The NFL moves with technology better than any other league. Instant replay, multi-camera views and the telestrator are all wondrous things that we all take for granted as we revel in the marvel of televised sports. The NFL helped to pioneer all of those innovations.
We’ve all heard the announcers on TV tell us the same thing when looking at the televised yellow line to see if the yardage needed to make a first down has been reached: “Now don’t forget, the yellow line isn’t official.” Technology gave the viewers an easy way to at least feel somewhat sure about the first down calls and it now seems that players, coaches and officials may soon have that same advantage.
Imagine the gloriousness of it all should that beautiful computer generated line that gives us the confidence to scream “He got it!!” or “No! No! He’s short, he’s short!” were also visible on the field in live view. Pinch me, I think I’m dreaming.
First Down Laser System, a company that has developed this technology, says it can do just that and make our down-and-distance dreams come true. The company has had a number of meetings with the league with plans in hand to install their cheat-sheet of modern laser wizardry into every stadium in the NFL.
Reports are that the league is looking favorably on the proposal, but there are still a lot of things to be ironed out, so it may take some time before we see it go live. So the “it isn’t official” caveat when referring to the wobbly yellow line may one day disappear from the vernacular of the modern football commentator.
I wonder if First Down Laser System can do something to bring about a live action version of Fox’s ill-fated “puck track” in the NHL.