For years, the NFL has used a chain gang to run onto the field to manually measure first downs. But now the league has revealed the task has been mostly unnecessary.
The NFL has revealed the footballs it uses each contain a computer chip that gives them exact measurements during games.
The startling revelation came in response to a play during Sunday’s AFC Wild Card game when the Ravens’ Tyler “Snoop” Huntley lost the ball just short of the end zone, allowing Cincinnati’s Sam Hubbard to pick it up and run it back for six. When the Ravens questioned whether Huntley had actually made it past the goal line, league officials presented them with the exact distance he’d fallen short: 0.6 yards. The measurement came from the chip inside the ball.
The reveal has sparked a huge reaction on the Internet, with one fan writing, “If we have a chip in football, why are they still relying on chains to measure for first downs? Shouldn’t the NFL eventually move to digital measurement sometime soon?”
Another writes, “Chip in the football and we are still relying on 60 year old men to spot the ball correctly? LMAO.”
How close was Tyler Huntley to crossing the plane with the football?
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) January 16, 2023
Any theories on why the NFL hasn’t been using the chips for measurements?