In honor of Super Bowl LV and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ win over the Kansas City Chiefs (and former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s 7th Super Bowl ring as the QB for the Bucs), I thought it would make for an interesting post about how that magic 1st and 10 yellow line is created on our TV screens every February at “The Big Game!” And, during every game in the NFL among other sports broadcasts. The names of: James R. Gloudemans, Richard H. Cavallaro, Jerry N. Gepner, Stanley K. Honey, Walter Hsiao, Terance J. O’Brien, and Marvin S. White are the Men Behind the Yellow Line. That is, the yellow First Down Line you see on NFL broadcasts! What started out as project for Fox Sports to aid viewers watching NHL games over the airwaves blossomed into a new company called Sportvision, Inc. And in 1998 they debuted the First and 10 Line on ESPN. Using a combination of field cameras, 3D models of the field, powerful computers and algorithms, and the field itself as a kind of green screen, they are able to draw the line in virtual real‐time as the players move up and down the field; as well as, simultaneously remove parts of the line to make it appear that it is literally underneath the players. It’s truly digital magic! It was a such a huge success that Sportvision won an Emmy for its technology. “Winning our 10th Emmy Award is a great honor, and truly validates the impact our technology has had in the growth and popularity of a wide spectrum of sports. We are thrilled to share this Emmy with the America’s Cup Event Authority, who has been a wonderful and inspired partner throughout this effort.” Mike Jakob, President, Sportvision, Inc., 2012 They then...
November 26, 2020Thanksgiving is a very important holiday. Ours was the first country in the world to make a national holiday to give thanks. Linus van Pelt, Chief Blue‐Plushie Blanket Officer at Peanuts Corp. and Charlie Brown’s Best Friend Happy almost Thanksgiving Day denizens of Digital Gotham! It’s almost time for that big day of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, American Football (from the NFL, collegiate, to high school), family debates around the dinner table, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and of course THE TURKEY DINNER! In America, Thanksgiving Day has been a traditional holiday since President Abraham Lincoln made it official in 1863. The very first Thanksgiving celebration was held in autumn in 1621 in Plymouth Massachusetts between the pilgrim settlers of The Mayflower and the Wampanoag tribe of Native Americans. Though no turkeys were actually served then, just a meal of deer, venison, geese, oysters, lobster, eel and fish and probably pumpkins. Thanksgiving in America is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November (that’s also thanks to President Lincoln). And The NFL began the Thanksgiving Classic Games in 1920, which started the whole football aspect to the holiday. It may also surprise you to learn that Canada’s first Thanksgiving celebration actually predates America’s—by more than 40 years! In 1578, an expedition led by the English navigator Martin Frobisher held a ceremony in what is now Nunavut, giving thanks for the safety of their fleet. This is considered the first‐ever Thanksgiving celebration in North America, and it is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Though in fact, First Nations (the indigenous peoples of Canada) and Native Americans tend to refer to it as You’re Welcome Weekend. However, what most people probably think of most when it comes to this venerated holiday is…Black Friday…NO! The food. At least that’s what Digital...
February 29, 2020In honor of NFL Super Bowl LIV this past Sunday, here’s a football physics question to tease your brain! In U.S. football, after a touchdown the team has the opportunity to earn one more point by kicking the ball over the bar between the goal posts. The bar is 3.048 meters above the ground, and the ball is kicked from ground level, 10.9728 meters horizontally from the bar. If the ball is kicked at 37 degrees above the horizontal, what must its initial speed be if it is to just clear the bar? Express your answer in meters per second (m/s). The answer can be found here!