Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • If I asked you to imagine a soccer ball, what would it look like?

  • This is starting to look a little bit like Mr. Potato Head.

  • This is like asking a bro to draw his favorite drag queens.

  • I'm kinda guessing at this point.

  • The most iconic ball, the one with black and white panels stitched together?

  • It's known as the Telstar.

  • And it got its start because of broadcast television.

  • The 1966 World Cup was a turning point in soccer history.

  • The games that year were held in England, home to the BBC which, aside from the US,

  • had the biggest television operation at the time.

  • The television broadcast became a huge part of the World Cup.

  • And, as The Times reported, four hundred million fans were watching across five continents.

  • But notice the ball.

  • If you're having a hard time following it, it's not just you.

  • The ball used in the 1966 World Cup was reddish-brown.

  • And its solid color made it hard to spot on TV.

  • Like the soccer balls that came before it, this one was made of rectangular strips.

  • It actually looked more like a modern volleyball.

  • But by the 1970 World Cup, the soccer ball had changed.

  • Compared to the ball used four years prior, the black and white checkered design made

  • the ball stand out and made it easier to follow for viewers at home.

  • And that was especially true on black and white TV sets, which most people had at the time.

  • Players on the field had reason to celebrate too.

  • The 32 panels of the Telstar brought it closer to an actual sphere, giving the ball a more

  • predictable path through the air and on the ground.

  • A version of the black and white Telstar design stuck around for over two decades before being

  • replaced with other models.

  • But by then the Telstar had become the archetype of soccer balls, synonymous with the sport.

  • And if you catch the World Cup this year, you might recognize a familiar pattern.

  • The ball being used in Russia is called the Telstar 18, a nod back to the iconic Telstar.

  • It uses just six propellor-shaped pieces, making the ball even more spherical.

  • But that black and white design is backand, almost five decades later it's still what

  • people think of when they think of soccer.

If I asked you to imagine a soccer ball, what would it look like?

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A2 US Vox ball soccer world cup cup black

How TV gave us the classic soccer ball

  • 80 2
    Samuel posted on 2018/06/20
Video vocabulary