1st & Ten (graphics system)

1st & Ten is a computer system that augments televised coverage of football by inserting graphical elements on the field of play as if they were physically present: the inserted element stays fixed within the coordinates of the playing field, and obeys the visual rules of foreground objects occluding background objects. It is best known for its original application of generating and displaying the yellow first down line that a television viewer sees during a live broadcast of a football game to make it easier for them to follow play on the field, as pioneered by Sportvision.[1] The line is not physically present on the field, and is seen only by the television audience.

1st & Ten is sometimes used to refer the class of systems capable of adding first down lines and similar visual elements, and not just the original Sportvision system.

Over time, usage has evolved. Some television football broadcasts change the color of the line from yellow to red on 4th down, or show a second computer-generated line (usually blue in color) that marks the line of scrimmage. Other lines can also be projected to show other types of field position, including markings for the red zone and the optimum maximum distance for a placekicker's statistical field goal range.[2] In extreme situations, such as snowstorm or blizzard conditions, an entire virtual field with yard and boundary markers can be projected onto the field in order to allow league officials, broadcasters and viewers some way to follow action when all field markings are obscured by snow, fog or mud.[3]

The system makes use of a combination of motion sensors mounted on the broadcast cameras to record what they are viewing,[4] and/or the use of match moving computer graphics technology[5] and an enhanced version of chroma key or "green screen" technology.[6]

(A competing system using different technology is called L-VIS for Live Video Insertion System.)[7]

First-down-line
The 1st and Ten line displays the yard line needed for a first down during an ESPN Sunday Night Football broadcast.

Conception

The idea of creating an on-field marker to help TV viewers identify 1st down distances was conceived and patented in 1978 by David W. Crain,[8] who presented the concept to Roone Arledge[9] and Roger Goodman of ABC News and Sports and to the CBS Technology Center.[10] At the time, both decided the broadcast industry was not ready to use Crain's invention.

In 1998, ESPN programmer Gary Morgenstern and others revived the idea. ESPN's NFL coordinating producer, Fred Gaudelli, was tasked with overseeing an implementation for his network. The 1st & Ten line was first broadcast by Sportvision, a private company, during ESPN's coverage of a Cincinnati Bengals-Baltimore Ravens game on September 27, 1998.[11] A few weeks later, on Thanksgiving Day in 1998, Princeton Video Image (PVI) aired its version of the virtual yellow down line on a CBS broadcast of a Pittsburgh SteelersDetroit Lions game.[12] Four years later, SportsMEDIA introduced a third version during NBC coverage of a Notre Dame game.

The rivalry between PVI and Sportvision began with a collaboration. In July 1995, PVI had successfully used its L-VIS (Live Video Insertion System) match moving technology to broadcast virtual advertising behind the home plate on a local broadcast of a Trenton Thunder baseball game. In January 1996, Roy Rosser, director of special projects at PVI, saw Sportvision's FoxTrax puck on the broadcast of the 1996 NHL All-Star Game and realized that a combination of L-VIS and FoxTrax would allow virtual insertions in a wider range of situations than either could do on its own, given the power of affordable computers. He contacted Stan Honey, CTO at Sportvision, and the two companies undertook a joint demonstration of their combined technologies during the 1996 World Series between the Atlanta Braves and the New York Yankees at the Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium. The test was not a success and the two companies parted ways, each developing complementary systems that were eventually used to broadcast Sportvision's "First and Ten" line and PVI's "Yellow Down Line".[13] In October 1999, SportVision sued PVI alleging that PVI's virtual signage, first down line and other products infringed Fox/Sportvision patents. In August 2001, PVI counterclaimed against Sportvision in the federal court action, alleging that Sportvision's virtual strike zone and virtual signage products infringed a PVI patent. In 2002, the companies settled the lawsuits out of court through a cross-licensing deal.[14]

Before the game

Each football field has a unique crown and contour and is not perfectly flat in order to facilitate drainage, so a 3D model is made of the field prior to the game.[15] Due to the low amount of change throughout a football season, this 3D model is usually only generated once a season at most. It also has a unique color palette, typically various shades of green, depending on the type of surface (i.e. real or artificial grass) and the weather (e.g. bright, shady or even snowing).[15] In addition, after cameras are set up, the position of the camera relative to the field is established to be used in conjunction with the previously created 3D model of the field.

Cameras

There are usually a number of cameras shooting the field, but typically only three or four main cameras are used for an American football broadcast (one on the fifty-yard line, and one on each twenty-yard line, with most high profile games also having a Skycam, as described below). The cameras with video that will be used with the graphics system have electronic encoders within parts of the camera assembly (in the lens and the moving platform the camera sits on, sometimes called a "panhead") that monitor how the camera is used during the game (pan, tilt, zoom, focus and extender).[15] The encoders transmit that info live 30 or more times per second to the broadcaster's production truck, where it is processed by Sportvision computers (typically one for each camera). A camera with this type of extra hardware is usually called an "instrumented" camera. This information helps keep the yellow 1st & ten line in the proper place without being distorted whenever the camera follows the players or the ball.

In the larger productions, several other cameras can be "instrumented" to work with the graphics system, but these are usually restricted to following additional types: a camera usually placed in a high position to see all twenty-two men on the field, typically called the "all 22" camera, and a camera shooting from above one end zone, called an "end zone camera", or in the industry often just "camera 4". The Skycam (or moving camera attached to cables above the field) can also be used to draw a yellow line over its video, but the mechanism has some major differences from the typical "instrumented" camera.

Crew

For the initial implementation, there were seven computers in total and a crew of four. Recent implementations require around four computers, one computer per camera plus a shared computer for chroma-keying and other tasks, that can be run by a single operator (although two is optimal). The primary operator usually uses a KVM to switch between camera computers and has an extra monitor, keyboard, and mouse setup for the chroma-keying computer.

Of the original four-member crew, two members, one inside the stadium and one in front of a computer, communicated the position of the real first down line to make sure everything was working. The third crew member was a troubleshooter. The last crew member monitored the various colors that make up the color palette onto which the line is drawn.

In recent setups only a single operator is required for all cameras. The operator clicks on the ball in the video to set the line of scrimmage and right-clicks where the first down line should be (or presses a button to automatically position it 10 yards in the direction of play). If lighting conditions don't change that much, the primary operator can also monitor chroma-key settings, but often a secondary operator is used when conditions get too variable.

Data

Each set of camera encoders on a camera transmits orientation and zoom data to an aggregator box that translates the digital information into modulated audio where it is sent down to the corresponding camera computer in the truck. This data is synchronized with the video from that camera. At the camera computer the camera position data is demodulated back to digital data for use by the program that draws the "yellow line" over the video.

Separately, the chroma-keying computer is told what colors of the field are okay to draw over (basically grass) and that information is sent to the camera computers.

The old way

The first computer in the truck gathers all the separate readings from the cameras and transmits a single, consolidated data stream to the central computer.

The central computer takes these readings, the 3D field model and color palette, the knowledge of which camera is on the air, and together using a geometrical calculation determines which pixels in the video frame would make up the first down line. All pixels that are obstructed by a player, a referee, the ball or any other object are identified and not included in the calculation. This will ensure that the 1st & Ten line will be projected only onto the field.

The PVI Virtual Media system relies on a single spotter to relay the down and distance, and a single operator at the studio as their vision system does not need camera data to perform the insertion. The primary operator of the Sportvision system does the spotting by merely clicking on the video to place the line.

Technology errors

The only pixels that should change are the ones that are the same color as the field, typically several shades of green. As a result, there are a few situations that are difficult. One is when the player's uniform color nearly matches that of the field (for example, the Green Bay Packers' jersey on a bright, sunny day, or for Bronco Stadium at Boise State University, where the field and the home team uniform share the same blue shade). The other is when the field itself changes, like during a rain/snow storm or if the grass field becomes very muddy. In those cases, the field's color palette would need to include brown and/or white shades. The most difficult situations are when the shade of the field is constantly changing as in situations where moving clouds are shadowing the field on some spots, but not others, but continue to move across the field.

The data collection and computation also requires time. The audio feed goes to an audio delay to be synchronized with the delayed video. The total delay for the viewer from the live feed ends up being about 2/3 of a second.

Final result

After the camera computer has determined which pixels represent the 1st & Ten line, it takes that pixel information and draws the yellow line in video format at around 60 times per second (depends on video refresh frequency). A 2011 study conducted by SportVision determined the yellow line has an average margin of error of 1.38 inches compared to the official first down marker.

In recent years the system has been upgraded to add more features. During Fox broadcasts, the Sportvision system also generates an arrow-like graphic on the field with down and distance text information inside of an arrow pointing in the direction of play. Competitors have also added this feature in recent years.

Additionally, the Sportvision system can also place virtual graphics that have another embedded video feed inside them like a video picture frame. This is sometimes called "video-in-perspective".

This technology is also the basis for showing ads where they may not appear (i.e. behind home plate in baseball during national broadcasts), and Race F/X in which images can be displayed on the race track, and info can follow a specific car, no matter what the camera does. This technology is used by CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC, NFL Network, RDS, TSN, and TNT.

See also

References

  1. ^ [1] "Kicking Reality Up a Notch", by Leslie Berlin, NY Times, July 11, 2009
  2. ^ Zedalis, Joe (1 September 2013). "Hamilton technology company changes the way college and professional sports are broadcast". Times of Trenton. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Football in the snow: Nasty weather hits several NFL games". Associated Press. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  4. ^ [2] US Patent 5,917,553 "Method and apparatus for enhancing the broadcast of a live event"
  5. ^ [3] US Patent 6,100,925 "Image insertion in video streams using a combination of physical sensors and pattern recognition"
  6. ^ [4] U.S. Patent 5,953,076 "System and method of real time insertions into video using adaptive occlusion with a static reference image"
  7. ^ [5] "When the Game's on the Line, the Line's on the Screen" by Matt Lake, NY Times, January 27, 2000
  8. ^ [6] US Patent 4,084,184 "TV Object locator and image identifier" David W. Crain
  9. ^ Roone Arledge
  10. ^ CBS Laboratories
  11. ^ [7] How Stuff Works - the first down line
  12. ^ [8] "Football made simpler" by Glen Dickson, Broadcasting & Cable, June 07, 1999
  13. ^ Sportvision, Inc. and Fox Sports Productions, Inc. v. Princeton Video Image, Inc., Civil Action No. 99-CV-20998 (N.D. Cal.)
  14. ^ [9] Sportvision, Fox and PVI Settle Patent Litigation; "Lawsuits Resolved By Cross-Licenses and Interference Not Pursued, Business Wire" February 21, 2002
  15. ^ a b c "Untitled Document". Archived from the original on 2009-09-26. Retrieved 2009-09-24.

External links

  • [10] SportVision
  • [11] PVI Virtual Media Services
  • [12] Computing Basics - How Did They Do That? Thin Yellow Line
2005–06 UEFA Champions League

The 2005–06 UEFA Champions League was the 51st season of UEFA's premier European club football tournament, the UEFA Champions League and the 14th since it was rebranded from the European Cup in 1992. 74 teams from 50 football associations took part, starting with the first qualifying round played on 12 July 2005.

The tournament ended with a final between Arsenal and Barcelona at Stade de France, Paris, on 17 May 2006. Barcelona won 2–1 with Juliano Belletti scoring a late winner. Arsenal had taken the lead through a Sol Campbell header in the 37th minute, despite Jens Lehmann being sent off in the 18th minute. Samuel Eto'o brought Barcelona back on level terms in the 76th minute before Belletti scored the winner five minutes later.

The defending champions Liverpool were eliminated by Benfica in the first knockout round.

2008–09 UEFA Champions League

The 2008–09 UEFA Champions League was the 54th edition of Europe's premier club football tournament and the 17th edition under the current UEFA Champions League format. The final was played at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on 27 May 2009. It was the eighth time the European Cup final has been held in Italy and the fourth time it has been held at the Stadio Olimpico. The final was contested by the defending champions, Manchester United, and Barcelona, who had last won the tournament in 2006. Barcelona won the match 2–0, with goals from Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi, securing The Treble in the process. In addition, both UEFA Cup finalists, Werder Bremen and Shakhtar Donetsk featured in the Champions League group stage.

Anorthosis of Cyprus and BATE Borisov of Belarus were the first teams from their respective countries to qualify for the group stage. Romanian side CFR Cluj and Russian champions Zenit Saint Petersburg also made their Champions League debuts.

2009–10 UEFA Champions League

The 2009–10 UEFA Champions League was the 55th season of Europe's premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 18th under the current UEFA Champions League format. The final was played on 22 May 2010, at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, home ground of Real Madrid, in Madrid, Spain. The final was won by Italian club Inter Milan, who beat German side Bayern Munich 2–0. Internazionale went on to represent Europe in the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup, beating Congolese side TP Mazembe 3–0 in the final, and played in the 2010 UEFA Super Cup against Europa League winners Atlético Madrid, losing 2–0.

Barcelona were the defending champions, but were eliminated by eventual winners Internazionale in the semi-finals.

2010–11 UEFA Champions League

The 2010–11 UEFA Champions League was the 56th season of Europe's premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 19th under the current UEFA Champions League format. The final was held at Wembley Stadium in London on 28 May 2011, where Barcelona defeated Manchester United 3–1. Internazionale were the defending champions, but were eliminated by Schalke 04 in the quarter-finals. As winners, Barcelona earned berths in the 2011 UEFA Super Cup and the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup.

2011–12 UEFA Champions League

The 2011–12 UEFA Champions League was the 57th season of Europe's premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 20th season in its current Champions League format. As part of a trial that started in the 2009–10 UEFA Europa League, two extra officials – one behind each goal – were used in all matches of the competition from the play-off round.The final was held at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany. Chelsea's caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo led the club to win their first Champions League title after beating Bayern Munich 4–3 on penalties in the final. As tenants of the Allianz Arena (known as Fußball Arena München for the final), this meant that Bayern were the first finalists to have home advantage since 1984. By winning the tournament, Chelsea earned a berth at the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup and 2012 UEFA Super Cup. Barcelona were the defending champions, but were eliminated by the eventual winners Chelsea in the semi-finals.

2012–13 UEFA Champions League

The 2012–13 UEFA Champions League was the 58th season of Europe's premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 21st season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs' Cup to the UEFA Champions League.

The final was played at Wembley Stadium in London, England, in recognition of the 150th anniversary of the formation of England's Football Association, the world's oldest football association. It came just two years after Wembley hosted the final in 2011, making it the seventh occasion Wembley Stadium (current and old) had hosted the Champions League final. Bayern Munich, who had been runners-up in 2011-12, won by defeating Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund 2–1 via an 89th-minute goal from Arjen Robben. This was Bayern's 10th final, their first European Cup title in 12 years, and their fifth overall. This was the first all-German final, and the fourth final to feature two teams from the same association, after the finals of 2000, 2003, and 2008.

The defending champions, Chelsea, were eliminated in the group stage, becoming the first title holders to leave the competition at this stage. They went on to win the 2013 Europa League final, and became the first team to win the Europa League while still retaining their Champions League crown.

2013–14 UEFA Champions League

The 2013–14 UEFA Champions League was the 59th season of Europe's premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 22nd season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs' Cup to the UEFA Champions League.

The 2014 UEFA Champions League Final was played between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal, marking the fifth final to feature two teams from the same association, and the first time in tournament history that both finalists are from the same city. Real Madrid, who eliminated the title holders, Bayern Munich, in the semi-finals, won in extra time, giving them a record-extending tenth European Cup/Champions League title. Real equalized late in the second half through Sergio Ramos and then pulled away during extra time to win 4–1.For the first time, the clubs who qualified for the group stage also qualified for the newly formed 2013–14 UEFA Youth League, a competition available to players aged 19 or under.

2014–15 UEFA Champions League

The 2014–15 UEFA Champions League was the 60th season of Europe's premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 23rd season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs' Cup to the UEFA Champions League.

The 2015 UEFA Champions League Final was played at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany, with Spanish side Barcelona defeating Italian side Juventus by 3–1 to win their fifth title and complete their treble. Real Madrid were the title holders, but they were eliminated by Juventus in the semi-finals.

This season was the first where clubs must comply with UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations in order to participate. Moreover, this season was the first where a club from Gibraltar competed in the tournament, after the Gibraltar Football Association was accepted as the 54th UEFA member at the UEFA Congress in May 2013. They were granted one spot in the Champions League, which was taken by Lincoln Red Imps, the champions of the 2013–14 Gibraltar Premier Division.On 17 July 2014, the UEFA emergency panel ruled that Ukrainian and Russian clubs would not be drawn against each other "until further notice" due to the political unrest between the countries. Another ruling centred in regional instability was also made where Israeli teams were prohibited from hosting any UEFA competitions due to the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict. The rules regarding suspension due to yellow card accumulation were also changed such that all bookings expired on completion of the quarter-finals and were not carried forward to the semi-finals. Moreover, this was the first season in which vanishing spray was used.

2015–16 UEFA Champions League

The 2015–16 UEFA Champions League was the 61st season of Europe's premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 24th season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs' Cup to the UEFA Champions League. Barcelona were the title holders, but were eliminated by Atlético Madrid in the quarter-finals.

The 2016 UEFA Champions League Final was played between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid at the San Siro in Milan, Italy. It was the second time in the tournament's history that both finalists were from the same city, after the same clubs faced each other in the 2014 final. Real Madrid defeated Atlético Madrid 5–3 on penalties (1–1 after extra time) in the final to win a record-extending eleventh European Cup/Champions League title.

As the winners of the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid qualified as the UEFA representative at the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan (their third Club World Cup appearance), and also earned the right to play against the winners of the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League, Sevilla, in the 2016 UEFA Super Cup.

2016–17 UEFA Champions League

The 2016–17 UEFA Champions League was the 62nd season of Europe's premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 25th season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs' Cup to the UEFA Champions League.

The final was played between Juventus and Real Madrid at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. It was the second time that the two teams faced each other in the competition's decisive match, having previously met in the 1998 final. Real Madrid, the defending champions, beat Juventus 4–1 to win a record-extending 12th title. With this victory, Real Madrid became the first team to successfully defend their title in the Champions League era, and the first to do so since Milan in 1990.

As winners, Real Madrid qualified as the UEFA representative for the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, and also earned the right to play against the winners of the 2016–17 UEFA Europa League, Manchester United, in the 2017 UEFA Super Cup.

2017–18 UEFA Champions League

The 2017–18 UEFA Champions League was the 63rd season of Europe's premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, the 26th season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs' Cup to the UEFA Champions League.

The final was played between Real Madrid and Liverpool at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine. Real Madrid, the defending champions, beat Liverpool 3–1 to win a record-extending 13th title and their third title in a row.

As winners, Real Madrid qualified as the UEFA representative for the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, and also earned the right to play against the winners of the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League, Atlético Madrid, in the 2018 UEFA Super Cup. Moreover, they would also have been automatically qualified for the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League group stage, but since they had already qualified through their league performance, the berth reserved was given to the champions of the 2017–18 Czech First League, the 11th-ranked association according to next season's access list.

2018–19 UEFA Champions League

The 2018–19 UEFA Champions League is the 64th season of Europe's premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 27th season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs' Cup to the UEFA Champions League.

The final will be played at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, Spain. The winners of the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League will earn the right to play against the winners of the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League in the 2019 UEFA Super Cup. They will also automatically qualify for the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League group stage, and if they have already qualified through their league performance, the berth reserved will be given to the champions of the 2018–19 Austrian Bundesliga, the 11th-ranked association according to next season's access list.For the first time, the video assistant referee (VAR) system was used in the competition from the round of 16 onward.Real Madrid were the defending champions, having won the title for three successive seasons in 2015–16, 2016–17 and 2017–18. However, they were eliminated by Ajax in the round of 16.

2019–20 UEFA Champions League

The 2019–20 UEFA Champions League will be the 65th season of Europe's premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 28th season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs' Cup to the UEFA Champions League.

The final will be played at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey. The winners of the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League will earn the right to play against the winners of the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League in the 2020 UEFA Super Cup. They will also automatically qualify for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League group stage, and if they have already qualified through their league performance, the berth reserved will be given to the champions of the 11th-ranked association according to next season's access list.

The video assistant referee (VAR) system will be used in the competition from the play-off round onwards.

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, (1 May 1769 – 14 September 1852) was an Anglo-Irish soldier and Tory statesman who was one of the leading military and political figures of 19th-century Britain, serving twice as Prime Minister. His victory against Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 puts him in the first rank of Britain's military heroes.

Wellesley was born in Dublin into the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. He was commissioned as an ensign in the British Army in 1787, serving in Ireland as aide-de-camp to two successive Lords Lieutenant of Ireland. He was also elected as a Member of Parliament in the Irish House of Commons. He was a colonel by 1796, and saw action in the Netherlands and in India, where he fought in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War at the Battle of Seringapatam. He was appointed governor of Seringapatam and Mysore in 1799 and, as a newly appointed major-general, won a decisive victory over the Maratha Confederacy at the Battle of Assaye in 1803.

Wellesley rose to prominence as a general during the Peninsular campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, and was promoted to the rank of field marshal after leading the allied forces to victory against the French Empire at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813. Following Napoleon's exile in 1814, he served as the ambassador to France and was granted a dukedom. During the Hundred Days in 1815, he commanded the allied army which, together with a Prussian army under Blücher, defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Wellington's battle record is exemplary; he ultimately participated in some 60 battles during the course of his military career.

Wellington is famous for his adaptive defensive style of warfare, resulting in several victories against numerically superior forces while minimising his own losses. He is regarded as one of the greatest defensive commanders of all time, and many of his tactics and battle plans are still studied in military academies around the world.

After the end of his active military career, Wellington returned to politics. He was twice British prime minister as part of the Tory party: from 1828 to 1830, and for a little less than a month in 1834. He oversaw the passage of the Catholic Relief Act 1829, but opposed the Reform Act 1832. He continued as one of the leading figures in the House of Lords until his retirement and remained Commander-in-Chief of the British Army until his death.

Ballon d'Or

The Ballon d'Or (French pronunciation: ​[balɔ̃ dɔʁ]; "Golden Ball") is an annual football award presented by France Football. It has been awarded since 1956, although between 2010 and 2015, an agreement was made with FIFA and the award was temporarily merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year, and known as the FIFA Ballon d'Or. However, the partnership ended in 2016 and the award was reversed back to Ballon d'Or, while FIFA also reverted to its own separate annual award (now named The Best FIFA Men's Player).

Conceived by sports writer Gabriel Hanot, the Ballon d'Or award honours the male player deemed to have performed the best over the previous year, based on voting by football journalists. Originally it was an award for players from Europe. In 1995 the Ballon d'Or was expanded to include all players from any origin that have been active at European clubs. The award became a global prize in 2007 with all professional footballers from around the world being eligible.

Delta Force

The 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D), commonly referred to as Delta Force, Combat Applications Group (CAG), "The Unit", Army Compartmented Element (ACE), or within JSOC as Task Force Green, is an elite special mission unit of the United States Army, under operational control of the Joint Special Operations Command. The unit is tasked with specialized missions primarily involving hostage rescue and counter-terrorism, as well as direct action and special reconnaissance against high-value targets. Delta Force and its maritime counterpart, the U.S. Navy's SEAL Team Six (also known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group or DEVGRU) are the U.S. military's primary counterterrorism units. Delta Force and DEVGRU perform the most complex, classified, and dangerous missions in the U.S. military, as directed by the U.S. National Command Authority.

Most Delta Force operators are selected from the United States Army Special Operations Command's elite Special Forces Groups and the 75th Ranger Regiment, as well as from other special operations units.

Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson

Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, (29 September 1758 – 21 October 1805) was a British flag officer in the Royal Navy. He was noted for his inspirational leadership, grasp of strategy, and unconventional tactics, which together resulted in a number of decisive British naval victories, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He was wounded several times in combat, losing the sight in one eye in Corsica at the age of 36, as well as most of one arm in the unsuccessful attempt to conquer Santa Cruz de Tenerife when 40 years of age. He was shot and killed at the age of 47 during his final victory at the Battle of Trafalgar near the Spanish port city of Cádiz in 1805.

Nelson was born into a moderately prosperous Norfolk family and joined the navy through the influence of his uncle, Maurice Suckling, a high-ranking naval officer himself. He rose rapidly through the ranks and served with leading naval commanders of the period before obtaining his own command at the age of 20 in 1778. He developed a reputation in the service through his personal valour and firm grasp of tactics but suffered periods of illness and unemployment after the end of the American War of Independence. The outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars allowed Nelson to return to service, where he was particularly active in the Mediterranean. He fought in several minor engagements off Toulon and was important in the capture of Corsica and subsequent diplomatic duties with the Italian states. In 1797, he distinguished himself while in command of HMS Captain at the Battle of Cape St Vincent.

Shortly after the battle, Nelson took part in the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where his attack was defeated and he was badly wounded, losing his right arm, and was forced to return to England to recuperate. The following year, he won a decisive victory over the French at the Battle of the Nile and remained in the Mediterranean to support the Kingdom of Naples against a French invasion. In 1801, he was dispatched to the Baltic and won another victory, this time over the Danes at the Battle of Copenhagen. He subsequently commanded the blockade of the French and Spanish fleets at Toulon and, after their escape, chased them to the West Indies and back but failed to bring them to battle. After a brief return to England, he took over the Cádiz blockade in 1805. On 21 October 1805, the Franco-Spanish fleet came out of port, and Nelson's fleet engaged them at the Battle of Trafalgar. The battle was Britain's greatest naval victory, but during the action, Nelson, aboard HMS Victory, was fatally wounded by a French sharpshooter. His body was brought back to England where he was accorded a state funeral.

Nelson's death at Trafalgar secured his position as one of Britain's most heroic figures. The significance of the victory and his death during the battle led to his signal, "England expects that every man will do his duty", being regularly quoted, paraphrased and referenced up to the modern day. Numerous monuments, including Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London, and the Nelson Monument in Edinburgh, have been created in his memory and his legacy remains highly influential.

Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma

Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, (born Prince Louis of Battenberg; 25 June 1900 – 27 August 1979) was a British Royal Navy officer and statesman, an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and second cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II. During the Second World War, he was Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia Command (1943–1946). He was the last Viceroy of India (1947) and the first Governor-General of independent India (1947–1948).

From 1954 to 1959, Mountbatten was First Sea Lord, a position that had been held by his father, Prince Louis of Battenberg, some forty years earlier. Thereafter he served as Chief of the Defence Staff until 1965, making him the longest-serving professional head of the British Armed Forces to date. During this period Mountbatten also served as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee for a year.

In 1979, Mountbatten, his grandson Nicholas, and two others were assassinated by a bomb set by members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, hidden aboard his fishing boat in Mullaghmore, County Sligo, Ireland.

Paul the Apostle

Paul the Apostle (Latin: Paulus; Greek: Παῦλος, translit. Paulos; Coptic: ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ; c. 5 – c. 64 or 67), commonly known as Saint Paul and also known by his Jewish name Saul of Tarsus (Hebrew: שאול התרסי‎, translit. Sha'ūl ha-Tarsī; Greek: Σαῦλος Ταρσεύς, translit. Saũlos Tarseús), was an apostle (although not one of the Twelve Apostles) who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. Paul is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age and in the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe. He took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences.

According to writings in the New Testament and prior to his conversion, Paul was dedicated to persecuting the early disciples of Jesus in the area of Jerusalem. In the narrative of the Acts of the Apostles (often referred to simply as Acts), Paul was traveling on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus on a mission to "arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem" when the resurrected Jesus appeared to him in a great light. He was struck blind, but after three days his sight was restored by Ananias of Damascus and Paul began to preach that Jesus of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah and the Son of God. Approximately half of the book of Acts deals with Paul's life and works.

Thirteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament have traditionally been attributed to Paul. Seven of the Pauline epistles are undisputed by scholars as being authentic, with varying degrees of argument about the remainder. Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews is not asserted in the Epistle itself and was already doubted in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. It was almost unquestioningly accepted from the 5th to the 16th centuries that Paul was the author of Hebrews, but that view is now almost universally rejected by scholars. The other six are believed by some scholars to have come from followers writing in his name, using material from Paul's surviving letters and letters written by him that no longer survive. Other scholars argue that the idea of a pseudonymous author for the disputed epistles raises many problems.Today, Paul's epistles continue to be vital roots of the theology, worship and pastoral life in the Catholic and Protestant traditions of the West, as well as the Orthodox traditions of the East. Paul's influence on Christian thought and practice has been characterized as being as "profound as it is pervasive", among that of many other apostles and missionaries involved in the spread of the Christian faith. Martin Luther's interpretation of Paul's writings influenced Luther's doctrine of sola fide.

Tony Hawk

Anthony Frank Hawk (born May 12, 1968) is an American professional skateboarder, actor and owner of skateboard company Birdhouse. Hawk is well known for completing the first documented 900 and for his licensed video game titles, published by Activision. He is widely considered to be one of the most successful and influential pioneers of modern vertical skateboarding.In 2002, he created the "Boom Boom HuckJam", an extreme sports exhibition and tour that was launched in Las Vegas. Throughout his career, Hawk has made numerous appearances in films, other media, and his own series of video games. He has also been involved in various philanthropic activities, including his own Tony Hawk Foundation that helps to build skateparks in underprivileged areas. In 2014, Hawk was named one of the most influential skateboarders of all time by FoxWeekly.

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