Sports have captured the hearts and imagination of generations of fans throughout the world. And as much as these games are great on their own, sometimes an inventive mind can think of ways that make them even better.
Below are five inventions that have changed the way that sports are viewed. They may not be the biggest ideas in some respects but each is more than worthy of making the cut.
5. Red Zone Channel
In a society that demands action and excitement out of every second of coherent wakefulness, it's getting harder and harder to sit through the hours of sports TV without glancing at the time. Cue the NFL and their ever vigilant marketing team.
With the thought of the action-now fan in mind, the NFL created the NFL Red Zone channel; a channel dedicated to bringing you every scoring play on every given Sunday. That's right, there's no more need for boring commercials or slow games, just flip to the Red Zone channel and you are hit with constant scoring.
It's been characterized as TV cocaine, and from where I sit every Sunday, I can't disagree.
4. Baseball Hats
Yes, there have been other hats that have served the function of head protector as well as sun blocker, but can you really think of any as cool as a baseball hat? Sure, who can argue with a ten gallon stetson hat or the style of a classic fedora? But pound for pound, give me a baseball hat any time of the week.
Besides being comfortable and adjustable, they act as symbols of whichever team and sport you wish to rep in public. They are a beacon of fandom and synonymous with sports in a way that only beer and hot dogs could understand.
3. Fantasy Football
So you can't run a decent 40-yard dash and have hands that even a lineman would laugh at? Who cares. Just go grab some friends, set some rules, and go out and draft your own team of football players. Let them do the heavy lifting; the running and sweating, all while you sit on your couch tossing nachos at the TV every time one of your players fudge up.
What's not to love about total control without the aches and pains of real work?
And the best part is, you can always cut them if they don't perform without the real time grief of any severance pay.
2. “Big Bella”
Anyone who frequents big events in the sporting zone or outside of it has ran into those nice cannon looking launchers that toss shirts into the stands of fans. Those things are pretty cool, right? Well, yes; but if one is cool, how bad-ass would 30 of them be firing at once?
Enter the Philadelphia 76ers and their answer to the long asked question: is bigger better?
“Big Bella” is the 76ers shirt cannon machine and it puts anything I've seen in this area to shame. It can reportedly shoot out 100 t-shirts in under 60 seconds, making it a viable defense against invasion as well as a crowd pleaser.
1. The Protective Cup
Child please, like anything but the protective cup was going to be at number one.
When you're getting your game on and wanting to make that coin, the last thing you want to worry about is harming the family jewels. Money and fame can buy you almost anything, maybe even new frank and beans if the need suits, but would you really want to take that chance?
Every male athlete in a contact sport from pony leagues up support their right to have future children by wearing the coolest invention ever to hit the scene: the protective cup.
Bankruptcy, women, even family come and go, but that precious cargo you carry around below the waist is yours forever. Protection is not only needed, it's expected.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
Photo Credit: Getty