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  #1  
Old 11-29-2009, 01:47 AM
Dandmb50 Dandmb50 is offline
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Why do NFL players paint chalk under their eyes?

I see it in football were the players paint black chalk under their eyes, because of "glare". If that is the case why don't other sports players do it? I don't see it in golf or baseball, or hockey? Is it just a gimmick, like war paint or something? I seem to see the Paint on eyes on most of the NFL games?

Daniel ........... Toronto
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2009, 01:53 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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It's supposed to reduce glare, although I think it's just as much as fashion accessory. Baseball players definitely use eye black. I'm not sure if it would be necessary in hockey since they usually play indoors. As for golf, I'm not sure. It may just go against the traditions of the sport.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:56 AM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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Some baseball players do it. However, they have the benefit of having time to flip down sunglasses, something a football player is unable to do, so it is of less benefit to them and is therefore more rare.
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Old 11-29-2009, 07:59 AM
amarone amarone is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
As for golf, I'm not sure. It may just go against the traditions of the sport.
True, but also a) they can wear a cap, b) they are looking down at the ground at key moments, so glare would be minimal, and c) the object of their attention is stationary and just 6 or 7 feet from their eyes, so not too difficult to see clearly.

In cricket there have been players from the southern hemisphere who wear heavy sunblock. Example: Allan Donald. I would have thought that if wearing black under the eyes reduces glare, then a large white area would increase glare.
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:06 AM
Enright3 Enright3 is offline
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This study shows that it does help:
Quote:
Conclusion Eye black grease reduces glare and improves contrast sensitivity in conditions of sunlight exposure compared with the control and antiglare stickers in binocular testing.
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:08 AM
Enright3 Enright3 is offline
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Oddly enough, not so much if you're a blue eyed athlete:
http://www.unh.edu/inquiryjournal/05...les/powers.htm
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2009, 10:01 AM
The Flying Dutchman The Flying Dutchman is offline
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So why have I seen it on some black NFL players?
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:58 AM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
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I think Bricker did a staff report on this issue a couple of years ago, but I've not been able to find it.
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2009, 11:06 AM
John DiFool John DiFool is offline
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Polarized contacts as a better alternative?
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:44 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Polarized contact lenses do not yet exist except in patent submissions.
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  #11  
Old 11-29-2009, 11:59 AM
JFLuvly JFLuvly is offline
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Myth Busters did this one but I don't remember the outcome.
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:27 PM
Wallenstein Wallenstein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman View Post
So why have I seen it on some black NFL players?
I presume a sheen of sweat on the skin can still cause reflection even if the payer is black.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:50 PM
JWT Kottekoe JWT Kottekoe is offline
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Superstition.
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  #14  
Old 11-29-2009, 09:55 PM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFLuvly View Post
Myth Busters did this one but I don't remember the outcome.
It made some slight difference when combined with a cap.
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  #15  
Old 11-30-2009, 09:01 AM
Wallenstein Wallenstein is offline
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It also makes you look bad-ass.

Serious WAG here... maybe it helps draw your opponent's gaze away from your eyes, making it harder for them to read your intentions and "dehumanising" you a little?
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  #16  
Old 11-30-2009, 09:35 AM
astorian astorian is offline
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I have no firsthand knowledge as to whether eye blacking does any good. However, I remember an essay former Texas Rangers outfielder Billy Sample wrote for Sports Illustrated after his retirement. He had a long list of things he WOULDN'T miss about baseball.

One of them was "Those moments when you've lost a fly ball in the sun, and you realize once again that the burnt cork around your eyes is really just for show."
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  #17  
Old 11-30-2009, 11:25 AM
anson2995 anson2995 is offline
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The use of a plastic face shield by football players has increased dramatically in the last ten years, particularly since they allowed polarized/tinted ones.

ETA: For what it's worth, most folks don't actually use eye black anymore but eye black stickers.

Last edited by anson2995; 11-30-2009 at 11:26 AM.. Reason: eye black
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  #18  
Old 11-30-2009, 11:34 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anson2995 View Post
The use of a plastic face shield by football players has increased dramatically in the last ten years, particularly since they allowed polarized/tinted ones.
Polarized football face shields, like polarized contacts, do not yet exist. The technology to produce polarized shield lenses has only been around for a couple of years, for that matter.
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  #19  
Old 11-30-2009, 11:37 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anson2995 View Post
ETA: For what it's worth, most folks don't actually use eye black anymore but eye black stickers.
Ah, that explains why they all look so even, and why so many athletes are now taking the time to write messages in the black space.
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  #20  
Old 11-30-2009, 12:38 PM
Ají de Gallina Ají de Gallina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astorian View Post
I have no firsthand knowledge as to whether eye blacking does any good. However, I remember an essay former Texas Rangers outfielder Billy Sample wrote for Sports Illustrated after his retirement. He had a long list of things he WOULDN'T miss about baseball.

One of them was "Those moments when you've lost a fly ball in the sun, and you realize once again that the burnt cork around your eyes is really just for show."
The black strip is not intended to protect against direct sunlight, but rather glare. He might as well complained that his bat wasn't USB 2.0 compliant.

I've used it and it works wonders, but, me not looking parituclarly terrifying, it's a tough look to pull.
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  #21  
Old 11-30-2009, 05:35 PM
Troy McClure SF Troy McClure SF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
Ah, that explains why they all look so even, and why so many athletes are now taking the time to write messages in the black space.
...usually written in shiny silver paint.
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  #22  
Old 11-30-2009, 05:59 PM
Arkcon Arkcon is offline
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I'm pretty sure Cecil has actually covered this one -- as I recall, he said the the black grease does sometimes block reflected glare, and it looks intimidating. Well, I think that's what it says, the search function on the home page seems a little borked to me these days. Oh well, maybe someone else has a better way of searching.
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