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nigerian-nightmare

A University of Washington graduate whose football team had the best defense in the country at the time, Costacos came up with the idea of making a “Purple Reign” T-shirt to honor the team, featuring a lineman in a purple jersey falling from a cloud in the sky. Costacos printed up the shirts, traveled to a road game at Stanford one fall weekend and sold them in the parking lot. The idea was brilliant. By the end of the first week, he later estimated he had sold 20,000. An idea was born. Along with his older brother, Tock, he parlayed those T-shirts into series of sports-themed posters that, like that first T-shirt, played on pop culture. Together, they created one of the most influential businesses in the history of sports marketing. Its lasting impact eventually would extend all the way to a New York City art gallery, where, 25 years later, those posters were viewed as art and sold for thousands. At one show Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White bought the entire gallery collection.

http://www.sbnation.com/longform/2013/2/5/3951634/costacos-brothers-spor...

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tecmo-bowl-01

Tecmo Bowl is an arcade game developed and released in 1988. The godfather of football video games, Tecmo once ruled the controllers of sports fans everywhere. The documentary features coverage of an annual Tecmo Bowl tournament in Madison, Wisconsin, along with retired NFL players who played and starred in the game, most notably Christian Okoye.

http://vimeo.com/51962489

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Designing Football, from Helmets to Hashtags

football field

Dimensions of a professional football field (image: 2011 Official Playing Rules And Casebook of the NFL)

Sports are good design. American football is no exception: helmets are perhaps the most highly engineered piece of protective equipment in professional sports; the football field is unique in that it’s not designed to accommodate a ball, but to serve as a metric of progress in a battle for territory; the ball itself is an index of the game’s evolution, shrouded in myth and hearsay. It’s taken more than 100 years for professional football to become the game we know today and that history is embedded in the design of its fields, stadiums, and equipment. I recently wrote a three-part series investigating this design history for Design Decoded and learned some surprising facts about America’s favorite sport, including the rationale behind the so-called Boise Rule, which mandates turf color, and the link between naval paratroopers, cobblers, & college football.

Read my three-part design history of football on Design Decoded:

Life Without Buildings

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