NFL’s Yellow First Down Line: How Does It Work?

In light of the upcoming Super Bowl weekend, this seemed like an appropriate post to make. I saw this originally some weeks back, and added it to my “someday” list… and today seems like a timely day to post it up.

For a while, I figured the yellow line was done by using two lights/mirrors that were moved by hand… physical devices that were situated on the field. Turns out, there’s a whole host of people and technologies behind the scenes that add the line in, in real-time.

There are apparently a lot of complexities involved in the process – keeping pace with the game, making sure the line displays underneath the players, adapting to the various camera angles/perspectives… the list goes on and on.

This post comes from the incredibly detailed post by SpacemanStix on MetaFilter. It’s these kinds of posts that make MeFi such a fantastic site, and the reason why it’s one of my daily reads.


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