American Football is a game of speed and agility, two elements that require good eyesight. Players also need to be able to track the ball in order to identify who has possession and continue their offensive or defensive momentum.
By squinting or wearing sunglasses, players can improve their field of vision, making sure they are always aware of what’s happening on the field.
But why do football players use black under their eyes? The tradition has its origins in high school football for several reasons: first, it helps players see where they are heading; second, it reduces glare from the sun; third, it helps team members recognize each other; fourth, it looks cool.
Reasons why football players put black under their eyes:
It’s a tradition:
There are a number of reasons football players put their eyes black on, the most important being tradition.
What’s the first thing you likely noticed about professional football players in team uniforms? Perhaps it was their black-lined eyes, which are common during NFL games and other football competitions.
You’ve probably also noticed their ability to run around with no shirt on and not get sunburned.
The reason for this is tradition. The players wear eye black as a way to draw attention to themselves during the game so that fans can better see them and identify them with one another (and thus cheer more).
It is an important part of the game, along with performing well, and often makes a player stand out in media coverage or in photos taken on game days.
The black markings are known as eye black and are used to reduce glare from the sun during games played in sunlight. Sunlight can be a big issue on the field and can make it hard for players to see what is going on around them.
It has been suggested that this tradition of using eye black started when football players would use charcoal and grease to reduce the glare from the sun during games played in sunlight.
However, another theory suggests that eye black was actually first used by soldiers in World War II who painted their faces and put grease under their eyes to cut down on glare from the sun similar to how it is used today in football games.
The product is designed to absorb light, which has numerous benefits. The first is the obvious need to reduce glare on a sunny day or under bright stadium lights.
Its anti-glare function helps players see the ball better, reducing “white-out”—when sunlight hits the ball directly and causes a white flash that can temporarily blind players and make it harder for them to see where they’re going.
Putting black under your eyes reduces these problems and allows you to react quicker in all lighting conditions.
A darker complexion also helps athletes see their opponents’ eyes more clearly, which can give them a competitive advantage if opponents are squinting into the sun, looking at the ground, or distracted by something else.
A player’s vision is one of his most important tools in competition, so any small edge he can gain by making it easier for him to see will help him perform at his best.
What is the black line under football players’ eyes?
The black line under football players’ eyes is a grease stick called eye black. Players smear it along their cheekbones near the lower eyelids. The purpose of the black line under football players’ eyes is to reduce glare and improve vision on the field.
The greasy substance acts as a natural sunblock, but even the pros don’t wear this makeup in every game, or all season long.
Most wear it only when they’re playing outdoors during daylight hours since bright sunlight can be especially glaring for athletes who stare down at their feet to keep track of a fast-moving ball throughout each game.
What is the purpose of eye black under a football player’s eyes?
It can be used to reduce glare from the sun, make it harder for opponents to read your eyes and face, and strike fear into the opposition by making you look tough.
It was discovered that applying grease under one’s eyes would both prevent these painful sunburns as well as make it easier to see out on the field.
Nowadays, there are special purpose-made products designed specifically for making eyes black using high-quality ingredients that will not harm or irritate your skin.
Finally, many players also wear eye black because they think it makes them look cooler (which is certainly true). It can also serve as a good way to show team spirit if you draw something like an animal or sports symbol onto your cheek with it!
Is it good?
It depends. You could make the argument that for many players, it is good. If a player believes that the eye black is helping his performance, then it’s good for him.
Similarly, though, you can also make the argument that it isn’t necessarily good. If a player is using the eye black as a superstitious crutch and would perform better without it, then he should consider not using it.
Is it increase performance?
Ultimately, the answer seems to be: that it depends on what the player thinks. The reasoning behind wearing eyes black is that it reduces glare from brightly lit conditions and thus improves vision, but there is little research to support this claim.
Eye black did reduce glare by more than half, but only when a player’s eyes were in a downward gaze as if looking at the ground.
Eye black is likely minimal and not noticeable to players during a game. Furthermore, a review of studies examining the effects of eye black on performance did not find any evidence to suggest it was beneficial (or harmful).
Interestingly, though, some players have credited wearing eye black with increasing their performance. Of course, correlation does not equal causation, and who’s to say why these athletes played so well?
However, some athletes who wear eye black may do so because they believe it affects their performance positively, and in turn, may play better because they believe this will be the case.
The Bottom Line:
Players are not allowed to use eye black to conceal their identity in any way; it must be worn underneath the eyes. Some players have taken to decorating their eyes black with messages, but that doesn’t mean that these messages are actually there for other players to read.
Ultimately, the role of eye black is a simple one: protecting the player from sun glare and potentially camouflage as well.