up a small community of people using it. In fact, I'm currently in a small fantasy playoff league that's running off nflgame.

They also include live updates while games are playing.

I'd be curious to see if you get any substantially different results using structured data (nflgame gets it from NFL.com's JSON feed) as opposed to parsing the text descriptions.

[1] - https://github.com/BurntSushi/nflgame

[2] - https://github.com/BurntSushi/nfldb

Another option for some of these types of queries is an app I made called Yards Gained:


The data is from play-by-play text parsing going back to 2000.

I recently joined nfl.com as a FE dev; I see a lot of 404s on Game Center data feeds. The feeds are being requested past the end of the data (the feed tells you where to look for new data until last feed returns 200 with no data - beyond that it's a 404). Not sure how to reduce the 404s, suppose we could document the feeds and make them openly available. Hmm.

I like finding projects in the wild that do creative things with nfl.com data. This guy is building an Arduino Fantasy Football trophy: https://github.com/sambrenner/future-trophy And this person built an OSX app using score strip XML for current scores: https://github.com/kchau/NFL-Menu

> I recently joined nfl.com as a FE dev

Wow, nice! Tell me, how many different unique identifiers to you have for each player/game? :P (Elias id, GSIS id, profile id, ...)

> I see a lot of 404s on Game Center data feeds.

Hmm, I'm not sure what you mean? It seems like the URL stays the same: http://www.nfl.com/liveupdate/game-center/2012080953/2012080...

> Not sure how to reduce the 404s, suppose we could document the feeds and make them openly available.

Yeah, that'd be great! I had figured that you guys kept quiet about them purposefully.

One of the things that has bit me is that the JSON feeds at the URL above only exist back to 2009. I haven't been able to discover a similar feed for older games. Any ideas? :-)

Those projects are pretty neat, btw. The trophy one is really cool.

OP here. That is awesome.

I'd definitely recommend people use this over the download at the bottom of the blog post, it's really painful to parse the free text (there's a lot of weird edge cases). I'll add a link to this stuff in the post.

edit: clarity

update: link added to post

> it's really painful to parse the free text

I can only imagine. I've tried motivating myself to do it a few times so I could increase the amount of data in nfldb (I believe they are available in one form or another all the way back to 1999), but it's a rather daunting task when there are so many statistical categories.[1]

[1] - https://github.com/BurntSushi/nfldb/wiki/Statistical-categor...

> update: link added to post

Thank you so much for helping to spread the word. I really appreciate it!

Oh man, this is just the best -- I can't wait to play around with this.

Come on IRC/FreeNode on #nflgame if you have any questions or need help.

I don't want to hijack from the OP, just want to point out that these are both awesome. Seriously, as a a data geek and huge NFL fan, great work to both of you.

Wow, is this being updated each year to account for any changes to json/xml schema by NFL.com?

It's JSON. I've been an active maintainer since I released it two years ago. Proof is in the issue tracker and the wiki. :-)

(But there haven't been much---if any---changes to the JSON feed's structure. At most, they add some statistical categories.)

please have my babies

I like your username.

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