The NFL’s Virtual Yellow Line Will Be Official In 2021 | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
The upcoming NFL season will be a major upgrade in how the game is played with the announcement that the league is making the famous unofficial “yellow line” official, allowing fans at home to know immediately if and when a ball carrier has gained enough yards for the first down. The improvement to the “yellow line” won’t end there, however, as word leaked out earlier this week the NFL will use space-age technology to digitally add the same yellow line fans see at home to the field, allowing the players to know when a ball carrier has moved the chains for his team. For me, there’s only one word for this move, BRAVO, and it’s about time that the NFL did this.
The NFL has long been known as a league that has always worked to make their on-field product better. The announcement that the “yellow line” that television viewers have seen for years on their flat screen TVs is being transferred to the field is remarkable.
No longer will there need to be a “chain gang” of sixty-something year old officials always at risk of being run over by a ball carrier. That’s because beginning with the 2021 season everything will be digital, with two officials keeping the line of scrimmage during the game and a set of cameras and electronic markers creating the “yellow line” from sideline to sideline. And just as a guided missile can find its target with the help of lasers on the ground, so too will the “yellow line” be projected onto the playing surface, eliminating the need for replay reviews over ball placement and the excessive number of measurements common to NFL games. Also, with the “yellow line” visible by players, ball carriers will know when to dive and when to duck out of bounds to avoid a big hit.
Reaction from the NFL media was swift and positive to the rumors this week, with those often sitting at the top of the upper decks of stadiums applauding the ability to see the “yellow line” from the seats in the press box. Fans, of course, took a moment to remember many of the times when seemingly obvious calls were missed by a team of NFL referees and wondered how the new official “yellow line” would be ignored by those working, say, an NFC Championship Game, where clear pass interference calls have been missed in the past.
If implemented correctly, the NFL could reduce the real-time length of games by up to ten minutes on average, with head coaches able to keep their replay challenges in their pocket for more important calls like roughing the passer.
Sadly, none of this will happen anytime soon since despite the game being played by coaches who rely on spreadsheets, the fate of dozens of players and 32 franchises will still lie in the hands of a “chain gang” on the field with another group of officials who are twice the age of the players trying to keep up with them while calling penalties and figuring out where a ball carrier was stopped. That’s because all of this was an April Fool’s Day take and won’t actually happen this year or in any NFL season to come, so we will need to go back and wonder for the next few weeks who the Dolphins, Eagles and 49ers will take with their updated first-round draft picks and wonder why a multi-billion-dollar business like the NFL still uses the same methods of marking first downs as it did in the 1930’s.
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The NFL’s Virtual Yellow Line Will Be Official In 2021 | TooAthletic.com
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