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Week in Geek, 'Omaha' edition: Super Bowl science

A guide to minding your physics on the football field.
Science of NFL Football, from

OK, I know I highlighted this video series for last year's Super Bowl, but physics never goes away. So in honor of the big game, here's a look at the importance of vectors in football. Did you know the average quarterback throws the ball at 45 to 50 miles per hour? I most certainly did not. On most city streets, that's speeding.

Quarterbacks develop the ability to subconsciously calculate vectors in their head when they decide how fast and in what direction to throw the ball to reach the intended receiver. That may not sound very hard, but when both the quarterback and the receiver are in motion, it's quite challenging. The quarterback has to simultaneously determine the final position of the receiver based on the pattern the receiver is currently running as well as compensate for the quarterback's motion in the pocket. And all in a few seconds, lest he get flattened by the defense. I hereby declare quarterbacks honorary physicists.

More football science:

  • The Super Bowl by the numbers. [VIDEO]
  • To exercise your brain and not just your stomach on Sunday, try this Super Bowl math puzzle.
  • Check out this infographic for the science of how the temperature forecast is likely to affect all aspects of the game.

And now for some non-football geek:

Geek on. As a certain Bronco might say, OMAHA! @Summer_Ash