I recently became a football fan this season, which just happens to coincide with my hometown team, the Bears, doing exceptionally well.

I love watching the game, especially now that I know the rules, the whole thing just makes more sense. But I also like to watch from an anatomical perspective. The strength, agility, and endurance of these players is astounding, but what fascinates me the most is the amount of force and strain these players can endure on their bodies.

In Sunday night’s playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks, Bears backup wide receiver (still don’t know what that means) Mark Bradley, injured his right ankle during the second quarter. I watched as he limped toward the sideline and collapsed in pain just before getting off the field. During the replay you could see Bradley being tackled step by painful step, and you could see his right ankle being twisted and crushed under the weight of the other players. Everyone in the sports bar let out a unanimous painful groan as they sympathized with his agony.

During the half time injury report they flashed a medical illustration of an ankle and gave a quick description of an ankle sprain. The illustration was something along the lines of the illustration below.


I was excited to see a medical illustration pop up during an NFL broadcast, though no one else in the bar seemed to care. It made me think, what if instead of an illustration, there was a dynamic animation showing the ankle being sprained or broken? With all of the flashy visuals involved in the broadcast of an NFL game, why not add a cool medical animation to the injury report? Grab the attention of those football fans and make them wince in pain as they see the replay of the player being injured accompanied by an animation showing the underlying anatomy being damaged as well. Just a thought.

To give you an idea of the type of animation that I’m talking about, take a look at some of the 3D animations produced by Anatomical Travelogue, a 3D medical animation studio based in New York. Their animations show the anatomy of football players in real time, getting tackled, running, breathing, etc.

Broadcast these during the injury reports, and get people interested in anatomy. They might just learn something or even better, become inspired.