It’s long been a running joke that football players are better known for brawn than brains. Apparently, the marketing department of at least one professional football team didn’t pay all that much attention in college, either.
The Atlanta Falcons will be in London this weekend to play the Detroit Lions, part of the National Football League’s effort to broaden its fan base.
To give Falcons fans an inside look at the team’s journey across the Atlantic, the club posted the above infographic detailing the travel schedule.
Someone’s lack of geography knowledge could have proven costly, as the graphic showed the team traveling first to Baltimore and then to somewhere in Spain, rather than London, which would have left them more than 900 miles south of Wembley Stadium.
Fortunately, the Falcons were alerted to the mistake and corrected the error, greatly diminishing chances that a group of extremely large, muscular and no doubt irate men would be left wandering the confines of Barcelona Airport.
The above chart of the world’s biggest cities since 4000 BC, created by Business Insider, demonstrates, among other things, that urban growth has not always been steady and sure.
Consider that at around Year 1 of the Christian era, Rome was estimated to have had a population of 1 million while Chang’an, an ancient Chinese capital today known as Xi’an, boasted about 500,000 inhabitants.
Yet, within 600 years, the largest city in the west, by now Constantinople, had but 125,000 individuals, while the biggest in the east, although still Chang’an, was down to half its former size.
Clearly, urbanization was a fluid concept, influenced by disease, warfare and trade.
Another interesting takeaway is that while Rome may have been the largest city the world had ever known around the time of Christ, if you fast-forwarded 1500 years, Constantinople, then the largest city in the west, was a staggering 90 percent smaller than Rome had been at its height.
In fact, it would be more than 1800 years after Rome’s apex before another city in the west would again reach the 1 million level.
Glancing at a recently created interactive map showing the location of bombs dropped on London during The Blitz one wonders how anyone survived the barrage of Luftwaffe ordnance.
“When you look at these maps and see the proliferation of bombs dropped on the capital, it does illustrate the meaning of the word Blitz, which comes from the German meaning lightning,” said Kate Jones, the University of Portsmouth geographer who devised the project.
“It seems astonishing that London survived the onslaught,” she added.
The year-long project, called Bomb Sight and devised using data from the UK’s National Archive, reveals the devastation caused by The Blitz over a little more than eight months, according to the BBC.
More than 20,000 people were killed, more than one million London homes destroyed or damaged and 1.4 million left homeless during Nazi bombings of London, which took place between Sept. 7, 1940, and May 21, 1941.