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Scientific Progress Goes "Wonk"
March 24, 2008 5:00 PM   Subscribe

I was watching Back to the Future Part II today, and realized that their idea of the world in 2015 doesn't really seem all that feasible now. While I was watching, I happened to come across this interesting piece in the now-free Sports Illustrated archives: a feature, written in 1979, on how the NFL would look in the year 2000. The full article is pretty long, but if you want the highlights, they're right here.
posted by SportsFan (32 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
...they're right here.

You sure? Or did I miss the joke?
posted by supercres at 5:01 PM on March 24, 2008


The future: it's like a party in your pants.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:03 PM on March 24, 2008


Yah, really missing the point of the last link. First two are interesting though.
posted by tkolar at 5:03 PM on March 24, 2008


Let's all assume that SportsFan will be back shortly to ask the mods to fix that last link, and get on with making fun of anything and everything that Bum Phillips has ever said.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:07 PM on March 24, 2008


well, the microwave that made a pizza grow exponentially withing seconds wasn't that far off. the stupid styling perhaps neither, thought that changes all the time. but what they really got wrong was how uncrowded everything looked. I can forgive them for the hovercars and -boards, the laws of physics are tough to overcome, but what were they thinking? that people, once life got easier, would stop breeding like rabbits?
posted by krautland at 5:07 PM on March 24, 2008


Well, I'd guess our failure to invent the Mr. Fusion home fusion reactor (and its no doubt steroidal industrial bretheren) has a lot to do with that. Flying cars are hell on gas mileage if you have to burn petroleum to keep them aloft.
posted by localroger at 5:08 PM on March 24, 2008


I thought scientific progress went "boink"?
posted by spaceman_spiff at 5:09 PM on March 24, 2008


$42 a pill in australia? You guys are getting ripped off.
posted by empath at 5:11 PM on March 24, 2008




Yeah...sorry about that last link. Chalk it up to first post jitters, I suppose. The real highlights are right here.
posted by SportsFan at 5:12 PM on March 24, 2008


"The coaches will begin to dress alike, and maybe there will be a machine out there doing the coach's job. It'll be second and four, the guy will punch a button on his chest and—wonk, wonk, wonk—he'll say, 'O.K., run off tackle.' " —John Madden, Former Coach, Oakland Raiders
posted by delmoi at 5:15 PM on March 24, 2008


Number of teams from the body of the article still in their original cities: 0
posted by absalom at 5:17 PM on March 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


We'll see equipment that will be supportive of body functions. I'm visualizing devices that will allow a player—a receiver, say—to jump two or three feet higher than he does now.

Flip six, three hole. On one, got it ?

Just throw me the ball, dizz.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:20 PM on March 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


Y'know. There is something quite deep about that first link in context.

Sure, sure, we predict flying cars, computers, heads up displays and whatnot, but the reality is people stuffing vast quantities of a 'designer' drug down their pants (or at least a drug that was little known or used 30 years ago).

By 2037 I predict there will be a new drug for our pants.
posted by sien at 5:27 PM on March 24, 2008


The way things are going now, especially with fashion, is that the world in 2015 will look just like Back to the Future's 1985 world.
posted by hnnrs at 5:29 PM on March 24, 2008


You guys are getting ripped off.

Shit yeah... erm, apparently, according to this bloke I met in the pub.
posted by pompomtom at 5:33 PM on March 24, 2008


No flying cars and hover boards by 2015? Really?
posted by tkchrist at 5:48 PM on March 24, 2008


"In the year 2000, there won't be any contact below the waist." —More Bum Phillips

Are we really that far off now?

"Or a power-pack device on a running back's legs, so he can drive through the line. And we'll need smarter players, too, because you won't be able to use these charger devices except for a few specified number of times each game.

Awesome.
posted by slogger at 5:57 PM on March 24, 2008


A Sydney man has been caught with more than 800 ecstasy tablets stuffed down the front of his pants, police say.

Wow, looks like I've been wrong about football all this time. It seems to be way more awesome and way less homoerotic than I thought. So is the object to see who can crotch the most drugs, or who can escape the cops?
posted by DecemberBoy at 6:01 PM on March 24, 2008


[fixed SportsFan's link]
posted by jessamyn at 6:01 PM on March 24, 2008


I think it was better with the ecstasy down the pants link.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:04 PM on March 24, 2008


hnnrs writes "The way things are going now, especially with fashion, is that the world in 2015 will look just like Back to the Future's 1985 world."

They're gonna bring back the DeLorean?
posted by krinklyfig at 6:08 PM on March 24, 2008


The pants link is here.

He probably just did it so he could try picking people up with the line 'You wouldn't believe the ectasy in you would find in my pants.'
posted by sien at 6:34 PM on March 24, 2008


that people, once life got easier, would stop breeding like rabbits?

This turns out to be the case.

My prediction: 20 years from now there still won't be an NFL team in Los Angeles.
posted by Justinian at 6:54 PM on March 24, 2008


Metafilter: A $5 Party in Your Pants
posted by lukemeister at 6:54 PM on March 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Everything will become more specialized. On defense, you'll get pass rushers and run defenders, first-down and third-down defensive ends. You'll see relief quarterbacks." —Tom Flores, Head Coach, Oakland Raiders

This was about the only one that was pretty close to right on.
posted by psmealey at 6:55 PM on March 24, 2008


I was watching Back to the Future Part II today, and realized that it fucking rules!
posted by papakwanz at 7:26 PM on March 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


"The coaches will begin to dress alike, and maybe there will be a machine out there doing the coach's job. It'll be second and four, the guy will punch a button on his chest and—wonk, wonk, wonk—he'll say, 'O.K., run off tackle.' " —John Madden, Former Coach, Oakland Raiders

Madden wasn't too far off.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:28 PM on March 24, 2008


Surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly?), John Madden was just as insane 30 years ago as he is today. Some things just never change. Wonk, wonk, wonk.
posted by spiderwire at 9:43 PM on March 24, 2008


In 2072, the giant football-playing robots of the London Lightning will play those of the Moscow Machine for the Cyberball world championship, as predicted in 1988.

Unfortunately, the outcome of the game will be left a mystery for lack of quarters, as also predicted.
posted by breezeway at 6:09 AM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


The author gives this one a lot of crap:
"The quarterback will have a calculator in his helmet. It will be on his Lexan visor, so he'll be able to see readouts based on percentages and statistics to determine the ideal play to run." —Byron Donzis

But, with the microphone in his helmet, he pretty much has this, except it's the coaches up in the booth with the calculator (computer). I'd say this is pretty accurate, really.
posted by inigo2 at 7:06 AM on March 25, 2008


In 2015, quarterbacks will be 15ft tall, weigh over 12 tons and shoot flames from their eyes. But no one will watch football anymore, because they'll be too busy screaming in terror.

True story.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:15 AM on March 25, 2008


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