In the video “World’s Longest Field Goal- Robot vs. NFL Kicker,” Mark Rober, a former NASA and Apple engineer, makes a field goal kicking robot to challenge the NFL’s longest field goal record holder, Matt Prater. Prater, the placekicker for the Detroit Lions, kicked 64 yards in 2013 and still holds the record.
The engineering design and discussion are first-class. And who doesn’t like a robot?
Add in an NFL superstar’s appearance, you would think the subject matter should appeal to all mechanically minded sports fans.
But did it?
Did the fans truly appreciate the creativity and engineering design?
At least one did. Let’s savor the glee of daGloiner before we venture into the muck.
What did the other 21 million fans focus on when Mark took his robot, Finkle, to the Detroit Lions stadium to challenge Prater?
From the first comment on, it was apparent this was mostly a male audience as fans cringed and held their crotches, imagining the impact as the robot’s leg reached 82 miles per hour.
But it wasn’t all about the crotch. No. Fans let their imaginations run wild with references to other body parts.
After recovering from these imaginary kicks to various parts of the body, fans jumped back in and ushered in the fart jokes.
(For the record, I did not hear any fart sounds while I was watching the video, but maybe that is because I’m female.)
But one thing was clear, while crotch, butt, and fart jokes were fair game, bare feet were a big no-no. There were obviously no foot fetishes in this section of the subscriber stadium.
In the last half of the video (13:00), we see Finkle’s leg in front of a checkerboard background. Maybe a change in the topic would bring the engineering fans into the comment section.
Mark explains that if you know each square’s size, this black and white checkerboard background allows you to calculate the speed of any moving object in the footage by converting grid boxes per second to miles per hour.
Mark was so impressed by this concept, he created what he called the 40-mph blanket. He describes it as a functional, soft blanket on one side and a checkerboard design on the other side. When filming in slow-motion, the unique checkboard design on the blanket allows you to count the squares the object traveled and calculate how fast it moves in miles per hour.
Comfort and science in one blanket!
Let’s survey the comment section to hear what the fans thought about this invention.
And then, at the 17:52 mark, Finkle’s leg falls off because of a sheared key.
While Mark talks about the advantages of using a splined shaft versus a keyed shaft, a fascinating discussion of torque, fans went straight for the SpongeBob references.
In the end, a few fans expressed positive sentiments about all of Mark’s hard work. Although one comment quickly turned self-centered, and the other comment almost caused a fight in the bleachers.
But at least Mos took the time to say thank you.
To summarize, Mark made Finkle, who broke Prater’s field goal record with a 120 miles per hour ball speed after contact. Mark also developed a dual-purpose blanket with a design to calculate a moving object’s speed.
And how does his audience thank him? With comments of cringing crotches, farts, feet, and fights.
But at almost 22 million views, $29,852.33 – $74,630.81 in revenue, and the fun of running a robot experiment, does Mark cares?
When she is not cruising the comment section for ways to inject her dark humor, Ursula Saqui, Ph.D., drinks tea, runs, and practices being a foodie. Find her everywhere at UrsulaSaqui.