When I think of the Super Bowl, my most prevalent memory has nothing to do with the game or even the commercials. It always makes me laugh to think of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction.” There is a PR spin if there ever was one!

I remember watching the 2004 Super Bowl with a friend and we saw the reply over and over and over — did what we think just happened really happen?  Thanks to instant reply, we could find out.

This week in Time there was an obituary for the man who invented instant reply, Tony Verna.  Until his innovation, replays only came at halftime.  Think of what a different experience instant replays have created for viewers.  From the Jumbotron showings, to television broadcasts, to using them to verify calls by referees, the instant reply has revolutionized how Americans watch sports.  

The instant reply technology is so ubiquitous that we don’t even think of it as an invention.  It just “is”.  But like with everything else, someone had to see the need and develop a way to address it.  

The Time article reports that Verna “lamented the scarce attention he had received for his idea.  Upon further review, he changed sports forever.”

Once again, a little thing that made a big impact.  Keep pushing forward to create your “little thing” that could change it all for others.

— beth triplett

Source:  Died: Tony Verna — invented instant replay. By Jack Dickey in Time, February 2, 2015, p. 26


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