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Real Time Strategy (Games) Science

The Physics of Football 163

Ponca City, We Love You writes "There will be a program on applied physics and real time strategy that you might want to watch on television today. Conservation of momentum during elastic and inelastic collisions is one aspect on which to focus as players tackle their opponents. It is of critical importance that the Patriots bring down New York's huge and powerful running back, 6-foot-4, 265-pound Brandon Jacobs. An average-size NFL defensive back's mass combined with his speed — on average, 4.56 seconds for the 40-yard dash — can produce up to 1600 pounds of tackling force. A tackle with half a ton of force may sound like a crippling blow, but the body can handle twice that amount because the player's equipment spreads out the incoming energy, lessening its severity." Nanotech specialists from Cornell have developed their own take on the "physics" of the Super Bowl by creating the world's smallest trophy, which will be awarded today to a contestant who best explains an aspect of football physics. Just some food for thought while you watch the game on your brand new HD television, though you'd better not be watching it in a church.
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The Physics of Football

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  • by run4power ( 1205632 ) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @12:29PM (#22282642)
    For those who want to view the submissions, all submissions are uploaded to youtube with the tag "nanobowl".
  • Wrong title (Score:2, Informative)

    by Affenkopf ( 949241 ) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @12:32PM (#22282660)
    As an European I'd like to point out that the article is not about football but about some strange American sport where the foot isn't even used (or at least not that often,I have no idea to be honest).
  • Re:Wrong title (Score:4, Informative)

    by sayfawa ( 1099071 ) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @12:44PM (#22282750)
    I'd like to point out that this blog is written in American (yes, American, not USian) English. A dialect distinct from the English you may be used to. And in this language football is, in fact, the name of the current subject. Complaining that we use the "wrong" words for things is as silly as complaining that the Spaniards say "juegos" instead of "games". It's a different language. Get over it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 03, 2008 @01:19PM (#22282984)
    BBC2 10:50pm
  • Re:Wrong title (Score:5, Informative)

    by UnxMully ( 805504 ) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @01:35PM (#22283106)
    I'm happy to call it American football if you're okay to call soccer European or world football.

    Feel free. Though I should point out that Soccer is a contraction of Association Football, there's a good article here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_(soccer)#History_and_development [wikipedia.org], and predates American Football by some time - the first rules being codified in the 1850s. The less charitable among us followers of more robust codes tend to call it Wendyball or poofball, mainly because of all the falling over, rolling about and crying that goes on.

    Then there's Rugby Union (football), which dates from around the same time, and the bastard child Rugby League, aka the thickhead crashball game. Not to mention a whole host of other games including a number of forms played in Ireland (Gaelic) which have been played for close to 700 years.

    Compared to all of these games, American Football can be considered something of a johny-come-lately.

    So call it Football if you want, but the rest of the world differentiates different styles of football even if you're not aware of their existence.
  • by Reverberant ( 303566 ) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @02:06PM (#22283354) Homepage

    The Patriots had broken a rule that had recently been explicitly laid out by the league. (See article [nydailynews.com]).

    Pats fan here. Yes, the Patriots broke the rules and were punished for it, but let's put this into perspective:

    1. It's not against NFL rules to steal signs
    2. It's not against NFL rules to steal signs using video cameras
    3. It is against NFL rules for clubs to use video-recording equipment outside certain designated areas [fannation.com] during games.

    The Pats got in trouble for #3, not #1 & 2.

    Of course #3 apparently contradicts league guidance on shooting from end zone positions [boston.com] ("but there are no restrictions on shooting from both upper end zone positions as long as the opportunity is provided to both teams") which apparently means there is some room for interpretation.

    And c'mon... did they REALLY need to cheat against the Jets? The 4-12 Jets? You would think that wiser head couches would save their cheating for games against stronger teams.

    The incident happened in the first half of the first game of the '07 season. In the prior year, the Jets were a playoff team that beat the Patriots in November '06 (which I remember because I was there). There was every reason to expect that the Jets would have been a strong contender this past season.

  • Re:Wrong title (Score:5, Informative)

    by WhatAmIDoingHere ( 742870 ) * <sexwithanimals@gmail.com> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @02:32PM (#22283542) Homepage
    http://slashdot.org/faq/editorial.shtml#ed850 [slashdot.org]
    Slashdot seems to be very U.S.-centric. Do you have any plans to be more international in your scope?

    Slashdot is U.S.-centric. We readily admit this, and really don't see it as a problem. Slashdot is run by Americans, after all, and the vast majority of our readership is in the U.S. We're certainly not opposed to doing more international stories, but we don't have any formal plans for making that happen. All we can really tell you is that if you're outside the U.S. and you have news, submit it, and if it looks interesting, we'll post it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 03, 2008 @06:31PM (#22285478)
    To clarify what was said in http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=440450&cid=22284928 [slashdot.org] about "pro" day:

    American football takes place on both Saturdays and Sundays during the football seasons (~September thru ~ January). College football is played on Saturdays, and professional (mostly synonymous with NFL) football is played on Sundays. High school football is played on Friday nights. The NFL season ends later than the college season, so indeed Saturdays are free for pro football starting in December and the NFL holds playoff games on both Saturdays and Sundays. The NFL also has a single "featured" game on Monday nights, and some Thursdays too of late.

    As far as the effects of after-game celebration the day after: people seem to get away with a lot on Monday-After-Superbowl as it's often considered a day of amnesty by the cultural magnitude the event has. "The Superbowl" is no longer just a game, but a massive cultural event in this country that far transcends the sport and its followers. Superbowl Sunday is a holiday in all but official name.

Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.