Yellow First Down TV Line: “Why Can’t I Be Official?”
Hi you guys. You know me. I’m that yellow line across your TV screen that shows you how far a team needs to go for a first down when you’re watching a football game.
I’ve been a part of your NFL television viewing experience for, what, fifteen years now I guess. Most of you fans seem to really like me. I try to do the best job I can, game after game, week after week, year after year. So I have just one question: why can’t I be official?
You’ve all heard the TV announcers. Every time a ballcarrier gets close to the first down, and they show you a replay, they always have to say, “Now remember folks, that yellow line isn’t official.” Just like that, they dismiss me and humiliate me time and time again.
I mean, really, do they have to be so flip about it? How would you like it if you were at your job, and every time you did something important, Joe Buck burst into your office to announce to all your co-workers, “remember everyone, that wasn’t official! This valuable service that was just provided by your hard working colleague technically doesn’t mean diddly-squat!”
It hurts, is what I’m trying to say.
Why CAN’T I be official? Think about it for a second. It takes dozens of highly skilled technicians to create me, and each one of them makes sure that I am accurately portrayed on the screen with laser-like precision.
By way of contrast, do you know what the “official” first down measurement consists of? Two dudes in striped shirts with a frigging CHAIN. Is that a joke or what? the NFL is all, “hmmm. We need to figure out if Matt Forte reached the first down marker. Let’s see. Should we rely on this CUTTING EDGE, STATE OF THE ART SCIENTIFIC TECHNOLOGY? Naw, screw that, let’s get Jethro and Bubba to go out there and stretch a chain instead.”
Yeah, that sounds real official. Officially DUMB, that is.
Do you have any idea how happy it would make me to hear Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth refer to me as “official,” just once? Just so I could feel like my existence matters?
I know things aren’t going to change. I’m destined to be a hardworking, integral part of the game that announcers just keep disrespecting. But just know, dear reader, that every time you hear them say, “the yellow line is not official,” think of me. And remember that my heart dies a little more each time they say it. But hey, don’t worry about it. Because I guess all my pain and sadness isn’t “official.”
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