How Hard Can It Be to Measure Ten Yards?

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Last Friday I wrote about a 1950s gadget designed to more accurately measure first downs. It turns out that reader Mako Mameli is interested in such devices, so he shared some of his research with me. I’ve put together a timeline based largely on his findings:

1954: Lou Peresenyi invents the Pere-Scope, which is used in 21 college football games. [This is the device discussed in last Friday's post.]

1955: The Pere-Scope is used in the East-West Shrine Game.

1958: Peresenyi receives a patent for the Pere-scope.

1959: Henry R. Clime is granted a patent for “a novel instrument for sighting the exact position of the football on every down.” The invention is used the following year for a Colts intersquad game.

1960: An aerospace and automotive engineer named George Dicker watches a college football game played on a muddy field, notices the officials having a difficult time measuring first downs, and thinks to himself, “There must be a better way.” He will spend the next decade pondering this question.

1966: Theodore Goff and several associates receive a patent for “a visual instrument for use in determining the exact position of a football on a playing field,” which they say has been used successfully at the high school and college level.

1970: The Los Angeles Times publishes an article about George Dicker, who after 10 years has invented his device for measuring first downs, called the Dickerod. “Really,” he says, “my method is essentially the same as the chain gang. I’ve just eliminated the chain and the gang.”

1972: Dickerod business is booming, as Dicker has made 250 of the devices and claims they’ll be used in over 600 games during the ’72 football season, mostly at the high school level.

1973: George Dicker receives a patent for the Dickerod, described as a device “concerned with the measurement of the ten yard distance required in football games for the achievement of a first down, and the accomplishment of this measurement by one person.”

1974: The World Football League begins play, using the Dickerod to measure first downs.

1975: The WFL folds midway through its second season.

1976: A Texas operation called Sports Laser Co. convinces college bowl officials and NBC to use a laser-based measuring device in the Senior Bowl. (Lots of additional articles here.)

1993: Alvin J. Caywood receives a patent for “a device for measuring the position of a football on a football playing field.” It’s not clear whether this invention ever ends up being used in a game at any level.

So at least five different first down measurement devices have received patents (which means they were not only distinct from the chain gang but also distinct from each other), yet the chain gang stubbornly holds its ground.

One of the most interesting things about all this is buried within one of the Dickerod articles. When asked to assess the invention, the commissioner of the California Collegiate Athletic Association listed several potential problems, including this one: “What happens when the public misses the drama of the chain measurement?” Indeed. A gadget may be more precise (or it may not — I really have no sense of how accurate any of these inventions were), but it can’t possibly deliver the entertainment value of a chain gang measurement. Which is no doubt why the chain gang, despite all these attempts to build a better mousetrap, remains the gold standard.

Uni Watch News Ticker: Man, first Shep, then the Boss, now Ralph Houk. Will the Yanks add a black armband to go with the two new jersey patches? … Syracuse’s annual football uni revision is now circulating. … New uniforms for Utah State, too (with thanks to Ryan Hare). … Former Bucs safety Tony Bouie is now running for the state senate in Arizona and has ripped off the NFL logo for his campaign (with thanks to Matt Williams). … Tennessee football’s ticket design this season will feature a gallery of former coaches (with thanks to Lee Wilds). … A Texas high school has updated its logo after a copyright-infringement claim by Penn State. … Yesterday I ran a photo of Phog Allen in an awesome Kansas Jayhawks jacket. Now Michael Russek has provided a much clearer photo. Damn, that is one sweet jacket. … Paul Carr has launched a new blog about baseball caps. … Good contribution from Dan Cichalski, who writes: “Alyson Footer, who’s the director of digital media for the Astros, put up a blog post about the visitors’ clubhouse at Wrigley, with a video of the long walk to the dugout. It’s a neat look into the Friendly Confines.” … Here’s the latest batch of pin-up foxiness from Rob Ullman, who I had the pleasure of meeting during his recent visit to NYC. … Oooh, check this out: a Red Sox championship menu from 1912 (great find by Baroness Karen McBurnie). … Skip ahead to the 55-second mark of this video clip and you’ll see an odd sight: Wilt wearing No. 54 (good spot by Bill Scheft). … Hmmm, I didn’t realize the indie music crowd had so many NBA fans, but there were lots of NBA jerseys at the recent Pitchfork-fest (with thanks to Aaron Rich). … Larry Bodnovich wondered why some Indiana linemen in this 1981 shot had black tape inlining their helmet logos, so he inquired on a football message board. The response he got from another forum member: “Guards Jim Sakanich and Mark Filburn doctored their own helmets with the black tape, just to be different. Coach Corso didn’t let them keep the black tape! On a sadder note, the black star on the front of the helmets was in remembrance of teammate Kevin Burke, who tragically died of leukemia in the summer of 1981.” … Looks like the Penguins’ new red line will have inlaid white diamonds. … Y’know, I think I could get into soccer if the teams all dressed like this. That’s a Canadian team, not sure of the date (big thanks to Kevin West).

 

99 comments to How Hard Can It Be to Measure Ten Yards?

  • Mike Edgerly | July 22, 2010 at 7:40 am |

    Paul, the last link for the Canadian Soccer team does not work, it has a .jpg.jpg at the end.

    • Paul Lukas | July 22, 2010 at 7:45 am |

      Thanks. Now fixed.

    • pk | July 22, 2010 at 8:28 am |

      I don’t think that’s a soccer team…it looks like a football is being held in his arms

      • Alec | July 22, 2010 at 1:46 pm |

        Definitely a old school football/rugby ball. With the roman numerals on the sweaters it would suggest that this was a rugby team(canadian rugby was halfway between Rugby & american football.)

  • Dane | July 22, 2010 at 8:26 am |

    It is hard to measure 10 yards in Helena, MT. Excerpts from an AP story:

    For the past three years, high school football players who played at Vigilante Stadium had a tougher challenge than they realized:

    The first-down chains that are supposed to measure 10-yards actually are 10-yards, 6 inches.

    “It’s just one of those things that you take for granted that it’s accurate,” said school activities director Jim Opitz.

    The inaccurate markers, purchased new three years ago, have been used at home games for the city’s two high school football teams, Helena Capital and Helena High.

    The error wasn’t noticed until the second half of the season-opening high school football game between Helena Capital and Missoula Hellgate last month. Hellgate started a possession on its 20-yardline, and ended up going for it on fourth-and-short. After the play, the nose of the ball was on the 30-yardline, but a measurement with the chains showed Hellgate was still a few inches short of a first down.

    • KT | July 22, 2010 at 8:44 am |

      That’s bad. The linesman is supposed to measure the chains in the pregame warmup EVERY TIME. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past. No way should that have lasted past the first game. Three years? Child, please.

      Also, you NEVER EVER have to measure for a first down when a series starts on the 20 yard line. Ever. The line to gain is the 30. If the ball’s on the 30, it’s a first down. If not, it’s not. No measurement necessary.

      (Also, “continues to endure?” Isn’t that redundant? Just sayin’.)

      • Paul Lukas | July 22, 2010 at 8:56 am |

        Good point. Now adjusted.

      • Stevie McQuistan | July 22, 2010 at 9:52 am |

        A good official would not trust the field markings and should still measure.

        Although, I did see an NFL game once where a team had two straight 5-yard penalties on the defense, and they measured for the first down. When the ball was a couple of inches short, the coach did successfully argue it had to be a first down thankfully…

        • KT | July 22, 2010 at 11:13 am |

          “A good official would not trust the field markings and should still measure.”

          Are you an official? Just curious. Because if a field is lined correctly, you’re never supposed to measure when the drive starts at the offense’s 20 yard line (after a touchback, especially, but not exclusively) and the LTG is the 30.

          If the field isn’t lined correctly, it should be fairly obvious to the head linesman in his pregame check of the equipment when he stretches the chains to check THEIR length. If not then, definitely when they set the chains for the first series at the 20 and he notices that the LTG is the 30 but the downfield stake is at the 31 or the 29.

          Again – it’s cringeworthy in the avocation if you measure for a first down near the 30 when the drive started on the 20. Inexperienced officials do it.

        • Dane | July 22, 2010 at 1:20 pm |

          Wouldn’t the coaches have the right to request a measurement?

  • Hank | July 22, 2010 at 8:27 am |

    The Yanks should just put a black stripe running across their uniform logo and add the initials of the departed in white. (Similar to what the Eagles did to their helmet wings after Jerome Brown passed away.) For the road jersey, a black arm band with the initials.

    • Inkracer | July 22, 2010 at 11:28 pm |

      The Yanks donned the black armband for the latest Yankee death. They better hope no one else dies this season (at least in the time frame they plan on wearing the memorials for) or they might have to start making the pinstripes black.

  • Michael | July 22, 2010 at 8:34 am |

    What, no Lane Kiffin on the Tennessee Volunteers tickets? If that’s how they treat former coaches then I know why he left.

  • Natlover | July 22, 2010 at 8:55 am |

    Strasburg was fighting his top shirt button(s) last night against the Reds. He is mortal after all.

    http://bit.ly/bZWwyt

    • scott | July 22, 2010 at 11:53 am |

      The commentators wondered if he needed some Velcro between the buttons because he throws with such force that he’s popping the buttons loose.

  • LI Phil | July 22, 2010 at 9:11 am |

    already spotted by pk in the first nested comment, but i agree…doesn’t look in this photo like he’s holding a soccer ball; maybe it’s football maybe it’s rugby?

    • Geenf | July 22, 2010 at 9:33 am |

      Not so sure — it is a display ball and it could be partially deflated.

    • pk | July 22, 2010 at 10:08 am |

      I agree with Phil…if you look at the middle row, they are either wearing THICK shorts OR Thigh pads, which would add to the rugby argument…

      On top of that, I am surprised Paul failed to mention that various roman numerals on some of the jerseys (not all players have them, also all the #’s are different)

      • JimWa | July 22, 2010 at 10:31 am |

        and as long as we’re getting nit-picky here (and isn’t that what we do best):

        The guy holding the ball – has at least one patch on his lower left side. I THINK I can read 1920, but I might just be making that up to meet the photo.

        Look at the chest logos. Sometimes it looks like a feathered crest, sometimes it looks like a Fraggle Rock character. Also, widely varying cuts on the collars.

        They just didn’t make ‘em like they used to.

    • pk | July 22, 2010 at 10:50 am |

      I found this on a rugby site, and the hat looks similar,

      (scroll about 2/3 down the page and you’ll see two hats)

      http://www.rugbyreli...

      • M.Princip | July 22, 2010 at 2:47 pm |

        Fantastic site!

    • pk | July 22, 2010 at 10:53 am |

      Google Rugby Caps and you’ll see many more examples…

      I think we can conclude it IS a rugby team…now, what team is it!

  • Steve Jantz | July 22, 2010 at 9:20 am |

    hahah thats my best friend in the olajuwon jersey and me standing next to him. a little creepy!

    • Mike Engle | July 22, 2010 at 10:03 am |

      You in the coral-hooped tank top? No offense, but I wouldn’t wear that. Vilk, your thoughts?

      • JimWa | July 22, 2010 at 11:24 am |

        You may have just turned Paul off from stripes from the rest of his natural life. Not an easy task at all.

        • Steve Jantz | July 23, 2010 at 9:29 am |

          haha mission accomplished. being that hipster get-togethers are usually ugly contests, i figured id get involved.

  • fatboy | July 22, 2010 at 9:49 am |

    Are you sure that is where the term “dickerod” came from? (I’m just saying.)

    Anyway, the fallacy of the ten yard chain is that 9 times out of ten the “start end” of the chain is spotted by an official eye-balling the spot from the sidelines. The chain has always been, at best, a semi-arbitrary way of settling or avoiding arguments about first downs.

    • Ricardo Leonor | July 22, 2010 at 9:52 am |

      Everytime I see a chain call go against my team by less than inch…I have the same thought…How the frack is measurement ever really accurate. There is guy at the far side of the field signaling where to spot the ball and where to start the chain..this can only ever be accurate by accident….

      • JamesP. | July 22, 2010 at 10:06 am |

        Havign worked the sidelines as an equipment manager for 12 years (jr high through college) I always wondered why they never came up with something better than the chains. I mean, I have seen chains knotted up resulting in a short 10yrds, chains that were longer than they should have been thanks to being “repaired”, chains that not all the same link size thanks to being “repaired”, and chains that fresh out of the box that were measured by an official and not allowed because they were not exacly 10yrds on the mark.

        Also, when used on the fields with high crowns–for water shedding on natural grass–I have seen officials indicate a first down when the ball clearly wasn’t all because of the prespective of the ref in relation to where the end of the chain was.

        In the end, having some device that would 100% accuratly measure the distance for a 1st down is in the same light as the system for accuratly calling a ball or a strike. You take the human out of the system and then you have no one to yell at and where is the fun in that?

      • LI Phil | July 22, 2010 at 10:15 am |

        so…maybe those graphically added color lines (first down line) on the national football league broadcasts are actually just about as accurate as are the chains?

        sounds like they are about as accurate as chains are

        • JimWa | July 22, 2010 at 10:55 am |

          As long as the ball-spotting begins and ends with human judgement, you will always be correct (regarding this line of thinking, anyway).

          If the folks at Best Buy can tell me when I’ve passed their doorway with an unpaid CD in my pocket, surely the NFL can tell me when I’ve passed 10 yards since the previous first down.

          (shielding myself from the forthcoming blows)

        • marc | July 22, 2010 at 11:11 am |

          I’ve always wondered why we have extremely accurate measuring tools using lasers and don’t adapt them to measure a freakin’ first down.

    • KT | July 22, 2010 at 11:20 am |

      This is true, if slightly digest-versioned.

      The big secret of football officiating is that any time a team is within a couple of inches either way of making or missing a first down, it’s totally within the margin for error of the officials.

      The job of judging forward progress and the actual forward point of the ball is not as easy to do from 20-27 yards away as one might thing. We do our best, but it’s up to the covering official to zero in and do the best he (or she) can to pick that spot. But, honestly, judging, at speed, where the forward-most point of the ball reached while it’s two or three feet in the air and equating that to a precise spot on the field below…well, it’s a challenge, that’s what it is. It’s a skill honed over time, but the simple geometry (and all the distractions and eyesight over time and all that) mean it simply cannot be 100% precise. My guess is that it tends to even out over time, which is small solace to anyone who’s come up justthisshort on a 4th-down dive into the line.

      The chains can’t be 100% accurate because there’s a compilation of very tiny potential errors all the way up the sequence of events, from the covering official to the ground to the kid or the parent who’s been drafted to put the back chain on the forward point of the ball based on the linesman’s directions.

      All I can say is we do the best we can given the technology available to us today, which is decades old. I’m sure at some point someone will come up with laser-guided measurement systems, if they can figure out a way to deal with the crown of the field.

      • KT | July 22, 2010 at 11:20 am |

        “…as one might THINK.”

        It’s early here in Pacific Time.

  • Ricardo Leonor | July 22, 2010 at 9:49 am |

    While I understand the “legality” of it, I still get annoyed when a big time college goes after a high school for logo infringement. It just seems so douchebaggish that a for-profit institution can go after a purely educational one.

    What’s next Rutgers sues every high school with a letter “R” on their helmets!!

    How many high schools are there in the US, maybe what 40 or 50 thousand? ( too lazy, busy to look up numbers ), how would let’s say Florida State ever find out that some little 6-man football high school team is using their spear logo? Do they have people out there looking for this? Does a rival high school rat on them?

    I just dont get it…

    • Chance Michaels | July 22, 2010 at 9:55 am |

      Don’t get it? It’s quite simple.

      1. Universities are not “for-profit institutions”.

      2. If they don’t defend their intellectual property in all cases, they lose the right to defend it at all.

      3. Stealing is never acceptible, not even if committed by a high school. What kind of lesson does the “purely educational institution” teach the kids?

      • Ricardo Leonor | July 22, 2010 at 10:12 am |

        Yes Chance, I understand the simplicity of the law. Maybe I should have worded it differently. But this is my point:

        I attended Emerson High School in Union City NJ. Our school colors were blue and white and our mascot was a bulldog. Over the school had many different bulldog logos…many of which VERY CLOSELY resembled the Yale Bulldog logo. I will assume that in the US there must be thousands of schools with Bulldogs ( there was another team in our division called the Ferris Bulldogs ) as a mascot and many of them with blue and white as a color. I am sure most “imaginings” for bulldog logo will be very similar. Should Yale go after them all.

        Should the cowboys sue every school to puts a navy star on their helmets?

        • LI Phil | July 22, 2010 at 10:19 am |

          you missed chance’s point

          should a university necessarily go after a high school who’s pilfering it’s property? maybe, maybe not — maybe they can make an arrangement

          but if they DON’T either allow or disallow it’s use, and without some sort of agreement in place acknowledging it is the university’s property, the university may LOSE THE RIGHT to use (or prohibit anyone from) using it’s logo

          is wisconsin being douchebaggish by going after every school that attempts to use the motion w? maybe…but they still have and are deserving of that right…should wisconsin maybe seek to work out an arrangement with a school who wishes to use it? maybe…but that’s not the argument or the point

        • mike 2 | July 22, 2010 at 10:57 am |

          Absolutely correct.

          If you’re a trademark owner, trademark law forces you to defend it or lose it.

          But you can do it without being a jerk. You can come down all heavy-handed, case-and-desist (which is probably the right approach if someone is using it for profit, or in a way that harms your business).

          But if its a non-profit using it, you can offer to license it to them for a dollar and move on.

        • Ricardo Leonor | July 22, 2010 at 11:51 am |

          Ok. I understand, I see the point. If you don’t defend it, then its not really yours. Maybe then instead of getting lawyers and courts involved, the college should have a simple form to fax the schools acknowledging the ownership of the logo and giving them the right to use it, as long as they are not selling anything…

          I think that would be the right “spirit”….although maybe this is how it happens all the time, and we just don’t hear about it….

          Maybe that’s what my school did with Yale…. any Athletic Directors here?

        • Chance Michaels | July 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm |

          It’s an interesting hypothetical, but not really what we’re discussing.

          The Texas high school was using Penn State’s logo. Not an approximation, not another lion image, but the exact same logo.

          After receiving the C&D letter from Penn State, Buna ISD re-designed their logo to one which strongly resembles Penn State’s logo (blue circle, blue lion head outlined in white facing right), but is not actually Penn State’s logo. Problem solved.

          So what you’re describing doesn’t apply – Yale shouldn’t chase down every rendering of a bulldog (not even if they are navy and blue, not even if it’s a head facing to the right). By Penn State’s example, Yale would only take issue if one of the other entities was using this particular Bulldog head.

          And why not? My high school sold merchandise with its logo, I’m sure these schools do as well. So they’re making money off something that doesn’t belong to them. Why should universities hand over their intellectual property to anyone who wants to profit from it?

        • Ricardo Leonor | July 22, 2010 at 1:44 pm |

          Again I see your point and agree. I was when you get over the idea of the big guy pushing around the little guy, it all does make sense. But you keep thinking about some little high school trying hard to make ends meet on a very tight budget and this big huge $$ school beating them down over a logo on a helmet…

          But you are right, if something is yours you must fight for it. On that note, and this has probably been discussed before, how specific can trademarks be?

          For example, some from my alma mater are clear:

          http://areyoudesign....

          Or this:

          http://images.sunday...

          or even this:

          http://www.sportslog...

          But what about this one. I can’t see how you can trademark a letter or a font, but this clearly has the “TM” branding:

          http://www.pycomall....

        • Chance Michaels | July 22, 2010 at 2:57 pm |

          “But you keep thinking about some little high school trying hard to make ends meet on a very tight budget and this big huge $$ school beating them down over a logo on a helmet”

          The thieves may like to think it’s just “a logo on a helmet”, but it isn’t. It’s the university’s property. Property which it has a moral and legal obligation (not to mention right) to protect.

          A lot of people like to treat intellectual property as though it’s not really the same as physical property, that stealing it isn’t really a big deal. I think that’s terribly wrong, and an awful message to send to the students.

          I’m not suggesting that schools should pay design firms. But wouldn’t it be better to get students to design a new logo than steal somebody else’s? Seems to me everybody wins that way. The university’s intellectual property is safe, the students get to learn about the branding process, and the school gets an identity that isn’t stolen.

        • The Ghost of Ross Gload | July 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm |

          Regarding that “R”, Rutgers most likely is protecting their exclusive right to use an “R” of that style and color in reference to Rutgers, not universal control of such an “R”. In other words, if you’re selling t-shirts with that logo where one would reasonably expect it to be a reference to Rutgers, then you need to make licensing arrangements with the school.

      • Aaron | July 22, 2010 at 10:43 am |

        What happens if the high school logo came first? Notre Dame told Cathedral High School in Indianapolis to stop using its logo, even though the Cathedral logo came first and there was good evidence that the Notre Dame logo was actually based off of the Cathedral logo.

        I don’t remember for certain (I’ll see if I can look it up), but I believe it went to court, and Notre Dame won. It seemed to go against the facts at the time, but what were they going to do? Have Notre Dame just drop one of the more recognizable logos in college athletics?

        • Aaron | July 22, 2010 at 11:06 am |

          The only story I can find is a short one from the Indy NBC affiliate. http://www.wthr.com/...

          Maybe it didn’t go to court like I thought, but it still seemed like a bit of a douchebag move.

        • Chance Michaels | July 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm |

          I don’t see anything in that article indicating that the high school was using the logo first. They don’t appear to be contesting Notre Dame’s trademark.

          So, once again, Notre Dame is completely in the right. Moreover, they have an obligation to protect their intellectual property and, at the same time, not to permit others to make money off that intellectual property.

        • Aaron | July 22, 2010 at 1:41 pm |

          There was a more informative and in-depth article in the Indy Star that unfortunately is no longer online at their site. I’m going to try doing some more leg work and see if I can dig that up.

        • Aaron | July 22, 2010 at 2:32 pm |

          Post 18 here: http://gridirondiges... references an Indy Star article about Notre Dame getting the Irish name from Cathedral.

        • Chance Michaels | July 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm |

          Possibly getting the name from Cathedral. Reports vary in that account.

          Here’s what I thought was interesting in the artcle, though:

          “Cathedral has used a leprechaun as its logo since its inception, but Notre Dame developed the current well-known version, named it the school’s official mascot in 1965 and trademarked it.”

          That would seem to settle the question of ownership of that particular image.

        • Ski U Mah Gopher | July 22, 2010 at 4:50 pm |

          There was a case like that in Minnesota, when Wyoming sent a C & D to Breckenridge HS. That was even though BHS had been using the bucking bronco logo before Wyoming TMed theirs.

      • marc | July 22, 2010 at 11:03 am |

        Well… technically, universities may be non profit, but that TV and merchandising money has to go somewhere. I see what you’re saying, but really, high schools that are struggling to even have athletic programs (my alma mater completely skipped “pay-for-play” and eliminated ALL sports) to develop the players that will go on to fill the rosters of college teams might be deserving of a break. Maybe instead of spending those TV dollars on new luxury boxes for alumni, some of it should go toward high schools that can’t afford to keep their athletic programs afloat.

        • KT | July 22, 2010 at 11:23 am |

          1. Universities are not “for-profit institutions”.

          Which does NOT mean that many of them don’t make lots and lots of money. The term “non-profit” gets thrown around quite a bit. They’re not all charities.

          But, yeah, trademark law kinda forces you to be a douchebag sometimes. Use it or lose it. It’s not the high school using your logo that’s the problem, it’s the guy making and selling t-shirts because you lost your trademark that’s the problem.

  • EMD | July 22, 2010 at 10:46 am |

    Here’s a funny baseball-cap related story.

  • Ray H | July 22, 2010 at 11:11 am |

    Could these be the new Jazz uniforms? This site claims they might be. Check them out

    http://jazzfanz.com/...!!!

    • Andy | July 22, 2010 at 11:31 am |

      Negative. You can tell it’s a hoax because teams can not have alternate uniforms until the third season after making a uniform change. Hardwood Classics and special edition things like the Hornets’ Mardi Gras and the Cavs’ CavFanatic uniforms are excepted.

      And why did they put Jordan Farmar’s face on Deron Williams?

  • Lose R | July 22, 2010 at 11:14 am |

    Some different unis at Fenway last night (and check out those socks!)

    http://i29.tinypic.c...

    http://i29.tinypic.c...

    • KT | July 22, 2010 at 11:24 am |

      I liked the way Fenway played as a soccer field. Looked like they sodded the infield very well (or maybe they sodded the whole thing, I don’t know – I could see the outline of the infield in there somewhere). I don’t know what the dimensions were of the field they got in there, but it was interesting to see.

      Sporting’s uniforms I wasn’t keen on. Not much for the tight jersey look, especially when you put all that stuff on the back.

      • Ricardo Leonor | July 22, 2010 at 11:56 am |

        Is there an overhead or view from a distance. For where that goal is, there shouldn’t be enough room for an entire field…maybe its just my perception….

        • Ricardo Leonor | July 22, 2010 at 12:04 pm |

          Nevermind, I found one:

          http://www.theglobea...

        • JimWa | July 22, 2010 at 12:34 pm |

          Good find on the picture. When I saw the original shot (with the Monster seats in the background), I had the same thought!

        • The Ghost of Ross Gload | July 22, 2010 at 3:12 pm |

          I’ve been watching the KC Wizards play in a baseball stadium the last couple of years. If you can take out the pitcher’s mound, there’s plenty of width for a soccer field, and you can just barely meet the absolute minimum for length. But you most likely aren’t going to get a field that meets FIFA international match standards in there.

          But since this was a friendly, no one is too concerned if the field is ten yards shorter than they are used to.

  • Komet17 | July 22, 2010 at 11:23 am |

    “WHOM” I had the pleasure to meet (not “who”)…

  • Graf Zeppelin | July 22, 2010 at 11:27 am |

    Re. Texas HS/Penn State:

    Trademark, not Copyright. 2 different laws.

  • Kek | July 22, 2010 at 11:46 am |

    Although the USFL used the traditional chains, I always thought it was unique that they marked the ten yard spot of with a pylon.

  • Richie Franklin | July 22, 2010 at 12:08 pm |

    Hello!

    Just a quick note to let you know that the World Football League only used the “Dickerod” during the 1974 season. In 1975 they returned to the traditional three man crew.

    I will have a brief page dedicated to the Dickerod soon on the WFL Web site.

    Richie Franklin
    http://www.worldfoot...

  • mtjaws | July 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm |

    In the odd name department, here is Marlins baseball prospect “Sequoyah Trueblood Stonecipher”!

    http://www.facebook....

    • David Gratt | July 23, 2010 at 1:08 pm |

      I think that he is a vampire in one of the young adult novels that I am reading…

  • JimWa | July 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm |

    How about THIS for a conspiracy theory:

    No doubt that the technology is available to gauge proper ball placement and first down measurements. What if that technology IS being used, and refs are getting radio signals from the Men In Black telling them where to spot the ball as soon as the play ends? They keep the innacurate, outdated chain gangs in place as a means to satisfy the first-hand experience of the crowd in the stands and on their couches?

    OK … probably not … but what if????

  • IanDC | July 22, 2010 at 1:39 pm |

    I am too lazy to read every comment so this might have already been broached but…

    The spotting of the ball is the of the most subjective thing is sport, do we really need lasers to measure ten yards when the official is only giving an educated guess on the spot of the ball in the first place?

    • Ricko | July 22, 2010 at 2:57 pm |

      Because it eliminates bitching, maybe?

      The spot is subjective enough, but leaving the call of “first down” up to “sez who?” probably not such a good idea.

      —Ricko

      • Chance Michaels | July 22, 2010 at 2:58 pm |

        Sez the ref. End of story.

        Good enough for me.

        • LI Phil | July 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm |

          alrighty then

        • Ricko | July 22, 2010 at 3:12 pm |

          I was talking about why they measure 10 yards instead of letting the ref just eyeball it.

          I assume Chance was talking about the spotting being left to the ref in the first place.

          So, I think, he and I are of the same mind.

          Cuz. y’know, if we can’t live with those two things, then I gues we need some kind of electronic paint on the ball and sensors enveloping the field.

          Kinda like, “Who sez that’s a strike?” The Umpire, that’s who.

          —Ricko

        • Ricko | July 22, 2010 at 3:15 pm |

          Oh, heck, somebody was talking about lasers to measure.
          That’s ludicrous.
          I was saying the chain is just fine with me.

          (That’s what I get for coming to class late).

          —Ricko

    • mike 2 | July 22, 2010 at 3:43 pm |

      You’re right.

      When the spot is sometimes a best guess, plus or minus a foot or a yard, measuring the first down to the nearest millimeter doesn’t actually improve accuracy.

  • Ricardo Leonor | July 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm |

    Hey Paul check this out:

    http://ballparkdiges...

    not sure what year its from…

  • Ricardo Leonor | July 22, 2010 at 2:08 pm |

    I think the color red is overused in baseball, but I think I will make exception for these classics ( Leones Escogido Baseball Club ):

    http://farm3.static....

    or these ( notice how the “pantleg” is pulled down over the shoes ):

    http://farm3.static....

    I like the socks:

    http://maimonense.co...

    Not so sure about this one:

    http://2.bp.blogspot...

    • Paul Lukas | July 22, 2010 at 2:35 pm |

      Let’s not have any more of these dick-for-brains posts. Thanks.

      • Ricardo Leonor | July 22, 2010 at 3:52 pm |

        Those pics came up while searching for something else….momentary lapse in judgement….wont happen again..

      • EMD | July 23, 2010 at 10:10 am |

        So we won’t be seeing Rob Ullman’s pin ups anymore?

  • LI Phil | July 22, 2010 at 3:25 pm |

    Ricko said:

    I gues we need some kind of electronic paint on the ball and sensors enveloping the field.

    that might work, ya know…

  • Dave | July 22, 2010 at 4:34 pm |

    Dig the foxy Yankee pin-up girl drawn by Rob Ullman, oh yeah, that’s my lovely wife. Awesome illo Rob, thanks again!!

  • Jim Vilk | July 22, 2010 at 4:37 pm |

    Steve Jantz | July 22, 2010 at 9:20 am | Reply
    hahah thats my best friend in the olajuwon jersey and me standing next to him. a little creepy!

    Mike Engle | July 22, 2010 at 10:03 am | Reply
    You in the coral-hooped tank top? No offense, but I wouldn’t wear that. Vilk, your thoughts?

    My first thought was to say no, but then I flashed back to my childhood:
    http://farm3.static....

    So maybe I would wear it, but I definitely would wear the Olajuwon jersey.

  • mike 2 | July 22, 2010 at 4:44 pm |

    There are lots of people who’d like to see the Jets back in Winnipeg. There are right and wrong ways to go about it, though

    http://www.winnipegf...

  • Paul Lukas | July 22, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
    • random reader | July 22, 2010 at 8:28 pm |

      All the memorial patches and armband in one shot:

      http://d.yimg.com/a/...

      Also Yankee-related: it seems that Colin Curtis now has a 2010 Yankee jersey; MLB logo on the back no longer the navy, white, and red it was when he was first called up.

      http://cache.daylife...

    • Inkracer | July 22, 2010 at 11:32 pm |

      As I mentioned above, The Yanks are running out or memorial real estate. Any other Yanks go this season they may have to start changing the pinstripes from blue to black..

  • Mike | July 22, 2010 at 7:28 pm |

    >>1993: Alvin J. Caywood receives a patent for “a device for measuring the position of a football on a football playing field.” It’s not clear whether this invention ever ends up being used in a game at any level.

    Yes

    I remember the game was being televised. The commentatoras were describing how they players were not accustomed to the new yardage markers.

    looks like we have anothe white whale to search for.

    • Mike | July 22, 2010 at 7:54 pm |

      cancel that, i remember seeing the “quick stick” in use.

  • Ricardo Leonor | July 22, 2010 at 7:45 pm |

    Saturday is the 27th anniversary of the “Pine Tar Incident”…The Royals will be playing the Yankees, maybe they can break out the powder blue pants and have a throw back to 1983 game….

  • Chuck | July 22, 2010 at 11:14 pm |

    Watching the Mets/LA game at the moment. Do the Mets still have the black jerseys with the New York script? Just wondering why they are wearing script Mets on the road. Either way, the black jerseys suck!

    • LI Phil | July 22, 2010 at 11:26 pm |

      they dumped the “NEW YORK” black jerseys after 2008

      unfortunately, they kept the script “Mets”

      they DO suck, but they’ve lost 3 in a row and 5 of the last 6 in the gray tops, so I guess Charlie was hoping to break out of the slump with these

      • Chuck | July 22, 2010 at 11:43 pm |

        not uni related, but who is the color announcer for the Mets who sounds like actor James Woods? :-)

        • LI Phil | July 22, 2010 at 11:59 pm |

          you speaking of the one and only ron darling?

      • The Fonz | July 23, 2010 at 1:07 am |

        Funny thing is, IF the mets HAD to keep one of the black jerseys, they should of kept the road one….

  • lib dos mil | July 23, 2010 at 1:11 am |

    Hello there,

    I am not sure if this has ever been discussed or in anybody has ever seen this, and I apologize if it has.

    When I was a kid – late 80s and into the 90s, my family had tickets to Air Force Falcons football. They had sort of an interesting way of measuring 10 yards for first downs.

    Instead of two orange markers attached to chains, there was one marker attached to a rod. Not a “dicker-rod,” but a rod. Whenever a first down was made, they would pull the rod out and measure it to the nearest five-yard line. So when they were measuring, one ref would put the rod at the next closest five-yard marker, and the other ref would then move the marker and measure it against the ball.

    It is sort of hard to explain here – something you have to see, I guess.

    In any case, it was NOT a chain and nothing I saw on here. AF used that device for the entire time I was there – don’t know if it was a WAC/MWC thing or just an AF thing.

    Anyone ever seen those/heard of those? Are they still in use?

    -Lib 2000

    • Karl Z | July 23, 2010 at 3:29 pm |

      Lib 2000:

      I remember seeing WAC and Southwest Conference teams using those things, too, for a couple of years in the 1980s and early 1990s–something about a “quick stick.” Apparently, NCAA rules allow for its use–somewhere in the rules, according to TAPPS constitution section 158 (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools)–but apparently nobody does right now. I thought it was a good idea, but maybe the lack of drama of “the chains” is part of why no one uses it.

  • Oakville Endive | July 23, 2010 at 9:01 pm |

    Thinking of Curling in the summer?

    Are you having a craving for a Timmies? Wondering whose better Tyler or Taylor – I would say then you just might be one of us. And if you all of a sudden feel super sensitive to any perceived American slight towards Canada (real or not)…… that would cinch the deal.

    Did the Montreal Alouettes uni look a sharper red last night?