Excel Function Friday: Football Fun

Apparently there is a big football game this weekend in the USA. They're using Excel for the game -- XLV. That's a really old version, but at least it has multiple sheets and VBA!

The officials probably used the Excel ROMAN function to figure out how to show the game number -- 45:



While you're watching the game, you can use an Excel function to convert the field size from yards to metres. You'll see that the American field is smaller than the Canadian field, no matter what measurement system you use!

Convert Metres to Yards

There is a CONVERT function in Excel, that you can use to convert measurements from one system to another.


For example, cell B3 has the length of a Canadian field in metres. In cell D3, the following formula converts that measurement to yards, and rounds the result:



Unfortunately, the CONVERT function does not get you an extra point.

Other Differences

Besides the size of the fields, there are other key differences between Canadian and American football.


No stripes? Fewer players? More downs? You call that a game? ;-)


Speaking of Excel 5.0

Do you remember when printed manuals came with the software? I still have my Excel 5.0 User Guide, so maybe I can read it while watching the big game!

There were tons of new features in that version, so there will be lots of interesting stuff to read.



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9 Responses

  1. Khushnood Viccaji says:

    I rarely used printed user guides for most software applications.
    Usually a good book on the software by a well-known author would be more helpful.
    John Walkenbach’s ‘For Dummies…’ and other books on Excel, VBA, are a perfect example.

    I remember reading the “Excel 5 for dummies” book, cover-to-cover in 5 days without having Excel installed on my “PC-AT 286? !
    We were using QPro 4 for DOS at that time, and I wanted to know what was so great and different about Excel.

    I also remember using the help system of Excel 5 extensively.
    It was one of the BEST in terms of interactivity, explanation of concepts and other helpful tips.

    Today’s help systems are more focussed on documentation of the software.
    Of course, with the explosion of information available on the internet (and Google), it became easier to find answers to specific queries.


  2. Martin says:

    I also have that manual !!!!!!

  3. A.Brit says:

    Anyone know why they call the North American game “football” when only two players are allowed to use their feet to kick the ball? And why is it a “touchdown” when you don’t even have to touch the ball down to score?

  4. Both terms come from the English rugby-style game that was copied and changed to make NA football. Back in the day, the upper class played polo (on horseback) and the lower class played football (on their feet). So the term refers to how the players move around rather than contact with the ball. To score in rugby, you touch the ball to the ground in the end zone. And while that requirement was changed in NA football, the term touchdown survived.

  5. I still have the 24 floppy disks of Office 4.3 professional to which Excel 5 belonged.

  6. Jan Karel, I have Office 4.2, and it has 25 disks. I wonder what they took out.

  7. Maybe I mixed things up a bit and it is actually 4.2 with 25 disks, I can’t recall.

  8. Gregory says:

    I didn’t even realize Excel had a ROMAN function. That’s awesome.

  9. Steve says:

    The sad magpie that I am, I have the Excel 4 Function Reference Book…..ah the joys of a macro sheet instead of that new fangled VBA…..

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