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Grease under the eyes of football players - dumb or not?

  1. Jan 18, 2010 #1
    Grease under the eyes of football players -- dumb or not?

    Maybe this is silly question, but why do football players put grease under their eyes? I've always assumed that it's supposed to reduce glare, but this seems to make little sense considering the angle of the incident light, which mostly comes from above. There could be some reflection from the turf, but this would seem insignificant. If this is the reason, then why don't baseball players do it, considering that fielders have to look skyward? Actually, one of last year's super bowl quarterbacks, Kurt Warner, did not have grease under his eyes, but the other quarterback did. Perhaps Warner knows it's nonsense and the practice is just based on someone's pet theory that caught on. Warner, by the way, is one of the most accurate passers in NFL history (second in career completion percentage according to Wikipedia). But maybe it's not about glare. Am I wrong?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 18, 2010 #2
    Re: Grease under the eyes of football players -- dumb or not?

    Mythbusters did part of episode on this. They looked at baseball players instead. I do not know if the results transfer to football. The question is, "Does the football helmet do the same job as the baseball cap?" I saw that one and thought they used the baseball helmet that is used when batting. The black "grease" in question is eye-black. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBusters_(2008_season)#Eye_Black.
     
  4. Jan 18, 2010 #3
    Re: Grease under the eyes of football players -- dumb or not?

    Maori warriors did it to intimidate their enemy:
    http://hubpages.com/hub/Maori-Warriors [Broken]
    Bob S
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Jan 18, 2010 #4
    Re: Grease under the eyes of football players -- dumb or not?

    In terms of a ray-tracing problem, it's hard to understand how light that's incident below the eye ends up in the eye. It also seems to be a much more common practice among football players than baseball players. The key question is does it make any difference in performance? I find that a little hard to believe.
     
  6. Jan 18, 2010 #5
    Re: Grease under the eyes of football players -- dumb or not?

    uhhh guys...

    Baseball players can and do wear flip down sunglasses in the field.
    Football players could theoretically wear sunglasses but having plastic or glass crushed into one's face is not good. Some football players do wear facemask shields that are tinted.
     
  7. Jan 18, 2010 #6
    Re: Grease under the eyes of football players -- dumb or not?

    This doesn't explain whether putting grease under the eyes is of any value whatsoever.
     
  8. Jan 18, 2010 #7
    Re: Grease under the eyes of football players -- dumb or not?

    there was a questioned phrased why dont baseball players do it... I assumed the doing it meant put eyeblack on? The answer is that baseball players in the field can wear sunglasses if they wish.

    Maybe I read it wrong.

    And no, the post did not answer the question of eyeblack and reflection.

    Personally I have worn it before. At night with artificial lighting coming from many directions. And personally I could not see well at night with or without the eyeblack.
     
  9. Jan 19, 2010 #8
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