The Physics of Sprints and Kickoff Safety

Over at Grantland, Bill Barnwell offers some unorthodox suggestions for replacing the kickoff in NFL games, which has apparently been floated as a way to improve player safety. Appropriately enough, the suggestion apparently came from Giants owner John Mara, which makes perfect sense giving that the Giants haven’t had a decent kick returner since Dave […]

Wacky Football Mishap Poll

So, my Giants edged out Kate’s Patriots again in the Chateau Steelypips Bowl, in a game that was certainly not without its drama. I’m not going to gloat about it, because a couple of different bounces here or there easily could’ve changed the outcome. Also, I didn’t see the third quarter at all, really, because […]

Concussions, Back Problems, and Odd Statistics

Jonah Lehrer has a big article at Grantland on concussions in high school football that paints a fairly bleak picture: The sickness will be rooted in football’s tragic flaw, which is that it inflicts concussions on its players with devastating frequency. Although estimates vary, several studies suggest that up to 15 percent of football players […]

Does the Regular Season Matter?

This past weekend, I ended up hearing sports-radio pinheads holding forth proudly about their ignorance of college basketball. The justification for this is that “the regular season doesn’t matter,” since the NCAA tournament is single-elimination, and lesser-known teams keep ending up making big runs in the tournament. Since there’s apparently no way in their world […]


I’m a big fan of (American) football, but a lot of people are surprised to learn that I never played organized football. It was largely a matter of timing– the coaches when I was in junior high were not people I’d’ve been interested in playing for, and when they hired a good guy to run […]

Entangled in Sports Analogies

Having written in defense of analogies in physics yesterday, I should note that not all of the analogies that are brought out in an attempt to clarify physics concepts are good. For example, there’s this incredibly strained opening to a Science News article on entanglement: If the Manning brothers were quantum physicists as well as […]