Before delving into the scientific debate over eye black, let's step through its illogical evolution. Athletes across the sports landscape have applied some form of dark goo under their eyes since 1942. What was once rumored as burnt cork ash became shoe polish and is now a mixture of beeswax, paraffin and carbon, nicely packaged in a roll-on stick (because football players do hate getting their hands dirty). Then, somewhere along the line, a ticked-off mother or an equipment manager probably got tired of the grease staining jerseys, despite detergents' claims to "cut through the grease". So the war paint became more of a war sticker, nicely shaped, easily applied, but certainly not the equivalent of the grease for striking fear. An industry leader, EyeBlack, uses medical-grade 3M vinyl tape with a 90-pound coated liner at an overall thickness of .03 inches. Then capitalism further morphed the original design, after the realization that tape on the face gets free airtime and offers a nice clean billboard for advertising. More on that later.