by Conor Friedersdorf

That's Joe Posnanski's advice:

Twenty-two people crash into each other, an official kind of guesses where he should spot the ball, it's about as imprecise as it can possibly be... and then they measure the thing to a hundredth of an inch. I mean, it's ludicrous. And as I have pointed out before, what often happens then is that they throw the football across the field and re-spot it... I say bring the chains back out. Sometimes you will see a center move the ball up a couple of inches before he snaps it... I say bring the chains out yet again.

Chains? Really? That's the measuring device we are using?

When was the last time anything was measured by chains? What was that, about 160 BC? "Spartacus, he's about 20 links tall now." Chains. You have to be kidding me. It's so much a part of football we NEVER think about it, but it's absolute ludicrous. This is the most successful sports league in America, and they're measuring with perhaps the least precise measuring tool available. It's like the Flintstones. Seriously: How do they keep the chains in a perfect straight line? If they're not in a straight line, then you might be measuring less than 10 yards. How hard do you pull the chain to make it exactly 10 yards? They couldn't use a tape measure or a laser or something?

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