I am a football fan. I enjoy the strategy. I enjoy the athleticism.
There are some flaws with the game, specifically the subjectivity of the refereeing. Many have been resolved recently with the implementation of reviews of disputed calls with instant replays. However, there is one flaw that has yet to be addressed and seems to be generally accepted by fans. The first down maker is identified with a small arrow with a referee holding a post. When a player advances the football near the first down marker, several problems occur. First, the player and in-stadium fans have no idea the exact yard line that the player must advance the ball to. Second, when the player is tackled, the referee then spots the ball in the approximate place that the player was tackled. This is obviously an inexact science and is totally subjective. What makes the scenario so bizarre is that after the referee subjectively spots the ball another group of referees bring the measuring sticks out to precisely measure whether a first down has occurred. A precise measurement of an imprecise placement! In 1998, the innovative company Sportvision improved the television viewing of football with an ingenious concept. It created “1st and Ten” which allows television viewers to see the necessary distance for a first down as plays progress. With the use of sophisticated computers and strategically placed cameras, Sportvision’s 1st and Ten creates a yellow line that appears on television screens to aid the viewers as to the exact placement of the first down marker. Since its inception, television viewers have unanimously accepted it.Should we be satisfied? Why should 80,000 people at a football game not have the same aid? Why should the players have to guess where the exact placement of the first down marker is? Is there is a better way? I say yes.I propose a yellow laser line that crosses the field from sideline to sideline that specifically identifies the exact location of the first down marker. The chips and technology could be embedded in the first down posts. Players and fans would know exactly the location necessary for a first down.

I believe that the technology exists to do it without interfering with the core values of the game. I believe that it would be welcome addition and would greatly improve the viewing and playing experience.

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