NFL considering laser to help mark first downs

USA TODAY Sports

The league isn't sold on the idea yet.

The yellow first-down marker on NFL broadcasts could soon become much more real.

The NFL has mulled implementing the First Down Laser System, a project that uses a laser beam on the field to mark first downs. The First Down Laser System has been developed by Alan Amron, with former NFL broadcaster Pat Summerall as a financial backer.

The NFL and Amron have met several times, but the league isn't ready to jump on the idea yet, per the Associated Press:

''The NFL is our prime customer at this point,'' Amron said, ''and if we can make something that they like, maybe the NCAA and Canadian Football League will follow suit.''

Amron first met with the NFL in 2003 and again in 2009. There may soon be future meetings.

''They give me different opinions and suggestions along the way,'' Amron said. ''We comply with them and come back. They tell me it took them years and years to implement replay and the overhead cam. The NFL right now has made it very clear to us that they didn't want to eliminate the chains, but augmenting them wouldn't be a bad idea.''

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league has "not been convinced that it would work for us."

The system would be attached to first-down markers and would project a green line across the width of the field. In theory, according to the story, "it would become immediately apparent where he made a first down."

Summerall said the difference between winning a game and losing a game can come down to a first-down measurement, so the system could help referees be more accurate.

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