Stories tagged football

Haven't gotten enough information about the current football controversy? Here's a quick video that delves into the physics at play in under-inflated footballs.

It was the most exciting play of the opening round of the NFL playoffs this week. Marshawn Lynch's game-clinching 67-yard TD run wasn't just a visual thrill, but the excited crowd in the stands reacting the play actually caused the ground to quake for about 30 seconds. A seismic monitoring station is located next to the stadium and researchers there found a significant change in readings in their monitoring equipment during and after the run. Lots of Saints defenders were feeling crushed after things settled down, too.

Did you hear that the Super Bowl is this Sunday? We'll be awash with tons of pre-game hype, but Science Buzz injects a healthy dose of science with its football report this week. This will likely be the only place you can find out about the A-11 offense, a new twist on the game invented by coaches at Piedmont High School in California. Scientific American reports on how the undermanned school has been able to knock off bigger, stronger foes by bending the traditional rules for running football plays. And it is also where you can read about how to apply science to selecting your fantasy football team next year. (I probably shouldn't share this information with the other guys in my fantasy league.)

Rotator cuff injury changes from green to purple: Upon joining the Minnesota Vikings this week, Brett Favre related that he's had a rotator cuff injury in his arm for several seasons.
Rotator cuff injury changes from green to purple: Upon joining the Minnesota Vikings this week, Brett Favre related that he's had a rotator cuff injury in his arm for several seasons.Courtesy PSUMark2006
Since Science Buzz is about the only Minnesota information source that has not had an item in recent days about new Viking quarterback Brett Favre, I'm going to change that and post this video of Favre speaking about the mysteries of rotator cuff injuries, evidently something he's been dealing with a lot longer than anyone knew.


Is it possible to calculate the "potential energy" of a particular Offensive line compared to a particular Defensive line?

Should a Coach know if they are statistically unable to force the line of scrimmage the direction they want?

Sure - weaknesses can be exploited by double teaming, and running slant plays.....checking the stats on each lineman the coach should be able to choose their strategy before the game....and give the best chance of success


Standing tall: On the Dec. 17 cover of Sports Illustrated, Buffalo Bill tight end Kevin Everett was standing tall after a medical miracle following a season-opening week hit that looked to leave him paralyzed.
Standing tall: On the Dec. 17 cover of Sports Illustrated, Buffalo Bill tight end Kevin Everett was standing tall after a medical miracle following a season-opening week hit that looked to leave him paralyzed.Courtesy Sports Illustrate
It’s one of my favorite times of year – no, not tax preparation season – but the NFL playoffs. And while the hot question on everyone’s mind is if New England can keep it’s perfect season intact, a real miraculous story has sifted by virtually unnoticed.

The big headline out of the NFL’s opening weekend back in September was the devastating, and seemed-to-be-paralyzing hit that Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett suffered while covering a kick-off. He was carted off the field on a backboard and the early prognosis was that he’d spend the rest of his days in a wheelchair.

Today he’s up and walking. The final week of the season he made a post-game appearance in the Bills’ locker room. While his days of playing football are likely over, the prognosis is strong that he’ll be able to live a “regular” life as he continues on with rehab efforts. Unaided, he can slowly walk the length of half a football field.

That’s all great news. But the process that got him so healthy so fast has created a buzz in the medical community. Doctors working on his case took some chances that paid off big time. The big question is whether there will be a climate to allow medical researchers to study the impact and effectiveness of this unusual treatment.

Everett’s incredible story was told in a 10-page story in the Dec. 17 issue of Sports Illustrated. I’ll try my best to summarize the matter in a few paragraphs.

Everett cracked helmets with a Denver Bronco player while covering the kick-off to open the second half of the season-opening game. The collision made a fracture dislocation in his neck along with spinal cord damage.

Less than two weeks earlier, Dr. Andrew Cappuccino had been at a spinal cord injury refresher class at the Bills’ training complex. He was on the sideline when the hit happened. Little did he know a new concept he heard about at the class would come into play so soon.

While Everett could not move his extremities following the hit, Cappuccino did detect a slight reaction in one leg when he applied pressure. That told him it wasn’t a complete severing of the spinal cord in the hit.

Along with conventional treatments, Cappuccino used a new treatment to help Everett that he had heard about at the class. After the initial surgeries, hypothermia was induced in Everett’s body to put him into a coma. Such treatment has been successful in stroke and brain injury recovery, but hadn’t been tried on spinal cord injuries.

Within hours, the tight end was able to slightly move his thighs against the doctor’s hands. The cooling treatment was continued for about a week and Everett’s rapid recovery continued.

The doctor went with his gut feeling and the outcome has been a success. But it wasn’t a lock-sure hunch. Cappuccino readily admits that there are those in the medical community who think he’s a sort of Dr. Frankenstein experimenting on humans.

Clinical trials conducted on the treatment could help back up his hunches. But the doctor also said he realizes that there might be few patients willing to volunteer for the conventional treatments that are part of such trials when there are prospects for such success from the experimental part of the trial.

What do you think of all of this? Was this doctor out of line to try such an unproven treatment? Is the clinical trial process too long and complicated to give medical professionals room for creative treatments? How would you feel about all of this if you faced the prospect of being paralyzed for the rest of your life? Share your thoughts here in the Science Buzz community.

The Pan American Health Organization is so alarmed that it has warned fans from the Americas to get immunised before leaving for Germany. New Scientist magazine


Keeper: Image courtesy various visual stuff.

Earlier I wrote a blog post where mathematicians had determined that soccer was the most exciting sport to watch because the probability for an upset was higher than in other sports. In recent soccer related science research, Ken Bray, a theoretical physicist from the University of bath in England has conducted research to show that the areas near the top corners of the net are what he calls an “unsaveable zone”. To find this zone, Bray studied games from the past 50 years and applied his knowledge of physics, biology, and psychology to calculate the reach of a goalkeeper attempting to save a penalty kick. His advice for the goalkeepers? Move before the ball is kicked…which I think is cheating, so that would not be my advice! Bray also says that in 85% of penalty kicks, the direction in which the plant foot is the direction of the shot.

Dr. Bray has written a book on the science of soccer titled, “How to Score”.