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physics essay

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What’s wrong with the Detroit Lions?

     It is obvious to me that the laws of physics can be applied to the game of football. However, The Detroit Lions may be unaware of this fact. With there current 0-12 record they are on a losing streak that could be placed in the record books. No team has ever lost every single football of their whole season. What an embarrassing way to be placed in the record books. Maybe if they looked at some of the laws of physics they could win a game.
     The passing game for the lions is one area that can be examined. Quarterback Charlie Batch has one of the lowest ratings in the league. He completes a little under 60% of his passes. His average passing yardage is approximately ten yards. Using the knowledge of physics to examine the projectile motion we can help Charlie complete more passes.
Let’s look at what we know:
     1. Charlie is about 2 meters tall.
     2. His average pass is ten yards or 9 meters.
     3. He’s throwing with parabolic trajectory.
     4. We will use the equations:
          The velocity in the horizontal direction (Vx)= The initial velocity (Vi) cos (the angle)
          The velocity in the vertical direction (Vy)= The initial velocity (Vi) sin (the angle)
          The distance in the horizontal direction (x)= The velocity in the                          horizontal direction (Vx) multiplied by The time (t).
          The gravity is always equal to -9.8m/s squared.
     From the equations we can say that the initial velocity could be Charlie’s problem. Say Charlie always passes with an angle of 20 degrees so that it isn’t easy for the other team to intercept the pass. This kind of pass would usually takes 2 seconds to get the receiver. This means that Charlie’s average pass of 9 meters needs and initial velocity of 11m/s to get to the receiver. If any of these things don’t work out, or say, Charlie changes his passing angle, the pass will probably be incomplete.
     Kicking the football can also be an aspect of the game that could improve for the lions. Two weeks ago, Jason Hanson missed 3 field goals. Kicking field goals can be examined from a physics perspective. The football will follow the same parabolic trajectory as passing.
     Using the Same Equations we can determine the initial velocity needed to make his average 23 meter kick. He usually kicks with an average 40 degree angle. Also it takes 3 seconds for the kick to go threw the uprights. This kick will need a 11.5 m/s initial velocity in order to go threw. Not to mention, the kick also has to be straight as an arrow. For all the things that have to go right, maybe field goals should be worth more than just 3 points.

     Collisions happen all the time in the game of football. Whoever “wins” the collision, or keeps going forward, depends on who has more momentum. Momentum could be the difference between running the right threw the opposing defender, or having the defender hit you back and down to the ground. They are one of the most exciting parts of football.

     You momentum (p) is equal to your mass (m) multiplied by your velocity (v). So, the question is; Would you rather have a fat guy who’s really slow, a medium weight guy who’s has a medium speed, or a light weight super fast guy? Fact is that it wouldn’t really matter. They would all have about the same momentum because all the multiplication of big and small numbers would equal out.

     The running back of the Detroit Lions weighs about 170 kg and is traveling at 3 m/s. How fast does the huge 250 Newton defensive player have to be traveling?

     P of Detroit running back = 170 kg * 3 m/s = 510 kg*m/s
     P of defensive has to equal 510 kg*m/s
     510 kg*m/s = 250 kg * X m/s
     510 kg*m/s / 250 kg = about 2 m/s

     So, you see that no matter how different the size, to objects can always have the same momentum. It is always possible for a little running back to have enough momentum to break the tackle of the big, strong linebacker.

     The Lions are in big trouble if they can’t get it together soon. The season is coming close to an end and they are still win-less. If they could only realize how many aspects of the game that could be understood with the knowledge of physics. Perhaps the coach should be studying a physics books, instead of the video tapes of the last game. Using projectile motion and momentum could lead to the first Detroit Lion win in 12 games. They should take a small portion of the money that they make an invest in a physics course or two!!!

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