The Science of Football

Aspects of science can be found in many activities of our daily lives including cooking, driving a car, and even watching football. On Super Bowl Sunday many Americans will gorge themselves on chicken wings while watching the New England Patriots take on the New York Giants. During the fight for the Super Bowl Championship, Tom Brady and his teammates will engage America in the science of football. Upon the turf the Patriots will apply Newton’s three Laws of Motion, and the Pythagorean Theorem.

Newton’s First Law of Motion:

An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

Patriot’s receivers will guide the audience through this lesson by running down the field as far, and as fast as possible, to get the first down or score a touchdown against the Giants.

Newton’s Second Law of Motion:

The acceleration of an object is dependent upon the net force acting upon an object and the mass of the object.

Patriot’s kicker Stephen Gostowski will use the second law of motion to attempt a field goal during the game.

Newton’s Third Law of Motion:

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Using the third law of motion members of the defense will stop the Giant’s ball carrier.

The Pythagorean Thereom:

Within the red zone the receiver or running back will use this theorem to make a bee-line for the end zone and to earn a touchdown.


One response to “The Science of Football

  1. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to coach middle school girls in soccer using geometry like the Pythagorean Theorum but so far I haven’t figured out anything that I think can give the players a Eureka moment. Even simpler geometry – just straight lines either between an opposing player and your goal or between the ball and an opposing player are key concepts for soccer. Another variation of the pythagorean theorum is the angle to the goal, for forcing opponents to aim into a narrow target area and for the goalie to protect the goal.

    I think there’s a lot of opportunity for cross-curriculum teaching that might mix soccer, geometry, and maybe add in choreography!

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