How the NFL’s magic yellow line works

The virtual yellow line in NFL broadcasts is great. It tells viewers how far the offense needs to advance for a first down. It looks really simple and elegant but creating that line was a massive engineering challenge. It started in the mid 90s when the Fox Sports network tried to make hockey easier to […]

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How NFL rule changes made linemen gigantic

Today’s football players are huge. It’s easy to see the difference when you look at modern players versus the old-school players side by side. This is William Heffelfinger. In 1892, he became the first person to be paid to play football. And he’s a decently big guy: 6’ 4”, 178 pounds. But compare that to […]

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Why Americans suck at soccer (well, the men)

Andrew Helms and Matt Pentz wrote “Own Goal: The Inside Story of how the US Men’s National Team Missed The World Cup.” The actual own goal that doomed the US in 2018 becomes a metaphor for bad mismanagement, poor development, and infighting that doomed the US Men’s bid to qualify in the World Cup. That […]

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Why do taxpayers pay billions for football stadiums?

Why do taxpayers pay billions for football stadiums?

gather around their televisions surrounded by loved ones, to watch the Big Game. And the pinnacle event of the most profitable sports league in the world is more often than not played in a new state-of-the-art stadium with super-sized digital displays retractable roofs luxurious box seats and suites. Teams generally earn the lion’s share of […]

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How TV gave us the classic soccer ball

How TV gave us the classic soccer ball

If I asked you to imagine a soccer ball, what would it look like? This is starting to look a little bit like Mr. Potato Head. This is like asking a bro to draw his favorite drag queens. I’m kinda guessing at this point. The most iconic ball, the one with black and white panels […]

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Why France produces the most World Cup players

Why France produces the most World Cup players

This is Portugal playing Morocco at the 2018 World Cup. Portugal was the heavy favorite and won the game 1-0. The result wasn’t all that interesting, but this photo is. This Portugal player wasn’t born in Portugal and these two Morocco players weren’t born in Morocco. See, soccer’s regulating body, FIFA, allows athletes to play […]

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