The Yellow Line – Here’s How It Gets On The Field And Your Television [Video]
There once was a time in televised football where the viewing audience had to guess or even worse, do math, when it came to figuring out how far their team had to go to get a first down. It was a darker time in television sports when slow motion was the big deal and calls could not be reviewed. We refer to that time as the mid 1980's.
Since that time we've gotten multi-camera angle replays, coaches challenges, and probably the greatest gift that television ever gave to football, the yellow line. The yellow line is pretty amazing when you consider the technology that goes into making it show up on your television screen.
Basically the operators of the yellow line technology build a computer model of the field where the game will be played. They then layer that computer model on top of the field of play. The reason you don't see the computer model is the same technology that allows the weather man to stand in front of large map or radar screen.
All of this technology and effort goes on to our TV screens so we can argue with the referees and dispute the placement of the ball. I know when I see a football game in person, I miss the yellow line. I guess that might be the next big project the technology people are working on next.