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Newton's Football: The Science Behind America's Game

 
 
Author
Allen St. John & Ainissa G. Ramirez.
Publisher Ballantine  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.25 x 0.9 inches
ISBN 9780345545145
Pages/Publication Date 250/2013
Daedalus Item Code 71042
List Price: $26.00
Sale Price: $5.98
You Save: $20.02
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Description
What does Vince Lombardi have in common with Isaac Newton? What forces led to the unlikely evolution of the football's prolate spheroid shape? Does the instinctive behavior of monkeys explain a head coach's reluctance to go for it on fourth-down? And how did a foot injury make Ben Agajanian a stellar placekicker? Also the author of The Billion Dollar Game and Clapton's Guitar, journalist Allen St. John teams up with science educator and TED talk host Ainissa Ramirez—both exuberant fans of the game—to explore the unexpected science found in the remarkable complexity of modern professional football. Whether talking with Jerry Rice about the common ground between quantum physics and the West Coast offense, or hearing an Ivy League biologist explaining—at a granular level—exactly how a Big Mac morphs into an outside linebacker, St. John and Ramirez illuminate football and science through funny, insightful stories told by some of the sharpest minds in both fields.

"What prepared Vince Lombardi for phenomenal success in professional football? St. John and Ramirez believe it was the eight years Lombardi spent teaching high-school math and physics. For behind Lombardi's six NFL titles in the 1960s, the authors discern a brilliant application of Newtonian physics in the Green Bay Packers' famous power sweep and of probability theory in the Packers' run-oriented game plans.... Readers will marvel, for instance, at how chaos theory connects an injury to a key player with the beginning of the West Coast offense. Just as amazing is the Boolean logic governing quarterback reads. Other analyses deploy the science of dynamic feedback to explain how adding a face mask to the helmet put players at greater risk of concussions, and combine the physics of pass-blocking with the thermodynamics of nutrition (and steroids?) to account for behemoth linemen. A delightfully improbable book putting science nerds and sports fans on the same page."—Booklist

 
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