The yellow First and Ten Line is one of television’s little miracles, and it is as important as it is underrated. The graphic enhancement gives viewers at home a clearer perception of where the offense has to take the ball to make another first-down. Meanwhile, the spectators who drive all the way there, empty out their wallets, and fight to find their seats, don’t have the same luxury.
ESPN first aired the First and Ten Yellow Line in 1997, and it immediately baffled and fascinated an entire nation. Everyone was wondering how the line was put on the field. Some thought it was produced by a laser, others thought it was the work of a guy with some chalk and a vacuum. But the truth is even more impressive. The development of the line required sophisticated modeling based on precise measurements, real-time image processing, and a whole bunch of workstations.
It employed a technical team composed of an aeronautical engineer, mathematician, broadcast engineer, software engineer, and 2 electrical engineers. So is it really a surprise that it earned ESPN the 1998 Emmy for Sports Broadcasting! For the details, check out the source!